Automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has earmarked $150 million for a new technology hub in Hyderabad, expects the facility to help it transition from a product-centric to a customer-centric mobility company.
According to Mamatha Chamarthi, chief information officer, FCA - North America and the Asia Pacific, customers today want their cars to be customised with new features and updates.
“Just like how a smartphone tracks usage, personalises features and apps for me, my expectation as a customer is the connected car would also operate and behave the same way. That is the customer centricity that I'm talking about,” Chamarthi told reporters in a media round table conducted on Thursday.
On Wednesday, London based FCA announced its plans to build a global digital hub in Hyderabad, which once completed, will be the automotive giant’s largest innovation and technology facility outside the North America and EMEA regions.
FCA aims to employ over 1,000 people at technology centric jobs at the new facility. The company currently employs over 3,000 people in India across the regions of Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.
Chamarthi added that since all the new features will be delivered through software, FCA required software talent to deliver on customer’s expectations, which is why Hyderabad was chosen as the base for the new digital hub.
Roles at the hub include full stack engineers, feature architects, UI/UX developers, Scrum masters and agile coaches, among others.
Meanwhile, Karim Lalani, head of India IT global in-house centre at FCA, said that at the new digital hub the company would adopt agile ways of working to increase the velocity of delivery, and accelerate time to market of products to increase business value.
The centre is expected to build competencies in niche technology areas of connected vehicle services, data sciences and cloud services.
Additionally, centres of excellence would also be built within the digital hubs which would run horizontally with the various vertical product teams.
“The vertical product teams focus on areas of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, our cloud platform Pega platform(from Pegasystems), and the Salesforce platform,” Lalani said at the media round table.
CIO Chamarthi also added that across the world, the company is launching online retail experiences for the customer as sitting for hours at the dealer’s showroom is a friction point for sales.
“We've launched an online retail experience in North America and we continue to make improvements to that with immersive application products and product configuration using technologies such as augmented reality,” said Chamarthi.
“The center will help in delivering impressive shopping experiences, which is almost a virtual dealership experience,” told Chamarthi about the upcoming technology hub.