Infotainment

Anand Ramamoorthy, Harman International

Anand Ramamoorthy
Anand Ramamoorthy

Anand Ramamoorthy, Country Head & Managing Director, India Operations, Harman International (India) Pvt. Ltd., shares his views with Telematics Wire about the in-vehicle  infotainment  segment and road ahead for the company.

Q Could you please tell us about the Harman International India initiative?
Harman  International  Industries  Inc designs, manufactures  and delivers  a wide  range  of  premium  audio  and infotainment solutions for the automotive, profess ional and consumer  lifestyle  markets.  Harman began its India operations three years ago and has been growing steadily in size and scale since then.

Q How has been the presence of Harman International so far, in the Indian market space?
In the last 15 months we have grown aggressively. Our headcount has doubled (150 to 350+) and we recently inaugurated our  new  development center in Pune and acquired our third office space in Bangalore. We  have  built  sales  and  marketing infrastructure for our consumer lifestyle and automotive business from scratch.  There  has  been  a  complete realignment  of  distribution  channels aimed at profitably growing the India business from the current $50M level to $300M in less than 3 years.

In  April,  we  were  awarded  the  Tata infotainment business valued at $250 M (lifetime revenue). As  a  part  of  this  deal,  Harman  is creating custom audio, navigation, and multimedia solutions for vehicles across Tata’s model lines. Additionally, we  won the  Branded Audio business from  Tata  and  we  would  also  be supplying speakers to Mahindra Reva’s NXR. We are in advanced discussions with many Indian and Global OEMs for India  Infotainment  and  Telematics Solutions. We are working towards setting up a manufacturing facility which is expected to be operational by Q3-2013.

While Harman has been into the  high  end  vehicle  entertainment  segment,  do  you think we in India are ready to move  towards  the much anticipated infotain-ment in the vehicles?
Increasing  penetration  of smart-phones  and  tablet devices has helped deliver information and media content to an Indian consumer in way that was not possible earlier. A consumer today has a strong need to be connected and online always.  In  addition,  the preference to have a high quality audio experience in the  car  is  also  increasing.  These  trends  are  driving greater  adoption  of  line fitted Infotainment systems by OEMs in India. We believe  Harman India with its global experience, strong local engineering  and  understanding  of Indian customer needs is well positioned to deliver.

Do  you  feel  the  growth  of infotainment  and  more  and more devices and application getting  integrated  to  the infotainment system is adding to the distracted driving?
Harman is a world leader in enabling technology and device integration in a safe, driverfriendly  way  inside  an  automobile. Harman  works  very  closely  with  the biggest automakers across the world in bringing tight integration of personal smart devices such as phone and tablets into the car while ensuring compliance  with  automotive  safety standards.  A  good  example  of  this would  be  Harman’s  Aha  Radio  & Connected  Car  technology  platform which  brings media,  news  and  other content  in  an  automotive  friendly manner inside the car.

Would  you  like to  comment on recent acquisition of Interchain Solutions and how it adds to the value proposition  or  market  presence  for Harman in Indian market?
Telematics is a strategic growth segment for Harman India and we are actively focusing on targeting customer opportunities in this  space. Acquisition of Interchain enables Harman to deliver both entry and high level Telematics solutions to Automotive Passenger & Commercial OEMs, Transportation, Logistics market segments in India.

 

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