"Automation and technology are enablers rather than threats"

Corporates want SMEs to focus on innovation and technology in their quest to scale up and go global 

Published 4 years ago on Aug 08, 2017 9 minutes Read
Soumik Kar

N Mahalakshmi, editor, Outlook Business: Sumit, where do you plot Indian companies as opposed to the developed world with respect to both quality and technology?

Sumit Sawhney, MD & CEO, Renault India: If I have to map Indian suppliers from an innovation point of view, they are pretty strong. In terms of building quality, I think it's a learning curve and we were successful in making them work with us, by making them understand the global process.

Suppliers who have the zeal to learn, have succeeded. For instance, 60% of our suppliers are now going to supply to Latin America. Clearly, we have an edge in India, when looking at technical skills. If I talk about my own company, we have an engineering and R&D centre in India where, as of today, we have more than 6,000 people working and now the mandate is to take it to 7,000 by the end of this year.

Mahalakshmi: Jean, where do you map your competition? Since, in your business you have a large unorganised sector, you also have organised players that are making the leap in terms of quality. Do you see India close enough in terms of quality and technology to global counterparts?

Jean Charles Thuard, MD & CEO, Legrand India: We have two type of competitors — multinational companies and strong Indian leaders. I can see that the level of quality and systematic approach have significantly improved from 15 years back, when I first came here. The competition is also closer than it was at the time, the market is changing and the practices are changing too. We realised that we have rediscovered the reality of India, since people are now more motivated to learn, improve and develop themselves and the organisation. This has been one of the reasons for our success.

Mahalakshmi: Pratyush, where do you see India when you look at the global map? Where do you plot India in terms of technology and quality?

Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India & vice president, Boeing International: There are very few places, which have the scale, breadth and depth of technical talent like India. We look at markets across the world, which are high on demand and India per se has a huge market demand with 20% plus growth in air traffic. We also see India as a source of competitiveness, b


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