Kishore Boyalakuntla, Senior Director-Product Management, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, in conversation with Sachin Nandkishor Mhashilkar, at the SolidWorks World 2017 in Los Angeles
How do you see 3D printing adoption in India?
When I visit the companies in India, I don’t see any difference in engineering processes, tech sophistication and the manufacturing expertise compared to a European or American company. Many of them are medium to large companies and they have a strong foundation of designers and departments, some of the best I’ve seen so far. Likewise, internally, the manufacturing facilities are not as modern or advanced as some of the other economies in the world. But the designs or manufactures are best in class. A lot of what they manufacture comes to the US, especially parts of products. They leverage SolidWorks, no different from any other company in the world, whether it is in Korea or Japan. In terms of sophistication of SolidWorks use, design ideas, development and manufacturing, I think the companies I’ve visited are absolutely best in class. What I see is a lack of imagination where if you are in the business of manufacturing, a brick and mortar model, that’s all you want to do. What I don’t see is the expansion into multiple domains or a company saying, we want to build the whole car except for maybe, Tata or someone equivalent. I come from India and am a product of the system. So in terms of sophistication and capabilities, I see no difference in the companies I have visited from the rest of the world. Very high quality stuff, absolutely.
Tell us about a few Indian use cases from a SolidWorks design stand point.
One of the companies that I visited was a supplier to HAL Bangalore and was making some aircraft components that go on it. They use our SolidWorks CAD, simulation and composer for manufacturing stuff. In some cases, I’ve seen that they use composers better than some of the customers in the US actually. I’ve visited BHEL and they use SolidWorks as well. I’ve also visited DRDO in Bangalore and Hyderabad and they use some SolidWorks too.
You had the SolidWorks for entrepreneurs. What’s the status of that? How has it grown in India?
We have close to 1000+ applications and 100+ companies that are leveraging SolidWorks for entrepreneurs. This is global data. Entrepreneurs in India are part of it.
How are engineering colleges in India leveraging SolidWorks?
For Mechanical Engineering curriculum, absolutely. I’ve visited a couple of engineering colleges in India and it is being taught as part of Mechanical Engineering curriculum. It’s part of Strength of Materials, Dynamics, Design, 2D Drafting and Drawings, among others. Even in labs, SolidWorks is installed and are accessible to students. A lot of projects are being executed in SolidWorks and are part of graduation requirements. Some universities have incubators, where SolidWorks is available and accessible as well. I know that institutions, such as IIT Madras and IIT Bombay, are leveraging SolidWorks in India.
Your advice to Indian CIOs on building smart IoT devices, especially in sectors, such as Manufacturing, Automobile, Chemical, Food Processing and Jewelry design?
Disruptions happen every 20 years and it has a very natural course cycle. There is disruption happening in product design world over. If you miss this three-four years window, you will be servicing other companies instead of creating new markets. This is the time and opportunities for companies anywhere in the world to actually lead a market segment by creating connected smart products. In the US, Germany, France and especially, Spain, you’ll find some of the best IoT-infrastructure and connected devices. Spain has become one of the leaders of the world when it comes to 3D printing. The US is obviously in the mix and you’ll be surprised how much knowledge and expertise they are building in Spain. Japan and South Korea have a huge base of smart products and connected products. China has taken a 20-20 initiative and that’s all they want to do. So it’s very hard to be a leader in a space where things are very mature. For example, there is no way that you can innovate with toothbrush as the toothbrush market is very mature. But what’s happening in the space is connected toothbrush. If a company wants to break through that, this is the opportunity to do it. IoT is a way to become a product company that can lead the world. That’s my message to any enterprise in the world, to say, ‘Capture It Now’ and you’ll lead that for the next 20 years in terms of revenue cycle. Regarding the IoT question, at the end of the day, we are a tool; SolidWorks is a tool. What we are doing, we want to make it as easy as possible, that is the design, process, etc. That’s why we are doing M-CAD, E-CAD, electrical and connection with Xively. So we have the toolkit ready and an entrepreneur has to use this toolkit to make it happen. SolidWorks is ready for any company in India that wants to do it. We can give them the expertise in a way that they can make it happen just like any other country in the world.
Tell us about SolidWorks’ priorities in India?
Every year we have growth targets. We have very aggressive double-digit high growth targets in India because it is one of the fastest growing markets for us. Electrical was one of the biggest markets in India in 2016 and had a fantastic growth year-on-year. So we have a team that wants to double what we do in 3 years in the country. Manufacturing, product development, etc. is growing big and we want to be part of it. Industrial Equipment, Automotive Components, Defense Research, Electronics and Consumer Products are big verticals for us in India. SolidWorks has very deep ties with India. Since the first year of launch, we had a R&D in India. That’s how we started. A bunch of us have been visiting India since 1995. We have a very large SolidWorks R&D center in Pune. Some of our best projects are done globally. We have over 2000 people in the 3D PLM serving Dassault Systemes in Pune and Bangalore centers. India R&D is a huge component of Dassault R&D. The talent pool is simply incredible. We really want to do whatever is right to make sure that we help the company’s growth scale.
Your advice to Indian enterprise users?
Companies are in business for two reasons: To get new customers and to innovate. So companies need to say, “Are we acquiring new customers and at what rate are we doing so?” “Are we innovating and are we best in the world when it comes to innovation?” However, there will be competitors. So my message is, ‘the culture inside the company should be to push hard from both sides’. You need to gain market share faster than your nearest competitor and to do it, SolidWorks as the tool is absolutely the best in class to help your company make it happen.