US-based Quantech Global Services, an automotive design, analysis and engineering company, began operations in the US fourteen years ago by offering computer-aided design and developmental services to global auto companies.
Promoted by Dr Mukesh Gandhi and Dr David Zeischke, both professors at the Michigan State University, Quantech Global has established a substantial presence in the global auto arena in the period.
The company offers the automotive industry a complete product life cycle management expertise from concept to pre-production, and has been rated as the "best in class" by customers such as General Motors, Ford, Delphi, Honda, Visteon, Toyota and other leading auto companies.
Quantech extends services in design [CAD], analysis [CAE], manufacturing engineering, prototype testing, production and concept. Its customers include automotive companies such as General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Daimler Chrysler, Johnson Controls, Mazda, EDS, Honda and Visteon.
Dr Gandhi has been the recipient of over $15 million dollars of funding to undertake pioneering research from various US government agencies, foundations, organisations and Fortune 500 companies. He has to his credit books and over 200 technical papers.
Quantech began operations in India five years ago by setting up development facilities in Hyderabad and Bangalore, called Asian Technical Centers. About 200 engineers are employed at Quantech's facility in Hyderabad and a fewer number in Bangalore. The company plans to invest USD5 million in expanding the technical centres that includes building a new 20,000-sq.feet facility and adding up to 500 more engineers in these two centers.
Dr Mukesh Gandhi, the CEO of the company, and Dr Dave Zeichske, the chief financial officer, of Quantech are regular visitors to the Southern Indian cities to oversee the work being carried out at the ATCs here.
Here Dr Mukesh Gandhi talks to Mohini Bhatnagar of domain-b about his and Dr Zeischke's brainchild Quantum Global. Some excerpts from the talk:
Would you classify Quantum Global as a BPO outfit?
We are definitely not a typical BPO outfit in the sense that we set up operations in India not because of the cheaper manpower but because we feel we get better quality people here. Prior to that we were hiring Indian engineers and taking them to the US overseas for training. Five years ago before the BPO hype began we set up operations here and replicated our US set up here. Our experience has been that Indian employees are more disciplined and hard working than nearly anyplace else especially the US. In terms of quality also they are second to none.
Another thing is that most US companies pass on the extreme low end of the work to countries like India, Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia. Mostly voice related, or back end processing work is being carried out at BPO organisations here. At Quantech on the other hand we carry out very high-end work for which we require highly qualified people who in turn are also highly paid.
What is the kind of work is being carried out at your Hyderabad center?
We carry on very high-end work here. We have replicated our US office here. There is nothing that we can do in the US that we cannot do here. The software we use is also very high end. We employ mechanical engineers from well-known institutes who are well versed with computer-aided design and manufacturing software. The kind of work done here is mostly related to automobile product development, crash simulation, predicting crash performance of automobiles that are in development stages.
To give a simple example through computer simulation we can test the various parts of an automobile right from the doors to the fuel pump, to the engine and anything you can think of. We check as to how much stress the part can take under the worst conditions and our results are usually accurate up to 90 per cent and above.
A lot of our work is related to simulation of crash tests, very important for automobile manufacturers abroad. Typically car manufacturers spend a fortune on crash testing, say a $1 million per car. We help manufactures reach the final stages of crash tests by eliminating a huge number of prototypes. Through this carmakers can save almost 30 per cent of the cost they would have spent on crash tests. Apart from this we do a lot of homologation work also.
Are you working with any Indian auto companies, and if so in what areas?
We are talking to a few companies here but it is too early to say anything. We are hoping to leverage on our existing relationships with global automobile majors for our operations in India. Our operations in India can significantly contribute to our development work in a number of countries in the Asia Pacific region.
We are hoping to carry out some modifications for an Indian carmaker down south the name of which I cannot reveal as yet. The carmaker is planning to come out with a small buggy for the Indian market and we are helping them develop the vehicle. In China, we are in the process of finalising a deal with a company for development work.
What kind of growth do you expect from the Indian market?
The Indian market though still in the nascent stages is growing very fast. We expect to double our income from this region in the next year. Our US operations are growing by 20-25 per cent a year. Last year our turnover from our US operations was $30 million. We expect our Asian business to play a bigger and bigger role in the future.