Think Globally, Act Locally: The Art of Localizing Products for Worldwide Success

Prashanth Doreswamy  
President and CEO, Continental India

Prashanth Doreswamy boasts more than 30 years of valuable expertise in the automotive sector. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a remarkable track record of driving substantial business expansion, adeptly navigating change initiatives, and spearheading transformative endeavors within diverse business sectors and cultural landscapes.

With India becoming the third largest automotive industry in the world, the demands and needs of the local population is constantly evolving. The advancement of the automotive technology landscape is predominantly determined by the changing requirements of consumers. As the consumers have become much more aware, they want their vehicles to be equipped with top-notch, high-tech features. Understanding the potential of the Indian market, the global automotive players are rapidly scaling up their manufacturing and R&D efforts in the country. Not just to cater to the local market but largely for the global market as well. Apart from this, the changing global landscape during the past few years, be it the pandemic or the political situations worldwide, has further determined the importance of localization.  


Localization is not only about adjusting to regional inclinations, but also includes attaining a thorough insight on the requirements of the local market while modifying products accordingly. With safety, efficiency, and user experience being vital components in the automotive industry, localization is the natural route.


Real innovation cannot take place in seclusion, it needs collaboration with other stakeholders. Therefore, by forming tactical partnerships with the local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Educational Institutions or the government, can help gain much needed insights into regulatory frameworks, market undercurrents, and consumer needs/wants. This can meet India’s growing demand for cutting-edge technologies and pave the path for exports while meeting global demands locally.


The world is interconnected today and India’s automotive market has a lot of potential. With the rise of the middle class, urbanization, and digitization, India has become a highly profitable market for advanced mobility solutions. To unlock this vast potential, one needs to follow the “in the market, for the market” approach. In order to revolutionize high-tech mobility solutions to suit the Indian market, one must reimagine mobility from the ground up, set up plants, technology centers and production units and adopt smarter manufacturing practices. In emerging markets like India, to address infrastructure challenges and navigate complex regulatory landscapes, localization is the key. As the focus of the automotive manufacturers is shifting towards providing the customers with enhanced safety and affordable mobility solutions, localization has become a necessity. Therefore, the way towards a connected, sustainable, and more inclusive future for the automotive industry can be paved, which enriches all stakeholders through the adoption of localization strategies.