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‘Export Target Of Rs 200 Cr In Three Years’

Naresh Palta, chief executive officer, Aerospace & Defence, Maini Group, discusses with BW the group’s new initiatives

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Naresh Palta, chief executive officer, Aerospace & Defence, Maini Group, discusses with BW the group’s new initiatives:

On India as a producing base

In defence sector, we need to look at three subsets: land systems, naval platforms and airborne platforms.

In land systems, apart from the defence PSUs and ordnance factories, large private sector enterprises have also invested substantially. In naval, both public and private sector ship building enterprises are way ahead. These endeavours are supported by SMEs to some extent. However, in the case of aerospace, apart from the defence PSUs such as Hindustan Aeronautics, Bharat Dynamics, Bharat Electronics, the private enterprises have only made a beginning during the last decade. The infrastructure is still nascent compared to the aspirations of producing a complete range of aircraft and other platforms.

On Make in India

In a way, Make in India had been happening in defence PSUs for many decades, but the ultimate aspirations are yet to be achieved. By creating the Make-in-India mission, focus has become much stronger and also it is seeking inclusion of the private sector. However, the efforts at present are fragmented, in the absence of a national aerospace plan and a clear roadmap.

On furthering group’s efforts
Maini Group has been exporting aerospace components as a build-to-print manufacturer to leading aerospace companies overseas, since 2005. We are now in advanced discussions with many current and potential partners for increasing our contribution in the aircraft manufacture value chain. One of our group companies is also developing electrical airfield support vehicles and equipment, which we would eventually target at the export market.

On products in the pipeline
We are working on moving in the aerospace domain from build-to-print manufacture to build-to-spec enterprise. At present, we consider ourselves to be at tier-II / tier-III level. The ambition is to become a tier-I partner in the long term. Our background in exporting high-precision products for the last 34 years to key automotive tier-I’s is helping us to move up the value chain significantly across aero engine, aero systems and aero structure parts. We are currently engaged with several key aerospace customers and are actively introducing several new parts every month for them for export. Maini Group has many international partnerships in the non-aerospace domains. We are now actively pursuing for partnerships in the aerospace domain as well.

On business targets
Currently, the group is growing between 15 and 30 per cent annually in its diversified product portfolio. We aim to export over Rs 200 crore in the aerospace domain alone in the next three years, which will significantly increase the share of aerospace products in our portfolio.

On the roadblocks
The major impediments are: i) non-availability of raw materials in India, ii) inadequacy of support infrastructure for special protective processes , iii) inadequate number of skilled personnel in manufacturing engineering, quality management, production management, supply chain management and business development.