Dassault Systemes has designs on India

by 15 Apr 2008

The US$ 2 billion French software systems major Dassault Systemes is the world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions for the automotive sector. It is a pioneer in 3D software since 1981, and develops and markets PLM application software and services that support industrial processes and provide a 3D version of the entire lifecycle of products from conception to retirement.

Meanwhile, its PLM products consist of ‘Catia’ for designing virtual products, ‘Delmia’ for virtual production, ‘Enovia’ for global collaborative lifecycle management and Simulia for virtual testing. This is the only multi-physics analysis engine that mimics real- world conditions very accurately. For the automotive sector, this tool can analyse different types of crashes during the development of new vehicles.

In India, the company plays a vital role in the automobile sector with all major OEMs as its clients. “If you look at our tools, we are imbibing systems engineering. Today the next- generation tools we are bringing out are all systems engineering enabled. Not just in terms of physical systems engineering enabled but also electronics systems engineering,” says Suman Bose, country director — India, Dassault Systemes PLM Sales, Singapore. The company’s applications and services enable businesses of all sizes in all industries around the world to digitally define and simulate products, as well as the processes and resources required to manufacture, maintain and recycle them and improve the environment.

Automotive focus

In the automobile sector, Dassault Systemes provides solutions for designing and manufacturing, safety systems in cars and even concept cars. “Our customers are big OEMs and also suppliers at every tier. At each level we offer a value proposition. Today many of the large suppliers are system or module suppliers. When they do their sub-system, they have their own engineering, but are also collaborating with several OEMs in confidence. When they are designing the systems, they may need sub-system developers or else they may not be able to meet the OEM timelines,” says Bose.

“A big issue among OEMs and suppliers is data exchange. How do I give you data? If I am doing all my data in digital, my last mile is not covered. If I share too much, my intellectual property rights are going out. So how do I share things which are only in confidence and how do I ensure that my IP is protected? These are complex issues which Enovia can help you overcome,” he explains.

Innovation in India

Based out of Paris, Dassault Systemes is organised by brands and geographies. Brands like Delmia, Enovia and Simulia are all headquartered out of the US. Part of Enovia is also headquartered out of Israel. Catia is headquartered out of Paris. The company has an R&D centre here in India, which is the biggest after the US centre. There are roughly 6,800 people at the company with 3,300 employed in R&D alone. It has offices in Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore.

“We also have joint venture based out of Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. These are mainly R&D joint ventures. For Delmia a large part of R&D is out of India. The global product managers are sitting in India and the country is very much on the top end of the innovation chain. Last year we became the leading PLM company in the country. We also have a brand called Solidworks which is a standalone brand which addresses the CAT-centric market. We dominate in the automotive sector and added close to 150 customers last year,” reveals Bose.

Bose feels that India as a market is becoming very big and important for his company. “We are on a very high growth trajectory in India. We were here for a long time with our partner IBM and are present on our own since 2006. Last year we formed our own company and have been growing at 30 percent CAGR for the last three years,” he adds.

Within the automotive industry, Bose says that Indian companies have become giants in their own ways. They have struck partnerships with the global best. A number of very small companies are investing in Dassault products, he says. “We deliver value for the money a company spends on us but we are definitely expensive. The companies are also realising that the benefit for them is that they are moving from a point solution value to a knowledge management value,” he says.

“Indian entrepreneurs want to create a foundation for their companies in such a way that they can grow quickly in the future. Many companies investing in us today are looking at creating or extending their value so they can claim a larger share of business from OEs. India companies today are competing globally based on quality and innovation. That is why you see companies investing in more innovation tools like ours,” Bose notes.