Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today announced its decision to invest $150 million (Rs 1,110 crore) to set up a new Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad. FCA ICT India, the new innovation and technology development facility is the company’s largest digital hub outside of North America and EMEA. The investment significantly expands the automobile manufacturing group’s presence in the country.
The digital hub will create nearly 1,000 new cutting-edge technology jobs by the end-2021 and has plans to increase hiring over the next two to three years. The newly recruited employees will work on products and concepts, which the company says will define the future of mobility at FCA.
The global digital hub will serve as a ‘transformation and innovation engine’ for FCA and drive global IT strategy through a robust platform, technology and service centres of excellence. It will focus on building strategic competencies in niche technology areas such as connected vehicle programs, artificial intelligence, data accelerators, and cloud technologies, among others.
The company says it has been expanding its manufacturing and engineering footprint across India for the past two decades and the new global digital hub in Hyderabad marks FCA’s continued commitment to tap into India’s world-class digital and IT talent.
Mamatha Chamarthi, CIO, FCA, North America and Asia Pacific said: “In the digital era, data is the new currency. Our goal is to build an innovation powerhouse that harnesses the intelligence enabled by data to build exciting new products and services to deliver at the speed of our customers’ expectations. One of the key objectives of FCA ICT India is to digitalise every aspect of FCA’s automotive operations globally and within India, and to shift from legacy to digital through adoption of emerging technologies. We are fostering a strong, global culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to promote agility at scale, and drive customer-centricity.”
"There's a tectonic shift in technology which is impacting every part of the automotive ecosystem. Therefore, we have decided to establish the FCA Global Digital Hub in Telangana, with a focus to digitise every part of our operations and take them away from legacy processes. We will attract the best cloud services, data science and IT. It will also help expand our relationship with the entire ecosystem including suppliers. The Indian automotive market being pegged to grow further from currently being No. 4, to having the right IT talent were among the reasons for shortlisting India for this global centre. With respect to Telangana, the state's pro-business policies, strong IT infrastructure along with the right entrepreneurial talent were the top reasons, notwithstanding the fact that Hyderabad is a great city to live and houses several top engineering colleges as well. In the digital era, data is the new currency and our goal is to build digital products to quickly adapt to the evolving needs of our customers," added Chamarthi.
The company says the availability of talent coupled with a culture of innovation and pro-business policies played a major role in FCA’s decision to set-up the facility in Hyderabad. The new centre will also expand FCA’s relationships with several ecosystem partners, including strategic partners, start-ups, digital accelerators and universities, to accelerate our innovation agenda.
Karim Lalani, director and head of FCA ICT India (above) said: “We are working closely with strategic technology partners to accelerate our talent and competency ramp-up at FCA ICT India. We are also aggressively hiring, and the response has been overwhelming. I am excited to see the new ideas and technologies our talented engineers and data scientists will develop for our customers. We foresee our global digital hub driving innovation in multiple areas, including customer safety, connected mobility and digital showroom experience. We are excited to build a truly pioneering, global digital hub that will strengthen FCA’s position as a global mobility leader.”
Headquartered in Mumbai FCA India has a presence in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and employs over 3,000 people. With the Global Digital Hub, FCA will be expanding its presence in Telangana. The company has a joint venture vehicle and powertrain manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra. The company’s engineering and product development operations are located in Pune and Chennai.
Dr. Partha Datta, president and MD, FCA India (above) said: “The $150 million (Rs 1,110 crore) investment to set up a Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana cements our continued commitment to India and our customers. FCA ICT India will be our technology backbone that will not only help us develop products for future mobility but will also sharpen our efforts to enhance customer-centricity. This is a significant step forward in realising our vision to make our Indian operations more capable to develop digitally-driven products and technologies locally for India and also for the world.”
"We are witnessing transformation in the way business is being conducted around the world, especially after the pandemic. Therefore, we have decided to set up FCA's Global Digital Hub right here in India, which will help FCA employ skilled IT workforce in Hyderabad. The centre will have a strong impact on the global FCA enterprise. We will also expand our Chennai R&D centre to employ over 2,200 people and work in coordination with the new hub," added Dr. Datta.
Adding his remarks, K T Rama Rao, minister for IT, Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, government of Telangana said: "The Telangana government is happy to welcome FCA's Global Digital Hub to Hyderabad. Telangana is a big believer in innovation and digital technologies. Our EVs and storage systems policy also offers benefits to auto industry and we would want FCA to unleash this potential as well."