Vinnie Mehta, Director General, Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA)
has been actively involved in the promotion growth and development of the auto component industry
in India. Prior to joining ACMA, he headed the Manufacturers Association for Information
Technology (MAIT) which is the apex body of the IT industry in India. In conversation with APF, Mehta and how the Components Show 2018 is the perfect convalescence of all the aspirations and goals of
the industry along with being a perfect platform for conducting business.
How will the Auto Expo-Components Show 2018 be different from the 2016 show?
The whole industry is going through a lot of changes, especially in light of the fact
that so many new regulations that have been forced now, especially with relation to emissions, environment, and safety. The industry is also moving from BS IV to BS VI. At the same time, there are lots of discussions about electromobility. In all of this the auto component industry
family would like to showcase its prowess in the technological area. This year’s Components Show would be a showcase of the technological excellence of the auto component industry.
Component manufacturers will come forward and display technological innovations on safety, emissions, on environment. The products that they display will be compliant to all that is expected by them from the government.
What part will the ACMA be playing in making this show a reality?
The show is a reality in itself of all the trends and expectations that have been placed on the components industry. As India’s premier association for the components industry we will make sure
that there is a right footfall. We already have a very large number of exhibitors, more than 1,200 strong. Out of these 600 exhibitors, about 50 per cent, are international companies. Due to this we
have seven international pavilions. We want to make sure that we are a growing and dynamic market with a lot of business opportunities and that these opportunities are showcased in the right light. The Auto Expo becomes a common ground where people can connect; where the Indian players can access technology; and where customers can see and experience products. All of this is our intended goal towards making this show a success.
How do you expect the industry to grow in 2018? Can you predict any new trends that will emerge?
What is happening is that the Indian industry today is globally competitive and is growing at a rapid pace. We expect the industry to grow at least at 10 per cent and I guess the underlying trend would
be technological excellence. This would be demonstrated in a major way in the Components Show 2018.
Do you think that in 2018 any of the trends and expectations would come to fruition? Or at least half way through?
All of them would come through. There are government notifications saying that the industry needs to be compliant by a certain date. Therefore, it is mandatory for us to be compliant. There is no escape from that. If the industry does not do it, then the customers and vehicle manufacturers would be forced to import. This is what will make the industry trends come through, not just in 2018, but also in the future.
What do you think is a bigger driver? Is it the government, the customers,or the market?
All of it. We have a very interesting and challenging market. As we are a democracy, we have a government that is by the people. Therefore, everything that the governemtn does will be a refl ection of what the people have been asking for. Everyone wants a safer vehicle and wants their loved ones to be in a safe car. Every one wants a good user experience and comfort. All of these factors are falling together and the government is making sure that the consumers will have a safer, much better xperience. This should happen without ignoring environment concerns. Everything is falling in place with respect to all these factors.
Speaking of environment concerns, do you see any global trends infl uencing the auto components market?
We are a global industry today, therefore we cannot be untouched by global trends. In some of the things we are marginally a phase behind but all those trends are pretty much visible in India right
from concern for the environment as well as concern for safety. Maybe the products we are using today are a phase or two behind- even by two or three years- but we catch on.
At the same time, you also have to take in to account the evolution of the economy, the evolution of the industry as well as the ‘saying power’ of the consumer. You cannot overload a machine with so many features that it becomes out of reach for a consumer. You also have to take into account the price
sensitivity of the consumers and accordingly solutions are given. Fortunately, we are a very innovative country and we do come up with very cost-effective solutions. In that manner, everything
gets balanced out and we don’t remain far behind from some of the other developed nations.
Auto components industry is made up SMEs and MSMEs. Given the economic ups and downs, how quickly do you think they have risen up from their state of scramble?
Small and medium enterprises make up 70 to 80 per cent of the industry. This part of the industry has been stressed out, there is no denying that. These companies--we refer to them as tier-2 and tier-3 companies--are the backbone of the industry. Despite that they are always under pressure. It is the responsibility of the larger, tier-1 companies to hand hold the SMEs and ensure they have viable business space and that they are compliant on all the factors whether it is quality cost and whatever more parameters. In the end it is the role of the tier-1s to take care of them. In my opinion, there are many good and responsible tier-1s that are doing their duty. OEMs, tier-1s and the industry as a
whole cannot survive or exist without tier-2s and tier-3s. They are really integral to the automotive value chain and it would be foolhardy if they were allowed to disintegrate.
What is your expectation of the Auto Expo- Components Show 2018?
We are looking forward to welcoming all the companies that are here to do business with each other through us. The Auto Expo-Components Show 2018 is the only kind of B2B event in India. Anyone and everyone that belongs to the automotive sector should ideally be there. The Auto Expo is a not-to-be- missed-event.