New Delhi, Apr 21 (PTI) Global agricultural and construction solutions major CNH Industrial is looking to leverage Indian talent and cost advantages to develop its future technologies and products for global requirements, according to a senior company official.

The company, which has recently expanded its India Technology Centre (ITC) with the addition of a cutting-edge multi-vehicle simulator (MVS), is looking at the centre to play a pivotal role in its global operations while also considering moving projects from Europe and the US to India.

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"For us, India is one of the most strategically important regions...India, we say, is the best-cost country, not the low-cost. In India, you have very skilled and qualified engineers," CNH Industrial Chief Technology Officer Friedrich Eichler told PTI.

He stressed the need to have skilled people at affordable wages at a time when the downturn in many global economies has affected the agriculture and construction sectors, while competition continues to be very strong.

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The engineers at CNH's ITC, he said, are very passionate about what they are doing and "their heart beats here for agriculture and construction".

Elaborating on its India plans, he said, "We built our best cost country strategy. We say we will move projects from Europe, from the US into this region and work together with them. The boundary conditions, we define together with headquarters at CNH".

Eichler said after setting the requirements for projects, it will be decided whether the company can move it to India, which skills are needed and get it analysed.

"If it does not fit, when will it fit, and what do we have to do to improve the infrastructure, process or what kind of people we need (here in India)," he added.

Highlighting the strengths here, he said India is an incubator of innovation. They are very skilled in digitalisation and are very good with methodologies.

CNH is present in India through three brands -- Case IH (farm machinery), New Holland (tractor) and CASE Construction Equipment.

Citing examples of how India has played a key role in CNH's global scheme, he said a FIAT powertrain developed in Italy has been adapted and manufactured at the company's Noida plant.

"We tested the first samples of this engine. It is very efficient, and there is no difference in the quality between Italy and India," he said.

Eichler also said CNH will look to develop products in India to serve specific requirements of the region, citing examples of cotton plantations.

The way cotton is planted in India is totally different from how it is planted in the US. Therefore, different machines are needed for harvesting as the fields are close and more compact, he noted.

"It is a very good environment for developing robotics, small machines that can move in orchards between the trees and pick," he said, adding CNH's India operation is also dedicated to participating in the development of such hi-tech products.

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