What is your vision with regard to Trimble expansion plan in India?
Our vision is to determine the challenges that our Indian customers are trying to solve in the Utilities, Construction, Infrastructure, Mobile Resource Management, GIS and Mapping, Public Safety and Surveying industries to develop localized software and hardware solutions that meet their needs for increased productivity and reduced rework. We offer solutions that have been proven worldwide and now we must determine if these solutions meet the needs of the Indian customer. Where the solutions do not meet their needs or requirements we must adapt them so they can provide our customers maximum productivity advantages. We can accomplish this by adding resources in our Delhi and Chennai offices in marketing, R&D and sales. Where we find it necessary to create or integrate new solutions to address the unique needs of the Indian market, we may pursue opportunities with Indian organizations that can help us execute our strategy better and faster. Our emphasis will be to find partners who have the same customer value system and technology leadership as Trimble. We will also continue to demonstrate our solutions and capabilities through events such as Converge India so customers can get to know Trimble and we can gain a better understanding of the Indian market.
How do you see India as a market? What are the key segments which you would lay more emphasis on?
The Indian market is fascinating because it offers significant opportunities with its increased economic development and modernization efforts. Infrastructure projects, especially in the areas of transportation—roads, highway and airport construction—as well as telecommunications, water conservation, utilities, energy, environmental protection and mining are all on the rise. Recognizing this growth, Trimble has strengthened its commitment to the region. Some companies will simply address the market opportunistically. This type of strategy can provide an influx of technologies into the market for a small percentage of industries very rapidly. However, seldom is there a training, service, and support network developed to sustain future growth and support the customer long term. Trimble’s philosophy is to develop the necessary infrastructure and hire employees to meet the market segment requirements, not only for today but for the future. Trimble has over 200 employees in our Chennai and Delhi offices to support the needs of the Indian customer. The key market segments we are addressing today are the Utilities, Construction, Survey, Mobile Resource Management, Geospatial, and Public Safety markets and we believe we have a host of solutions—from hardware and software to services—that provide the customer improved productivity and reduced rework. These solutions can provide significant cost savings to private, public and government organizations. These solutions when inter-connected through Trimble Connected Site can provide unparalleled productivity advantages and reduce rework by as much as 50% in some market segments. Connected Site solutions consist of mapping or identifying the workflow of a specific industry segment and then ensuring that there is software and hardware integration between each segment or process of the workflow. This enables each step in the process to seamlessly handoff, rather than throw over the wall, data and deliverables from one work process to the other. As India, modernizes its railway, airport, and highway systems throughout the country Trimble solutions will be there to support and assist in the design, survey, construction, and maintenance of these public and private assets.
We also understand that each market segment is different. While we address our targeted market segments through a suite of solutions, we also believe that we may find new segments that have more critical needs to apply Trimble’s core technologies such location, communication, image processing and workflow automation. We will use events such as Converge_India to identify these segments and create new solutions appropriate for these markets.
Would you like to explain your statement “Localisation is key part in Trimble fabric?”
Localization is more than translating product manuals or a Website from English into a local language. Localization requires us to understand the challenges and problems that the customer is trying to solve and the work flow they currently utilize for a particular application. With a variety of experienced resources in India, Trimble can work with customers to determine the way they work, and then develop or adapt solutions to improve their job and make them more productive and efficient. Also, localization is much more than just knowing industry, but also the language, culture, history, and philosophy of the region. Trimble can never be wholly Indian. However, Trimble can learn more about India both professionally and personally; our belief is that once you have learned both the needs of the profession and the history of the culture you can build better solutions for Indian customers. If you look at the Taj Mahal you see one of the most beautiful and historical structures of our time that used innovative building methods. Its construction did not compromise form, beauty, usefulness, or culture. As we focus on India, our goal is to provide solutions that will make their workflow more efficient without requiring them to completely transform the way they do their work. For surveyors, we will provide survey solutions. For mapping or geospatial professionals we will provide industry-specific solutions. For contractors or civil engineers we will do the same for their markets. We intend to provide specialized solutions adapted to the region, culture, and market segment; not horizontal, generic solutions that only meet part of their requirements.
