‘India is a very important hub of innovation for us'

In conversation: Olivier Ribet, Vice President, Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, recently hosted the 12th edition of its annual 3DEXPERIENCE Forum in Bengaluru. The company operates in India across Aerospace and Defence (A&D), Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Consumer Goods and Retail (CG&R), Transportation and Mobility (T&M), Energy Processes and Utilities (EPU) and Marine and Offshore (M&O), among others.

The company works with some major brands in India such as Myntra, Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Honda and Mahindra. In an interaction with Uma Kannan of DH, Olivier Ribet, Vice President at Dassault Systèmes says India is a very important hub of innovation for the company. Excerpts:

Tell us about 3DEXPERIENCE Forum?

As we grew and developed the type of applications and now the type of platform that we have built, we have moved step by step from the domain of 3D computer-aided design, simulation, product life-cycle management, model-based system engineering, manufacturing and so on. We expanded and extended step by step the domains that we cover to help companies innovate.

As we expand, we bring along the customers who have been with Dassault Systèmes, and from time to time we organise the CX Transform. The company is morphing, changing and growing so fast. We want to make sure that we could use the latest news.

Every year, we organise this forum, and it has been happening in China, Korea and Japan, among other countries. We do 15-17 forums like this worldwide.

How many customers do you have and what exactly you will be showcasing at such forums?

The first thing is to share the latest news on what’s new at Dassault Systèmes because we have 16,000 employees.

We serve over 2,50,000 customers, companies worldwide. All of that generate a little bit more than $3.5 billion revenue per year. And we have been growing double digit every year for 30 years now. The question for us is what and where should we invest in terms of companies that we can buy.

So the guys who interact and the guys who are doing smart watch and the guys who are doing medical devices and all will have the software that will help them invent. To make sure that our platform stays ahead of the curve, and as a result know what we invest and what we build, we need to listen very carefully.

How are you looking at the Indian market?

We have 2,800 employees in India. There is something quite unique about India. What we see happening in India, is this integration, this fusion between the world of software, electronics and mechanical engineering.

The quality is super on mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics engineering, software engineering, which was not the case even 20 years ago. Now what you see is that in software some of the advanced technologies on Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, encryption, language, structure signals and semantics that exist are happening in India.

So for us India is not a market, it’s a hub of innovation. There is a lot of innovation happening at the educational level and we are engaged in programmes to be more connected in universities and schools.

You work with both Boeing and Airbus...

Many electrical vehicles and autonomous vehicles companies started in California is of big interest to Indian companies. So we import in India some practices that we have developed with American companies and the other way around. But at the same time, we are very cautious about staying extremely secretive about that.

We have been in this business of modelling and simulation software for 30 years, and we work with companies who are amongst the toughest competitors in the world. We work for Boeing and we work for Airbus. So the design, simulate and the programme on their planes is our software. We have signed a big contract with Boeing for a little more than a billion dollars. 

What are the challenges in India?

Infrastructure was a big problem a long time ago, and it remains a challenge. But I think it’s more an excuse than a challenge today. I don’t see it as a big challenge anymore. What we have observed is that even if you have a big talent pool in electronics and software, the demand is so large in India, there are so many traditional manufacturing companies who want to become digitised.

They end up being in the same pool of electronics and software engineers. So if you want to have entry-level skilled engineers to do relatively basic stuff, there is no problem, as there are plenty.

If you really want to have super high skilled folks, the pool especially on advanced electronics and semi-conductors, is much more here. It is much bigger than if you combine France, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain together. But in terms of demand in the market, the need for transformation, and the biggest challenge is not the skills, it is the curriculum and the courses. The challenge is how fast can they be immersed in traditional industry or companies.

How is the company’s growth in India?

We have two R&D Labs in India- in Pune and Bengaluru. In India, we are growing double digits in many segments, not just in big OEMs but also in small and medium sized businesses. It’s a very important hub of innovation for us because we have a concentration of little more than 3,000 Dassault Systèmes full-time employees, plus an extended network of partners and suppliers that we work with. And we really want to accelerate in the next few years. We are looking at doing some acquisitions, and also at acquiring some talent. We will continue to grow faster in India.

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‘India is a very important hub of innovation for us'

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