ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the global major in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, today inaugurated its first Technology Center in India in Hyderabad, Telangana. ZF had announced plans to build the ITC in September 2016.
The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of K Chandrashekar Rao, chief minister of Telangana, Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Mamatha Chamarthi, chief digital officer and executive lead for the India Technology Center (ITC) and other senior government and ZF officials.
K Chandrashekar Rao, chief minister of Telangana, said: “We are happy to welcome ZF to Telangana and will extend all our support to the organisation. Telangana offers an industry-friendly infrastructure and industrial development policy, adequate power supply and world-class infrastructure facilities which facilitates business development. With an industry leader like ZF coming to Hyderabad, it is going to further reinforce the state’s position as a growing hub for the automotive industry.”
The ZF ITC strengthens ZF’s presence in the country with anticipated investment plans of 15 million euros (Rs 114 crore) over the next five years. The ITC will foster high-end innovations which will focus on bringing advanced technology to India as well as localising more strategic business activities including research, design and development for global market initiatives. It also aims to leverage one of the finest academic research communities and the increasingly recognised rich and diverse talent pool for global development projects.
ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer said: “At ZF, we are experiencing substantial growth in many regions, and this is especially true in India. In a dynamically changing and increasingly digital world, speed is of the essence and we are proud to have been able to complete the set-up in a short period of time. We look forward to establishing our presence in such an exciting part of the region and growing its reputation as an innovation hub.”
Focus on electronics, embedded software, mechanical engineering
The new Technology Center will be dedicated to electronics, embedded software and mechanical engineering. It will support ZF’s global development teams while enabling the company to accelerate local product development. The company aims to harness the skill set present in the country to develop world-class technology solutions for ZF worldwide, in addition to accelerating local product development.
Mamatha Chamarthi, chief digital officer of ZF, said: “The India Technology Centre will be rapidly integrated into the engineering ecosystem of ZF and become a pillar of innovation for the company. As demand for software engineering grows, ZF will exponentially increase capacity to help meet customers’ growth aspirations in both the global and local market.”
Catering to a fast-changing industry
Mamatha Chamarthi said: “We are moving from a hardware-defined world to a software-defined world. Every feature and product in the car is getting connected and the car itself on a whole is getting connected.”
Chamarthi alludes to the dramatic upheaval currently underway in the automobile industry. While the demand for mobility worldwide is rising significantly, new technologies, concepts and solutions are coming into focus. The competitive environment is also being disrupted, with competing companies from seemingly unrelated mobility industries establishing themselves on the market. The essential driver behind these trends is digitalization.
ZF is thus restructuring itself to become the technology leader that will shape the megatrends of the future – efficiency, safety and automated driving. The global supplier is using its increasing digital expertise in order to endow mechanical systems with intelligence. The long-term objective is Vision Zero – a world with zero accidents and zero emissions – and ZF products are going to help it get there.
Software will be the decisive factor in this whole process. Consequently, ZF is leveraging India’s immense resources – its highly qualified engineers. “The Indian Technology Center will be rapidly integrated into the engineering ecosystem and will become a pillar of innovation for the company,” explained CDO Mamatha Chamarthi. "As demand for software engineering grows, ZF will exponentially increase capacity to help meet customers’ growth aspirations in both the global and local market.”
ZF in India
ZF and its partners have been operating for more than five decades in the Indian market, with corporate headquarters at ZF Business Park, Pune. Today, ZF’s presence in India consists of 21 locations catering to the automotive and non-automotive segments in the region. This includes two wholly owned subsidiaries of ZF and six joint ventures of ZF and ZF TRW.
In India, the Group has a strong local mechanical engineering team that supports product development and application engineering for both the automotive and non-automotive customers. The consolidated resource strength for the group, including the joint ventures is about 14,000 employees.