Microlise, the transport management solutions firm, is to provide state-of-the-art technology to Tata Motors, India's largest commercial vehicles manufacturer, in a move which is expected to transform the country's commercial transport industry.
In a multi-million pound deal, the five-year contract will see Microlise supply Tata Motors with its specialist fleet telematics. Microlise will supply the company with in-vehicle hardware and a web-based portal to allow Tata Motors customers to manage their transport fleets efficiently and safely.
Microlise, the £25 million turnover market leader in the transport telematics sector, has been speaking to global giant Tata Motors for several months. Microlise products enable customers to reduce operating costs and environmental impact by maximising the efficiency of their transportation.
Ravi Pisharody, executive director of the commercial vehicles business unit at Tata Motors in New Delhi, said: "As the leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in India, we have been spearheading the change in the Indian transport industry for many years now.
"We as Tata Motors wish to lead the shift towards electronic control of drivelines and other vehicle systems. We also wish to harness the power and potential of such a digital approach by introducing advanced telematics and fleet management services. Tata FleetMan's partnership with Microlise is a step in that direction. We firmly believe that this association has the potential to transform the way commercial vehicle fleets are managed in India."
Nadeem Raza, Managing Director at Microlise, said: "Microlise is extremely proud and excited to be working with Tata Motors. The cultural fit between the two organisations, and a very clear shared vision, has meant that both companies have been able to develop the new Tata FleetMan system, ensuring that it will not only address the requirements of Indian transport companies today, but will continue to deliver future features and functions, to meet ever increasing demands that will be placed on transport operations as the exciting growth story in the Indian economy continues.
"The new Tata FleetMan system will be based on the market leading Microlise platform that is currently installed in over 150,000 vehicles around the world and used by some of the biggest transport and logistics companies like DHL, Tesco and Carrefour for significant cost savings and efficiency improvements."
The deal was assisted by government department UK Trade & Investment which supported Microlise.
UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: "I'm delighted that Microlise has signed this deal to supply Tata Motors with telematics technology in India and UKTI has been able to support them.
"This is a great example of an innovative, fast growing British company exporting a new technology and collaborating with Tata, a leading global brand. India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and there is a huge opportunity to increase British exports there."
Microlise's primary base of operations is in the UK where the majority of customers are based. It operates internationally across 139 countries and provides products in 28 languages.
Tata Motors launched the Tata Fleetman Telematics and Fleet Management services brand in India two years ago, in response to growing market needs for better fleet control and greater fleet utilisation.
As market leader, Tata Motors recognised while basic services served transporters well, it needed the right partner to meet customers' needs for more sophisticated and technologically complex applications. Along with the introduction of service products in these areas, the partnership with Microlise will also start ongoing development of the new Tata Fleetman system, addressing future needs of the logistics and transportation Industry.
Some of the advanced Fleet Telematics applications and services planned for introduction by the partnership include:
Emergency SOS: A panic button will be provided in the vehicles through which the driver can send an SOS message to the transport owner in an emergency.
Trip management: A versatile tool to track and evaluate individual vehicle trips in real time against a standard in a multi-level, multi-user framework. Trip management helps achieve significant improvements in fleet utilisation and reduction in communication costs and idle times.
Driving assessment: Since drivers are the most important resource factor of transport operations, the driving assessment solution continuously evaluates drivers on a range of parameters impacting safety and economy. Suitable consultancy and retraining is then employed to improve overall fleet economy and safety record.
Vehicle health management: A solution which can only be deployed in the new age electronically driven vehicles, vehicle health management helps in remote monitoring of a vehicles health including quick fault detection and rectification before it can lead to consequential failures. It also generates information on maintenance and fault trends which is invaluable for product planning and warranty cost reduction measures.