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Bosch will launch new technology solutions in mining, agriculture over the coming months in India. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
Bosch will launch new technology solutions in mining, agriculture over the coming months in India. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Bosch plans big on smart city projects

Bosch has been running smart city projects in Bengaluru in pilot mode for a year and is now in talks with the governments for tenders

Bengaluru: German auto components supplier Bosch Ltd will launch new technology solutions in mining and agriculture over the coming months in India, and also officially bring to the market its smart city projects that have been in pilot mode.

For the mining industry, it is developing solutions aimed at minimizing downtime and lowering costs for the user. One of the solutions involves connecting miners to their equipment so they can keep a check on the health of their machines.

In agriculture, solutions are aimed at improving productivity and managing sustainability. For instance, Bosch will use sensors in agricultural fields to let farmers know how much water is needed for irrigation—so wastage is curbed—how much fertilizer a particular crop needs and how well their crops are growing.

It has been running smart city projects in Bengaluru in pilot mode for a year and is now in talks with the governments for tenders. Smart city services include a parking system that will help commuters find space in crowded areas.

For this, again, Bosch plans to use sensors that will detect available parking spots, alert the end-user on of the free spot via a smartphone application and allow them to book and pay for it on the app. Other projects under the smart city banner include traffic management, which will aim at assisting traffic police, and citizen safety and security systems.

“Simply Connected is our new logo. We see that our future lies in connected smart services and inter-connectivity with physical systems," said Dattatreya Gaur, vice-president and business unit head of Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Bosch’s Indian arms—it operates in the country through nine companies—mainly focus on supplying technology and related services that span business divisions from mobility solutions to consumer goods.

The company also plans to bring in smarter solutions for its home appliances business in India. “In the next 4-5 years, Home Connect will start becoming a regular feature in most of our products. (With that feature) home appliance devices will become smart devices, controlled by an app on your smartphone; it has sensors, it has cameras so you can see inside. If you’re baking something in an oven it can tell you whether it is time to switch it off," Gunjan Srivastava, chief executive officer of BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd, said in an interview.

All these offerings will fall under Bosch’s “beyond mobility" business segment. That segment has more potential for growth than the regular mobility solutions segment, said Steffen Berns, managing director of Bosch Ltd and president of Bosch India Group.

But analysts are not as optimistic about the contribution to overall revenue.

“There is ambiguity in terms of these businesses’ contribution to revenue and these are all very nascent. For example, Larsen & Toubro Ltd has also introduced intelligent parking systems. The concept of smart city was announced in the budget maybe two years back but nothing much has happened," said Basudeb Banerjee, research analyst at Antique Stock Broking Ltd.

Credit Suisse analyst Akshay Saxena was of a similar opinion. “What Bosch Ltd primarily does is making engine components. There are few other things which they also do but they are very small. They won’t be material for the listed entity," Saxena said.

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