From small beginnings working alongside his father in the automotive industry, Hiten Parmar is now leading the automotive technology landscape in South Africa.
Parmar’s fascination with electronics inspired his studies in electrical engineering at Nelson Mandela University, paving the way towards his position as director of South Africa’s national uYilo e-Mobility Technology Innovation Programme – which is working to expand the country’s electric mobility industry.
It’s a role which sees him collaborating with multiple stakeholders across the public and private sector both locally and abroad, as he works to mobilise government buy-in at all levels, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) product and infrastructure support, business development and thought leadership.
Recognised as a leading expert in a pioneering, low-carbon industry, Parmar, 36, was awarded a Rising Star alumni award from his alma mater Nelson Mandela University a week ago.
Parmar studied electrical engineering to master’s level, graduating in 2011, and went on to obtain his Honours in Business Administration in 2016.
His career in the automotive industry – in academia as well as public and private sectors – spans 14 years, and includes Volkswagen and BC Automation in South Africa, along with the University of Applied Sciences Wolfsburg, in Germany.
His areas of expertise include advanced manufacturing and automation, research and development, engineering, motorsport, electric vehicles and smart grid technologies.
In a time where countries are shifting away from their reliance on fossil fuels towards climate-smarter options, Parmar believes uYilo has a key role to play.
“Traditional modes of mobility technologies – namely , petrol and diesel – have led to increased air pollution that has negatively impacted air quality for citizens all over the world. Breathing air in Delhi, India is said to be equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day.
“In South Africa, the national Department of Transport indicates that across the overall transport sector, road transport emissions equate to 91.2% of direct emissions, particularly from the combustion of petrol and diesel.
“My passion is to contribute to advancements within the automotive industries globally through the deployment of technological interventions to solve major economic, societal, and competitiveness challenges.”
Parmar’s combined knowledge of automotive principles together with electrical technologies has given him a unique skillset.
“The current portfolio of the national uYilo eMobility Programme extends towards a large stakeholder network which includes ministerial engagements, CEOs of multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and start-up companies as well as students.”
Parmar said he was humbled to receive the Rising Star award. “It serves as recognition of achievement by an individual under the age of 45, towards significant progress in their career field.”
Source Nelson Mandela University