Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India: 20 Years of Mercedes-Benz R&D in India
Bangalore, India. As one of the first automotive manufacturers worldwide, Mercedes-Benz opened a Research and Development Center in Bangalore, India in 1996. The brand with the three-pointed star sensed the role IT would have in the future of automotive technology in terms of engineering, digital development, testing and simulation at an early stage. Bangalore - the “Silicon Valley” of India - offered Daimler with its Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Center India (MBRDI) the opportunity to tap into a source of qualified specialists in Engineering and IT. Today, MBRDI is the largest Research and Development Center for Daimler outside of Germany – with respect to the number of employees. Innovative developments and R&D support from MBRDI play an essential role in Daimler’s worldwide R&D network.
“Digitalisation opens great opportunities for our automotive industry,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Our site in Bangalore plays a significant role within our global RD network. Through the special spirit in this center, all areas of our digital development benefit. We are creating intelligent solutions to synchronise the development cycles of the web and consumer electronics with those of the automotive industry. This translates into bringing new technologies to the road even faster than before - and more efficiently.”
MBRDI’s focus is on digitalisation, simulation and data science. It was established as a research institute with just ten employees and has grown to about 3,500 employees - and is still growing steadily. The vision is to become a Center of Excellence within Daimler for Engineering and IT. MBRDI also aims to partner closely with suppliers in India in the areas of product development and IT services. This will help to establish itself as a valuable partner to all business units and brands of Daimler AG worldwide.
Journey of Growth
- Started in 1996 with a small group of 10 employees as Daimler-Benz Research Centre India Private Limited, Bangalore, working on Encryption and Passive Sensing for Daimler Research & Technology, Germany and providing IT support for testing mission critical software to DASA – Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG.
- In 2007, after the DaimlerChrysler merger, MBRDI began working on key components for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. This was a first milestone to the growth and expansion of MBRDI.
- In the early 2000s the focus was mainly on expanding competencies - with this the first CAE project came from the Chrysler Tech Center in 2002.
- Growing competencies and an increase in employees also led to CMMI-Level 3 certification, key to IT services’ further expansion in 2003. Engineering services division branched further into Design, Simulation and PLM.
- In 2005 the first million Euro project was acquired from Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), thus marking the expansion of the Trucks department and also the start of European Data Center Operations.
- In 2007, MBRDI took on key Engineering and International IT projects from Japan, Germany and the US. MBRDI gained further momentum.
- From 2008-2009, IT engineering expanded and MBRDI received more projects in engineering tool development. This marked a dedicated entry into IT technology. MBRDI Academy was established for the enhancement of employees’ skillset and competencies.
- From 2010-2013, there was growth in terms of the number of employees at MBRDI. MBRDI ventured into seating for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and acquired the PLM 2015 project – a global project concerning migrating designs from Catia to Siemens NX. The first ever digital derivate project, the E‑Class Coupé, started at this time as well. Strategic alliance with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) grew stronger. MBRDI executed the first ever full vehicle simulation at MBRDI for the S‑Class coupé.
- In 2012 the exclusive office facility Whitefield Palms was inaugurated.
- 2014 was special for MBRDI as it crossed its first 100 million EUR (internal) revenue as a company. Growing rapidly, MBRDI opened another facility in Bangalore: Embassy Crest.
- In 2015, a unique multi-city CSR initiative ‘Safe Roads’ was executed by MBRDI’s ‘safety’ engineers. ‘Safe Roads’ won the coveted Autocar India Award in the category “Best CSR Campaign for Safety”. MBRDI also expanded its satellite office in Pune in a facility at the Embassy Tech Zone (ETZ), Hinjewadi.
- In 2016 MBRDI celebrates its twentieth anniversary and the “ Year of Innovation”. It has grown to over 3,500 employees, and this trend still continuing. MBRDI was ranked 15th on LinkedIn's Top Job Attractors list in India in June 2016 and was certified for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management System based on ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 standards for both Bangalore (Whitefield Palms and Embassy Crest) and the Pune (Embassy Tech Zone, Hinjewadi) locations.
Concerning 20 Years of MBRDI Manu Saale, MD & CEO MBRDI explains: “From a workforce of ten to 3,500 and from a testing facility to the largest R&D center outside of Germany – we have indeed come a long way. Today MBRDI is a strong and recognised research facility of Daimler. Over the years, we have not only grown in numbers, but also the quality of work we do has been exceptional with close to 500 patent applications coming from our center. As a growing company, we adapt quickly to the market in terms of people practices, corporate social responsibilities as well as providing world-class facilities to our people. Everyone in the company has contributed every step of the way to our success. In celebrating MBRDI’s 20th Anniversary, I would like to say a big ‘ Thank You’ to each and every one of our employees.”
Four entities of Daimler are currently operating in India: Mercedes-Benz India Ltd. (MBIL) in Pune is responsible for production, sales, service and marketing of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars; Daimler India Commercial Vehicles operates under the brand name Bharat Benz in Chennai, covering all activities for commercial vehicles; Daimler Financial Services operates under the brand Mercedes-Benz Financial Services for passenger cars and Bharat Benz Financial Services for commercial vehicles; Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India Private Limited (MBRDI) in Bangalore is the largest Daimler Research and Development Center of Daimler outside Germany and contributes to various RD domains and IT engineering.