ABB Bets On Digitalisation Initiatives Of Indian Companies

ABB, the Zurich-headquartered technology and industrial automation giant, is placing its bets on the digitalisation initiatives of Indian companies that are now embracing technology to garner a competitive edge. Further, a significant portion of its global digitalisation initiatives are now being driven from its Bengaluru centre, turning India into a digital hub for the Swiss firm.

Manufacturing sector companies in India, which were not among the early adopters of technology, unlike banking and retail, are the ones ABB is looking to “empower”. These would be conventional manufacturing companies such as cement, steel, pulp & paper, and traditional infrastructure firms like mining, metals and food & beverages(F&B)companies.

ABB has been present in India for a century and has been manufacturing for more than 70 years

“India is a fantastic market when it comes to digitalisation, because the interest here is clearly above average. You can tell it’s a society which has a clearly above average ratio of engineering graduates. I think it’s a country which is much more open to scientific process. And specifically, a lot of Indian customers were piloting some of our latest digital products,” Joachim Braun, division president (process industries) at ABB Group, said.

Process industries are part of ABB’s process automation (PA) business. As per its annual report for 2021 (it follows the calendar year), PA clocked a revenue of $6.3 billion. In the first quarter of 2022, the PA business in India, which includes process industries, gained from conversions in the steel industry and the refinery segment, with higher focus on resource efficiency and clean-energy transitions. In 2021, ABB India recorded revenue of Rs 6,934 crore.

Some of the latest technologies used for pilot projects in India include artificial intelligence, machine learning and wireless, thermal modelling for superheat optimisation, visualisation and real time communication for barge optimisation and raw material, video analytics and data integration, among others. Apart from digitalisation, ABB also sees India as a market for electrification, motion, robotics and automation at multiple levels across sectors, including cyber security, among others.

“India for us is a resource pool of first choice. We have a global engineering centre, research centres, and have all kinds of global business functions here; it is not just a service provider. ABB India leads the process automation digital business for ABB globally spearheaded by the chief digital officer of process automation based in Bengaluru, along with a large team,” he said.

ABB has been present in India for a century and has been manufacturing for more than 70 years. The company’s operations include manufacturing, R&D, engineering and global business services, and it employs close to 8,000 personnel across the country.