Business

‘Challenges are opportunities to innovate’

Market disrupting factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, oil price fluctuation, the U.S.-China dynamics and the approaching election cycle have an adverse bearing on customers’ products and services in the U.S. market. However, from a strategic and long-term perspective, the prospects remain promising as the engineering R&D services growth story still looks intact, said L&T Technology Services CEO & MD Keshab Panda.

“In the short-term, certainly, a lot depends on the end consumer’s confidence and how soon one comes out of the sluggish economy,” said Mr. Panda. “Things are going to be positive in the long run. Many of our customers across the U.S. and European markets are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the crisis seems to have reached a plateau of sorts,” he added.

Mr. Panda said though the markets were still facing turbulent and uncertain times, the current global situation also presented technology companies with a unique opportunity to adapt, innovate and focus more on output than on the traditional modes of working.

“The current scenario has shown us that agile companies ought to prepare with a compelling mix of new technology and strategy to maintain their growth and sustainability of operations,” he observed.

‘Virtual manufacturing’

A plethora of challenges had emerged when businesses were reassessing their work model while some customers were in a ‘wait and watch’ mode. “However, given the proactive ideas and the business models we proposed to them, they are now willing to proceed with discussions — with focus on solutions around virtual manufacturing and remote working technologies,” Mr. Panda added.

He also acknowledged that there was an emerging trend for vendor consolidation. “It is true that customers are looking at supplier base consolidation in some cases. Manufacturers are realigning their business models, relying more on Industry 4.0 technologies and also looking at various reshoring strategies. The differentiator before technology players, both big and small, today is what new value are they able to bring to the table that can help alleviate the situation for the clients.’’

Moreover, digital engineering was set to gain relevance with increased investments in technologies such as AI, Machine Learning and Automation. “Especially for ER&D services firms, the crisis is a call to deliver critical solutions around healthcare, diagnosis, testing and cost of treatment that will help all stakeholders, individuals, enterprises and governments globally,” L&T Technology’s CEO added.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:03:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/challenges-are-opportunities-to-innovate/article31823007.ece

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