India’s Thriving Automotive Industry Lures Global Companies with Young Talent and Favorable Government Policies

Some of the world’s top automakers are turning their attention to India as the next big market and hub for innovation. This shift is driven by India’s young and talented workforce, growing economy, and favorable government policies. Detlev von Platen, executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche AG, describes India’s unstoppable energy as a wake-up call for Western economies like Germany. He believes that solely focusing on preserving status and wealth will hinder innovation and progress. Platen states, “I would like to see a little more Indian spirit for us. More optimism, positivity – more drive.”

Echoing this sentiment, Ola Kallenius, global chairman of the board of management at Mercedes Benz AG, states that being in India gives him a sense that the 21st century belongs to the country. He emphasizes the buzz and vibrant atmosphere in India, saying, “The country is on the move.”

Sofia Frandberg, executive V-P and member of the group executive board at Sweden’s Volvo Group, highlights the significant transformation she has witnessed in India over the past 15 years. She believes that India is poised for significant growth in the next decade. Platen, Kallenius, and Frandberg are just a few of the global executives who have recently visited India to assess their businesses. They are drawn to India’s vast market potential and promising human capital, which contrasts with Western economies that are experiencing a decline in the demographic dividend.

India has recently surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation, coinciding with global multinational companies (MNCs) developing strategies to diversify risks associated with their “China Plus One” approaches. Platen shares his experiences during his visit, stating, “I spoke to political representatives, Porsche customers, investors, and young entrepreneurs. What they had in common: an incredibly positive charisma, optimism, and creative joy.” He specifically mentions being moved by well-educated Indians who have studied abroad and returned to their homeland because they recognize the immense market potential.

Platen acknowledges that there are still challenges in India, but he praises the willingness of the people to tackle these obstacles and make a difference. He believes that those who solely focus on preservation leave no room for innovation and progress.

Kallenius highlights that Mercedes Benz has its largest research and development (R&D) setup outside of Germany in Bengaluru. The team of engineers there is working on global development projects for Mercedes-Benz, including those related to electric, connected, and autonomous technologies. India is also one of the four countries leading the projects on data security, along with the US, Israel, and Germany.


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