Q&A: Bertrand Sicot, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 19:21 hrs

Massachusetts, USA-headquartered Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., founded in 1993, is a player in 3D software tools that can be used in creating, simulating, publishing and managing data. Pravda Godbole spoke to Bertrand Sicot, the company’s CEO, about one of the company’s focus areas — Indian small and medium enterprises. Edited excerpts:

Which technology problems of Indian SMEs do you plan to address?
Today SMEs have tough competition. Both locally and globally, they need to adhere to their OEM standards to manufacture the best-quality products for the market. SMEs also face the challenges of speedy delivery. DS SolidWorks helps them to come out with better products by helping their design teams to design products faster and manufacture products that are more adaptable by end-users.

Have you felt that Indian SMEs often shy away from investing in technology? If so, how do you plan to tackle this situation with your offerings?
With new markets opening up, companies are no longer competing domestically but on a global platform. While this spells increased opportunities for SMEs, it also means churning out products that are efficient and on a par with global quality standards. In such a dynamic business environment, innovation becomes the key to sustenance, demanding accurate and efficient designing capabilities. Besides, it has also become critical for manufacturers to get the product right the first time, to minimise potentially damaging post-sales issues. They must increase manufacturing, which is only possible by shortening design cycles, shrinking engineering costs with shorter product life cycles and minimising raw materials usage.

The engineering design market in India was previously dominated by 2D players. SolidWorks entered the Indian market in 2002 with the mission of unleashing the power of 3D mechanical design. Since its inception, SolidWorks has experienced exponential growth. Indian SMEs, which were earlier resistant towards adopting and investing in new technology, are now recognising the role of technology in delivering better products, substantially adding to their growth.

What kind of expansion plans do you have in India?
Over the last few years, the engineering technology services outsourcing market has grown rapidly in India. As per NASSCOM’s findings, India is the most preferred destination for Engineering Research and Development and Design (ER&D) services with a 22 per cent share in the revenue. The market for these services is expected to quadruple over the decade, touching an estimated $40-45 billion by 2020. SolidWorks has been quick to recognise this emerging opportunity, and has increased its focus on the Indian market.

Engineering design is also one of the most rapidly emerging professions in India. Customers demand qualified SolidWorks graduates with high levels of design and engineering competency and skills. SolidWorks has been helping Indian students to gain access to powerful 3D CAD software, master 3D CAD fundamentals and equip them with the skills needed to design breakthrough innovations. As part of our commitment towards the India market we will continue to step up our investment in education and upgrade the skills of Indian students in this field.

What are the price points of your offerings in India?
We entered the 3D CAD market at a time when most 3D solutions cost around $20,000. We offered affordable but powerful 3D solutions for every engineer, at just a little more than an average 2D drafting tool.

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