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"We involved children in the conceptual design of the Sunshine school bus and took their feedback to ensure they are happy when they travel in it": Anuj Kathuria, President (Operations and Project Planning), Ashok Leyland

Anuj Kathuria, President (Operations and Project Planning), Ashok Leyland

Anuj Kathuria, President (Operations and Project Planning), Ashok Leyland

Anuj Kathuria, President (Operations and Project Planning), Ashok Leyland, who is soon to take over as President - Trucks, Ashok Leyland, speaks to Shobha Mathur on new product development, OEM-supplier connect, the recently revealed Hybus and meeting BS VI norms. Excerpts from the interview.

You are taking over charge of Ashok Leyland’s trucking business from April 1. What will be your priorities?

Our customers are looking for vehicles that offer reliability. Some of them are suppliers, logistics providers or e-commerce people who have to move vehicles from one point to another and for whom time is very important. So vehicle reliability and fewer instances of vehicle breakdown are key parameters for them. That will come from component reliability, component design and a lot of testing and validation.

We are working on a project called Reach 90 that means at least 90 percent of the vehicles should not have a failure during the warranty period. It involves identifying all the weak links in the vehicle, partnering with our suppliers and also improving our in-house capabilities. We work from the design stage on how the component or the aggregate gets integrated into the product.

How closely does Ashok Leyland work with its suppliers?

When we start development work on a platform or a product, we work with Tier 1s who in turn partner Tier2. Generally, the Tier 1s are the ones who bring in the technology so it is more important for us to partner with them.

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