It was an event with a difference. A two-day digital extravaganza and a future mobility ideas factory, hosted by Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India (MBRDI), was recently conducted in Bangalore, following successful completion of three similar editions at Daimler HQ in Germany.
Daimler has four entities currently operating in India: Mercedes-Benz India, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Daimler Financial Services, and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India.
DigitalLife Day India provides a platform for Daimler employees across all India entities to showcase new ideas which could become future mobility. The two-day event was a culmination of innovation, ideas and prototypes, as a result of the collaboration with start-ups, students and vendor partners.
Revolving around three key objectives – information, innovation and inspiration – the Digital-Life Day event brought about an opportunity for MBRDI employees to interact with a vibrant mix of renowned industry experts, entrepreneurs, global leaders and technology innovators. Nearly 3,000 MBRDI employees, who participated in the event, were engaged in hands-on workshops, market booths, as well as panel discussions.
Also on showcase were innovations from Daimler divisions, partner ecosystems, start-ups and student communities concerning trending technologies, which are shaping the future of mobility. The event aimed to bundle Daimler’s various digitalisation activities and support digital transformation across all its divisions in the country.
Digitalisation driving future growth
Daimler could be seen pushing digitalisation strongly at its core in order to evolve and be future-ready to provide mobility services, alongside continuing to remain one of the major automobile manufacturers in the world. With its Digital-Life platform, the company is initiating numerous digital projects for direct implementation in the business units, as well as promoting active dialogue between employees, top management and its board of management.
The Group is deploying its long-term strategy – CASE – which includes the four megatrends of the future – connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomy), flexible use (Shared and Services), and electric drive systems (Electric) to strengthen all its global units and implementing new business models catering to the dynamic needs of the upcoming future.
In line with Daimler’s strategic growth agenda, the engineering and IT units in India are also expanding, and as a result, Daimler unveiled a new state-of-art facility of around 276,000 square feet to accommodate more than 2,300 employees.
Fanning a start-up ecosystem
After successfully launching ‘Start-up Autobahn’ in Germany, Singapore and China, Daimler has expanded its innovation platform to the next market – India. During the course of the two days, MBRDI also announced a sustained engagement with Start-up Autobahn that focuses on scouting local start-ups with creative solutions for the future of mobility and production in India.
Speaking at Daimler Digital-Life Day India 2018, Ola Källenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, said, “The skills of our teams here in India are impressive and perfectly fit our requirements for digital product development and IT. They play a very important and integral role in our global strategy that focuses on future customer demand. For the last two decades, MBRDI has displayed great potential in digitalisation. Therefore, MBRDI is host of the fourth edition of Daimler’s Digital-Life Day and the first outside of Germany.”
Manu Saale, managing director and CEO, MBRDI further emphasised, “At MBRDI, we have the opportunity to expand the digital envelope of Daimler. To add on to two decades of work in the digital space, we will now explore the vibrant start-up ecosystem in India and attempt to bring the best of the best to the product. At MBRDI, our focus would be on Imaging processing, Machine learning/AI, Cloud Solutions, Industry 4.0, Simulation technologies, AR/VR, Automation, Digital solutions for corporate functions like HR and Legal. We are very proud to host the largest Digital-Life Day here in Bangalore with around 3,000 people attending, also, the first outside of Germany.”
MBRDI offers Daimler the opportunity to tap into a source of qualified specialists in engineering and IT. Since its inception in 1996, from a workforce of 10 to over 4,600 employees, MBRDI is steadily growing itself as a valuable partner to all business units and brands of Daimler worldwide. Today, MBRDI is the largest R&D centre for Daimler outside of Germany. With focus on digitalization, simulation and data science, MBRDI is the Centre of Excellence within Daimler for Engineering and IT.
Meanwhile, after successfully launching Startup Autobahn in Germany, Singapore and China, the innovation platform has now expands further to the next market – India. MBRDI has announced a sustained engagement with Startup Autobahn that focuses on scouting local startups with creative solutions for the future of mobility and production.