CADFEM: A Contemporary Warhorse of “Simulation-based Product Development” Battlefield

Madhukar Chatiri | CEO | CADFEM - Insights Success

In an interview with Insights Success, Madhukar Chatiri of CADFEM India gave some insightful answers highlighting the company’s contributions towards introducing new and innovative strategies to engineering simulation.

  1. Kindly brief us about the company and its products/ services.

CADFEM, founded in 1985, is a pioneer of engineering simulation. With 500+ employees spread across 14+ countries and serving more than 2,500 customers worldwide, CADFEM is among the largest providers of simulations in the industry globally. Computer-Aided Engineering requires more than just software and hence we provide all resources that are necessary to achieve success with simulation: leading software and hardware technology, technical support, engineering and transfer of know-how.

CADFEM is a strong partner of ANSYS, Inc., a worldwide leading provider of CAE-software. CADFEM is ANSYS’s Elite Channel Partner in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In India, CADFEM is a strong channel partner to ANSYS by offering the full range of physics (structural, fluids and electronics) across the country. Today, engineering simulation tools from ANSYS offer unparalleled breadth that goes on to include inter-operative structural, fluid flow, thermal, electromagnetics and related technologies.

As a global partner of ANSYS, we’re committed to increasing adoption of simulation in the Indian industry. In addition to ANSYS technology, CADFEM portfolio covers the entire gamut of software solutions including optiSLang (of Dynardo GmbH), Rocky DEM (particle simulations) and other specialized tools. The technology offerings are on specialized and upcoming topics such as Additive Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT), Digital/Smart Cities, Automotive Painting among others. Adding further value, the company also provides hardware and IT solutions as an enabler for its customers to yield a better return on their investments in simulation.

2. With what mission, the CADFEM India was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since inception of the company?

The goal for CADFEM India was to offer rich engineering expertise and technology to the Indian market. The extensive experience gained by serving the industry in Central Europe could immediately be transferred to India-based enterprises. With the mission to expand and promote simulation usage in the country, CADFEM India was formed in 2007. Over the years, we’re glad to see several businesses spread across industry verticals realize return on their simulation investment. Headquartered in Hyderabad, CADFEM has presence in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai and National Capital Region (NCR).

The year-on-year growth and uptake of simulation reassures us constantly that we are on our way to help every engineer adopt simulation.

3. Mention some of the awards, achievements, recognitions and clients’ feedback that are notable to you.

  • Recognized among 30 Fastest Growing Tech Companies in India 2017 and 20 Most Promising Engineering & Design Solution Providers by various well-known publishers.
  • “I thank the technical staff at CADFEM India for understanding our needs and offering us advice on the appropriate ANSYS solutions. With ANSYS software, we have enabled engineering-based decision-making for non-engineers. This is a big step for us to fully utilize the benefits of simulation. We are already working closely with your team for future topics. Once again, thank you very much for your support!” by Birendra David, Director – Process Engineering, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
  • “Thank you very much for your extended support.” by Deepak Joseph, Head of Development (Truck), Knorr-Bremse Technology Center India
  • “When it was crucial for our Engineering Center to get simulation ready in a short span of time, we could trust CADFEM to deliver on their commitment. Not only were they reliable in their assistance, but also offered high-quality support to get us started in no time. When it comes to value for simulation investment, we couldn’t have found a better partner to work with! We appreciate their support.” by Manager – Engineering Center of a Major German Turbomachinery OEM.

4. Brief us about the proactive Founder/CEO of the company and his/her contributions towards the company and the industry.

Madhukar Chatiri is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering with a Ph.D. (expected). In his career that spans over 15 years across Europe and India, he knows methods to drive productivity and deliver results. Mr. Chatiri has successfully lead cross-functional teams with the sole focus of helping customers realize the benefits of Simulation-Driven Product Development. Apart from managing P&L responsibility for India operations, he enjoys mentoring young professionals, enabling product innovation and development, emphasizing the need for simulation-based education and offering customer delight. The topics that interest him are composite product development workflows, computational material modeling, planning and executing strategic initiatives. He has given several talks at national and internationally reputed forums and gatherings.