Does it mean to build a ‘connect’ to history and culture of the region or will it lead to the emergence of “customized solutions”?
Cultures evolve and adapt over time. Companies, products, and solutions follow a similar evolution. Trimble has been in India since the early 1990’s, but during that time we only put our foot into the water and looked at the market in more of an opportunistic manner. Today, we have made a corporate commitment to India and we are continually focusing on ways to improve our solutions and offerings from Trimble. India is a large opportunity for many industries. However, to know India you must learn about the people, culture, and the philosophy. Look at the beauty of the Taj Mahal, the brilliance of the Gateway of India, the absolute awe of Goa. India is a large market but it is also a much greater culture. At Trimble we ask our people to become knowledgeable, enjoy and respect a country and its business, economic and cultural traditions. Once you do this then you will understand the needs. Converge India brought many people together, not only from the country but also Trimble personnel from across the world. This experience was the first step for Trimble through the gateway of India.
Connecting to a region is important to understanding the historical needs for a particular market segment. For example in survey, Trimble acquired Ingenieurbüro Breining GmbH and HHK Datentechnik GmbH in Germany. Both provide customized field data collection and office software solutions for the German and European cadastral survey market. The addition of two company’s resources, expertise and products enabled Trimble to further address local application requirements and provide customized survey solutions for the market. Today’s solutions for the German surveyors provide complete data and workflow integration starting with intelligent data collection in the field and productive use of appropriate sensor technologies for the job conditions, through creation of the final product and customer deliverables. The surveyor can focus on the job and count on the integrated workflow to assist in efficiently delivering the needed results while the software manages the different data structures, models, and formats requirement for the region.
You mentioned that Trimble would build solutions that India needs. Will the localized products for India will be produced in India?
As I have mentioned before, we have a growing R&D and support center in Chennai that is building solutions for the worldwide market and for India. We believe it is important to have localized development because it enables us to respond in a timely manner to customer needs. However, products are just one part of localization. Trimble employees in India are involved in all facets of our business such as sales, support, finance, HR, and engineering. In addition, we have a respected, world-class distribution network that provides excellent services and support to our customers.
If you look worldwide, we have successfully demonstrated our ability to execute in diverse markets. For example, Trimble has established a sizable presence in the last four years in China by providing localized solutions. We have a software development center and a factory in Shanghai. In addition, we have established two joint ventures to address the local market needs. Could you explain the shift of focus from ‘technology’ to ‘product’ to ‘solutions’ to ‘applications’ to ‘localization of applications’?
Trimble began as a technology company where our vision was to make positioning, Global Positioning System (GPS), ubiquitous in all markets. We built single products or product families to address vertical markets. With each step of our evolution we learned more about different market segments, geographies and their specific requirements. Trimble began integrating a wide range of positioning technologies including GNSS, laser, optical and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions; not just products. The integrated solutions provided customers the ability to collect, manage and analyze complex information faster and easier. Today, Trimble provides solutions across an entire market workflow.
What according to you could help accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies in the infrastructure development?
Events such as Converge_India, is one of many ways we can demonstrate how our technology and solutions that can be used to support their industries. In addition, supporting academia is essential. The students of today are the engineers, scientists, and managers of tomorrow. Trimble supports educational institutions worldwide through grants, training and equipment donations. In addition, industry publications such as Coordinates are an important medium to educate readers and industry professional on technology and new applications. Government agencies can play a significant role in this acceleration by mandating higher quality metrics of work, tighter project timelines with incentives/disincentives, demanding less rework, and reducing carbon footprints with the application of greener technologies. All of us in the industry from manufacturers and media to academia and government have a responsibility to educate. We should all work together because in the end the customer will have a better experience.