Equity and Opportunity in a Software First Mindset: The Mission of Automation Alley

A new surging economy is emerging in Detroit, MI. That emergence finds its roots
embedded in Detroit’s past in manufacturing. That rich history is poised to rise again
through advanced automation. Companies like Automation Alley, a nonprofit Industry
4.0 Knowledge Center and home to the World Economic Forum’s US Centre for
Advanced Manufacturing, want to lead those efforts to bring Detroit back into a global
leadership position in manufacturing. And with visionary leaders like Pavan Muzumdar,
COO at Automation Alley, on board, those lofty goals could see Michigan back on top
sooner rather than later.

DisruptED podcast hosts Ron J Stefanski, and Dr. Caesar turned their
attention to Muzumdar for their latest episode in DisruptED’s Advanced Manufacturing
series to hear about the mission of Automation Alley. Stefanski recognizes Muzumdar as a bright and shining brainiac, and one thing
he knows about brainiacs; they are disruptors who know how to get stuff done. Still,
getting stuff done doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a journey, one Muzumdar was happy to

“My back story is, I was born and raised in India,” Muzumdar said. “Been fortunate to
come from a family with education as one of the most important things you could do. My
dad was a doctor, and my mom was very much into education. She didn’t necessarily
have a formal degree, but they were both into education. For me, it was a given that we
would be educated.”

In addition to Muzumdar’s road to Automation Alley, Stefanski and Mickens Jr. discuss
with him:

• The mentors who supported Muzumdar throughout his career

• The transformation of Automation Alley into the Industry 4.0 knowledge center it
is today

• The mission of Automation Alley for equity and opportunity

“As we started digging deeper and deeper into industry 4.0, we realized that there are
much, much bigger possibilities with going down this path,” Muzumdar said. “And it’s not
just about a technological renaissance; it’s actually about being fundamentally to be
able to change what society is.”

Pavan Muzumdar is an engineer, author, and COO. He describes his professional
journey as anything but linear. From his early career days working for Cambridge
Technology Partners in the 1990s, Muzumdar branched out as a CEO of MV Software.
Eventually, his journey took him to the founding of Pieris Capital, which bridged the
world of investment banking and management consulting. That vision led to the
formation of Revalue and PCS insight a few years later. As COO of Automation Alley,
Muzumdar looks to enhance the global competitiveness of Southeast Michigan and
advance this region as a high-tech powerhouse at the forefront of innovation worldwide.

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