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Old 17th May 2017, 20:07   #316
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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By the way for the sake of this thread I graduated and joined Daimler eight months back. Currently I am working on Active Safey topics and develop algorithms for Collision Mitigation systems for pedestrian safety. If you are put into topics like powertrain and body electronics the job will get boring after sometime. Hence what you work on is also important.
I am quoting you just to get your attention as you are currently in this industry.

I am in the IT industry (Banking/Financial Services) since 2004. I have become a Product/Project Manager in my current firm, and given the recent environment in the IT industry I am a bit jittery. I am well placed now (hopefully), but would like to roll up my sleeves and do something in the automotive industry as that is where my (and most of our ) passion is.

So now, the question is - I would like to enter the automotive industry, say I take 1 year to prepare for the transition, what are my options -

* Project Management - This is what I do currently. Now how would project management differ between an IT company that makes software products, and an automotive company that makes automobiles? What courses, if any are advisable to chose this route.

* Software development - Given that a lot of software/technology is being put into the automobiles now, there should be some sort of job that is required for a) making the software b) managing the software development. This option goes very close to the first option, but in my mind the first option is for project management of developing a product (automobile) and the second option is for developing a software used in the product. I might be off the tangent here, so please feel free to correct me.

* Market Research - I have been involved in doing Market Research (Market Sizing/Business Strategy designing) in the current industry as a side job and really enjoyed it. I am sure there would be such research projects in Automobiles sector as well.

* New technologies - Lots of work happening in the IoT space. I am hopeful that there will NOT be a lot of "experienced" technicians in this space as this space is pretty new (hopefully it really is). So somebody who doesn't have really relevant experience in IoT, but has good experience in IT would be able to fit in.

Maybe I am going round in circles. So I'll stop my rant here.

Bottom line is - What options does a Product Manager/Project Manager, who is not afraid to get his hands dirty on a new technology, have to enter the Automobiles industry say 1 year down the line? And what steps should he/she take in this 1 year to prepare for this transition?

(As fate would have it, my boss's best friend stopped by my desk and read this post. Knowing me and my madness for cars, said this is the right step to take. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing )
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Old 17th May 2017, 20:15   #317
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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Here's proof . Going through some old momentos and found this document from 2003. The first business plan & shortlisted names!


After my MBA, I wanted to get into the car business. Had made detailed projections, visited some banks with Dad for financing and even applied to some manufacturers. Someone from Honda's dealership development program called me years later (when Team-BHP was already established). I told them I run Team-BHP and have no further plans for a dealership .

Thank God the Chevrolet dealership didn't work out. Would be broke today!
Hi I have quoted your post as I originally intended to become an engineer but put the plans on the back burner after journalism fascinated me. I also have a fascination for owning a car dealership one day and more importantly, improve the german trio (Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda's) A.S.S response in the country. Let's see how it goes for me. Only 15, so got plenty of time to decide on this part.
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Old 17th May 2017, 20:34   #318
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

I did, but not very seriously. I am a market researcher, and when I started my career 17 years ago, I had a few automobile companies as my clients. Agency life in those days sucked and many market researchers would try to make a transition to "client side". Naturally I thought of the same, and as most of my work was in the automobile space, I considered making a move to the client side. Fortunately or unfortunately I did not find anything inspiring happening in that space and I let that idea die a quick death.
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Old 17th May 2017, 21:01   #319
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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I am quoting you just to get your attention as you are currently in this industry.
Though I would have been happy to help, I feel I am too young in the industry to give you the kind of answers you are looking for. From a management perspective, we are a lean organization and there is less management/hierarchy involved. Hence, as a manager the role will be mainly to adminster rather than lead a team. I will just put down what I feel about the topic you have asked, but you would be better off interacting with a person who is at higher levels to get a clearer picture.

1. As a project manager - This is the easiest place to transition to(not saying that the job is easy) since this role doesnt really need you to have good domain knowledge. You can always get to know about the project slowly during ramp up phase and then go deeper into the technical side. Again, in the industry too we have different functions all the way from core ECU application software development to support functions like tool development etc. It might be difficult to get into a team who develops software for an ECU, but definitely possible to enter a support team who develops tools for the former to use.

2. Software development - This will be difficult to crack. Especially if you are looking towards embedded software development where professionals are respected for their experience and skills which have developed over years of working in the same field. Its difficult to compete with such stalwarts since most of these skills sometimes are specific to manufacturer or supplier or the industry. Hence, there will be stiff competition from those who are already deep inside the industry.

The rest of fields you have mentioned is something I have no idea about. I just write code, burn it into a car, take it out for a spin and come back for more coding. What happens elsewhere doesn't catch my attention And I want to continue the same for the rest of the years I would remain a professional.
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Old 18th May 2017, 08:20   #320
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Thanks for your inputs!

