Autodesk's 2D/3D design software is used by engineers, architects and designers across the world. But its Chief Executive Officer, Carl Bass, who was in India recently, wants to focus his attention on education and increase the reach of his products. He spoke to BT's Kushan Mitra. Edited excerpts:
On Autodesk's tie-up with the All India Council for Technical Education
We have always had a close link with educational institutions, even in the United States. One problem that many companies face today when hiring engineers is that the students need to spend a lot of time doing remedial work and often do not even work on modern computers and software. By giving India's large number of engineering schools access to Autodesk software, we hope to spur design innovation in India.
On whether the tablet will change the consumer devices market
It already has, in a good way. We have an application for the iPhone and iPad, and we initially thought that we would have a few thousand downloads, instead there have been hundreds of thousands of downloads. My engineers find the application extremely useful. One of my engineers says that it allows him to sketch out his ideas whenever he gets them rather than wait until he makes it to a workstation. I feel that devices like the iPad are the future, and applications such as ours also help spread our product out to a wider, non-engineering and design audience.
On whether Autodesk is a niche software company
I do not believe that. We are in a market leadership position. Last year, we had revenues of $1.7 billion and those are not the numbers from a niche software company.