February 2014 | europe.tata.com

The efficiency partner

Tata Technologies European operations are run from Coventry, the UK headquarters where Nick Sale, COO of Tata Technologies in Europe, has manned the post since 2010. Mr Sale is a company veteran, having joined in 1997, when it operated as IDC Group, and then as INCAT, before it was acquired by Tata Technologies in 2005. 

Tata Technologies provides engineering services and IT solutions in three major fields of industry — the automotive, aerospace and industrial equipment sectors. It has 7,000 employees globally and annual revenues of $400m. The European operation alone makes $150m a year, over a third of Tata Technologies’ global revenues, and has 1,076 employees across the continent, 663 of whom are based in the UK. Mr Sale says his mandate for the company is clear: ‘to make Tata Technologies the number one partner to the manufacturing industry.’

To be ‘Number 1’
One of the ways to do this, according to Mr Sale, is to make Tata Technologies a byword for efficiency in an age of austerity: “What we do at Tata Technologies is help companies to be more efficient, by providing them with greater capacity to ‘do more with less’.” As businesses increasingly realise the importance to end-users, management and shareholders of cutting unnecessary costs, Tata Technologies provides an invaluable service by offering firms in a resource-constrained environment IT solutions to make their operations more efficient.

Tata Technologies is carving a distinctive space for itself in the engineering and technology solutions marketplace by drawing on its unique pool of highly skilled engineers in India and around the world. “Our competitors are onshore engineering providers, and as there aren’t enough skilled engineers in Europe, this means they are very expensive. They don’t have the complete integrated on shore / off shore programme that we offer, which ultimately reduces the end cost of the service,” says Mr Sale.

Such an approach is clearly paying dividends, and driving the company’s growth. For example, in 2013, Tata Technologies acquired Cambric, a business in Romania employing 350 people, and this year, it is looking at opening an expanded European headquarters not far from the existing site in Coventry. Mr Sale reveals that the business is shortlisting locations, and if all goes well, the new site will open in the summer of 2015. “We are cementing our presence in the area not only through bricks and mortar, but by creating a knock-on effect for British companies and British jobs. I have spoken to local councils about the jobs this project will create, and we are really excited about it,” he explains.

Supporting the future
As a group, Tata strives to nurture young, entrepreneurial and innovative minds, developing expertise and the next generation of commercial leaders. As a member of the Tata group, Tata Technologies contributes a great deal to forming the next generation of engineers. The company runs the ‘Ready Engineer’ programme, a training scheme, which, as Mr Sale explains, operates differently in varying markets: “In India, the problem is that engineers leave university with a lot of theoretical knowledge, but little practical experience. The Indian ‘Ready Engineer’ scheme caters to this problem, but it is not one that we recognise in British universities.” The UK version of the scheme lasts for one year, and sees engineering graduates studying in the UK work on various projects, with the chance to work in America, Romania or India for up to 3 months, in order to prepare them for the world of work.

Tata Technologies also works closely with several individual British universities, in particular Coventry University where the business is based, which 'has worked extremely hard and supported Tata Technologies brilliantly with its consistently high standard of engineers.'

Mr Sale and his colleagues also understand the importance of reaching out to pupils at school, who are deciding whether or not to go to a university, and what to study if they do go. “Engineering in this country has yet to reach the stage it’s at in India, where it ranks alongside the professions of lawyer and doctor. The challenge we face is to make it more enticing to students,” says he. As such, through the Arkwright Scholarship Trust (named after 18th century engineer Sir Richard Arkwright, the father of the modern factory system), Tata Technologies is currently sponsoring two aspiring university engineering students through their A levels, and with a view to getting them to join the ‘Ready Engineer’ scheme.

The idea of trust
Belonging to a much wider family of businesses based in a country where the idea of philanthropy and community is paramount, Mr Sale is proud that Tata Technologies reflects its Indian roots through the business’s commitment to the ‘empowering idea’ of trust: “We want to improve the world, with better products to benefit more people, and by being more sustainable and more innovative.”

Doing business in the right way, and being a trusted leader in industry by being progressive, innovative and self-challenging, these are ideas that find a perfect home in a company that belongs to the Tata group.