Engineers from India Transform Harman Intl.

Engineers from India Transform Harman Intl.

The Bangalore  technology center of Stamford, CT-based Harman International has transformed the company and has become the subject of a study by the Harvard Business School, reports The Times of India. HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems.

On becoming CEO, Dinesh Paliwal, a Master’s in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee  and a Master’s in engineering and MBA from Miami University, realized that 90% of the world’s cars could not afford a Harman system, and saw an opportunity to try and change the “crazy cost structure” using India’s software expertise.

In an hour long conversation with the Times of India on a recent visit to Bangalore Paliwal said, “If you challenge Indians and say, here’s the product, take this, re-engineer it, bring down the cost to a third of what it is, give me the same features but you can take out one or two useless features that cost too much, but give me five extra features that people would like, they will do it,” But, he added, the teams needed to be given full responsibility. “Don’t control them (the teams in India) because they’re creative geniuses. Empowerment is my key word. And that’s the difference between Harman and other MNCs in India. And it happened because I have been a part of the DNA of this country and I can see how Indians work,” he said.

Crystal Computer Speakers
Crystal Computer Speakers

Arvin Baalu, vice president of Harman’s center of competency in platform software, said nearly half of all infotainment systems shipped by the company to all global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have “some of the work we have done, in areas like smartphone integration, which finds its way into our top end platform.”

Baalu added that the ideation, the architecture, the systems engineering were all done in India, where the team designed a more cost-effective hardware by consolidating features on a higher powered microprocessor.

Vijay Govindarajan, one of the top management gurus in the world, noted in his article that when a multinational corporation learns to generate successful innovations in emerging markets and then exports that knowledge and those innovations to the developed world, new business possibilities suddenly burst forth. But few companies, he says, experience this kind of renaissance, because reverse innovation poses immense challenges. “It requires a company to overcome its dominant logic, the institutionalized thinking that guides its actions. Typically that involves major changes: throwing out old organizational structures to create new ones from scratch, revamping product-development and manufacturing methods, reorienting the sales force,” he said, and added, “That is why the reverse innovation in the automobile-infotainment division of Harman International is so impressive.”

Harman’s sales growth in the past few years suggests that the strategy is continuing to pay off. In 2014, year ended June, it grew 24%, in 2015 it grew 15% and this year in the first three quarters it has done 12% (18% excluding currency changes).






About Amritt

Who We Are

Small or big, your business will love our financial help and business consultations! We are happy when our clients are too… Actually, this is quite simple to achieve – because each time we help them in sorting out different accounting intricacies or save the day before filing the taxes, they are happy indeed! And so are we.   

We have over Twenty years of experience helping our clients succeed in India
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
India Business Guide
White Papers
Case Studies
Companies In India