SA’s Tech Firm Altron Expands Into India With Netstar Partnership

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Telematics Automotive Connectivity Vehicle Technology Speedometer Word 3d Illustration
Telematics Automotive Connectivity Vehicle Technology Speedometer Word 3d Illustration. Shutterstock.com

Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, has signed a Joint Venture Deal (JV) with international company C Ahead Technologies to offer insurance and fleet telematics in India.

In automotive sector, telematics equipment offers a wide variety of features to help make the vehicle smarter.

The Indian vehicle telematics market is dominated by commercial vehicles such as fleet and taxi operators, but is gaining broader popularity due to its advantages, such as safety, information, navigation, and remote diagnostics.

“With C Ahead we have found an ideal partner for us to introduce Netstar’s Intellectual Property (IP) into the Asian continent. This JV is in line with our measured global expansion plans for Netstar and will diversify offshore earnings,” said Altron CEO Mteto Nyati.

“The C Ahead deal is part of our commitment to partner with customers in fleet management in their digital transformation journey through data analytics and safety and security technology solutions.”

The commercial vehicle telematics market is expected to grow by around 25% per annum, led by after-market segment and entry level solutions and promoted by wireless connectivity, navigation, remote diagnostics, and safety against theft, according to global consultancy Roland Berger in their “Telematics in India: Trends and Opportunities” research.

In comparison to South Africa, which has a penetration rate of over 30%, the number of connected cars in India is only expected to reach 2.6% in 2020 at current rates, according to the report.

“India is an underpenetrated market which is in the early stages of telematics making it attractive for Netstar to enter from consumer and commercial telematics perspectives,” said Pierre Bruwer, managing director of Netstar.

He said optimisation of fuel costs as well as safety and security concerns were expected to drive growth in future. “Apart from commercial vehicles, the small and medium car segments offer high growth opportunities for us.”

Low adoption in the private vehicle sector has largely been prohibitive due to costs.

However, Netstar’s product range, especially within the consumer and insurance telematics sectors, has proven to be competitive within the markets that it operates.

Vehicle telematics is gaining popularity mainly due to its advantages such as safety, information, navigation and remote diagnostics.

”We have the experience and technology stack to provide affordable and relevant vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions to many of C Ahead customers and partners as part of our growth strategy,” said Bruwer.

C Ahead, an IT services and solutions company with 14 years’ experience, has its headquarters in the United States and offices in India, South Africa, Dubai, and the United Kingdom.

“We continuously research global companies for new opportunities that will allow sustained growth,” said Sandeep Sekhar, chairman and CEO of C Ahead.

“The launch of the C Ahead Netstar JV in India will enable us to offer a new portfolio of solutions through telematics to our existing and new customers. Given the size of Indian market and its rapidly growing telematics business, we are extremely confident of exponential growth,”

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