Engineering curriculum is still not changed to train fresh engineers on new age technologies

Interview with Mr. Shrikant Naik, Global Delivery Head at QuEST
Mr. Shrikant Naik, Global Delivery Head, QuEST
Mr. Shrikant Naik, Global Delivery Head, QuEST

Mr. Shrikant Naik is the Global Delivery Head at QuEST. He is responsible for delivery excellence and profitable growth of the company, which he drives through the global delivery team as well as, the technology, quality and project management groups at QuEST. He headed India delivery until 2015 and before that, was instrumental in building the team supporting Rolls Royce from scratch to a 800+ strong team.

Shrikant joined QuEST Global in 2001 and has played different roles in the organization since then. He is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt holder and has guided many six sigma projects in QuEST.

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Could you give us an overview about QuEST?

QuEST is a global Product Engineering Services and Solutions company. We engineer solutions for a safer, cleaner world in industries like aero engines, aerospace & defense, automotive, medical devices, oil & gas, power, industrial, rail, semiconductor, consumer electronics and software & internet. We offer end-to-end engineering solutions across product development, product lifecycle management and digital transformation for our customers.

With global presence in 13 countries, 65 locations and 12000+ employees, QuEST is at the forefront of the convergence of Mechanical, Electronics, Software and Digital Services to engineer solutions for a safer, cleaner world. We help redefine engineering strategies and take ownership to execute those by leveraging our global workforce in a seamless fashion. By building long-term sustainable partnerships, we help our customers accelerate product development and innovation cycles, create alternate revenue streams, enhance consumer experience, enable services based business model and make manufacturing processes and operations more efficient.

India is seen as a global development hub. How do you see India leveraging this high-end activity in long term?

Global R&D and innovation centers in India are pushing local engineering ecosystem to the next level. Such centers are giving direct exposure of core product development to engineers in India. The advancement of such high end global product engineering activities–be it new product development or innovation around digital technologies – are highly relevant to India. Moving up the value chain of product development is resulting in new age engineering skill development in the country which in turn can lead to development of products in India for the local and emerging markets. Additionally, the development of digital technologies invariably see an application in solving challenges faced by fast growing economies like India.

How does QuEST position itself?

QuEST is a passionate pathfinder and a trusted thinking partner for solving some of the toughest problems our customers face to create new products, open new markets and maximize efficiency. We partner with our customers across the product lifecycle–from detailed design to product realization, and after-market solutions. Our engineering services and solutions expertise enable global pioneers to build products and services that transform the world around us – make journeys safer, the world greener, connect people to opportunities, add comfort to homes, power communities, enhance peace of mind and give hope to patients.

Being an innovative global company with a local flavor, QuEST operates across geographies seamlessly. We provide end-to-end solutions to solve the engineering challenges of our customers and help redefine their engineering strategy from a long-term perspective.

What is unique about QuEST’s value proposition? What are your key business differentiators and how have they given you an edge over competition?

By building long-term sustainable partnerships, QuEST helps its customers drive velocity in new product development and innovation cycles to shorten time-to-market. The company enables OEMs and Tier1 suppliers to get more done with their available engineering budget and help them focus on executing core processes to develop next generation products, explore alternate revenue streams, enhance end consumer experiences and simplify complexities and enable business outcomes across product lifecycle.

As a global engineering services and solutions company, QuEST has deep domain knowledge in the core industries and adopts a consultative problem solving approach to deliver innovation to customers. One of our key advantages is our global footprint for rapid deployment of engineering talent with local nationals and key decision-making leaders who are very close to our customers.

Leadership commitment and willingness to invest for the long-term success of our customers and strong partnership with key technology platform providers also makes us a very unique player in the engineering services industry. The know-how and experience in leveraging convergence of mechanical, software, electronics and digital engineering services to deliver smart products and services throughout the entire product lifecycle gives us the upper hand while addressing the engineering needs of our customers.

Which are your strong markets presently? And, what are the new markets that you are presently looking at?

QuEST has strong presence in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. We are present globally across US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Romania, Sweden, India, Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea and Philippines. Aero engines, aerospace & defense, automotive, medical devices, oil & gas, power, industrial, rail, semiconductor, consumer electronics and software & internet are our key focus industries.

Which do you consider the biggest growth opportunity region for your business? And Why?

For delivering smart products and services, our customers are facing challenges to leverage convergence of mechanical, software, electronics and digital engineering. We see such convergence as a biggest growth opportunity as we have deep end-to-end engineering expertise and domain knowledge across essential industries.

What has been your YoY growth in terms of revenues?

Being a private company, we will not able to disclose growth numbers currently.

What strategies will your company use to strengthen its position in key markets? Are the acquisitions plays a role in your growth? How?

Acquisitions are one of the key strategies that we adopt to strengthen our position in the key markets.In the past two decades, we have acquired and successfully integrated 13 technology companies across various geographies.

We adopt follow the sun strategy – we have people across the globe where innovation is continuously fueled by technology. At any given hour, we want to have QuEST engineers working on customer solutions.

What do you envision for the future of the Engineering Services industry? What role should we expect QuEST to play in shaping the future of the Engineering Services industry?

Engineering services industry is one of the fasted growing outsourcing industry. It is continuously transforming itself and has started playing a critical role in the evolution of connected engineering ecosystem. Innovation and product ownership is becoming integral to this industry.

QuEST is continuously investing to solve engineering challenges faced by our customers. We are at the forefront of the convergence of Mechanical, Electronics, Software and Digital Engineering Innovations. With the help of deep domain knowledge and engineering expertise QuEST is playing a major role in fueling product engineering innovations.

What do you view as the most significant challenge and opportunity in this industry in coming years?

The most significant opportunity is the way digital technologies going to influence product design, development, manufacturing and operations. Companies which can leverage digital technologies to accelerate product development, realization and efficiencies of operation will succeed. The most significant challenge will be the availability of talent to do all of this. Engineering curriculum is still not changed to train fresh engineers on these new age technologies and the service companies are also struggling to find such experts who can train fresh talent on new age technologies.

What is the impact of pervasive technologies on different applications? How do you see this opportunity in the market?

Pervasive technologies by themselves have no impact unless they are used to solve a problem (or find a use case which was hitherto not thought of).The company which can identify the use case and address it will be the winner. A few examples of how pervasive technologies have impacted different applications are:

1) Image processing using Deep Learning has been used to look at scans of lung cancer – thereby reducing the burden on the radiologist – as well as inspecting parts that come off a production line – thereby improving the speed of inspection.

2) Internet of Things and connected devices have made remote monitoring of machines – more so in hazardous or remote locations – safer and reliable. The same concept is used in tracking parts coming through a supply chain and predict any issues well in advance.

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