For Autodesk, a software firm that has pioneered design and visualisation technologies, the opportunity in India is tremendous, says its senior vice-president for APAC, Patrick Williams. He believes that leveraging Autodesk’s advanced and high-precision design technology will be key in propelling Indian government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India and Smart Cities. “Autodesk has a lot of experience in urban planning and our technology has been used in creating better infrastructure and living spaces worldwide. In India, we are working with several government departments for different projects that will be announced soon,” he tells Nida Fatima Siddiqui in an interaction. Excerpts:
What opportunities does Autodesk see in India’s infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors?
With progressive policy initiatives such as Make in India, Smart Cities, AMRUT and Digital India, the government of India is poised to transform the country into a modern developed economy. The success of these projects will depend largely on the development in infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors. To ensure successful completion of all these mega projects, leveraging advanced and high-precision design technology will be important.
Autodesk has pioneered several design and visualisation technologies that can be leveraged to achieve a high sustainable development curve in the above industry sectors aligned with the country’s growth plans. The opportunity in India is therefore tremendous.
India is expected to become a major automobile manufacturing hub and the third largest market for automobiles by 2020, according to Deloitte. The government is developing the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as a global manufacturing and investment destination. All these present huge opportunities for Autodesk to work with the government and support the nation-building process by providing advanced, industry-tested technology such as Building Information Modeling—an integrated process that helps architects, engineers, builders and owners gain valuable insight to improve the way projects are planned, designed, built and managed.
How can Autodesk’s offerings assist initiatives such as Make in India?
While the government has rolled out the red carpet for Make in India, it needs to enable and encourage local SMEs to design and produce world-class products. Autodesk has been on the forefront of empowering SMEs, guided by the vision of complete democratisation of design technology.
Autodesk has pioneered design technology with the long term vision of enabling and empowering the Future of Making Things. One important aspect is the presence of necessary and relevant skills that dovetail into the Future of Making Things. At Autodesk University, India & SAARC, 2015, held at Mumbai, we announced that we are teaming up with the Fab Foundation to make Autodesk’s cloud and mobile software available to more than 500 Fab Labs around the world. There are six Fab Lab centres in India that can benefit from this collaboration.
In education, Autodesk has strong partnerships to enhance skills and employability of Indian youth. This includes partnerships with the directorate of employment and training in Karnataka, directorate of industrial training in Kerala and directorate of vocational education and training in Maharashtra. We also have an engagement with All India Council for Technical Education since 2010 and under this nearly 70% of AICTE institutions have free access to Autodesk’s technology suites based on discipline-specific learning paths. We recently concluded the India 3D Student Design Challenge that witnessed participation from over 2,000 colleges. Platforms like these encourage educational institutes in India to make design education an essential part of their curriculum, which in turn allows us to strengthen the skill sets needed to propel initiatives like Make in India and Digital India.
Are you engaged in talks with the government on the Smart Cities and Digital India initiatives?
Last year, the Indian government announced projects like AMRUT, 100 Smart Cities Mission and the Housing for All by 2022 and we are firmly aligned with the government on these. Autodesk has a lot of experience in urban planning and our technology has been used in creating better infrastructure and living spaces worldwide. In India, we are working with several government departments for different projects that will be announced soon. A good example is the work done by Rajasthan in the area of heritage preservation using 3D Design software from Autodesk.
What design technology does Autodesk plan to offer to its focus sectors in India?
India is a key growth market for us. We foresee cloud computing becoming increasingly important when it comes to 3D Design technology. In manufacturing, our latest innovation Fusion 360 brings computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided engineering together in the cloud.
When it comes to the automotive industry, our key technologies include: Autodesk VRED, a photorealistic 3D design rendering software, Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Simulation software to predict product behaviour, test innovative concepts, and optimise designs early in the design and engineering process.
Key Autodesk technologies for the M&E sector include 3ds Max, Maya and Flame. We recently launched Autodesk Stingray, a modern game engine built on a powerful, data-driven core architecture that can produce visually stunning games and scale to large projects. For productions, which are becoming increasingly complex, Autodesk’s Shotgun is a tracking, review and asset management software that provides essential collaboration tools on a secure and cloud-based platform.
Are you satisfied with your growth trajectory in India?
India has always been an important market for us and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. The huge government focus on manufacturing and the flourishing media and entertainment industries are creating an ecosystem for increased innovation and technology adoption. We look to build our success story in India and are positive about the market.
The writer was in Las Vegas at the invitation of Autodesk