Harsh Dhingra

In conversation with Harsh Dhingra, Chief Country Representative, Bombardier Transportation India

Travel And Tour World – What is Bombardier’s commitment to growing world class rail transportation in India?

Harsh Dhingra : After more than four decades of investing in the country, Bombardier Transportation has built up capabilities, which cover the complete range of railway vehicle manufacturing, software development, and customer service competencies. Its large manufacturing presence in India combined with its local experience, international expertise and eco-friendly technologies mean it is ideally positioned to elevate India onto the world stage in terms of rail transportation. The company has the capability not only to address the country’s rail industry requirements for the production of metros, electric multiple units and locomotives, advanced IGBT propulsion systems and signalling systems, but also to supply state-of-the-art made-in-India trains to neighbouring markets in the region.

In 2008, our most recent Indian site,a state-of-the-art facility in Savli, Vadodara Gujarat. With that investment, Bombardier proudly became the first foreign multinational company to set up a wholly-owned railway manufacturing plant in India for the production and final assembly of bogies and carbodies. The Savli site represents Bombardier’s largest investment in Asia (33 million euros / INR 230 crores) built in a record time of just 18 months making Vadodara, the only city in the world with the capacity to deliver all key electrical and mechanical components for the manufacturing of railway vehicles. Bombardier Transportation is one of the first companies to use robotic welding technology in carbodies manufacturing in India.



Travel And Tour World – How the challenge of meeting infrastructure needs increase with the accelerated growth of urbanization and globalization?

Harsh Dhingra : As the world’s only manufacturer of planes and trains, we’ve built an extensive and diverse portfolio of winning mobility solutions. Everywhere people travel by land and in the air, a Bombardier product is ready to transport them. From category-defining business jets and commercial aircraft designed for the challenges of today, to sleek high speed trains and public transit that’s smarter than ever.

We know that as urbanization and globalization increase – and environmental pressures become ever-more urgent – the challenge of meeting infrastructure needs will intensify for us and for our industry peers. But it’s not just our products and services that make us a global leader. The most important success factor is our employees, all 76,400 of them. Together we’re focused on making mobility more efficient, sustainable and inviting than ever before. We call it The Evolution of Mobility.



Travel And Tour World: What is Evolution of Mobility?

Harsh Dhingra : The Evolution of Mobility is about creating better ways to move the world. It is about transforming how millions of people get around every day, by train and by plane. We take the lead, and we deliver. We’re mobilizing the future in more than 60 different countries. We are investing in communities around the globe to break new ground. After all, The Evolution of Mobility is all about what’s next.

At destination, the offline navigation is also a user favorite and is extremely used by travelers. Showing the way between two locations, it offers step by step directions by foot or by public transportation making it easy to navigate a foreign.



Travel And Tour World: How do the societal forces play a pivotal role in shaping the business of Bombardier?

Harsh Dhingra : Current estimates project that by 2025, the world’s top 600 cities will have more than two billion inhabitants and by 2050, 64.1% of the developing world and 85.9% of the developed world will be urbanized. We take seriously our industry’s role in addressing this challenge and addressing it sustainably. We see this as an opportunity – both to make a positive societal impact and to create a profitable future for our business.



Travel And Tour World: How is Bombardier rethinking on urban mobility planning?

Harsh Dhingra : Tenacious and troublesome megatrends are forcing experts to rethink urban mobility planning. These trends include growing urbanization, urban populations and traffic congestion, climate change. High inner-city real estate values combined with limited land availability. The challenge is to optimize urban land use by implementing an integrated and highly efficient mobility infrastructure. Public transit solutions use significantly less land while moving an exponentially greater number of people than the automobile.



Travel And Tour World: How does Bombardier redefine sustainability and liveability through its various products?

Harsh Dhingra : Our ECO4 trains and related services offer people more environmentally responsible, energy efficient and convenient transportation choices than ever before. Creating better ways to move the world with rail technology is our answer to urban congestion and sprawl, escalating energy prices, environmental challenges and the universal need to connect people in cities, countries and continents. We’re committed to investing in innovative technologies that create value for our customers and their passengers, uphold best-in-class standards of safety and make our products more environmentally attractive. This is our contribution to helping people tackle climate change and improve the quality of life in communities worldwide.

Creating the leading mobility solutions our customers and society demand requires an enormous amount of thought, time and collaboration. We operate according to a thorough Product Responsibility Strategy that ensures we attend to sustainability, safety and customer needs at every opportunity throughout our products’ lifecycles, from initial design to end-of-life. As the hubs of commerce and culture, cities naturally attract people. Today more than 50% of the world’s population lives in or around a city. By 2050, this number is expected to reach 70%. The implications are profound. Cities already generate 70% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Imagine their impact on climate change by 2050! Tomorrow’s smart cities will redefine sustainability and liveability. Transportation systems that are efficient, environmentally friendly and move hundreds to thousands of people quickly, comfortably and affordably to their destinations will be a defining feature of many of the new ecocities.




Travel And Tour World: Talking about the recent milestone achieved by Bombardier where it celebrated 175 years of rail innovation in the UK, could you share your views on the same?

Harsh Dhingra : Bombardier Transportation celebrated a landmark anniversary at its UK rolling stock manufacturing site in Derby. Bombardier’s site at Litchurch Lane in Derby commemorated 175 years of train manufacture in the city. The event was attended by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Patrick McCloughlin MP; the Mayor of Derby, CouncillorFareedHussain; local dignitaries, key customers, suppliers and national and local media, Bombardier showcased the technologies of the past, present and future produced in Derby.

Renowned heritage locomotives designed in Derby, such as ‘the Midland Compound’ and ‘Tornado’ were reunited at the Derby site in a combined presentation of innovation featuring iconic legacy trains, as well as more recent train technologies and current fleets being manufactured by Bombardier. These included the transformational sub-surface line trains being delivered to London Underground – the first to feature air-conditioning on the Tube – as well as latest Southern and London Overground builds.

In addition, Bombardier presented its innovative BOMBARDIER AVENTRA train technology, which has been chosen for Transport for London’s prestigious Crossrail rolling stock contract as announced in February. Bombardier will deliver 65 nine-car trains and construct a new purpose-built depot at Old Oak Common. The deal also includes maintenance provision for the fleet of trains.




Travel And Tour World: Ranked as the global leader in transportation, how Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for sustainable transportation?

Harsh Dhingra : Bombardier integrates financial and non-financial considerations to generate sustainable value. Environmental issues are a key concern both for our customers and for Bombardier. We believe that the more transparent we are about the environmental impact of our products, the more we enable our customers to make informed choices. We also believe this transparency will help us build stronger customer relationships for the long term. We already issue Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for all new rail products. Today, more than 95% of the materials in our rail vehicles are recoverable – meaning that 95% of the materials in our trains can be reused or recycled.



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