Tata Technologies' president, Global Services and Chief Operating Officer — Asia Pacific, speaks to Karthik H about entering the Chinese market and the recent Cambric buy.

Tata Technologies' president, Global Services and Chief Operating Officer — Asia Pacific, speaks to Karthik H about entering the Chinese market and the recent Cambric buy.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 04 Sep 2013 Views icon1778 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Tata Technologies' president, Global Services and Chief Operating Officer — Asia Pacific, speaks to Karthik H about entering the Chinese market and the recent Cambric buy.

What is the current status of Tata Technologies' entry in China?
We are more than just in the ideation phase of the China business. We are specifically looking to serve our existing customers in China. They are basically taking us there. We’ve got a three-pronged strategy: existing customers, differentiated propositions and the general market. We’re a bit away from being present there, but we will speedily get there. In the best case, we should be there in four months. Worst case, if existing programs of our customers get delayed, it should happen within a year.
What are your major challenges in entering China? How is it different from any other new market?
The good news is that the Tata Group has already invested in China. Certainly, there are cultural differences we have to get used to. It helps to enter with present customers. We’d find it very difficult to get in via any other route. We will learn about the issues there as we go along. Our customers trust us to do good work.
What would your hiring policy be? Would you look to hire local hands from the start?
Hiring will have to be local. Global engineering requires the orchestration of various local teams on a global level. Much like India, if you want to do substantial work in China, you have to hire locally.The locals will have a deep understanding of their own customers’ needs. We will learn as we go. We don’t know enough yet as to what they can bring to the world stage. If we want to contribute to Chinese OEMs, we have to hire local. We don’t expect them [The Chinese team] to help with our global projects. Not initially at least, I’d be very surprised if there is no cross- pollination and they help eventually.
What about your acquisition of Cambric? How will that boost your operations in India?
The Cambric deal will help us in creating totally new products that are applicable to Indian markets. Cambric can help us with hydraulics, systems integration and Tier-IV exhaust norms. Their customers were asking them for their help in India. That was a big reason for them to take the deal. For us, it was about helping our customers in developing the next stage of products. For example, a lot of the work we do in India is for Japanese customers who are looking to come to India or those who don’t have design, engineering and build operations here, but have sales operations here. Give it another 3-4 months; we should be making a couple of announcements as to how Cambric will have contributed for the Indian market. I am very bullish that by December this year, Cambric would have made substantial contributions. It has to be the global delivery model. We’ll have program managers from Cambric (who are either Americans or Romanians) who are backed up by engineers from India and Romania. Slowly, the ratio of Romanian to Indian engineers in that team will turn around.Cambric helps us position our products, either by taking existing Indian products and making them BS IV-compliant or by taking a complete problem statement and conceiving a new design from scratch, assisted by the OEMs, perhaps parts reusability too. From conversation to actual contract, I’d expect it to be a six-month process.
You also head a Special Interest Group under NASSCOM for talent building in the construction and heavy engineering industry?
Currently, we have a council of nine. Different people are looking at different aspects of converting the India dream into a reality. We’ve got to help the different industries that use engineering in innovative ways to maximise the market, everything from government interventions to talent branding. They’ve handed me the mantle of leading the talent development team. Our main task is to see how we can make engineers useable. There’s a big gap between the kind of engineers that come out of colleges and the kind of engineers each industry wants. I put up my hand when I said construction and heavy engineering is a huge growth market. Today it’s a $4 billion market and by 2020 it can become a $25 billion market. There are no policies today, no government intervention. So I’m running this track. It’s picked up quite a momentum. The whole question is to agree on a set of standards and take that to the government. We aim to provide accelerators across the ecosystem to make this $24 billion a reality.

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