About the Conference

Although, it is well known that automotive sector is very lucrative given the GDP growth, the market dynamics of the sector are very challenging and competitive. The manufacturing industry, mainly the players in the automotive sector have important competitive priorities - quality, delivery, flexibility and cost, wherein the order and extent of priority may vary between industries. India has witnessed a boom in automotive as well as component industry which has intensified in the recent years (2002 onwards).

Many global OEMs have started to set up their manufacturing and sourcing operations in India to realize low cost advantage and skilled man power of India. On the other side, local players are expanding and setting up their units outside India. This expands the boundaries of the value chain beyond national borders, exposing the companies to global manufacturing techniques. Although the international exposure in the industry brings more opportunities, there exists the need for right tools to harness the opportunities at place. It is also known that, in certain areas India is still in the pace of capacity building and technology adoption. The above scenario stresses on adaption of competitive factors, where newer technology play an objective role.

Furthermore today’s automotives have crossed the border of mechanical nature and established strong linkages with information technology and electronic supplements. Automotives use approx 40% of electronics and 14% information technology, the ratio which is set to increase in the near future (projections say by 2015 ICT contribution in vehicle will be 19-21%). Even at a basic level of automobile, an automobile mechanic is required to be technologically sound which earlier was technical, stressing more on the technology factor. Therefore the automotive sector has started to feel the flux amidst competitive push and technology pull, which has shaped the present day automobile industry, giving birth to new needs and opportunities at the same time.

There are also other important concern areas like sustainable mobility and consumer experience which evaluates the business play. For example, the increased buying power in the Indian economy has brought more personal vehicles on roads posing threats of urban mobility. The sales figures which very much depends on consumer satisfaction, requires more products and services to match the growing trend of the industry. Sustainability which was once a luxury has started to turn elementary. Norms are being set for global industries to control on aspects of recyclability and reusability at the design stage itself adding more pressure to the OEMs in ensuring sustainability and greener environment. Therefore risings concern like these places the automotive industry in peril if appropriate measures are not undertaken.

In the early years the information flow between a car manufacturer and its suppliers was very simple, consisting one-way flow of keen details (technical, prices, quantities, billing, terms of payment, etc). Therefore critical decision making process (say related to product development) stayed almost exclusively within the manufacturer’s organization without involving the players in the supply chain. This lacked integrity in solutions (e.g. the choice among different and/or incompatible solutions) while making decisions. Today the businesses have redefined itself which could be observed in all stages of the value chain, with the automotive industry undergoing a radical transformation from ‘production rationalization’ to ‘strategic integration’. In spite, the objectives of automobile firms towards supply of innovative components at higher standards with lower costs have not changed. Furthermore manufacturers are witnessing a growing level of customization, consumerization and personalization in the automotive industry. In such a situation the need for more qualified information at the precise time is more. This paradigm of shift resulted over the years of automobile evolution requires some advanced information and communication technologies to develop an integrated supply chain for survival and future growth of the automobile industry. This places ICT into the automotive map, to extend strategic control in its value chain.

Technical reports highlight that, in order to realize the 2020 vision of the Indian automotive industry we need to build and optimize the capacity, focus on continuous improvement, absorb advance technologies, adopt latest manufacturing processes, build R&D competencies, inculcate and promote organization culture of innovation. However it is very important to divert the innovation path to areas where it is much needed. Although the industry is prone to stiff competition factors, critical areas like sustainable mobility, greener environment and consumer experience in the industry demand more creative solutions for smoother advancement in to the future automotive world.

In an Indian perspective sustainable competitive advantage for the automobile industry, can only come through enhanced investments for scaling up the entire supply chain, adopting newer, cleaner and more efficient manufacturing technologies and processes along with greater commitment to research and developmental activities. Experts have strongly commented on the dependability on ICT for all types of future mobility. One such area is electric vehicles, where ICT and green cars truly meet. ICT finds its application in areas like reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission during distribution and use of non-ICT goods. The estimated energy saving potential of ICT solutions is huge (close to €600 billion in energy savings made around the world, approximately 5% of EU GDP) projecting explicitly the potential of the ICT industry in providing the tools to handle future automotive industry. It could also be said that an effective consumer interaction will bring a consumer’s dream vehicles and technologies on road through advanced CRMs. (special ways of interacting: from whole vehicle design to manufacturing and distribution of the final product to car purchasers).

Overall we ascertain that appropriate implementation of ICT services will ensure on achieving the objective of sustainable transportation, by well focused automotive research and development, adoption of latest vehicles technologies, especially those that relate to advance and efficient internal combustion engines, hybrid and electric fuel technologies, including electric mobility. To achieve this we need the automotive and ICT communities side-by-side by which we can seize the opportunities of the next generation of sustainable and green cars. Although integration of ICT can be costly and time consuming it is a key enabler for improving the automotive ecosystem at various levels of the value chain. In short, ICT applications have very large potential to enhance performance across the economy and society. However, to benefit fully from ICT solutions, companies must foster ICT developments and make the structural changes to their organizations to ensure they can take effect.

It is in this stage TNTDPC of CII feel obliged to streamline the ICT advancements and innovation towards the areas of automotives and its industries where much attention/address is required. It is in this concept that we propose the conduct the “Conference on ICT Innovation for Automotive Industry” with theme ‘Excellence in Sustainable Mobility & Consumer Experience’. It is also an attempt to shape the industry transformation and explore more business opportunities for all the involved industries.

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