‘Indian market has huge potential and will be one of the most important growth markets in the world’
In an interview with Forces, Editor-in-chief, SP’S Land Senior Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Eurocopter, said that the company is ready to extend its industrial relationship with local partners.
SP’s Land Forces
the coming years, which is already at 80 per cent of the total headcount now.
SP’s: How would you rate the potential in India versus other Asian countries? Ducrot:
We estimate the Asian military helicopter market to be valued at about $15-20 billion for the period till 2020, and we expect the largest contributor to be India (estimated at 50 per cent). India is also the largest defence market in Asia. We are participating in various RFPs and our helicopter range covers the requirements of the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.
Taking into account the civilian market as well, Asia is the largest and fastest-growing region where we anticipate a 20 per cent year-on-year growth. India and China are undoubtedly the two major economies that are very important and are expected to be significant contributors in the years to come.
SP’s: What kind of future do you foresee with India in the next 10-20 years? Ducrot:
There are around 270 turbine engine commercial helicopters in India today. There was an overall slowdown in the Indian helicopter sector in 2010 and 2011, but we can see a recovery in 2012 with an annual growth rate of about 20 per cent. Hence we can expect to see more than 500 civil helicopters in India by 2015.
The Indian market has huge potential and will be one of the most important growth markets in the world because of (1) size of the country; (2) growth of the economy; (3) diversity in its terrain and the geographical constraints; (4) lack of road/train infrastructures. Currently, growth of the commercial use of helicopters is limited by the regulations and level of taxes imposed.
The main segments currently doing well are oil and gas and passenger transport (charter, private, business and governmental). Segments that we are developing and are foreseen to have growth potential include: utility and aerial work, helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and law enforcement.
Eurocopter is poised to contribute to the helicopter market growth in India because it has the widest range of helicopters to cater to different needs and segments. We constantly innovate to produce enhanced versions that can handle hot and high conditions even better, which is a unique challenge in India. For specific segments like HEMS and utility/aerial work, Eurocopter has an impressive record. Eight out of every 10 HEMS helicopters in the world are Eurocopter products; while 70 per cent of helicopters delivered in the last 10 years globally for utility/aerial work are Eurocopter products. With the in-country presence of our Indian subsidiary, we can provide proximity services to ensure high availability of the aircraft and cost-efficient support and services.