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‘Local production is critical’

EM News Bureau ,  Thursday, July 17, 2014, 11:11 Hrs  [IST]

testi.jpg India has several characteristics that make it amongst the most important markets for ABB, according to Giandomenico Testi, Chief Technology Officer, ABB. He was interacting with select members of the press at the recently-held Workshop on Grid Operations & Monitoring and Equipment Health Assessment, in Mumbai. Organized by ABB, the day-long event was held at the Powai Campus of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. “In India, ABB has the largest hub of talent in the world,” observed Testi, adding that ABB in India has over 3,000 people engaged in developmental work for both the Indian and global markets. Inherit qualities like large population and a big English-speaking population makes India a big talent pool, noted Testi. He added that if nothing dramatic changes in the world, in the next 20 years, there will be many more Indians in all positions globally, than there are today.

However, Testi maintained that the overall potential in the country lies yet untapped and much of this was because the academia has largely been disconnected. “This is the weak point. We need to connect to the academia of the country,” suggested Testi. In the context of ABB, the CTO said that his company has launched a massive university programme. Out of the 3,300 universities in India in ABB’s domain of power and automation, ABB has shortlisted 50-60. “We want to work together and run R&D programmes together,” noted Testi. He explained that this proposed association with relevant universities was an extension of ABB’s philosophy of encouraging its own employees to pursue higher study programmes.

On other typical features of the Indian market, Testi observed that energy abb.jpgefficiency, though actively promoted by government, has not yet found mass acceptance. He quoted official data that suggests that the efficiency of the Indian energy system was declining. “The amount of electricity consumed to generate every US$ of India’s GDP is increasing, not decreasing.” Testi remarked that people were generally reluctant to adopt energy efficiency measures as users are not yet familiar with calculating return on investment. Regarding ABB, Testi emphasized that most of what the company sells in the subcontinent is produced domestically. “There has to be local production,” he stressed, and for that local talent was critical. Testi also mentioned that India was amongst the toughest markets in the world where manufacturers need to be cost effective. In this reckoning, manufacturing technologies and material science would be very critical to run a sustainable business in the country. “If you want to make business in the country, we have to deliver performance, and at the market price!” asserted Testi.
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