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Bosch sets up 'Agile Project House', plans 10,000 Indian hires

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08 February 2018

Bosch plans to hire as many as 10,000 engineers over the next few years at its research and development centre in India to work on futuristic technologies such as Internet of Things, where the German auto component major sees big opportunities.

 
Soumitra Bhattacharya, managing director, Bosch Limited and president, Bosch Group India  

Bosch also said it will go ahead with development of electric mobility technologies in India despite the absence of a clear policy on the segment.

According to Bosch, by 2030, pure EVs would comprise only 10 per cent of total vehicles globally. Even in a best case scenario, according to it, EVs would not exceed 18 per cent of the total.

The company, which on Tuesday showcased a Bosch-powered electric car in Delhi, has set up a new division, Agile Project House, in order to develop India-specific solutions in the field of electric mobility.

Bosch will invest between Rs500 crore and Rs800 crore in each of the next two years in India to expand local operations including in R&D to develop products for global markets, Soumitra Bhattacharya, managing director, Bosch Limited and president, Bosch Group India, said.

"We spend a lot of money on IoT, especially to provide mobility solutions, and we see a strong future in this area," Bhattacharya said. "Today, the car is looked at as the third living space after one's office and home. Bosch is making for connected, automated and shared vehicles. Just from your car, you will have an equal form of connectivity as you can have from the office or home."

On electric vehicles, Bhattacharya said, ''Policy will evolve. You (industry) are not going to get everything on day one. We are moving ahead, we are showing live examples, demos. We are showing the way forward. I think that is more important."

Echoing similar sentiments, Bosch India mobility solutions chief technology officer Jan Oliver Roehrl said the company would have to keep developing solutions.

"As a tier-I supplier, it's our responsibility to come up with solutions. We are not going to wait for the policy to develop new solutions. We cannot be fence sitters," he said.

Bhattacharya said that while the company is focusing on electric mobility, it would also keep on bringing solutions in the field of internal combustion engine space, which would continue to dominate even in the medium term.

In the electric space, he said the company is offering scalable solutions from 0.25 KW to 300 KW across segments from two wheelers to commercial vehicles.

"Bosch strongly believes that its current and future portfolio of electro mobility solutions will be one of the key contributing factors that lead to a dynamic ecosystem in the country," Bhattacharya said.

He added that India is in a nascent stage when it comes to charging infrastructure and it will require a lot of work to build up the required ecosystem.

Commenting on the Agile Project House, he said the initiative specifically addresses the Indian electrification projects. "This will increase our local competence to be able to supply customised technologies for flexible affordable and efficient urban mobility," Bhattacharya said. The new set up is working on prototype development and system integration to get electric vehicles running on the countrys roads.

Though India contributes only a little over 3 per cent to Bosch's total revenue, the country has become important for the company both as a technology development centre and as a market.

The German company is also working on its strategy on batteries as automakers accelerate their electric mobility programmes.

"The Bosch global board has yet to take a decision whether we will go into actual manufacturing or outsource batteries for EVs ... as I said we are fully there and a decision on battery will be made soon," the Bosch India chief said added.

The company, which has a substantial share of revenue coming up from the conventional internal combustion engines, doesn't however expect electric vehicles becoming too big a segment in the near future.

"The internal combustion engine, gasoline, CNG or ethanol will last a long time. It is very much worthwhile to invest in any kind of efficiency improvement in these engines," said Rohrl.

"While EV will leapfrog and grow into a substantial number, yet ICE will still remain a very dominant technology for mobility," said Bhattacharya.

Implementation of the Bharat Stage VI emission rules in 2020 and the RDE (Real time Driving Emission) norms later will help India substantially improve on emission standards, he said.





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