Altron's Netstar eyes India in a joint venture deal

The company signs a joint venture deal with India's C Ahead Technologies. 

Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, said on Monday that it has signed a joint venture (JV) deal with C Ahead Technologies to offer insurance and fleet telematics in India.

“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 Chief Executive 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,” he added.

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.

“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, the MD of Netstar, in a statement.

In comparison to South Africa, which has a penetration rate of over 30 percent, the number of connected cars in India is only expected to reach 2.6 percent in 2020 at current rates, according to global consultancy Roland Berger in their “Telematics in India: Trends and Opportunities” research.

Pierre said the report states that the commercial vehicle telematics market is expected to grow by around 25 percent per annum, led by after-market segment and entry-level solutions and promoted by wireless connectivity, navigation, remote diagnostics, and safety against theft.

Pierre 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.”

C Ahead, which is 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. 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 the Indian market and its rapidly growing telematics business, we are extremely confident of exponential growth,” said Sandeep Sekhar, Chairman and CEO of C Ahead.