Soumitra Bhattacharya, Bosch Managing Director and President of Bosch Group India.
German auto components major Bosch, which clocked a global revenue of €73 billion in 2016, is gearing up to play a role in connected mobility and the electric vehicles market. Bosch Managing Director and President of Bosch Group India Soumitra Bhattacharya, in an interview with Ajay Modi, talks about the emerging business areas. Edited excerpts:
How is the company approaching the two-wheeler business here?
It is a relatively newer business. We are bullish as we can provide systems and solutions that meet latest safety norms. A lot of work has already happened. The response to our solutions and innovations has been positive. We are also getting ready for two-wheeler electrification and India will play a strategic role for us.
Bosch has a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10-12 per cent. Can this be sustained/improved?
A lot of it depends on the market. You can outperform the market by a certain per cent but you are linked to it. We produce for the local market. If you look at our total sales, around 88 per cent of it is domestic. Bosch India will remain a company predominantly focused on the country. We want to outperform the market. We want to have ambitious plans, not unrealistic ones.
Diesel vehicles have had some challenges in recent times. How does Bosch look at the technology?
We have to segregate facts from emotions. We have worked with the government in a simple way and not taken any stance. We have worked as a neutral technology provider and placed facts on the table. Facts have overruled the initial emotions of ruling (Supreme Court ban on diesel vehicles in NCR). Delhi’s pollution did not come down as dust, crop burning were bigger pollutants. We need to have a scrappage policy. Vehicles as old as 20 years are plying and belching smoke. It is not because they are diesel driven, but are 20-year-old vehicles.
What will be Bosch’s role in the connected mobility space?
The final say will come from how customers accept these solutions. We will work with our customers (manufacturers) to give quality, sustainable and innovative solutions. We want to be a strong player in the ecosystem of connected mobility.
The government is talking about an entire electric vehicle fleet by 2030. How does it change your business?
That is the government’s intent as of now. We need to see how it unfolds. It is too early. It has to translate into commitment and has to be accepted by the industry and buyers. Battery technology and infrastructure will play a major role here. Business cannot be decided just by rules and rules cannot make a business proposition. At the end, the customer will decide its success.
How is the transition from BS-IV to BS-VI taking place?
We are working with the customers. It is a herculean task. Compact cars may have an impact after BS-VI norms are implemented. The average cost of a compact car is Rs 4-6 lakh. Now, this will have an exhaust gas treatment which will save diesel but the system is expensive. Here the wallet is extremely sensitive.