Commercial Vehicle Forum (CVF), an independent CV industry platform that aims at bringing together all the stakeholders for focusing on issues related to the CV business, was held for the second time on 18th May ’17 at The Westin – Pune. CVF 2017 was chaired by Mr. Nalin Mehta, MD & CEO – Mahindra Truck & Bus, who set the context with a keynote address and by declaring the Forum proceedings open.
The event received an overwhelming response for this year’s edition in Pune, with a packed house that translated into a gathering of over 250 delegates, 35 industry leaders as speakers, over 10 sponsors and 10 media and association partners.
In his keynote speech, Me. Mehta touched upon a variety of topics pertaining to the CV ecosystem. He began by reaffirming strong belief in the growth of CV industry by stating, “If you believe in the India Growth Story then you have to believe the CV Growth Story”. He also spoke about the impact of GST, likely Scrappage policy, modernisation of tolls and highlighted the need to go digital and green, “When I think of Load and Passenger Segment I think Green is the New Gold – In future Mobility we have to be eco-friendly”. He also spoke about how 3D printing will disrupt the supply chain dynamics. Finally, he ended with the following motivational words for Indian CV industry – “I think the best way to predict the future is to invent it. I strongly believe that the future of the Indian CV Industry will be invented in this forum and similar others”.
Several prominent CV industry leaders participated at the Forum, including Mr. Erich Nesselhauf – MD & CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Shyam Maller – Sr Vice President – Sales & Marketing, VE Commercial Vehicles, Mr. Keshab Chandra Sen – CEO & President, MLR Auto, etc.
The transport and logistics side of the business was also represented with the presence of Mr. Shankar R – CEO, TVS Logistics, Mr. Prasanna Patwardhan – MD & Chairperson, Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions, Ms. Kausalya Nandkumar – CEO, SmartShift and others.
Mr. Erich Nesselhauf highlighted the importance of creating a pool of trained drivers to make that basic change in the way the industry operates and to make it efficient. He also spoke about the need to focus on ergonomics in trucks and need to provide good air conditioned cabins – “A comfortable truck driver is a safe driver”.
A wide range of topics were discussed over 5 different panel discussions, with the forum providing a diverse agenda and covering a range of topics from IoT & Telematics, Fleet Management & Future of Mobility, Sourcing & Cost Management to the use of Advanced Automotive Manufacturing Technologies & Emergence of India as a CV Production and Export Hub.
Interesting presentations were also made on 3D Printing technology, Road Safety, Rubber Technology etc. by representatives from Stratasys, Hella Lighting India and Shore Auto Rubber.
There was a fair bit of representation from CV OEMs (namely Mahindra, Daimler, Ashok Leyland, VECV, Tata Motors, Kamaz Motors, John Deere, MLR Auto etc.) in the panel discussions. Other speaking and attending organizations included the likes of Frost & Sullivan, PwC, Vodafone, Total Shipping & Logistics, Cargo Motors, CIRT, ARAI, Schmitz Cargobull, Knorr Bremse, Valvoline, AMW, Force Motors, Hino Motors, MAN Trucks, Honeywell, Exide, APM Terminals, DuPont, PACCAR, Sinotruk, Honeywell etc.
Prominent comment from most of the delegates, speakers and sponsors was “Right Topics, Right Panel Members, Right Discussions.” The Forum was made possible because of support from sponsors such as Stratasys, Hella, Shore Auto Rubber, Exide, SKF, Vajra Rubber, Imperial Auto, Belmaks, Cenlub Systems, Bonfleet & Dow Chemical. Before the end of the event, on 18th evening all the delegates and speakers networked over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres courtesy Pernod Ricard.
The Forum ended on a positive note and the organizers of the event – Threefold, also announced CVF 2018 to take place in June 2018, Pune. Rohit Dewan, Project Director, CVF also called for speakers and delegates – Policy makers, OEMs, OESs, Logistics Service Providers, Auto Component Suppliers – to work together so that CV industry receives the desired focus and is not an afterthought.