Diversified automotive conglomerate, the TVS Group, is focusing on engineering design services which are seen as the next big outsourcing opportunity for India.

Led by TVS's IT hardware wizard Gopal Srinivasan, Harita Infoserve will spearhead the initiative. The company brought 20 research engineers from group companies TVS Motor, Sundram Fasteners and Sundaram Clayton to Harita two years ago and today the engineering strength is 230 employees.

While Harita's development centre operates from Bangalore, marketing and client services are run from Troy, Michigan.

Today, OEMs are increasingly urging their Tier I and II suppliers to participate in R&D activities for their future products as they attempt to spread costs over a larger base of companies and utilise a bigger knowledge base. Outsourcing design engineering to third party service providers in locations like India has been accepted by the OEMs who gain of top quality services at one-fifth the cost.

"We are committed to making India the design services hub for the global automotive industry. Harita has been involved in developing instrument clusters, vehicle control and remote diagnostics," said Srinivasan.

With the focus firmly on the automotive industry, Harita has secured clients like General Motors, Eaton, Textron, Federal Mogul and Johnson Controls in North America, GE Digital and Oerlikon in Europe, Hitachi in Japan and Tata Motors, Motorola and Ashok Leyland in its native India.

The global market for automotive design engineering is estimated at $US12 billion with outsourcing potential at $US5 billion a annum. This fiscal year, Harita is targeting €3 million in revenue.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup