I always enjoy my conversations with Mamatha Chamarthi, a truly remarkable business technology executive. As Head of the Software Business and Product Management P&L at Stellantis, she is focused on leading the company’s transformation from a traditional full-line automaker to a customer-centric sustainable mobility enterprise. 

Mamatha is a member of the ChampionX Corporation (CHX) and Health Alliance Plan Board of Directors, Gartner Research Board, World 50, Google Cloud Global CxO and State of Telangana Advisory Boards. She has been recognized as a `Top 25 Finalist for Breakthrough Leaders’ by CIO Magazine, a `Premier 100 IT Leader’ by Computerworld, a `Technology All-Star’ by the Women of Color in Technology Institute and by HMG Strategy with the 2019 Top Technology Executives to Watch Award and recognized by WomenInc. as one of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board of Directors for her role on the ChampionX Board of Directors.

We spoke recently about the essential role of digital technology in the modern automotive industry. For most of the industry’s illustrious history, she notes, automakers have focused on hardware. Today, however, the focus is shifting rapidly to software. Instead of software being an afterthought, it is now top of mind for designers and manufacturers, she says.

“As a society, we have become accustomed to convenience and personalization. We want our cars to be more like our smart phones,” says Mamatha. “During the day, I might need a vehicle that carries heavy loads and drives like a Ram Truck. But at night, if I’m going to dinner with my husband, I might need a car that’s more like a Maserati.”

She foresees wider acceptance mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) offerings that provide drivers with the type of vehicle they need – when and where they need it. “I see the automobile industry becoming more like the consumer electronics industry,” says Mamatha. “We would start with the software and then develop the hardware around it. The industry is becoming more customer-centric. We’re delivering features and personalization to customers at the speed of their expectations.”

Reimagining cars as data platforms can lead to the development of new business models and revenue streams. “We understand the customer’s driving behavior to a point where we can offer usage-based insurance,” she says. “That’s just as one example of how we can leverage data to generate incremental revenue with new business models.”

I genuinely love the idea of cars evolving into computers on wheels. Some experts predict that a `smart’ car will generate between 5 and 32 terabytes of data per day. I’m absolutely certain that savvy auto executives like Mamatha will be doing their utmost to leverage the value of that data.

In many ways, Mamatha is a role model for a new generation of technology executives. In her role at Stellantis, she has P&L responsibility and a mandate to drive the company boldly forward into a future that embraces continuous innovation and customer centricity.

“Technology executives, not just in the auto industry, but in many other industries too, are being asked to take on business roles.  That’s the new trend and that’s what gets me excited,” she says. 

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