3D printing presents tremendous opportunity to digitalize India’s manufacturing: Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP India

Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP India
Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP India

With the focus of the government on ‘Make in India’ to boost manufacturing and take its share in GDP from current 18 percent to 25 percent and Indian businesses aiming to be more productive and secure, there is a growing adoption of technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 3D printing that enable good design and faster productivity. This is what global printer and PC major HP promises to deliver with its newly launched 3D printing solutions in India. In an exclusive interview with Mohd Ujaley, Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP India said, “The next round of manufacturing growth will be backed by innovative and technology-savvy manufacturing base, which will lead to long-term economic prosperity and development. Therefore, 3D printing presents a tremendous opportunity that will help digitalize manufacturing and we believe HP’s 3D technology can contribute to realise this aspiration. 3D printing will complement existing manufacturing technologies and provide companies flexibility and competitive advantage in terms of cost, customization and time to market.”

Why is HP introducing 3D printing technology in India? How is the market landscape and what kind of growth are you expecting?

The next wave of Industrial Revolution – Industrial 4.0, will be powered by technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 3D printing. Added to this, Government with initiatives like ‘Make In India’ wants to boost manufacturing and take its share in GDP from current 18% to 25%. The launch of 3D printing solution by HP is intended to create opportunities for Indian companies that want to take advantage of these two mega trends. The next round of manufacturing growth will be backed by innovative and technology-savvy manufacturing base, which will lead to long-term economic prosperity and development. Therefore, 3D printing presents a tremendous opportunity that will help digitalize manufacturing and we believe HP’s 3D technology can contribute to realise this aspiration. 3D printing will complement existing manufacturing technologies and provide companies flexibility and competitive advantage in terms of cost, customization and time to market.

What are the sectors in India that can be early adopters of 3D printing solutions?

We see opportunities for 3D printing in sectors that are high on value added engineering and are low to mid volume requirement. Hence, sectors like automotive, defence, consumer goods, healthcare, education, apparel & fashion and construction can be early adopters. India already has a very robust manufacturing base in automotive, auto ancillaries and high value industrial products that would be keen to explore possibilities with 3D printing technology.

There are existing 3D Players in the market like Stratasys among others, so how HP plans to differentiate its 3D products?

With the new HP Jet Fusion Solution commercial 3D printing platform, HP is removing the speed, quality, and cost barriers that have limited 3D printing to a niche market for long. HP solution is 10 times faster and half the cost of the comparable 3D technology. HP’s Multi-Agent Process transforms part properties voxel by voxel – allowing limitless applications, materials and colors. HP’s 3D Printing platform is unique in its ability to address over 360 million voxels per second, versus one point at a time, giving our prototyping and manufacturing partners radically faster build speeds, functional parts and breakthrough economics. As the technology and material becomes affordable, 3D printing in India will further pave its entry into other segments such as arts and design, interior decoration, fashion accessories.

Indian market like any emerging markets is highly cost sensitive. Are the Indian SMBs would be able to afford 3D printing. What broader price strategy have you worked on for Indian market?

We believe that Indian customers are very sensitive to the value proposition of any offering. HP’s 3D technology offers tremendous value in terms of speed, cost and quality and can be the game changer for many small and medium enterprises. Additionally, we are also setting up service bureaus with our partners like Imaginarium that will provide 3D printing as a service which can be very useful for SMBs for rapid proto-typing or manufacturing of functional parts. The productivity, enabled by HP 3D printers allows the fixed cost to be absorbed by high volume thereby lowering the per part cost.

What would be your GTM for 3D printers sale in India? Will we see newer focus on partners or the existing one will be upgraded or trained?

We are signing up with specialized partners and resellers to take this technology to Indian companies. HP will provide sales and service training to our partner ecosystem players enabling them to serve our customers better. We are also setting up service bureaus with our partners where 3DP can be provided as a service. Currently, we have signed up with two partners- Imaginarium and Adroitec and going forward, HP will selectively add partners and expand the network to provide geographic and vertical segment reach.

Other than manufacturing sector, do you see any use cases of 3D printers in government organisations in India as many of them are working on digitisation projects?

Apart from core manufacturing usage, we expect 3D printing technology to be adopted in higher education institutions such as engineering colleges, universities and research organisations. With 3D Printing technology getting more mainstream, we expect that there would be a requirement of design engineers to work on 3D Printing led manufacturing and these educational institutes would require 3D Printer solutions to train their students.