Client Success story : making Indian roads safer with smart technology

When did it begin : In the year 2015

Technology under consideration : Occupant detection sensor for seat bet reminders.

How did the first contact happen

Quanzen approached the client and visited them for a meeting with their International Sales
Manager in Germany, in September 2015. The International Sales Manager found presentation about India market & Quanzen interesting. One of our management heads, was requested to visit client HQ while in Europe. The meeting was attended by International Sales Manager along with VP Global Sales and the MD. Our representative presented a comprehensive view of Indian market and Quanzen’s role as a catalyst.

During this meeting, the client’s representatives expressed some of their concerns:

  • India is a large & fast-growing market but do they need ODS for SBR?

  • Is there an NCAP or a proposed timeline for the same?

  • Are Indian OEMs willing to go for a European supplier? 

  • What will the client need to do to win the business against competition even if the demand exists?

  • Q presented a proposal to the client to conduct a quick market check for 2 months and set up meetings at key OEMs & seat makers for the client’s International Sales Manager in Dec 2015. Client accepted the scope and commercials for this phase.

Q team met with senior Engineering personnel at all major OEMs as well as at 3 major seat makers. We also met with senior persons at ARAI. Findings from our market check:

  • Only export vehicles manufactured for markets having NCAP score points for ODS SBR and had ODS SBR.

  • Global OEMs exporting their vehicles to such countries were thus aware of this product and had heard about our client. But Indian OEMs and some seat makers did not know much about them nor about their product.

  • India NCAP was in serious discussion and we could get access to its proposed scoring system being discussed. There was proposal of giving scoring points for ODS SBR.

In December 2015 our client’s International Sales Manager visited India and Q arranged meetings with a few key OEMs and Engineering & Safety teams of seat makers for him. A meeting was also arranged with Deputy Director of ARAI in charge of passive safety. These interactions led to deeper insights into the views and needs of customers as well as regulators. An NCAP seemed a distinct possibility in the coming year, so the customers showed cautious interest and asked for manufacturing supply location to be in India or requested supply from our client’s Asia unit.

Everyone also said that India being a price sensitive market, an optimized product should be designed especially for Indian market to optimize the cost.
Our client was impressed by the reach we had at senior levels at OEMs, Tier-1 companies and regulators. They also appreciated the insights we could get from the market and the transparency in communication. They signed a long-term sales representation contract with Q in March 2016. Two of Q’s senior team members were invited to our client’s HQ in Europe for intensive training. A meeting was also arranged with the leadership team of our client to work out India market strategy and roadmap.

The Key Points of the Strategy : 

Announce our client’s entry into India through Local Sales & Customer Support Partner Quanzen Leverage our client’s global OEM connects and visit their Indian counterparts to build a local connect Focus on leading Automakers in India – those having strong local R&D so as to get Advanced Engineering Projects ahead of expected Indian NCAP. Focus on 3 main seat makers for relationship building with end customers. 

  • Devise optimized cost product strategy for India through customers’ participation & inputs.

  • Intense campaign with Ministry of Transport Safety Team, ARAI, ICAT and Safety heads at key OEMs for heightened awareness about Audio-Visual SBR (that necessitates ODS) for reducing crash death risks.

  • All 3 members of Q leadership team would participate in this campaign for next one year. Our client’s sales team, regulation expert and members of senior management team would make visits to India over next one year. We followed this strategy and ran this campaign of extensive & intensive personal meetings over the next one year. Our client’s team members from Europe made 4 visits during this period to support us during such meetings.

Key Outcomes:

  • A robust brand image was built for our client and their products among all the OEMs and major seat makers. The campaign also succeeded in conveying benefits of our client’s products across the industry. 

  • Brain storming workshops were conducted at OEMs for cost optimized solution – optimized design & commonization across models were the key ideas that came up. These also helped build deeper relationships of trust with OEM engineering teams.

  • Similarly, strong relationship was established with Safety Engineering teams at OEMs as well as senior persons at government & regulatory institutions like ARAI & ICAT, through series of interactions where we along with our client’s regulation expert shared various global data & our client’s experience of how excellent safety metrics were achieved directly proportional to the increased usage of SBR – which in turn was boosted through NCAP / Regulation. 

  • Readiness by one of the major OEMs to start an advanced engineering project.

The Master Stroke 

By early 2017, the discussion about Indian NCAP (Bharat NCAP) had reached its crescendo and so was the brand building of our client by Quanzen in Indian market. Major turning point came when the Indian Govt. announced that Audi Visual SBR along with 3 other critical safety features will be made mandatory by regulation on all cars produced in India (instead of just encouraging its usage through NCAP).

All car makers got into frantic action to get ready for the deadline. By then we were so deeply entrenched with our client’s discussions with OEMs that we got enquiries from all of them. In the next few months, the Quanzen team got immersed in techno-commercial meetings across India ably supported by visits from our client’s sales & technical experts and acquired 60 % of the Indian Market.

………. & The story continues about how we helped build localization in the next 2 to 3 years.

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