Meet Basant Sharma, the Vice President of Detroit Engineered Products (DEP), an engineering solutions and product development company established in 1998 in Troy, Michigan, USA. As the Vice President of DEP, Basant has played an instrumental role in driving the organization’s significant growth over the past 18 years by expanding its engineering services in the U.S. and Indian markets.
Basant graduated in 1995 from the then-MNREC (now MNNIT), Allahabad, in mechanical engineering. He was also a part of the Mahindra R&D team for more than three years and contributed to several Mahindra products, including one of the best-selling SUVs, the Scorpio. Later, he joined a consulting service-based firm for over five years and got deputed to the US. In 2005, Basant started his journey at DEP, and since then, he has been part of this growing organization.
Many engineers possess an inherent curiosity and a profound passion for understanding the inner workings of things as well as for discovering innovative solutions to overcome challenges. They are driven by the desire to make a meaningful difference by developing novel products or improving existing ones. In sync with this indomitable spirit, Basant’s unwavering motivation guided him towards embracing the role of Vice President at DEP.
“I firmly believe that by being a part of this venture, I can actively contribute to the advancement of technology and engineering solutions that have the potential to benefit society as a whole. As Vice President, I intend to leverage my expertise, experience, and leadership skills to drive the development of new technologies that address pressing societal needs. By fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within the organization, I aim to lead teams towards the creation of cutting-edge products that not only meet customer requirements but also have a positive impact on our communities and the world,” asserts Basant.
Basant’s aspiration to contribute to the betterment of our society through technological advancements and engineering solutions has been a driving force in his decision to join DEP. As the Vice President of the company, Basant is dedicated to leading by example, cultivating innovation, and spearheading the development of transformative products that will have a positive and lasting impact on our society.
“As a business leader at DEP, I am incredibly passionate about driving innovation and transforming the product development process for our clients. Seeing our clients achieve success through our customized solutions and services is what motivates me every day. Moreover, DEP’s focus on engineering and technologies further ignites my passion for this industry. It is a privilege to lead and work alongside a team that is dedicated to revolutionizing the way we approach product development,” states Basant.
Basant believes there are several key highlights that have fostered his growth. Firstly, Basant’s efforts have always been geared towards aligning all activities with the overarching vision of the organisation that he has implemented.
Secondly, Basant’s steadfast commitment to continuous learning and adaptability allows him to proactively tackle the ever-changing challenges of the market. By remaining at the forefront of industry trends, he positions himself to offer innovative and forward-thinking solutions to clients, fostering their sustained satisfaction.
Thirdly, Basant firmly believes that unlocking the power of innovation is paramount to overcoming the obstacles that businesses encounter. By fearlessly exploring uncharted territories and challenging the status quo, DEP can forge new paths and devise effective solutions that transcend conventional limits.
Lastly, Basant’s growth as an influential business leader has been profoundly influenced by his emphasis on cultivating a robust team of leaders. By empowering and nurturing the growth of his team members, Basant fosters a culture of excellence that reverberates throughout the organization, ultimately ensuring the collective success of DEP.
“Looking back on my journey, I feel a sense of satisfaction for the significant contribution I have made to the growth of the company. However, I also recognize that this is a work in progress, with each day bringing new learning and new challenges. Overall, it has been a challenging and rewarding journey that has taught me a great deal about business leadership and innovation,” he states.
Helping clients with innovative technologies and advanced services
Detroit Engineered Products works with its clients to provide innovative technologies and advanced services, a unique combination that is very rare to find among its competitors.
On the technological front, DEP offers several advanced software tools and techniques to its clients to help them efficiently design their products faster, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively by utilizing its proprietary morphing, concept building, parameterization, and optimization techniques.
On advanced services, DEP helps clients by combining ideas to build actual products that meet their needs. For example, DEP helped one of its customers build a driverless, autonomous tram from scratch. It developed an aftermarket drone armed with radar and sensor technologies to help aircraft avoid birdstrikes. DEP also developed its e-scooter from concept to prototype and its own engine ion sensing technology to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.
