We want to be the partner of all MSMEs in India
During the introductory remarks about feeling the pulse of the industry you said ‘actually we are the patient’. Can you elaborate?
The lessons we learned in course of our interaction with the industry – metaphorically, feeling the pulse – is that the MSME sector is not the patient. The figures mentioned on the website of Chamber of MSME India are very impressive – 45% of the industrial output, 40% exports, over 8000 quality products, 60 million people employed, etc. So the MSMEs are healthy and we are the patient! We had to feel our own pulse to see if we have the right prescription – technology, solutions and strategy – for such a vibrant industry sector!
So what were the learnings during the previous years?
During 2017 and 2018, our campaign journeyed across 48 cities connecting with over 430 customers and prospects. We realised the SMEs are constrained for investment. For them the priority is materials and technology and not software, which is not deemed critical. We realised our software is used only for product design – for 3D representation of the part – and not simulation. But when they discovered simulation is not only about validation but also optimisation, where the part weight is reduced without compromising the strength thus saving costly material, they realised simulation can be leveraged for many gains. This was the first learning. The second learning was at the next stage when the optimised design had to be manufactured. Now here it is not just about optimising the production process by adding automation or IoT, but having a digital continuity or flow between engineering and manufacturing and getting the right optimisation of the manufacturing process, not just adding something that is not relevant.
But this digital continuity also has a cost in terms of acquiring new technology?
Yes, and that brings in the third learning, which is affordability. So we offer them the cloud based solution through term based license – using the capability for a given project without investing in hardware or acquiring the software at great cost. Then there is the fourth lesson of training, which is very critical because there is a gap in knowledge of the new capabilities in design and how they can work better. So here we connect them through the cloud to a greater community where they can get the right technology and updates, and conduct trials for a limited period. Here we ensure that they actually learn it in the shortest possible period, because otherwise the cost rises. Finally, we also impart the skills through our education initiative so that the new engineers coming out of the institutions are industry ready, by providing them the necessary training through their curricula.
Finally, this going beyond Make in India to Create in India. Are the SMEs ready for that?
Earlier the approach was more of ‘reverse engineering’ or just improve upon a known product. But today, the product design is more than just the functional aspect – it is about how you can incorporate the consumer experience into the product design, which is what we call ‘design thinking’. The other aspect is the data. If you are not digitally connected, you cannot really make use of all the data generated in the process, which is very valuable. The endeavour through this ‘Connected Value Network – Create in India’ is to bring them the new way of design and much else, and this is just the beginning. As I mentioned, we want to be the partner of all MSMEs in India!