WE WILL SOON HAVE AUTONOMOUS TRAINS RUNNING ON MAINLINES”
Business Today|May 16, 2021
In end-January, French mobility major Alstom completed the acquisition of German rival Bombardier Transportation. The new entity has combined revenues of around €15.7 billion, order book of €71.1 billion and employs 75,000 people in 70 countries. Ling Fang, President, Alstom Asia-Pacific, spoke to P.B. Jayakumar on Alstom becoming the largest overseas mobility player in India and why the country is going to be a crucial market for the company. Edited excerpts:
P.B. Jayakumar

With the Bombardier acquisition, how has your footprint changed in India?

Alstom has made huge investments in India. We have set up several factories, recruited a lot of people and also invested significantly in technologies. This was primarily to meet the needs of the Indian railway sector. We decided years ago to put India at the heart of our strategy as the country is a global delivery centre for Alstom worldwide. This includes delivering projects for international markets. We do a lot of research & development and innovation activities out of India.

In India, we have 8,000 employees, six factories (two from Bombardier Transportation) and two large engineering centres (Bangalore and Hyderabad). This makes India the third-biggest country for us. On an average, we have been recruiting 1,000 people per year in India. India will become the number one country for Alstom in two-three years. As our CEO recently said, “If India succeeds, Alstom will succeed, and if India fails, Alstom will fail”. India is important not only because of its market potential but also innovation, manufacturing and engineering capabilities.

The merger has made you the largest multinational mobility solutions provider in India. What are the synergies expected from this acquisition?

Combined, we now have a larger presence in metro rail projects in different Indian cities — Chennai, Lucknow, Kochi and Mumbai. We have won several big projects like Mumbai Metro III, rolling stock for Mumbai Metro IV, Agra-Kanpur metro, signalling for Bangalore metro. There is a little bit of Alstom now in nearly all metro rail projects in India. Bombardier was traditionally more present in the Delhi Metro.

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