Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) plans to transform itself into a digital and automation powerhouse, according to a top official.
The $18-billion firm launched L&T-Nxt, a new vertical to focus on artificial intelligence (AI), IoT (Internet of things), virtual reality, augmented reality, geo-spatial solutions and cybersecurity and leverage the experience that L&T has garnered over the decades.
Referring to the efforts of the firm to embrace digitisation, S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, L&T, said, “Disruption has become the new order and as we embrace new and frontier technologies, our businesses are leapfrogging into entirely new realms powered by the tremendous benefits of digitisation and analytics. We are committing significant investments and talent into this strategic effort and are confident that this will be an enabler for business.”
In consonance with the expectations of a new age industry, L&T-Nxt, will define the future of the organisation from a fresh perspective and has been identified as a select initiative in the firm’sL&T’s five-year strategic plan.
L&T, through its current construction, EPC and manufacturing businesses, has made one of the largest deployments of IoT, analytics and AI in the industrial sector by converting most operational matters online, finance, human resources, labour, plant, material into smart, affordable and extremely efficient solutions,, said the company in a statement adding that L&T is ideally placed to capitalise on these huge emerging opportunities with its large palette spanning software to hard core engineering, backed by a strong technology base, said a company statement.,it added.
J.D. Patil, senior executive vice-president (defence business) and member of the board, feels that the era of cyber-physical systems is just beginning. “With the lines between the physical and digital blurring, Industry 4.0 is being founded. We see new technology businesses and sunrise enterprises as prime constituents with the latent upside for rapid and substantial value creation.” said Mr. Patil.
Capability development in some of these select verticals has been in the works under a long-term strategic plan and L&T’s management is focused on incubating and scaling these business, mapping the landscape, formulating the road ahead, and achieving the stated goal with go to market solutions, said the L&T statement.
“The company has around 200 in-house employees working in this vertical and plans to hire over 2,000 employees in the coming years to scale up,” Mr. Patil told The Hindu.
“L&T-Nxt will help streamline the whole process by converting operational matters online and thus coming up with smart, affordable and extremely efficient solutions. Post elections, once the ordering picks up, the key focus would on fast-tracked execution of projects and this is where L&TNxt would come in handy. The key monitorable has been the focus of the management over monetisation of non-core investments and the future capital allocation,” Paras Bothra, president, equity research, Ashika Group, told The Hindu. adding that L&T is seen trying to transform itself in the lines of some of its global peers like Siemens, Hitachi and ABB.