At the forefront of engineering R&D

At the forefront of engineering R&D

Three years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin presenting a Russian dual-screen smartphone Yota to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is a well-known fact. However, not many know that the smartphone has a Bengaluru connection.

L&T Technology Services (LTTS), an IT product and process engineering company headquartered in Bengaluru and part of the $16-billion L&T Group, helped the Russian company Yota Devices to design the dual-screen smartphone at its Bengaluru R&D centre.

LTTS is making advancement in the engineering research and development (ER&D) space across verticals like industrial products, medical devices, plant engineering, transportation, consumer electronics, telecommunications and semiconductors. (The company classifies itself into transportation, telecom and hi-tech and process industries).

The company offers consultancy, design, development and testing services across the product and process development life cycle, says LTTS CEO and Managing Director Keshab Panda.

Machine-learning platforms

The company is now focusing on building a new machine-learning platform for video analytics for elevators, augmented/assisted reality applications for industrial customers, video analytics tools for detecting human intentions, reduction of emissions from automobiles, digital solutions for tyre wear and tread depth measurement, and AI framework for "Demand/Response" task of micro-grid.

Panda said that clients across the board are investing in technology upgrades, smarter systems, digital engineering and artificial intelligence. "I think that we have done reasonably well. Today, digital engineering is 20% of our portfolio, and it has been rising quarter-on-quarter. If you recall, last year, it was 12.5%, it is 20% now," Panda said.

The company takes pride in being a part of the bigger family of engineering companies. "LTTS is taking up a lead role in doing the business of innovation in 32 countries. While engineering in one part, the company is understanding culturally what the customer needs and delivering it on time, which is called global, but local," he said.

Industrial product design

Industrial product continues to be the main revenue-generating stream for LTTS, with its deep product design capability. "So what happens is, when you try to look at industrial customers, there are various product designs ranging from component level to full scale solutions. They will be small products, again next product. Revenue is scaling up in this segment so of course we are growing, but it doesn't happen overnight," Panda adds.

Expertise in engineering industrial products helps drive innovation and efficiency, and retain a competitive edge. LTTS helps in streamlining the product development value-chain, enabling companies to spearhead business growth. In the Industrial Products domain, the company's innovations range from small products to holistic smart city solutions. LTTS has designed the world's first motion activated screwdriver (known as the Gyro Screwdriver). But Panda also pointed out that engineering is one part of it. LTTS overall connects all the dots in this journey.

Comparing tech companies work into a pyramid, he said that bottom of the pyramid is skill-based engineering, then design engineering and then consulting engineering.

LTTS is focusing on the tip of the pyramid with product design capability backed by its specialised CAE teams and TUV-certified engineers. This helps the company to create value from the top to bottom as a differentiator. Design engineering requires domain knowledge and LTTS differentiator because of its domain knowledge of over 25 years. LTTS believes that it is a services company, and least bothered about the hardware and software part of its clients.

The company builds a layer on the clients' existing system and helps them experience better than what they were doing.

Autonomous vehicle development

Transportation is one of the leading verticals for the company contributing 31% of revenues during the last quarter's results. The transportation vertical is having three components, including aerospace, automotive, and off-highway.

Besides Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and LiDAR technologies, the company is focusing on telematics, connected cars and powertrain and alternative propulsion systems.

LTTS is actively involved in automobile technologies involving infotainment and driver information systems, body engineering, safety and restraints, and body and chassis electronics. LTTS has developed a platform for autonomous vehicle development called VANGEN. The company is focusing on connected and hybrid vehicles, and a pilot electric vehicle prototype is running on its Bengaluru campus.Besides in-flight entertainment and air traffic management, the company's aerospace engagement includes embedded electronics. In the off-highway segment, the company is involved in agricultural equipment and construction machinery.

Multi-vertical strategy

The company is looking at multi-vertical exposure and competency, which allows it to scale operations and bring in innovation for clients globally. LTTS competencies in plant engineering drives process for plant-owners to reimagine their operating models and integrate cutting-edge technologies to boost productivity.

The technologies to maximise asset utilisation, minimise set-up time, and reduce total cost of ownership are shared across other verticals. As an engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) specialist, LTTS supports every phase of a plant's lifecycle.

In the digital engineering space, the company developed a platform called UBIQWeise, which handles from sensor to the analytics.

The company has developed its digital capabilities in product design, which will have applications in healthcare, automotive, energy and aerospace engineering.

Development centres

The company has around 12,000 employees spread across 15 global delivery centres, 28 global sales offices, and 39 innovation labs in India, as of December 2017.

LTTS has set up an engineering centre in Jerusalem, realising that the technology prowess of Israel. LTTS hired 100 technology talents at the facility and it is primarily focused on our initiatives in cyber security, especially for Internet of Things (IoT) vertical.

Company's total revenues for the fiscal 2017 reached at Rs 3,168 crore, registering a growth of 11% compared with Rs 2,969 crore in the same period in the previous fiscal. The profit for the period was Rs Rs 449 crore, registering a growth of 3% compared with Rs 434 crore in the same period last fiscal.

The company, which went for IPO in September 2016, is restrategising its focus on 30 key customers, named as T30 strategy. With its multi million dollar deal across segments and growing client spend in ER&D, LTTS is expected to outperform market expectations.

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