India can become the innovation factory for the world: Rohit Gupta, thyssenkrupp India

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thyssenkrupp India is looking at India’s strengths in technology to improve its competitiveness. The company has its Tech Centre – ‘Technology Center Analytics and Software Engineering (TCASE)’ situated at Pune. The Tech Centre is aimed at establishing India as a knowledge hub for thyssenkrupp globally and focuses on providing high-end R&D services in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Data Analytics and Software Engineering.

Rohit Gupta, Head – TCASEI shares with Express Computer on the group’s strategic approach to tap India for technology talent to cater to global markets

Some edited excerpts:

How has thyssenkrupp used emerging technologies as part of its services or products over the years? Can you state some of the use cases?

Technology-based solutions are at the core of what we do at thyssenkrupp. That said, we all know new technological developments continue to appear at an accelerating pace, reshaping how business is done. Digital technologies like IIoT, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Cloud computing, AR/VR continue to get incrementally imbibed and are becoming an organic part of the operational framework of our company.

Let me take an example of how data analytics is opening up great potential for the improvement in operational efficiency of large-scale plants. We are developing algorithms that will allow our customers to run the plants at the optimum operating point at all times.

Another use case for emerging technology is for example by analysing pressure, vibrations, flow rates and temperatures we can already check for unusual operating conditions and anomalies. This data is then passed on to an expert system which can identify potential component malfunctions before they can actually cause breakdowns or damage. In this way, targeted maintenance can be carried out on individual components before the problems occur.

Depending on customer demand, such solutions are made accessible through the cloud platform or be deployed on our IIoT edge devices, for which the competence exists within the company. Technology Center India is an innovation center, which over the last two years has executed multiple digital projects successfully.

Can you share some details on the company’s strategic approach to tap India for technology talent to cater to global markets? What are some of the technologies / skillsets that are hot in demand for your company?

Today, the increasing adoption of digital transformation across industries has created a high demand for technology talent and a need for them to be equipped with requisite skill sets in India. Additionally, the faster pace of digitalization, catalysed by the pandemic, has also skewed the talent demand-vs- supply equation globally. This is where we step in and bring the needed competence and digital skills to augment our digital workforce for driving innovations. India has a much larger resource pool of 1+ million skilled software engineers when compared to other countries, which gives us a distinct advantage.

Several strategic initiatives are at play to attract and retain talent like competitive pay, the option of hybrid /remote work, opportunity to upskill, sponsorship for experimenting with their own innovation ideas. That said, these strategies keep getting refreshed & reinvented to keep pace with the market conditions.

In our business, we have observed a steadily growing demand for talent with experience/expertise in artificial intelligence, data science and cloud computing. Currently, we are ramping up our capacities in these areas.

Can you share with us some of the innovative products developed out of the tech center?

We are quite young in the thyssenkrupp technology center network. The TechCenter was operationalized about 2 years ago. The wide variety of products in our portfolio, considering the diverse nature of our business, gave us several opportunity areas to demonstrate our technological prowess. For example, we developed analytics to improve the crystallisation process and ML algorithms for predictive maintenance for our sugar machinery product line.

Another team has worked on creating a cloud-based solution for additive manufacturing which brings the customers and vendors onto one platform. Several other use cases for condition- based monitoring to optimizing energy consumption were executed for our plant technologies business which deals with mining and cement.

How do you see the role of India as a destination to drive innovation globally?

I strongly believe that this is the best time for India to become the innovation factory for the world. The number of start-ups becoming unicorns can be one of the indicators of innovation-driven from India. We have already demonstrated our abilities in the IT arena and our credentials are rock solid in that arena.

As business models, for example, as SaaS becomes a norm, the need for Indian talent is only going to grow, which give us an advantage to further tech innovate the services/offerings. Apart from this, the government policies are conducive for skill development and schemes like Startup India Mission for nurturing the start-up ecosystem, which creates ground for innovation.

But I also see a strong need to invest & upgrade our capabilities in niche technologies like AI/ML, Analytics, Blockchain as they hold the potential for greater value creation both for the customers and the business.


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