Shailendra Shrivastava, Global head (transportation), Larsen & Toubro Technology services (LTTS) talks about its associations with OEMs, India’s position in the global manufacturing hub and opportunities in the chipset evolution landscape.
There is huge industry focus on lightweighting and megatrends. How is LTTS helping OEMs and component makers?
L&T Technology Services works with its global customers on weight reduction programs with focus on alternate design, alternate material and alternate processes while implementing lightweighting programs for customers.
Usually, weight reduction of a part or component in a vehicle is achieved by using alternate materials which are selected after extensive study and benchmarking. However, for us at LTTS, lightweighting programs also include important concepts such as value engineering and analysis and Vehicle Teardown Analysis to help customers control costs, increase margins, increase vehicle efficiency and launch competitive products.
LTTS has a large teardown facility in its Vadodara campus dedicated to some of the world’s leading automotive OEMs, where engineers disassemble products of any size. We get the products from the customer and perform the teardown analysis on them. We study each part and identify the opportunities for reducing component weight.
What are the threats, challenges and opportunities for India Auto Inc to become a global manufacturing hub?
India is a fast-growing automobile market and it is different from virtually every other market in the world. In the country, cost plays an important role but so does efficiency and innovation.
Though the trend of personalisation and e-mobility is catching up fast in Indian metro cities, it is still a while before we start seeing people change the buying patterns. The key points to be considered for e-mobility are the cost of vehicle, mileage per charge, intercity drives and infrastructure across the geography.
The other important aspect is that though companies like L&T Technology Services and others are developing solutions for hybrid and connected vehicles, it is important for such innovations to be complemented with supporting infrastructure such as supply of EV charging stations.
In terms of chipsets, industry veterans believe that Indian companies have already lost out on the hardware manufacturing space and it will be difficult for any manufacturer or start-up to catch up with the multinationals. What are the areas you think Indian companies can grab a bigger piece of the global automotive market?
The relevance of chipsets in the transportation value chain is rapidly evolving. Autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and ADAS are some such new-age concepts that incorporate use of chipsets. And with innovation playing a key role in the further evolution of these concepts, ER&D (engineering R&D) services are clearly the best fit. Thus, there is indeed a relevance and scope for opportunities for the Indian ER&D service providers in the chipset evolution landscape.
India is also a manufacturing hub for the component industry with a vast majority of the suppliers from the SME sector. Is LTTS working with suppliers and how do you think they can protect their future?
Being one of the large ER&D companies operating from India, L&T Technology Services works closely with the entire supply chain and it is in our best interest to support and grow the ecosystem comprising of multiple MSMEs.
The good news is that we are seeing a change in the buying patterns of the global players. They are looking at sourcing components and sub-systems from India. And now, the drive towards electrification of vehicles further throws up interesting opportunities for the whole supply ecosystem as the requirement for the parts (components) will transform. Indian producers will consequently have to align with the changing needs of global customers.
The company is also an engineering service provider to Covestro, a leading supplier to the global automotive industry and working aggressively in lightweighting. How does LTTS help them towards the same?
Our engagement with Covestro is to drive digital transformation across their global locations. While presently our scope is focused on engineering data analytics and data migration, we will certainly explore extended areas of cooperation.
(This interview was first published in the October 1, 2018 issue of Autocar Professional)
Also read: L&T technology services’ Ashish Khushu: ‘There is an increase in investment in electric, infotainment, safety and efficiency’