‘The challenge for India-based IT service providers is to keep updating their knowledge to frequent innovations in the global auto industry.’

Deepankar Ghosh, VP (PLM & Engineering Services), ITC Infotech, speaks to Jaishankar Jayaramiah about IT solutions for the automotive industry.

By Jaishankar Jayaramiah calendar 14 Nov 2014 Views icon4322 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

How do you rank India on the automotive-related IT sector map?
The US and Europe are the developed and mature markets as far as high-end solutions go. But India too has equivalent expertise in providing IT services and solutions.  ITC Infotech, in particular, has expertise in all segments and successfully competes with other major IT tech firms in India. As of now, the US, European and Indian companies are leading the pack. China is slowly coming up in the sector while Israel-based firms have some niche skills.

What are the challenges you see in this industry and how can they be addressed?
Technology is changing very fast in the automotive industry. Five years ago, almost all cars globally had very little electronics in that. Today, the amount of embedded systems which are optimising engine, transition and infotainment functions are all based on electronics.

The percentage of electronics is going up rapidly while that of mechanical is coming down. A majority of these technological innovations are initiated in the developed Western and European countries.

The challenge for India-based IT service providers is to keep updating their knowledge to frequent innovations in the global automotive industry.

How can this challenge be addressed and what kind of support would you want from the government?
Companies like ITC Infotech are trying to be partners with R&D initiatives. The establishment of technical centres by the government and corporate sector will be useful for IT professionals graduating from colleges as they can be trained in specialised sectors like automotive. NASSCOM-like industry forums are trying to get results in this direction.

Do you have any tie-ups with academic institutions?
We have a programme called ‘Campus Connect Programme’. We have identified colleges like PSG Tech in Coimbatore and RKNEC Nagpur. We select final year students and start training them in the college itself.

Although it is part of our hiring programme, it also involves intensive training at college level that benefits the teaching staff which in turn helps them to spread knowledge and training to other students too in the institution.

Do global OEMs coming to India help raise demand for IT solutions?
Certainly. Already global OEMs are implementing IT solutions at various levels. When they come to India to set up their shop, they will extend the same level of implementations standard in the production, sales and marketing cycles. In addition, several global OEM majors have expanded their R&D activities in India over the last five years. All this certainly helps to increase the demand of IT services in the Indian automotive sector.

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