“Small Is Beautiful”
In a January 1, 2009 article in Hindustan Times, Booz & Company Partner Vikas Sehgal advised India’s auto industry to look at the long-term effects of the current recession and invest in research & development. “This is the time when we should be investing heavily in research and development and preparing ourselves for the new world order that will emerge from the debris of this recession,” said Sehgal. “India’s auto industry has a very good chance of emerging as a front runner in the post-2012 scenario, but the preparation for that has to start now.” According to the newspaper, the nation’s car manufacturers are already taking that advice: By the end of the first quarter of 2009, the Tatas’ Rs 1-lakh car or Nano is expected to hit the roads. Meantime, General Motors already employs 1,600 engineers at its Bangalore headquarters, while Maruti Suzuki is doubling its engineering staff to 1,000 by 2011. And Hyundai, which has already made India its export hub, is ramping up its workforce from 250 to 800 people at its R&D center in Hyderabad. (Sehgal also discussed R&D needs in the auto industry with the Press Trust of India Limited in a December 24, 2008 article)