French firm Altran bets on india for growth

July 12th, 2012 - 12:14 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 11 (IANS) French high-tech engineering consulting firm Altran is betting on India for growth and value in diverse verticals such as transportation, automotive, aerospace and nuclear energy.

“India is emerging as an important destination for us as we foresee significant growth and value coming out of our operations here during the next two-three years due to excellent engineering talent and cost advantage benefits,” Altran chief executive Philippe Salle told reporters here Wednesday.

The euro 1.4-billion ($ 1.9 billion) global group in innovation and engineering consulting supports companies worldwide in the development of products and services in diverse verticals.

“Apart from expanding our global delivery centre in Bangalore, we are scouting for strategic acquisitions in the verticals we have domain expertise to grow inorganically too,” Salle said during his first visit to the Indian sub-continent.

The company’s Indian subsidiary plans to ramp up its headcount to about 4,000 by 2014 from 600 this year, with about 2,000 through acquisitions in verticals like automotive and aerospace for outsourcing projects in mechanical engineering, embedded and critical systems.

“We see huge opportunities in the energy sector, especially nuclear in light of the deregulation and high energy demand in India. We are well positioned to leverage our nuclear energy expertise with a facility in New Delhi for thermonuclear stress analysis,” Salle asserted.

The company has been working with one of the large US entities operating in India to analyse its spent nuclear fuel rods, which are hazardous to store, transport and handle.

“With India planning long-term civil nuclear programmes, we see growth opportunities in the high-tech energy sector, besides harnessing wind energy,” Salle observed.

Besides serving marquee clients in Europe and the US, the subsidiary’s global delivery centre caters to domestic market in automotive and aerospace.

In association with the European National Air Transport Authority, the subsidiary’s engineers worked on the radar integration of flight landing and taking off for one of Europe’s busy airports.

The delivery centre also developed the flight warning system for Airbus-380 aircraft.

“We see bright prospects for orders from the defence offset clause, which stipulates that overseas firms selling equipment, arms or technology to the Indian armed forces must outsource 30 percent of the contract value to local partners,” Altran Technologies India Ltd chief executive Sanjay Kumar said.

Offset opportunities lies in engineering service outsourcing, maintenance, repair and overhaul, enterprise resource planning, IT, control systems and research and development.

In the transportation sector, the company is looking for providing critical safety systems to the Indian Railways.

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