What is your take on the final design of the car? What do you like most about it?
R.A.: The KUSHAQ’s appearance is dominant, but at the same time it's not huge or over-dimensioned, making it an ideal urban SUV. Overall, I love the way it looks.
S.G.: I like it a lot. The look of the front, the chrome elements and the infotainment system make the car stand out from the crowd.
How were you specifically involved in its development and testing?
R.A.: As I worked at the company’s HQ in Mladá Boleslav, I was able to offer an Indian perspective or explain the little nuances that Indian customers may or may not consider essential. This resulted in a concept called Voice of India, in which we pushed various modifications into development. We have also held seminars to present modification or enlargement requests to take into account geographical specifics such as heat or high altitude.
S.G.: I was involved in setting up the virtual reality centre and was part of the team that gathered design feedback from customers throughout the development process. But my job was really to support all the activities in India and also in Europe, such as working with the suppliers of prototype parts or transporting the cars. Last but not least, it was an honour for me to be involved in creating the new central development workshop.
What was the hardest thing about working on the new car?
R.A.: Convincing others what is essential for Indians and what isn’t important, and providing examples to demonstrate that.
S.G.: For me it was definitely ensuring the required quality of prototype parts and sticking to the timetable in line with the company’s standards. And also coordinating the development process between the Mladá Boleslav team and engineers at the Indian central development workshop.
What do you enjoy about your work?
R.A.: The flexibility and freedom. The constant innovative vision keeps us on our toes, makes us think outside the box and perform at the top of our game. And the fact that the company values my contribution.
S.G.: My job is a constant source of motivation for me: I am always learning new things and meeting lots of different people from many different cultures. I like to see ideas turn into concepts and eventually take shape as a real car. I am proud to be part of this journey.
Did anything change when ŠKODA took over responsibility for the Indian market in the INDIA 2.0 project?
R.A.: Yes, you could see that the brand was focused on the “Indianisation” of the project as a whole. From a business perspective, the emphasis is definitely on “made in India”, but I think that even more important is that it is “made for India”.
Your technical development unit in India employs about 200 people and is taking on other projects. What do you appreciate about working at the Pune technology centre?
R.A.: We are motivated by the excitement of developing four products from the very beginning and simultaneously by having to manage such a large-scale project. We are developing our abilities to take on new projects and we’re focused on success. Another thing is that our company vision can keep our heads above water even in times as difficult as these.