‘The AVEVA-Schneider Electric merger is about growth’

Navtej Garewal, AVEVA, in conversation with Sharada Prahladrao, ARC Advisory Group.

Navtej Garewal, Executive Vice President, Head of India, AVEVA Group
  • Client

    AVEVA Group

  • Services

    Industrial software

  • Technologies


  • Dates



AVEVA Group announced the completion of its merger with the industrial software business of Schneider Electric on March 1, 2018. This merger combines the power of two leading software companies to accelerate how capital-intensive industries achieve digital transformation across the entire value chain in an end-to-end manner. The industry jargon has changed from competition to collaboration for growth. This merger, the previous attempts, the legalities, and how it will impact industrial growth have been hitting the headlines for the last few months. So, when AVEVA came in as a Silver Sponsor for the just concluded ARC India Forum, it provided us an opportunity to conduct a first-of-its-kind informal interview with Navtej Garewal, Executive Vice President, Head of India, AVEVA Group.

What is the new AVEVA?

It is the power of two – the coming together of two successful industrial software companies. The combination brings together AVEVA’s design, engineering and construction capabilities for capital assets with Schneider Electric’s industrial software business (that covers the gamut from simulation to asset performance to real-time operations management). It unlocks the power of two industry leaders to deliver improved profitability and operational excellence to maximise return on capital.

Market dynamics are dictating a change in the way business is transacted the world over. The traditional approach no longer works. Businesses must support digital transformation initiatives to address this new age. The trends and initiatives driving digital transformation come under three main categories: market environment, customer imperatives, and technology trends – each of these are interconnected. The graphic below shows the components under each category and how they converge to drive digital transformation. AVEVA has undertaken interesting projects in the global oil and gas industry. Other industries served include: chemical; food and beverage; infrastructure and smart cities; life sciences; mining, minerals and metals; power and utilities; shipbuilding; water and wastewater.

What does this mean for your customers?

We are in a unique position to offer our customers better integrated solutions and accelerate their digital transformation. The two company portfolios have little overlap – this means that the merged entity can be deployed across a wider range of industries and domains. The convergence of solutions from both AVEVA and Schneider Electric’s industrial software business enables our customers to take full advantage of the complete spectrum of technologies and solutions needed to increase both their top and bottom lines to compete on a global turf.

We can help customers improve their asset value and operational value chains. We have already brought together AVEVA with Wonderware as one division – so again, it is the strength of two. Our solutions will drive improved design, performance and productivity, resulting in the lowest total cost of ownership and highest return on capital investment for our customers. This merger is not just about technology or improving the bottom line – it is about growth.

How large and important is India as a market for AVEVA?

It is a very important market. In terms of numbers, AVEVA has over 4,400 people across 80 locations in over 40 countries. We have 1,000 employees now based in India – that’s why I’m now based in India! Our global headquarters is in Cambridge, UK. Both Schneider Electric and AVEVA have made heavy investments in China, India and the Middle East – these are the new growth areas. We are in sync with the Government’s initiatives across these regions: Make in India, Digital Transformation, Smart Cities, etc.

Recent research reveals that India lags behind the global average and Asia-Pacific in terms of the level of digitalisation, but this gap is expected to be bridged in the coming years. The digital transformation journey requires strategic planning and evaluation of all parameters.What is important is a clear-cut vision from the top management and integration between the IT and OT (information and operational technologies) teams. For this reason, the right technology provider must be chosen; AVEVA provides end-to-end solutions. AVEVA’s mandate is to continuously improve performance. It has over 25 years of experience in digital transformation, which can be defined as changing the way your organisation’s people and processes work better and improve productivity.

Could you please shed light on some noteworthy customers in India and the work that AVEVA has delivered to them?

Our objective has always been to simplify our customers’ world of engineering, construction and design. Technology and business can no longer operate in silos – they have to be seamlessly integrated. Our marquee list of customers is spread across the globe. We have over 16,000 satisfied customers. Our customers are: 90 per cent of the top 30 chemical companies; 90 per cent of the top food and beverage companies; 65 per cent of the top metals, mining and minerals companies; 95 per cent of the top petroleum companies; 65 per cent of the top 20 power EPCs; and 9 out of the 10 top shipyards.

Some of our clients in India: EIL, HPCL, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering, Rishabh Engineering Services, Adani Transmission, etc. We work hand in hand with our customers, providing support at every stage of project execution. Our technologies have proven to increase speed, accuracy, operational reliability and safety. Besides, our clients have reported substantial savings; even a saving of $1 per cycle adds up to a significant amount annually.

What is AVEVA’s vision for the digital transformation of factories, cities and infrastructure in India?

AVEVA’s vision is to help customers maximise value creation across asset and operations lifecycles to improve profitability and return on capital. We have a long-term track record of success. We can provide value by enhancing asset performance to help companies achieve greater operational excellence. There is immense value creation potential: closing the design loop from design to operations and back; coverage of geographies and vertical markets; more software, more automation control, more services, etc. Digital transformation is a continuous process to implement smarter ways of doing business. It’s all about speed, agility and efficiency that drives new and better customer experiences. Our wealth of experience serving industrial and engineering companies helps ensure our customers deploy the best software solutions to drive the greatest value.