“The value that an engineering service provider brings to its client is to lower time and cost to market, while ultimately helping top line growth of the clients’ organization. At L&T Technology Services, we offer engineering services and solutions that help our customers to foster innovation, improve operational efficiencies and shorten time-to-market, enabling them to take their products to newer markets,” says Dr. Keshab Panda, Chief Executive of L&T Technology Services.
With 18 years of expertise in the customer sales and services industry, Dr. Panda is currently leading L&T Technology Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Larsen &Tubro Limited, one of India’s most respected engineering conglomerates, with 75 years of legacy. Prior to joining the company, he was a full-time research scientist at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)–amongst the largest government space agencies in the world where he played a key role as a part of the satellite and aircraft design team, besides publishing multiple technical and thought leadership papers. “Being a scientist, there were never any concerns with regard to meeting the short-term deadlines, as research was an on-going process where success was measured on long-term parameters,” says Dr Panda.
Following his career at ISRO, Dr Panda spent several years in the services industry managing business units in the U.S. and the Western Europe including managing JVs, M&As, and has been on the boards of several companies.
“Once I shifted to the service industry, I realized that success and excellence were measured upon a whole set of different parameters.
The engineering services segment is at an inflection point with significant shifts in business models, increased customer demand for value-added innovative solutions and global play. Competing on Cost-arbitrage alone is long gone
Dr Panda is an Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Science, a premier university for scientific research and higher education located in Bangalore, India. He holds a Ph.D from IIT Mumbai, another premier Engineering college in India. The IIT is ranked in the top 300 in the world University ranking. He also holds an Executive Management from Wharton business school.
Dr Panda has published multiple research papers in International Journals & conferences.
Looking at the world through the customers’ point of view and not through our own, meant being closer to the customer –Dr. Panda took this call early in his career and relocated to the U.S., overcoming the challenges encountered during his evolution from research zone to customer sales and services zone.
Since his tenure at L&T Technology Services, Dr. Panda is well out on his mission to bring about a changeover in the company structure to best suit the customers need. “Even though I head a company that holds some of the world’s brightest engineering minds, many engineers do not necessarily understand what is happening in the outside world. But today with a strong delivery organization and a matured sales function, the focus for Technology Services is on customer centricity. The services clusters at L&T Technology Services has given way to focus on three types of engineering disciplines—skill-based engineering for process development; Design engineering for knowledge in industry verticals and manufacturing services; and Consulting Engineering for collaboration on multiple areas of engineering to reach different market segments. With the emergence of service market at L&T, there is also a major change in terms of customer’s perception. “Customers are looking more at value-added innovations, rather than the cost. With the risk-reward model taking over the market, cost-play is long gone,” notes Dr. Panda.
Additionally, the company keeps tab of economy changes from one country to another through endorsing market oriented techniques like product localization and re-engineering, which involves redesigning of products to meet the needs of the country where the product is released. “Several highway transportation companies sell their machines in both the U.S. and India. But they are redesigned depending on the local compliance, cost and maintenance requirement,” notes Dr. Panda.
From providing necessary business services to offering customized solutions for customers, L&T Technology Services makes sure to differentiate itself from others. The company has closed more than 150 patents and a majority of them are owned by their customers.
Even though L&T Technology Services has grown in terms of its size, there exists a challenge from the branding point of view. “Unless you brand a company independently, you cannot grow your customer base. We are in the process of creating a powerful brand in the market and create awareness of our solutions and offerings in the minds of our customers,” says Dr. Panda.
Major verticals such as Industrial Products and Medical devices, Transportation, Telecom and Hi-tech, and Plant Engineering often engage in good business traction with L&T Technology Services. The company also covers other horizontals including Mechanical engineering Services, Embedded Systems Services, and Product Lifecycle Management. Keeping with the need of the industry, other solution offerings in the bucket are, Engineering Analytics and Power Electronics and M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT). With its customer oriented process, the company has garnered a long list of clientele from all these verticals, representing some of the world’s major brands.
“Since L&T Technology Services network is spread on global level, it is easy for customers to outsource their projects from various corners of the world. We also help customers to gain knowledge in new geographies of engineering, such that they can implement new innovations in their organizations,” asserts Dr. Panda. Thus the company’s good global services base not only benefit customers in terms of cost, but also in terms of knowledge and new ideas.
Going forward, engineering sector will judiciously grow, with a keen focus on increasing value for customer along with cost reduction. “With the changing technology in the market, we want to grow our services and business as a serious player. We have achieved 40 percent CAGR in the last 3 years and we will continue to maintain a growth of 25 percent annually,” says Dr. Panda.
With the right exposure towards branding for L&T Technology Services, the company’s communication network will be improvised for a better customer reach across the globe and that is exactly how the company intends to meet their target predictions.