Germany-based ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a driveline and chassis technology provider, which also offers active and passive safety technology opened its first technology centre in India in Hyderabad. The ZF India Technology Center (ITC) will strengthen ZF’s presence in the country with expected investment of €15 million (Rs 105 crore) over the next five years.
The company which announced its plans to set up this centre in September last year established it in just 6-7 months. This centre will employ 2,500 professionals by 2020.
The ITC will be involved in high-end innovations, which will focus on bringing advanced technology to India as well as localising strategic business activities including research, design and development for global markets. It will also leverage academic research communities and talent pool for global development projects.
ZF CEO Stefan Sommer told Telangana Today, “We will continue to invest in India in increasing business and production. We will try to localise more and ramp up operations. Safety regulations will increase in India and we will talk to our clients in providing the technology and systems. Other centres in India are production centres. We plan to begin exports from India. The Hyderabad centre will take care of the software development.”
He informed, “We will be launching more products with high degree of Indian content going forward. We will increase production capacities in Pune as more demand picks up. Hyderabad centre will play a key role in integrating with ZF’s other centres. We have also tied up technology partners such as TCS and Tech Mahindra besides several others.”
“All over the world, there is a change in mobility, automation and interest in cars. With growing global warming, automotive transmissions and emissions have become critical. There is a growing important of zero emissions and zero accidents and ZF is striving to create technologies that ensure them,” Stefan said.
The new centre will be involved in electronics, embedded software and mechanical engineering. It will support ZF’s global development teams while enabling the company to accelerate local product development supporting ZF automotive and non-automotive operations and customers in India.
Mamatha Chamarthi, chief digital officer of ZF, added, “The India Technology Center will be rapidly integrated into the engineering ecosystem of ZF and become a pillar of innovation for the company. As demand for software engineering grows, ZF will exponentially increase capacity to help meet customers’ growth aspirations in both the global and local market.”
Investing in Telangana
K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT, MA & UD, Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana said, “We look at this investment by ZF as an ecosystem builder for Hyderabad and are extremely happy to see Telangana as ZF’s choice for their first ever India Technology Center. We will continue to strive making our State a business and investor friendly place helping corporates like ZF to expand their footprints in this region.”
ZF and its partners have been operating for more than five decades in the Indian market, with corporate headquarters at ZF Business Park, Pune. Today, ZF is present in 21 locations serving the automotive and non-automotive segments in the region, including two wholly owned subsidiaries of ZF and six joint ventures of ZF and ZF TRW.
In India, the Group has a strong local mechanical engineering team that supports product development and application engineering for both the automotive and non-automotive customers. The consolidated resource strength for the group, including the joint ventures is about 14,000 employees.
Innovation and CSR
ZF has rolled out an innovation challenge and as a result of which it is encouraging engineering students to drive innovation in the automotive space in a wide ranging spectrum from creating autonomous driving vehicles, smart sensors and IoT-based drive monitoring.
On the CSR front, ZF is tying up with Akshay Patra foundation, a non-profit organisation providing mid-day meals to children, by sponsoring a van to transport food to schools in remote locations in Hyderabad. By this activity nearly 5,000 students from government schools will be benefiting, reducing starvation of underserved children.