Digitization has become the buzz in India’s automotive sector. Major automakers are hiring tech talent to provide a fillip to virtual sales. They also look forward to using tech talent in procurement, supply chain, and manufacturing functions amid the pandemic. With the latest technological upgrades like connected cars, driverless cars, and augmented reality dashboards, even R&D functions need technical personnel knowing current technologies.
Consumers, in large numbers, over the last two years have been utilizing digital platforms to purchase cars, because of the convenience and efficiency it provides. Hence, all major automakers are focusing overtime towards digitizing operations to enable virtual sales, to improve sales volumes and profitability.
Digital transformation of their dealer network is also a part of the digitization exercise. Just improving websites or online payments is one part of the drive. However, a holistic experience involves redesigning the entire purchase journey of the customer. It includes optimizing costs and utilization of resources at the dealer end also.
Maruti, the largest automaker, has started hyperlocal programs for inquiry management. 35% of its inquiries now come in from digital channels, compared to just 3% a few years back. During the pandemic lockdown, it was even higher at around 50%. For enhancing the sales process, Maruti Suzuki has digitized 24 out of 26 touchpoints. It has only left out those for test drives and vehicle deliveries.
Maruti is now working to strengthen its platform with digital tools with better computing power. It will help in collecting transactional and interactional data to create a single view of the customer (SVOC). It will utilize AI to make sense of the data and offer a seamless experience to the customer. While recruiting for CRM functions heavy weightage is given to data analytics, by using these sophisticated digital tools.
Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) is also seeking highly skilled workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is also supporting them with a futuristic learning framework.
This massive adoption of technology has increased the requirement for technical manpower. Major carmakers are now hiring people with data analytics backgrounds to be deployed in sales and marketing functions
Technical people from Information and Communication Technology (ICT), data science, and data engineering training have been hired in the automotive industry. Hiring has increased by a massive 45% compared with pre-Covid levels in 2019. Technical person requirement for preventive maintenance of vehicles, customer services & utilities, and digital marketing is projected to increase by another 15% this financial year.
The current quarter needs over 18,000 tech persons within the automotive segment. The demand will grow to over 25,000 jobs by the end of the fiscal. FY23 should see a further increase of 15-18% above this.
In R&D functions too, there is a need for technical personnel. Innovations like augmented reality dashboards, driverless cars, and connected-smart cars have different skill requirements. New generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly becoming very important for industries. This has led to rising demand for new skill sets in the auto sector.
Electric vehicles use battery technology and electric power trains require electrical, electronics, and even chemical engineering skill-sets instead of mechanical engineers. Automated vehicles with sensors, actuators, motors, and control units driving operations need technical skill-set like mechatronics, electronics, electrical, and software engineering are much in demand.
It’s not just the global auto players that are seeking India’s rich R&D talent. The Indian electric scooter market is about to take off that will also need more tech talent.
Summary – The dynamics of the passenger auto-market have changed drastically over the years. From the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, more customers have gone online to select, book, and pay for vehicles. There has been an increase in demand for people with a data analytics background in sales and marketing functions. The hiring of tech people in information and communication technology (ICT), data science, and data engineering has almost increased 45% compared to the pre-covid level of 2019. It is projected to increase by an additional 15% this financial year and will increase further. Tech talent is also needed in the supply chain, procurement, and manufacturing functions. In R&D functions, the need is for people adept in new generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tech talent with skill sets in demand includes mechatronics, electronics, electrical, and software engineering. The Indian auto sector is now becoming the employer for almost all types of latest engineering skills.