In this exclusive interview, Rohit Gupta, Head of thyssenkrupp’s Technology Center India, offers a compelling overview of the center’s pivotal role in driving technological growth in the industrial and engineering sectors. He emphasizes the strategic leveraging of Indian talent, fostering collaborations, and staying at the forefront of emerging technologies as key drivers of thyssenkrupp’s innovation. With a focus on sustainable solutions and a commitment to diversity and teamwork, thyssenkrupp’s Tech Centre India stands as a beacon of progressive technological advancement.
- Could you provide an overview of thyssenkrupp’s Tech Centre in India and its unique value proposition in driving growth for the industrial and engineering sectors?
thyssenkrupp Technology Center India is a 100% owned subsidiary of thyssenkrupp AG, an international group of companies made up of largely independent industrial and technology businesses. The center plays a prominent role in the development of technology solutions and acts as an accelerator for digital innovation for the group companies. The diverse nature of thyssenkrupp businesses and the pace at which our businesses are embracing digitalization creates a wide array of opportunities to demonstrate the technological prowess of TCI. Engineers at TCI are working on cutting-edge projects in the areas of artificial intelligence, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data analytics, and software engineering to develop solutions that can create sustainable customer value in the future. The center has already developed a predictive maintenance system for mining machines that can help prevent breakdowns and unplanned downtime. Our AI-driven intelligent reporting solution already processes a large volume of operational data from the plants to create insights that make it possible to run plants at the optimum operating point at all times. This results in benefits ranging from cost avoidance through input resource optimization, and at the same time maximizing production. Apart from solving use cases from businesses, we also monitor the latest technology trends with a target to create digital experiments. The goal of these experiments is to evaluate the potential applications of upcoming technologies to create value for our customers. The latest in this series is a beta Generative AI application that we have developed to create an exceptional conversational experience while addressing queries on a wide range of products and services.
- How does thyssenkrupp strategically leverage Indian talent to cater to global markets, and what advantages does this approach offer?
We are betting big on the Indian market to build strong technology capabilities and leverage the highly skilled workforce to deliver consistent innovation in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. It is an established fact that India has made huge strides to create a technology ecosystem that is rapidly evolving and has one of the largest pools of highly skilled professionals in the field of digital technologies. In the last years, we have been steadily building capacities at our India center to drive digital innovation and enhance our products and offerings.
As part of building strong technology capabilities out of India, we have recently inaugurated a new facility for the Technology Center in India. The facility will deliver innovative software solutions to thyssenkrupp’s global businesses operating in steel production, industrial components and systems, automotive components, plant engineering, and materials services. It has an in-house digital lab, enabling employees to leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing to lead and deliver customer-centric innovative solutions in the engineering and manufacturing sector. In addition, the software experts in the new facility get access to a global platform to collaborate with thyssenkrupp’s international business units easily.
We are building a strong reputation for our ability to design and deliver customized engineering solutions that cater to the unique needs of our diverse businesses. This tailor-made approach fosters long-term partnerships.
- In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, what specific technologies or skill sets are currently in demand at thyssenkrupp’s Tech Centre to support its goals and projects?
The Technology Center India offers a broad range of technology services including IIoT, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Cloud computing, and AR/VR. In addition, it works on developing mobile apps and software solutions that are a perfect amalgamation of our domain know-how and software engineering.
Data Analytics has opened up great potential for the operational efficiency of large-scale plants. So, we have developed algorithms that allow our customers to unlock efficiency through data-driven insights. However, our competencies are not just restricted to data analytics but software engineering as well. When it comes to the latter, we have built workflow automation for asset management, a digital warehouse, and a web shop for additive manufacturing amongst others.
As a talent gateway for thyssenkrupp, we continue to build the best talent in the fields of data engineering, data science, and machine learning as well in traditional software programming areas.
- How does thyssenkrupp’s Tech Centre collaborate with other industry players, research institutions, or academia to foster innovation and address complex challenges?
In today’s competitive and dynamic market, businesses need to constantly innovate to grow. There is enormous pressure to deliver increased value faster, build immersive customer-centric experiences, and create transparency in the supply chain with access to information on a click. In my view the pace of this ever-changing increased demand, the complexity of systems, and solutions cannot be delivered alone by a business. Collaboration will be the mantra for businesses to outperform the old model of being purely competitive.
And India has a great ecosystem of hundreds of world-class universities, thriving start-ups, and technology service providers which create immense opportunities to collaborate to accelerate innovation.
Let me share some examples. During the pandemic, we collaborated with an additive manufacturing company from Pune. As the access to actual machine was restricted, we used a 3D printed scaled model for a machine to create a deep learning solution which was later effortlessly adapted for the actual system. The speed and solution saved us numerous hours and enabled us to deliver the solution in time to our end customers. We engage with prominent universities not just to create resource pipelines but also to create an exchange of ideas by fostering a culture of open communication, sharing, and mutual support. Needless to say, we also work closely with the software supplier ecosystem to co-develop solutions in an agile way.
- In your role as the Head of Technology Center India, what leadership principles or philosophies guide you in effectively managing a team involved in driving technological innovation and growth?
As the Head of Technology Center India, my approach to managing a creative team involved in driving deep technological innovation and growth is rooted in a set of core leadership principles and philosophies that I strongly believe and adopt. These principles not only shape my leadership style but also act as a rudder for the entire team toward achieving our mission.
My firm belief is that innovation is essential for growth and success, and I strive to create a culture where my team members feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. I encourage them to think outside the box and come up with new ideas, and we have democratized the idea selection
process to prioritize the ones that we bring to life. The team members at TCI are experts in their respective fields of technology, and I trust them to do their jobs well. They get their own space, creative freedom, and autonomy to make decisions and take ownership of their work which is an important trait that I respect. That said I like to interact regularly with the team members about progress, learning needs, challenges, and results. I like to be engaged and accessible if they need any guidance or support. I communicate this often to my team that for me the project journey needs to be equally exciting.
Results matter but results are to be obtained the right way. I encourage my team to collaborate cohesively. I also foster a culture of trust and respect, so that my team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feedback. That said we celebrate the outcomes, be it the success or failure we always come together to reflect and plan the next move. I strongly believe that innovation is often the result of collaboration between different people with different skills and perspectives and this is why I continue to strive to build a diverse workforce at our TCI.
- What projects, partnerships, or trends do you anticipate for thyssenkrupp’s Tech Centre, and how do you envision its continued impact on the industrial and engineering sectors?
thyssenkrupp, a global engineering company known for its strong innovation culture, recognizes the accelerating growth of digitalization. With India’s advantageous demographics, a substantial pool of engineers, and a youthful population, the country remains a fertile ground for nurturing talent.
Two prominent trends, sustainability, and digitalization, are shaping the future landscape of products and services. Customers now seek not only increased value but also sustainable solutions. Having already delivered projects leveraging edge computing, vision-based systems, and generative AI, thyssenkrupp’s focus areas for innovation also include cutting-edge technologies like Industrialized Machine Learning, Collaborative Robotics (co-bots), and Green Mobility, Drones, AR/VR which are poised to drive the innovation ecosystem. I am confident that these technologies are poised for stronger induction into processes and business models and will unlock new levels of productivity and efficiency creating immense value for stakeholders.
In summary, thyssenkrupp’s Technology center in India holds the potential to become a central hub for pioneering innovations and sustainable solutions within the industrial and engineering sectors. By concentrating on emerging technologies and forging strategic partnerships, this center can make substantial contributions to both the global and local markets. Additionally, its role in nurturing talent and enhancing skills can further solidify India’s reputation as a talent powerhouse in the realms of digital technology and engineering.