Navigating the Pandemic
As the Vice President of DEP, Basant recognizes the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for many companies operating in the same industry. Adapting swiftly to the changing landscape, DEP confronted the formidable task of seamlessly transitioning to a remote work environment, all while ensuring that its service quality remained uncompromised, and its valued clients continued to experience utmost satisfaction.
DEP’s team overcame this challenge by leveraging several digital tools and cloud-based solutions and maintaining constant communication with its clients. Basant and his team have also implemented numerous safety measures and protocols for those working in the office and production areas to ensure the safety and well-being of DEP’s employees.
“As we navigate through these unprecedented times, our primary focus is to ensure our clients continue to receive the best-in-class products, processes, and services while safeguarding the health and safety of our team members. We remain optimistic and committed to delivering exceptional results for our clients while adapting to the ever-evolving business landscape,” asserts Basant.
Adapting to the Industrial Revolution
Presently, DEP is working on adapting to the ever-evolving industrial revolution while strategically planning a course for the next 5–10 years. The paramount aim of DEP revolves around integrating innovation into its services and technology to sustain a competitive advantage. This pursuit entails vigilant scrutiny of market trends and substantial allocations in research and development, enabling the development of cutting-edge solutions that adeptly address the evolving requirements of its esteemed clientele.
DEP’s focus revolves around the realm of electrification, where the firm has diligently implemented a meticulously crafted strategy for product development. This astute approach has yielded a remarkable 35% growth improvement.
Anchored by three key pillars, DEP’s strategy encompasses several crucial aspects. Firstly, a distinct emphasis is placed on all aspects pertaining to electric vehicles (EVs), highlighting their significance within DEP’s operations. Secondly, the integration of digital twin technology enables the creation of practical digital replicas that can be readily utilized. Lastly, DEP has successfully integrated an electrification module into their MeshWorks software, resulting in a substantial reduction of 30–40% in processing time. In addition to its endeavours in electrification, DEP actively engages in the realms of manufacturing automation and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), further bolstering its multifaceted pursuits.
Under Basant’s leadership, DEP places utmost importance on three key areas: customer satisfaction, employee recognition, and the integration of innovative technology to effectively meet the dynamic demands of the market. DEP’s overarching goal is to assist industries in swiftly launching their products with optimal efficiency. By amalgamating state-of-the-art technologies with its comprehensive suite of services and nurturing a culture of innovation, DEP presents a distinctive value proposition that distinguishes it from competitors.
Additionally, DEP strives for long-term customer relationships and the ability to adapt to changing market demands, such as the migration from IC to EV.
DEP has made significant investments in the domain of manufacturing automation, recognizing its potential to bring about a revolutionary transformation in its operations and elevate productivity levels. By harnessing cutting-edge technologies and implementing streamlined processes, DEP is steadfastly committed to optimizing efficiency and reducing the occurrence of human errors within its manufacturing procedures.
From a broader perspective, DEP exhibits a strong emphasis on the Indian talent market, with a particular focus on local talent acquisition. The abundance of skilled professionals and technical expertise in India renders it an ideal destination for sourcing individuals who possess the requisite skills to contribute to DEP’s growth. By tapping into the local talent market, DEP aims to construct a diverse and high-performing team that possesses an inherent understanding of the local business landscape and can effectively cater to the specific requirements of its esteemed clientele.
Step into the future
DEP has already announced its next phase of expansion, including the establishment of state-of-the-art research and development facilities and satellite offices in Mysuru, Coimbatore, and Tirupati. This strategic initiative demonstrates the unwavering commitment of DEP to advance its mission and foster growth in key regions. By expanding its presence strategically, DEP aims to bolster its capabilities, foster innovation, and provide enhanced support to key areas, solidifying its position as a progressive and influential player in the industry.