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I just write code, burn it into a car, take it out for a spin and come back for more coding.
Sirji, just wow!
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:25   #321
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

How I wish I could be at least a quarter mile into an automotive career. I'm a doctor and at times I do wonder if I should've taken up a career in the automotive industry (just like the many of us here) Just for the sake of it, is being a doctor truly a dead end in this context? Are there any synergies between automotive and health care industries that I might have missed? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:17   #322
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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Would love to hear your thoughts.
Maybe you could look at the advances that the car manufacturers are making in knowing the well being of its occupants.

Mercedes Fit and Healthy is one example:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/intern...y-concept.html (Mercedes-Benz: Fit & Healthy Concept)
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:49   #323
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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How I wish I could be at least a quarter mile into an automotive career. I'm a doctor and at times I do wonder if I should've taken up a career in the automotive industry (just like the many of us here) Just for the sake of it, is being a doctor truly a dead end in this context? Are there any synergies between automotive and health care industries that I might have missed? Would love to hear your thoughts.
There is. There is this department which employs psychologists/psychiatrists and related experts(I am not sure who in specific, but medical personnel) to monitor driver stress, fatigue and other body parameters under various driving conditions. This will influence greatly during the development of a prototype and changes are made to various components right from engine till various interior comfort functions.

In addition to this, the distraction levels of a driver when various controls need to be operated during driving is also measured, and if there is some control which takes too much of attention from the driver off the road to operate it, this is modified accordingly. There is a huge lab for this with car simulators whose interior mockups are arranged and then employees from different departments are invited to try it out.

Not sure if the same happens with Indian manufacturers too. If that is true, then a doctor also can be a part of the industry in a crucial way.
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:01   #324
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Around 5-6 years into my banking career I did try in a focussed manner to switch to the auto industry - based on my skill sets ( or the lack of it ) - the only area I could apply for was sales and marketing. Did not land a single job. In hind sight, I feel that sometimes, its ok to work outside of the industry of passion. Because, you tend to be a little less passionate about your career decisions and probably grow more. I can definetly look back and say that if I had switched and spend the next 10 years in the auto industry, I may not have grown financially as much as in banking. I can always sit back and indulge in my passion without having to be in the industry. At the same time, whenever I meet my auto sector clients, I am able to bring in very detailed conversations combining my passion for the auto sector and my knowledge of banking which is a clear differentiation in front of the clients.

This is just my way of consoling myself
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:08   #325
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Well! This option may not be a career, but I definitely have observed a lot of "motovloggers" & "autovloggers"(on Youtube). The trend started about 3 years back. Those who started early made a lot of hay while the sun shone. Most of them started it as a hobby but now are fully flourished Youtube Celebs.

These guys have worked hard, earned >1lakh subscribers & they more or less have secured a carrer on youtube(as a source of income). Not at all a bad idea to have an alternative source of income, esp. during the turbulent times in the IT industry.

Last edited by jetsetgo08 : 19th May 2017 at 12:24.
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:21   #326
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I love this thread.! Now I get a chance to share my thoughts which I could not for so long.!

I have grown up listening to my
parents saying that not all people are lucky to work in the field they are passionate / admire about. Presently I serve the Armed forces and I just moved to Aviation(Maintenance) in it. However, the itch to be a part of automotive industry is growing day by day and I get all weird thoughts about how to get into this field. The whole situation feels jittery when I try to analyse the passion. Is it owning various cars I like or is it about maintaining them or is it about driving them or is it about developing them into finer automobiles.

Well, when I think hard, i realise that the vehicles which we drive today are all designed and developed few years back and in my case two decades back ( a Tata safari dicor). So I am reluctant to the change of embracing new technology like the fuel cell or battery operated so the last option of being in the development is out. Owning and driving various vehicles especially the older ones is a dream for many so that stays for me too which requires lot of Vitamin 'M' for obvious reasons.! So the only remaining option is maintaining them.
I get ideas such as to open up multi brand and multi functional maintenance centres which offer one stop solution for variety of services/requirements/issues/modifications/detailing and resale of cars. I know I am talking everything in air which requires planning, investment and trained manpower with no surety but the longing for cars haunts me due to which the present service doesn't satisfy my soul and I am in a constant search for it.!
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:43   #327
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

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Well! This option may not be a career, but I definitely have observed a lot of "motovloggers" & "autovloggers"(on Youtube). The trend started about 3 years back. Those who started early made a lot of hay while the sun shone. Most of them started it as a hobby but now are fully flourished Youtube Celebs. .
Not generalizing, but this trend is not good. There are some channels on youtube where the vloggers desperately try to gain attention of the people by indulging in overspeeding, racing and rash riding which spreads a wrong message to the society. Maybe the early ones were genuinely posting sensible videos, but there is competition now which pressurises people to upload bullcrap in the name of Vlogs. Such a phenomenon is far from being called a career, especially when it is not done the right way.
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Old 19th May 2017, 20:26   #328
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Default Re: Ever contemplated an Automotive career?

It might sound silly but I would love to drive test mules across various terrains, atleast for a few months in an year.
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