Indian engineers under global lens

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | Updated: Feb 9 2008, 05:53am hrs
Better late than neverthe adage stands true for the global automobile companies that are lately waking up to Indias engineering talent. Even though their engineering activities in the country are still at a nascent stage, the industry is hopeful that, in the years to come, the global car majors will be able to trust Indian engineering. The signs can be seen in Tata Motors Nano and Maruti Suzukis Concept A Star.

The launch of global cars from India and the role of the countrys engineers in the roll-out of upcoming models are beginning to change the perception of the world about Indias competitiveness on the engineering front.

A KPMG study found the global engineering services market is set to grow from $750 billion at present to $1 trillion by 2020, and Indias share in this is minuscule. Indias engineering services sector already earns around $1.5 billion through global outsourcing, of which the automotive services share is around $300 million.

The share can go significantly up given the interest shown by auto companies in the recent times. While global automakers are zeroing in on India to cut the high cost of design, Indian companies, which in the past relied on imported auto designs, are drawing on local designing capability to develop an entirely new vehicle platform locally.

A survey of executives by KPMG found low wages are the primary drivers of growth in the engineering services sector, followed by superior manpower quality and diversity of service offerings. Continued support from the government and further integration with the existing Indian IT services industry, say auto industry executives, will be essential for India to be on the global engineering map.

People use India as a back office, but they are not so used to India leading the engineering process, the study quotes Sunil Rekhi of General Motors as saying.