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BW Businessworld

India’s Defence, Aerospace Industries Will Be Next Growth Frontiers: Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes eyeing opportunities from ‘Make in India’ initiative in a gigantic manner. The company is looking forward to leverage technology to support digital continuity and also to improve the competitiveness of the industries in India.

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French technology solutions provider Dassault Systèmes is eyeing a double digit growth in the Indian market for the next five years, and is harping on digital transformation in manufacturing ecosystem across various industries.

In an interaction with BW Businessworld, Samson Khaou, Managing Director, India, and Guillaume Vendroux, CEO, DELMIA, Dassault Systèmes affirmed that the company sees additional revenue streams in Aerospace and Defence industries in the country.

How important is the Indian market for Dassault Systèmes? How big are you betting on it?

Samson Khaou: In terms of our footprint, this is not where we wanted us to be as India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. But seeing the GDP grow at 7 per cent, the potentialities are immense as we have been recording 16-20 per cent growth in our business every year. If we are able to sustain the growth momentum, our footprint will expand further. In terms of revenues, India is one of the key contributors to our Asian operations.

Guillaume Vendroux: We are confident of posting a double digit growth in India as it is the top markets among all industrial nations.

As there is a clarion call on make in India by our PM, how are you planning to leverage on this trend?

SK: Yes, we are eyeing opportunities from ‘Make in India’ initiative in a gigantic manner. We look forward to leverage our technology to support digital continuity and also to improve the competitiveness of the industries here. We also aim to foster innovation through our platform and are also propagating the adoption of software technologies for design and manufacturing. The most important thing is how to build the requisite skills to support this initiative as well.

GV: It is an impetus from the government to promote manufacturing. As deals worth billions of euros have been signed (by the government) many foreign players will be encouraged to invest in here and thus we stand to gain. Furthermore, we are promoting a lot of SMEs in the country as we do want to address this market as well. That is how we have expanded into new channels and are making our solutions tailor made for these kinds of customers.

That is how Dassault and DELMIA are contributing to ‘Make in India’ by promoting our solutions and making it available for the small and medium businesses be it through cloud offering, on premise offering, etc. If you look at the history of Dassault in India, most of our tie-ups were with overseas firms setting up their facilities here. Now we are directly targeting the Indian companies (which are) expanding their base locally.

What are the key growth drivers for the Indian market?

SK: For us, one of the key growth drivers in the Indian market is ‘Transport and Mobility’ comprising cars, trucks, two-wheelers and three-wheelers. The automotive industry contributes more than 50 per cent to our total business and will play an instrumental role for augmenting our presence in the country.

Moreover, some of the key trends like stricter safety and emission norms as well as electrification of cars will give us a platform to offer customised solutions to OEMs. The second major growth driver is the booming retail industry. The domestic consumer retail market is third largest in the world and we are putting a lot of emphasis on our solutions to support this market.

The third area of growth for us is the healthcare industry comprising Pharmaceutical and Life Science verticals. We would like to growth in double digits for both the segments (Retail and Healthcare). We also see green shoots in Aerospace and Defence industry, which are a part of DNA of the company.

We are going to create industry-ready skills to support the development of Aerospace and Defence industry. Besides automotive and manufacturing, we also see brighter prospects in modernisation of railways and smart city development.

GV: Those (Automotive and Defence) are our core industries in which DELMIA is present on a larger scale in overseas markets and accounts for the most in its total business.

We can demonstrate the efficiencies that we can provide on an end-to-end basis. All this while, the A&D was a highly regulated sector and controlled by the govt. But now it has been opened up for private participation. With the SME sectors coming up in this industry, we do foresee untapped opportunities here.

With Industry 4.0 gaining eminence, do we see some blue collar jobs getting affected?

GV: Let’s get back to the main problem i.e. to facilitate and accelerate and help the industry cope with more complexities. Among the debatable topics (under Industry 4.0) is ‘Robotics’.

If you place the role of ‘Robotics’ from a very narrow view, you might get the impression that people will get displaced. But if you look at it from a broader perspective, there will be more skilled jobs that will be created on the shop floor as someone has to maintain, programme and operate the robot for streamlining the manufacturing processes.

With the digital revolution taking shape, industries have to resort to robots in order to be efficient, competitive, progressive, etc. So for me, it is rather a shift in the competencies necessary rather than the brutal disappearance of one of the working population.