India an alternative for US firms moving away from China: Trimble – ET Infra


Scott Crozier (left); Rajan Aiyer (right)

NEW DELHI: On August 9, US President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. signed off on an executive order which restricted US investment in the People’s Republic of China in sensitive technologies and products such as microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence.

As geopolitical rifts between the US and China escalate, Colorado-based technology solutions company Trimble Inc. which focuses on construction, agriculture, geospatial, natural resources, utilities and transportation sector, sees India as an ideal alternative to the diversification away from China.

In an interaction with ET Infra, Scott Crozier, Global Vice President of Survey and Mapping organization at Trimble Inc. and Rajan Aiyer, Vice President and Managing Director, Trimble, South Asia Region, talked about the business potential that India offers to the company.

“We certainly see India as a strong partner and someone with great relationship with the US, compared to let’s say what we are seeing with China at the moment. So do we see an element of manufacturing or development that might be in China today, moving to other places? The answer is yes. Is India a potential location for that? The answer is yes,” said Crozier.

Trimble’s solutions all over the world and across sectors have crucial reliance on support based in India, which includes its largest research and development centre that is very strategic to the company’s business. The solutions developed in India account for 50% of Trimble’s business.

“We see an opportunity for greater investment, both in manufacturing, and further building on our development centre here, which is the largest in the world. I will also say that as we see the opportunity grow in India, it will drive us to have more local investment as well so that we are building and designing products and managing products in the market that is sold,” said Scott.

The company’s top clients in India include Survey of India, Afcons Infrastructure, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Larsen & Toubro.

INDIA OPERATIONS

India operations, which started in 1995, currently contributes about 5% of Trimble’s overall topline but Crozier outlined that India will be delivering double-digit percentage of Trimble’s revenue in the coming future, which will primarily be aided by the infrastructure spend in the country. For the fiscal year 2022, the company’s consolidated revenue stood at $3.676 billion.

“In India, our immediate attention is organic growth, because Trimble has a lot of solutions that are not available in India,” said Rajan Aiyer.

“Today, in India, we have 1,500 people. We have more than 10% of Trimble employees in India, across six locations. We are in Gurugram in the NCR region, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Navi Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Hyderabad is our newest office after acquiring a company called Transporeon, which is one of the largest transportation technology companies dealing with freight forwarders and transporters,” said Aiyer.

The senior executives highlighted that Trimble’s growth in India has been both organic and inorganic, with strategic acquisitions being undertaken over the years.

“When opportunities come up, I would say, Trimble has been very active in the acquisition space over the last 20 years. Acquisition as a strategy to get into local markets and bring technologies that we can take locally, certainly on our radar,” said Crozier. Past acquisitions include Transporeon, Spime, Tata Autocomp Mobility Telematics.

While Trimble offers its product and services directly, it also ties up with partners, referred to as channel partners or value added resellers.

“So if you take geospatial, for example, we have a partner called AllTerra, that is delivering solutions to our customers, they also train the customers and they provide warranty and support services. We have partners like NeoGeo (NeoGeoInfo), that is helping us install and commission our CORS network, which are like, actually in very remote areas in the Northeast, in the border areas, and so on,” said Aiyer.

GEOSPATIAL SECTOR LIBERALISATION

In December 2022, the Union Cabinet approved the National Geospatial Policy, which calls for ‘Democratization of Data’ with Survey of India topographic data and other geospatial data produced using public funds to be treated as common good and be made easily available.

“Trimble is in the best position to leverage this liberalization, because what the liberalization does is, it says you can capture and utilize and manipulate and create applications based on geospatial data. So, we are clearly in the capturing space and the modeling space and with our software capabilities, we are able to give a decision support system to the customers,” said Aiyer.

Aiyer highlighted that as the opportunities both in the government and in the private sector expands, Trimble is seeing increased business.

The demand for geospatial solutions has increased in the country as infrastructure development takes pace. The government’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan, which is a common digital geographic information platform for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure projects, will also increase demand for solutions offered by companies such as Trimble.

  • Published On Sep 28, 2023 at 11:59 PM IST

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