Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co on Friday signed an MoU with the Kerala government for its first global centre for digital operations in India. The digital hub, to be set up in Thiruvananthapuram, will spawn software for driver-less and electric vehicles.
The digital centre slated to generate about 3,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs in three years. Direct jobs are likely to be in software development, especially in domains like big data, AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, IoT (internet of things), etc.
The state government has provided 70 acres at Technocity in Pallipuram for building the Nissan campus. Till it is ready, the digital hub will operate from 1 lakh sq ft facility in Technopark from Monday.
The new digital centre in Thiruvanthapuram will function as the nerve centre of the 123-trillion-yen company’s research in electric and driver-less vehicles, Tony Thomas, corporate vice-president and CIO, Nissan Motors, said after signing of the MoU.
“This digital transformation centre will be the first in the series of centres for connected vehicles solution in North America, Europe and Asia. From its current preoccupation with hardware and internal combustion engines, this centre will be the start of Nissan Motors’s shift to placing digital technology at the heart of vehicles,” he told FE.
“The digital hub adds to Nissan’s commitment to India,” said Thomas Kuehl, president, Nissan India operations. Together with Renault, Nissan currently has a manufacturing plant outside Chennai. A global alliance R&D centre, also in Chennai, employs 7,000 engineers.
Nissan chose Thiruvananthapuram as it first global digital hub after rigorous due diligence on infrastructure, said Kuel. According to Thomas, the favouring factors were the talent pool, the quality of life indices like air quality and smooth traffic and quick engagement with the regimes in power.
“Nissan’s entry would allow Kerala to showcase its ripeness to work as base for global business,” said Vijayan.