“For any company that deals with location-based systems, India is a promising market” NNG LLC Vice President of Eastern Europe and Emerging Markets, Peter Bolesza shares with us the future plans of the company and the potential of navigation and location based service.
Q. You started with navigation services since 2004, how has been the journey so far?
It’s been an exciting and wonderful journey so far.It is always exciting to see navigation industry changing from year to year, which always brings new challenges and opportunities around the globe. Starting in 2004, when we were dealing with handhold navigation, we took a long journey to the present, and we are now the leading navigation supplier of the Autmotive industry. Since our first steps in India in 2010 we have seen continuous growth and development in the industry and an increased demand for new technological solutions, including navigation. From that time, NNG’s business growth and a growing number of partnerships have led us to open our Gurgaon office at the end of 2011 and launch solutions for all market segments (wireless, PND, automotive). Our strategic partnership with ANS was a key moment in our history in India and has helped us to truly optimize our iGO Navigation software for the Indian road system and Indian consumers. Easy-to-use navigation, a local feature set, and customer service are important factors as far as the Indian market in concerned.
In the last few years navigation experienced strong growth and we expect that it will continue to grow in 2014 and 2015 in the automotive aftermarket and line-fit segments. We also forecast that we will fulfil our plans to reach 70% market share on the aftermarket segment this year, bringing us closer to realizing our mission: “Navigation for All”. We think that the most interesting part of the journey has just begun.
Q. How do you perceive India as market for navigation services?
For any company that deals with location-based systems, India is a promising market. Such a quickly developing road system and a constantly growing number of vehicles demands innovation when dealing with India’s particularly challenging road situation. Navigation helps drivers find the optimal route, avoid traffic, save petrol, and take the stress out of driving. And most importantly, it makes driving safer.
Over the last couple of years, NNG has proven that it’s serious about conquering the Indian navigation market. We have also left a footprint by shaping the market: NNG sets standards and expectations with both partners and consumers. Features such as Natural Guidance, Intelligent Quick Search, Point Addressing, and our unique 3D visualization all show that NNG truly understands the requirements of the Indian road system. Our cooperation with ANS has helped us to better understand the local market and react to changes even faster.
Q. How are your navigation services better than others present in market?
NNG specializes in automotive navigation software and this is what we provide to our partners. The iGO Navigation solutions consist of different components that can be combined to create flexible and customized solutions for India. The iGO Navigation is proven and experienced software that has amazed over 20 million users in countries around the world. iGO primo is an easy-to-use software that does not require a thick user manual; yet, it still comes with all the necessary features to provide an outstanding driving experience on the Indian roads. In addition, map and content updates from Naviextras.com guarantee up-to-date content and software, and this enables the user to keep up with the changes on the road.
On top of our core iGO Navigation engine, we’re able to add and integrate required features: local content such as maps and Points of Interest for every country and a standard or customized Human Machine Interface (HMI). This huge variety of customizable solutions and our global experience with automotive brands enables us to provide reliable and professional navigation for all car segments in India.
Q. What was the idea behind the introduction of low cost navigation solutions?
We believe that navigation is more than the privilege of high-end car buyers; we instead make it available for every driver and every car segment. As head units come with larger screens and better hardware, its navigation installation becomes faster and easier. NNG realized that our competitors are often accustomed to less competition and thus provide solutions that are less flexible, slower, and more expensive. Our “Navigation for All” approach signifies providing navigation for every car segment – from affordable cars to the high-end super cars. To make it possible, we developed an agile development process. This flexibility is owed to the company’s roots in the agile PND business and to accompany culture that has always been centered on fulfilling its partners’ needs. We developed a modular, platform-independent, single navigation engine that can be fully localized to numerous regions, and by providing more content and maps than any other competitor, we wereable to extend our global coverage to 186 countries. Our navigation software has the capability of getting the most out of any hardware, which enables the car maker to reduce its BOM (Bill of Material). These key factors allowed us to bring a price change to the automotive industry, and also create affordable, easily implementable navigation software.
Q. Tell us something about your enticing ANS & NNG products range?
NNG is the maker of the iGO Navigation software. We cooperate with hardware partners and Tier-1s all around the world to deliver complete navigation solutions (whether automotive, PND, or wireless) installed with iGO Navigation to the market. Today NNG offers navigation software for over 186 countries.
ANS is NNG’s strategic partner in India. ANS provides us with 15+ years of local industry experience and high-quality hardware that complements the iGO Navigation brand and allows us to serve India with unique and reliable navigation solutions. In the past few years, we have further enhanced this partnership, and ANS now provides all necessary local support elements that are required for the Indian market to help us distribute navigation for all. This includes field testing to make sure our product is of the best possible quality, warranty services, and even after-sales support for the iGO Navigation end users, providing a 24×7 hotline and service centers in over 100 cities in India.
Q. How is the Indian market different from the other markets and with whom you have partnered in India?
India is a huge and fast-changing market. Only by seeking out deep local knowledge we were able to plan, develop, and test a navigation solution that has eventually led us to success. In order to be truly successful on a local level, we developed unique features that were designed specifically for India.
Two of the most crucial features are Point Addressing and extended Point of Interest databases. Since India does not have a linear address system like most European and American countries (relying on streetnames and house numbers), Indian drivers need alternative methods to find their destination. Addresses, religious buildings, monuments, restaurants, public offices etc. are all saved as points on the map in order to help find a location that is nearest to your desired destination. NNG’s Integrated Quick Search was also designed specifically for India. It enables the user to search for an address without opening the different POI, address, or History folders that are all stored on the device.
The cooperation between NNG and ANS is always growing stronger. Partners like Blaupunkt and Caska have reacted well to the fact that we have combined NNG’s global software expertise with ANS’ local market knowledge and service solutions. We’re planning to continue this cooperation and have already started mapping out new markets to conquer, such as the Middle East.
Q. What are your plans for the Indian market and what new we can see you’re your side in the navigation sphere?
NNG’s local and global plans for growth are mainly focused onthe automotive industry – after market as well as line-fit projects – to deliver on our promise of providing “Navigation for All”. NNG is currently working on navigation projects across all vehicle segments, including high end, low cost, city cruisers, off-road vehicles, super sports cars, and two-wheeler.
Besides the navigation licenses that we supply to our partners, the second largest share of our revenue by 2015 is expected to come from online business, i.e. map and content updates through NNG’s web portal Naviextras.com. Content updates are crucial keeping in-dash software solutions up-to date – and not just for one or two years, but instead for the entire life cycle of the car.