5. Share with us how CADFEM India is contributing to its sector in the industry and how it is helping its clients in their business growth.

“Simulation adoption helps customers innovate better and bring cost-effective products faster to the market. Being a technology company of global origin, we find ourselves responsible to assume a leadership role in introducing not just elementary technology but also the state-of-the-art to the industry. By a thorough adoption of simulation, businesses can innovate better and bring out cost-effective products faster to market. In a small way, we’re helping the Indian enterprise deliver innovative, globally-competitive products with simulation-driven product development,” says Rahul Pandita, the Country Manager for the company.

Since Fall 2017, CADFEM partnered with PES University in Bangalore to bring the much-acclaimed esocaet Master Program in Applied Computational Mechanics to India. The esocaet program offers tremendous opportunities to engineers for continuous learning. Since Fall 2015, CADFEM has helped over 50 engineers graduate from the ANSYS Authorized Training Centre that’s hosted at our Hyderabad premises. We’re proud to have up-skilled these young graduates and helped them become more employment-worthy.

6. Share your point of view on the current scenario of the Industry and its future.

“In my opinion, the industry is at a critical inflection point where there is tremendous understanding about the benefits of simulation-driven product development, fast reducing costs of owning computational hardware, burgeoning growth in cloud computing and persistent advancements in engineering technology. Very much in line with the government driven initiatives such as Start-Up Mission, we’re working closely with several entrepreneurial ventures to enable simulation adoption,” says Praveen Mokkapati who oversees the company’s Marketing and Strategic Initiatives. He adds, “the industry leaders are already realizing the benefits of analyzing product behavior before production. The reduced dependence on excessive testing and prototyping saves costs and reduces time to market.”

7. Share your experience and brief us about the tactics and strategies to win people’s trust.

Trust is a very personal attribute. We trust our own colleagues first. We provide a flexible work and learning environment to everyone in the company. The clear emphasis on learning helps individuals grow and expand on their skill-set. Empowering them with responsibilities that are ahead of the standard industry practice and enabling them to achieve their goals boosts their confidence and motivation levels. “This behavior comes very naturally to the leadership team and we’ve seen this to rub off on our very strong customer relationships. We believe in long-term success and hence don’t cut corners with our customers even if it means losing out on an immediate transaction,” says Srikanth Kankekar who manages relationship with strategic accounts for the company.

8. What are the major contributing factors behind your company’s success?

Our people are our greatest asset. More than seeing them as resources, we believe in investing in human capital. Over the years, we’ve seen a large proportion of individuals grow and develop their careers at CADFEM. Other than this, the readers will find it interesting to note that our highly-capable technical team has developed the reputation of being one of the strongest in the country. This team lead by Bharat Chittepu and Chandra Sekhar Kattamuri – both possessing a combined experience of nearly 30 years – has demonstrated significant capabilities in solving the toughest of engineering problems. Our customers appreciate this very much!

9. How do you motivate creativity and innovation in the workspace while maintaining a healthy work environment?

The company offers sufficient flexibility to the engineers. By empowering them with decision-making abilities, we nurture their creative thinking while solving a technical support query or a complex engineering problem. Thanks to our working culture, engineers are able to maneuver their way into finding solutions to problems they encounter on a day to day basis. To spur creativity and innovation, it’s important to have a good work-life balance that can defuses the ill-effects of work-related stress. The periodic team outings, social gatherings and in-house table soccer contests among several other initiatives create an open environment that nurtures innovation. We also believe in continuous improvement; without that we stagnate. We encourage and welcome ideas from everyone; this helps us execute better in any business process.

10. How do you see yourself and the company in the future ahead?

Over the years, I’ve seen myself grow from a professional who had a tactical mindset into one with a strategic orientation. This means that I’ve been able to nurture long-term alliances with like-minded partners in the industry. Evolution is all, but natural. As a company, we need to evolve too and stay contextually relevant to the industry. Hence, I find it extremely important to keep track and adopt upcoming technologies early in the hype cycle.

While I do this, laying down the steps that will bring the company closer to the vision is my foremost priority. Together with the leadership team, my sole goal is to ensure that we build rapidly on the strong foundation of 10 years in the Indian industry.