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dassault systemes india: India market growing faster than global average: Dassault CEO Bernard Charles


French software maker Dassault Systemes’ India business has grown faster than its global average, the company’s chief executive officer, Bernard Charles, told ET in an interview.

Charles said demand for precision and quality manufacturing has increased uptake of Dassault’s solutions in India as more manufacturing clients are expanding in other markets.

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Dassault Systemes, the software arm of the conglomerate Dassault Group, supplies software to automakers, airplane manufacturers and industrial clients.

Charles said India’s role as a trusted partner in the global ecosystem will be increasingly important in the geopolitically sensitive global business landscape.

The CEO, who is visiting India, met L&T chairman emeritus AM Naik and former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, among others, during his visit.

“In recent years, the India (business) growth has been higher than the global worldwide average growth for us. Our India business teams are growing faster,” Charles said, adding that after the pandemic, the company has also seen an increase in demand from startups. “In fact, the Chandrayaan-3 used a simulator built by us,” he said.

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In India, Dassault Systemes works with the likes of Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T and Jindal Stainless. It has core development centres in Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai.Charles claimed that as these companies build more solutions for global exports, they have been relying more on Dassault’s software solutions.

“The ongoing bid to expand precision manufacturing and quality manufacturing businesses are big drivers for growth in India. Within precision manufacturing, sectors like spacetech and medtech are really driving demand,” he said.

The company has also seen strong demand from SMEs as well as educational institutions that have been using its engineering software for training purposes.

According to Charles, this demand has led to a more than 25% increase in employee base to around 5,000 since the pandemic.

“In the past four or five years itself, we (talent base) have grown around 60% here. India is among our biggest development hubs globally,” he said. “We do not have development hubs in China; we do not have core development practice in Japan; we have some development in Korea, but India is one the strongest core solution development hubs for us.”

Charles said he plans to increase the company’s focus on the life sciences and medtech side of business. The company is building its focus on the Indian SME and startup ecosystem as part of its goal to be a Euro 1 trillion company by 2040.

“Over the past 15 years or so, China has been expanding rapidly in this space (precision manufacturing)… But I think the scope for India to accelerate its own presence in this space is growing, as globally businesses are turning towards India as a trusted manufacturing partner,” said Charles.

The company is also actively evaluating Indian startups as it seeks to acquire businesses to add to its capabilities in these segments, he said. “We evaluate over 3,000 startups (globally) every week and we see a lot of scope in areas like life sciences, space, mobility and manufacturing,” said Charles.

Charles will step down as the CEO in January 2024 and remain the chairman of the Euro 5.7-billion company. Deputy CEO Pascal Daloz will be appointed the new CEO. Charles plans to focus on life sciences and related solutions in his role starting next year.

“In the years to come, as the chairman, I am going to focus on research in this area, in studies of human cells and cancer research and so on,” he said.

The company acquired Medidata, a clinical research solutions SaaS company in 2019, which was later pivotal during Covid research, he said.


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