How European tech can integrate with India’s transport development
By Mangal Dev, Head of Hitachi Rail, India and South Asia region
For European and Italian firms there are good opportunities in the Indian transport sector: the Indian government is open to external specialist technology companies that would like to set up their complete value chain for global markets from India.
Why India? The country offers a myriad of opportunities not only in terms of skilled human resources, raw materials, and an ecosystem of start-ups and SMEs, but also a favorable environment when it comes to ease of doing business.
Many Italian and European companies are already expanding in India, seizing the opportunities offered by the major infrastructure development currently underway.
Most of the time the challenge is posed by the need for change unless there is a strong desire, a willingness to innovate for efficiency and productivity for a bigger cause.
However, this ‘higher cause’ — one that is common for the organization, the community and the country — is seldom an ideal driver for such change. Therefore, the role of a change management facilitator has become quite important to help drive the meaning of the change for its economic, social and environmental value.
India is a vast country with a market that is to be viewed to have a favorable pyramid top, accessible to all foreign companies based on the solutions with features satisfying European market needs with a European cost base.
If you succeed in India, it will be much easier to replicate that model in other SAARC regions. For example, what is successful in West Bengal can easily be replicated in Bangladesh, what is successful in Tamil Nadu is likely to be successful in Sri Lanka, and so on.
If being successful in India means technology exchange, can trainers be brought in to upgrade the country’s local workforce and develop their tech skills uniformly so that they’ll be on par with other developed nations?
With the industry 4.0 revolution driving digitalization, AI, ML and IoT, there will be a constant need to retrain human resources in their respective job functions.
This means that retraining and upgrading the Indian workforce’s skill sets calls for an effective, interactive educational environment and rotational job training.
However, it will take experienced trainers to assess the individuals and the best practices for a given situation, so it will be productive to work towards developing in-house training staff to ensure the consistency and scalability of the programs. Such programs should be implemented locally in India and perhaps even as a joint initiative between several like-minded companies.
India also has initiatives underway to generate ideas for reducing road traffic, such as a recent seminar organized by the Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi on “Make in India”, in which all ministries, government agencies, public and state companies as well as private industry partners were brought together.
There, the goal of the workshop was initiated from the top, continued through government agencies, and then to the (local) executive bodies. In two days of workshops, divided into several working groups, healthy debates were held and a common consensus reached.
The road maps prepared by each of the working groups were then presented to the PM. Indian Railways also organized a brainstorming session with their employees, which resulted in some out-of-the-box ideas. These conclaves are absolutely necessary, but what is important are the final objectives and the total commitment with the involvement of all stakeholders.