Messe Frankfurt India’s “India Automotive Forum” emphasises on innovation, design and development as key to becoming world class

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The two-day high level conference – India Automotive Forum was held on 28 – 29 July, 2016 at Le Meridien, New Delhi powered by “Automechanika Academy”, Messe Frankfurt’s globally renowned series of conferences. The theme of the conference was Indian Auto-Component Industry – Transformation from “Build-to-Print” to culture of innovation and design, in line with the need for the Indian auto-component sector to invest in technology, nurture a culture of product development and innovation to remain relevant and competitive as a supplier base globally.

The conference was attended by over 104 automotive industry leaders, experts and consultants from leading companies. Notable presence at the forum includes speakers, panelists and senior delegations from Bosch, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, ZF India, Schaeffler India, Minda Automotive Solutions Ltd, Shriram Pistons & Rings Ltd, Bharat Gears Ltd, Setco Automotive Ltd, Delphi Automotive Systems Pvt Ltd, Varroc Engineering Pvt Ltd, Hella India, Rockman Industries Ltd, Tenneco Automotive India Pvt Ltd, Continental Automotive Component (India) Pvt Ltd, Mark Exhaust Systems Ltd, India Forge & Drop Stampings Ltd, Brake Parts India Pvt Ltd, Masu Brakes Pvt Ltd, Makino Automotive, Macas Automotive, National Engineering Industries Ltd, Emmbros Autocomp Ltd among others.

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Leading solution providers in manufacturing technology, engineering design, ERP and IT solutions were also present at the forum including Siemens PLM, Satyam Venture Engineering Services, SAP India and Autodesk India, besides a delegation from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The inaugural session encompassed an overview of the Industry and featured presentations by Siemens, KPMG and Frost & Sullivan. Mr Sachin Sanghi from Siemens Industry Solutions talked about the global automotive technology trends and how the Indian auto-components sector could aspire to come at par with them. This insightful presentation was followed by Mr Rajiv Singh from KPMG deliberating on “Overcoming challenges in the automotive sector to accelerate performance in the emerging markets”. Transitioning to how overcoming these challenges would help in better forecasting was well put by Mr Kaushik Madhavan, Director – Automotive & Transportation, Frost & Sullivan.

The second session titled “Evolving Automotive Trends” witnessed rich insights from ZF, SAP and Delphi TCI. Mr Suresh KV, President, ZF India talked about intelligent mechanical systems, electronics and digitalization. Dr Krishna Prasad, Director, Delphi TCI India presented on innovation in electronics systems for future automotives with a focus on safety while Mr Diptendu Bhattacharya from SAP Hybris addressed the often neglected aspect of consumer insight and behavior, which is of critical importance for Automotive Manufacturers.

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In the following session, speakers from Hella India, Bosch Ltd, Satyam Venture Engineering Services and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) touched upon various aspects of technology developments. Beginning the session with an apt theme, Mr Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India talked about promoting road safety through technology. Mr Brijesh Gubbi Suresh, Country Head – Connected Cloud Services, Automotive Aftermarket, Bosch Ltd addressed the important aspect of servicing and innovations in connected services while Mr Sridhar Lakshminarayanan, Vice-President & Global Delivery Head – Simulation, Satyam Venture Engineering Services delivered a highly appreciated presentation citing many instances of simulation powering innovation in automobile safety. The session concluded with Mr Saurabh Rohilla, Deputy Director, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) talking about advances in dual powertrain.

Day two of the conference began with the session “Indian Auto Component Sector on the Global Front” with speakers from Schaeffler, GiPA, FrankfurtRheinMain and Satyam Venture Engineering Services. The presentation by Mr Arvinth Siva, General Manager – Sales & Operations, Schaeffler India deliberated upon the Indian Automotive Aftermarket today and the future and expected changes aligning to global trends. This was followed by another highly appreciated and insightful presentation by Mr Gwenaël de Calan, Managing Director, GiPA GmbH with valuable global statistics, benchmarking the Indian aftermarket against an assortment of countries including some developed west Europe markets on one hand and emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Russia, Poland and Thailand on the other hand.

Ms Disha Shah, Director (India), FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, Germany made a presentation on the opportunities for Indian companies to expand in the European market and set up manufacturing base in the Automotive Region FrankfurtRheinMain. The session concluded with Mr J. Balasubramanyam, Program Manager, Satyam Venture Engineering Services focusing on competitive benchmarking as key to establish market leadership in product functionality.

The Conference programme also featured two interactive panel discussions. The one on “Trends in the Automotive Aftermarket: 5 years into the future” featured as panelists Mr Harish Sheth, Chairman and Managing Director, Setco Automotive Ltd; Mr Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India; Mr Suresh KV, President, ZF India; Mr Anandakumar T S, Senior General Manager – Automotive Aftermarket, Bosch Ltd and Vijay Khorgade, Head of Aftermarket, ZF India.

While the second panel discussion on “Driving Culture of Innovation in an Automotive Company” had among the panelists Mr Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India, Mr Neeraj Mahajan, VP- Commercial, Sona BLW Precision Forgings Ltd; Mr Sridhar Lakshminarayanan, Vice-President & Global Delivery Head – Simulation, Satyam Venture Engineering Services and Mr Arvinth Siva, General Manager – Sales & Operations, Schaeffler India.