Dassault Systemes bets big on the Indian market

Nandana James Dallas | Updated on February 13, 2019 Published on February 13, 2019

Bernard Charles, President and CEO, Dassault Systemes (file photo)   -  GRN SOMASHEKAR

It is possible to double the revenue every three years (in India), says Bernard Charles, Vice Chairman and CEO.

“My heart is very close to India,” said Bernard Charles, Vice Chairman and CEO of Dassault Systèmes, without missing a beat, when asked about the company’s plans for India.

The France-based software behemoth offers PLM and 3D modelling software, simulation apps and industry solutions. “I think for the kind of run rate that we see in India, it is possible to double the revenue (from the Indian market) every three years,” he said.

At the opening session of SOLIDWORKS World 2019— which had 6,387 attendees — Charles showcased an example of SOLIDWORKS’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and its application in Jaipur. Titled ‘Jaipur 3D City Project’, it went live last year. Town planners, administrators and public infrastructure departments use the platform to simulate a 3D city model of the city so that they can predict and foresee the impact of any infrastructure or construction activity in the city.

SOLIDWORKS is Dassault Systèmes’ 3D design software unit, while 3DEXPERIENCE is SOLIDWORKS’ cloud-based online ecosystem for for digital design, engineering and manufacturing transactions.

India in focus

“There is a lot of innovation going on in India and a lot of sectors are highly interested to go digital. So, the first priority for us is to make sure we build proximity and presence — meaning that we train our partners properly, so they can serve the clients well,” said Charles, during an interaction with Indian journalists at the event.

The company’s client base in India includes Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, VECV, Royal Enfield, Hero, Renault, Unominda, Sandhar, aerospace PSUs and Aditya Birla.

Elevating the quality of the competency in the workforce is another priority, he said.“The quality of the workforce and the quality of the output of manufacturing are very important elements for ‘Made in India’ (manufacturing in India), especially to elevate the quality of the infrastructure,” he said.

Citing it a “big plan for India, and with India”, Charles also spoke about his intention to grow its research and development base in India. Currently, Dassault Systèmes has R&D centres in Pune and Bengaluru, for all its eleven brands.

Though the auto mobile sector was the highest adopter of Dassault Systèmes’ technology three years ago, construction and general mechanics are the biggest adopters now. “We are also making big things in aerospace, especially with the many investments going on in the competency centre in Bangalore,” he said.

On the adoption of the 3D EXPERIENCE technology in India, Charles said that the capacity of the Indian companies to adopt the next generation platforms is “quite strong”, reiterating the Jaipur example.

“Showcasing Jaipur can be a lesson for so many cities in the world. It could be a new approach to plan the city, even a new approach to increase the intermediation between citizens and agencies, because if people see what is going to be done before the construction is done, then they have a voice,” said Charles. The company has similar projects in the pipeline in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.

Providing training

However, the India story is not devoid of challenges. “There is an intellectual capacity in India. There's a lot of knowledge; not necessary know-how. I think the Indian manufacturing is still suffering from lack of know-how,” said Charles, while adding that quality manufacturing is not easy to achieve, with the bar set high for the aerospace sector.

Taking this into consideration, Dassault Systèmes is building competency centres for aerospace, automobile and other sectors across India. “This is what is needed and then we need to diffuse that access to knowledge. The know-how is there. People are smart and well educated. But, elevating them to be capable, I think, is a huge value that we can contribute-to provide to the Indian manufacturing sector.”

He added that there is a need to add more of such competency centres across the country and not just in big cities.

These competency centres are called 3DEXPERIENCE Innovation Center wherein Dassault Systèmes collaborates with a college and a government body and provides specialised training to students in aerospace and automotive engineering.

There are currently two centres in Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh. There are plans to bring more such centres in Kerala, northern Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi.

(The writer is in Dallas at the invitation of Dassault Systèmes)

Published on February 13, 2019
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