Stephane DECLEE, VP, Energy, Process & Utilities at Dassault Systemes, says Dassault is investing for the long haul and looking at the metals, oil & gas and power sectors. Give us an overview of the company in India.
I have been coming to India on a regular basis for the last fifteen years. We have a good and motivated team here. We are building up on the service side for India and also have service support for projects worldwide. India is certainly a place in the world where you have the best competencies across the entire portfolio of solutions compared to any other place. The business has been developing and we have about 6,000 customers in India alone across all our verticals.
While our core customer base are from the manufacturing industry, for the last ten years, we have been diversifying into new sectors, especially capital intensive sectors. For instance, we are getting into energy and also now starting to work on the natural resources side like mining activities.
Tell us more about your foray into the power sector.
We have a dedicated team here to work with our customers. A big part of the work over the last years has been about education on finding the right path with respect to certain complexities. In power, a big part of it is driven by the government and national companies. There is some complexity compared to the private sector. However, it´s progressing well, especially in nuclear and hydro where we are gaining some momentum.
Has the government helped in that momentum?
A lot of our work was already ongoing. With the new government, there has been some acceleration. Some processes have been sped up while some are simplified. While we cannot comment on sensitive areas like nuclear power, what I can tell you is we are working with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. They are using our simulation engine which is part of our SIMULIA brand and which is used in other countries. The application is for non-linear kind of simulation where it simulates really complex situations with incredible precision, such as a plane falling on a nuclear plant or a seismic situation. We are also working with the government on the Digital India initiative on an area that is really our core know-how, i.e. how to build digital twin representations of complex things. Today, for us, a nuclear power plant is not as complex and I have had discussions with the government as part of the plan to digitise, to create those digital twins for critical power generation assets inside the country.
What are the sectors you are evaluating in India?
Of course, we have a business plan for India. We believe, and that is why we have been investing a lot locally. There is huge opportunity. We understand this will take time because there are some unique challenges. We have learned with India to get a little bit of patience. This is also part of our growth. Oil & gas has been a good entry point for us with the project we are doing for Cairn India. There´s a bit of a buzz in the power sector now. We are doing everything we can and making good progress to get some projects. Maybe, it will start earlier with private companies in the coming months. We have to connect quickly with the renewable projects because reducing cost for renewable power is critical and certainly, technology can help to do that. We have a forthcoming announcement in the steel sector and are looking at aluminium. We´ll divulge those as and when they fructify.
There´s a gap between planing and implementation. When will the new projects start?
It´s a good question, but this is in other countries also. Before a new government initiative takes shape and is visible on the field, unfortunately, there is a delay. It is not specific to India, and in a democracy, you have to carry everyone with you and get everyone, all local bodies to agree.
It will take a little more time but we see a strong motivation. We see also financial incentives being developed and defined. We are very hopeful that combining this with all the education we have been doing with different organisations over the last four-five years, we can get somewhere.