Khosla suggested that there is a need for manufacturers to look to adopt IT technologies, to identify and evaluate necessary data streams, upskill and train talent on advanced technologies, and hire specialists who can evaluate “big data” and further analyse output from the factory floor. “Thailand is very interesting and unique, known for its healthcare services,” he said. “We all know that the big problem in Thailand is transportation. Having smart transportation can reduce the time, reduce the cost and improve the quality of people’s lives.
“We are doing a pilot, proof of concept project with a major Thai company which runs about 7,000 trucks across Thailand. Our technology can help it not only to manage its time but also to improve driver safety.” He said that as Thailand moved towards an automated world, the following factors would have to be addressed: the feasibility of IT advances from a technical and financial viewpoint, labour market dynamics, economic benefits, plus regulatory and social acceptance.
Since Thailand is a hub for automobile manufacturing and electrical production, both the government and private businesses see tremendous opportunities for growth in a way that can only help to ease the country into what is known as “Industry 4.0”, the next phase in the digitisation of the manufacturing sector, said Khosla.
He added that automation was still in its early stages but he expected it to become a very large share of IT expenditure in future. The market for IT robotic automation globally is forecast to reach US $4.98 billion (Bt165.5 billion) by 2020, with a compound average growth rate of 60.5 per cent from 2014 to 2020, accordng to a Transparency Market Research report.
Automation can raise global productivity growth by 0.8 to 1.4 per cent annually from 2015-2065, according to The McKinsey Global Institute report.
NIIT Technologies has been in Thailand for 17 years and has recently partnered with one of its clients, Siam City Cement (SCCC), to build that company’s IT infrastructure. “We help many companies on their digital journey,” Khosla added. “SCCC is one of our clients in Thailand and we are helping them in terms of their future digital framework. We have been working with a lot companies in Thailand, including the top three banks in the country.”