Companies

ZF India Tech Centre may see €40 million investment in few years to drive growth

PTI Mumbai | Updated on October 15, 2021

ZF has been in India for more than five decades, operating through eight entities, two wholly-owned subsidiaries and five joint venture partners

ZF India Technology Centre (ITC) in Hyderabad is looking to get €40 million investment in the next few years to drive growth, as it expects production and business to be more technology-driven after the pandemic, a top executive has said.

ITC, which is part of German automotive parts maker ZF Friedrichafen set up in March 2017, has been playing a key role in the development of the autonomous-vehicle technology, electric mobility, advanced driver assistance systems, vehicle motion control and passive safety systems.

A global leader in driveline and chasis technology, ZF has been in India for more than five decades, operating through eight entities, two wholly-owned subsidiaries and five joint venture partners, along with 14 manufacturing locations besides the ITC.

In July this year, ZF unveiled its plans to invest around €200 million and strategically consolidate its business to drive growth over the next decades.

“In the India Tech Centre, one of the things is that we are looking for at least 40 million euro investment coming in the next few years. And, two, as part of a global partner, we are defined as a multi-division location, and every division globally is represented here. I would say, we are a mini ZF. And, that will help us propel business towards India. This is why we see this investment coming up,” ITC Head Krishnaswamy Jambunathan said.

Technology development-driven output

Sounding optimistic that there will be more technology development-driven output and the businesses, he said the India Technology Centre has given the impetus to the group what it is doing globally in the technology domain and digitalisation going towards.

“I think looking back in the last four-and-a-half years that we have been here, we think we are on the right path with regard to what we have been having as a growth and the competency and capability that were built in the India operations,” he said.

ITC is taking advantage of the location and attracting talent from the western as well as eastern India. It is not only the migration of code from Bengaluru but it has also been from the Maharashtra belt as well as from Orissa, he said.

“So, we have almost a third representation from these regions. It has been a sort of, I would say, a convergence point,” Jambunathan said.

“We have about 2,400-2,500 workforce by the end of this year. And, we intend to continue the growth path in Hyderabad. What we have done in terms of hiring is that we look at key automotive skills, as well as emerging technologies to build our team,” he said.

Jambunathan said the pandemic has helped ITC understand two things with its global partners.

“One is that we moved into a partnership with this challenge that we all faced. We were abIe to support the product development even during the period when we were forced to work for home period (WFH)...and we established ourselves as a partner,” he added.

To date, ITC continues in the WFH mode with voluntary attendance to office, he said.

Secondly, after the pandemic, all the global locations have started looking towards India, which is giving the ITC a push forward in terms of its impact on the operations, he said.

Jambunathan said that the group’s announcement to invest €200 million “will shift the gravity as something that we see coming up and that is why we wanted to do this investment in India”.

Published on October 15, 2021

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