Tex­tron com­mit­ted to de­velop close re­la­tions with In­dian com­pa­nies

In­der­jit Sial who took over as the Pres­i­dent and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Tex­tron In­dia in Novem­ber last year, spoke to SP’S M.A.I. on the com­pany’s var­ied plans and pro­grammes for the In­dian armed forces. Ex­cerpts:

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

SP’s: What is your vi­sion for the com­pany? Sial: We are com­mit­ted to de­velop a highly qual­i­fied en­gi­neer­ing tal­ent pool so that greater quan­tum of ad­vanced pro­grammes is han­dled at TIPL. We are also fully com­mit­ted to­wards de­vel­op­ing close in­dus­trial re­la­tion­ships with In­dian com­pa­nies for busi­ness de­vel­op­ment as well as sourc­ing.

SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): Could you please out­line the his­tory, track record and achieve­ments of Tex­tron In­dia since it was in­cor­po­rated? In­der­jit Sial (Sial): Global Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre (GTC) of Tex­tron Inc was in­au­gu­rated in Au­gust 2004 with 71 engi­neers to un­der­take de­sign and de­vel­op­ment work for var­i­ous Tex­tron busi­ness units spread across the globe. From this hum­ble be­gin­ning, GTC has con­tin­ued to grow in strength and ca­pa­bil­i­ties to reach more than 400 engi­neers to­day. The GTC is a cap­tive en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre only for Tex­tron busi­ness units and un­der­takes lat­est de­sign work for avi­a­tion and in­dus­trial seg­ment of Tex­tron’s busi­ness port­fo­lio.

Busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties at this cen­tre com­menced in De­cem­ber 2006 and sourc­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in July 2007. All the three func­tions namely de­sign, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and sourc­ing were brought un­der a sin­gle en­tity as Tex­tron In­dia Pri­vate Limited (TIPL) in 2008.

The achieve­ments of TIPL dur­ing its brief ex­is­tence have been sig­nif­i­cant. In de­sign space, the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our engi­neers have grown in leaps and bounds in all fields like air­frame de­sign, de­sign of me­chan­i­cal sys­tems, elec­tri­cal sys­tems, NC pro­gram­ming and tool de­sign, elec­tron­ics de­sign, weights anal­y­sis, fa­tigue and dam­age tol­er­ance anal­y­sis, man­u­fac­tura­bil­ity anal­y­sis, stress and load anal­y­sis and in­te­rior de­sign for both air­craft and helicopters. Our engi­neers are now en­gaged in sus­tain­ing ex­ist­ing pro­grammes and sup­port­ing ad­vanced pro­grammes of Bell and Cessna. In the in­dus­trial seg­ment, we have com­menced limited pro­duc­tion of hand tools and ex­plor­ing set­ting up of pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties for other prod­ucts.

TIPL has de­vel­oped a wide ven­dor base across In­dia for sourc­ing of crit­i­cal avi­a­tion and aero engine parts as well as mul­ti­tude of in­dus­trial com­po­nents. The ven­dor base has con­tin­ued to grow at a very sat­is­fac­tory pace. The busi­ness de­vel­op­ment team suc­ceeded in se­cur­ing ma­jor or­ders from the In­dian Air Force (IAF) and in­creas­ing the mar­ket share of Bell and Cessna in In­dia. TIPL helped Cessna in set­ting up three Cessna Pi­lots Cen­tres (CPC) in In­dia for pilot train­ing as a first ever ini­tia­tive in Asia. Tex­tron busi­ness units are deeply en­gaged with In­dian para­mil­i­tary forces and Min­istry of Home Af­fairs for mod­erni­sa­tion of home­land se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment in In­dia. TIPL is en­gaged with mul­ti­ple In­dian in­dus­try mem­bers to of­fer cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy to the In­dian mil­i­tary through col­lab­o­ra­tive ven­tures in In­dia. SP’s: What are the salient fea­tures of the com­pany’s busi­ness strat­egy with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to In­dia? Sial: The salient fea­tures of the strat­egy for Tex­tron is to be en­gaged with In­dian cus­tomers (both com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary), the In­dian in­dus­try and the In­dian Govern­ment, on sus­tained long-term ba­sis by grow­ing our en­gi­neer­ing tal­ent pool and by pro­vid­ing proac­tive sup­port to our vast and di­ver­si­fied cus­tomer-base in avi­a­tion, de­fence and in­dus­trial seg­ments. SP’s: What is your per­cep­tion of the mar­ket po­ten­tial in In­dia? Sial: As men­tioned ear­lier, Tex­tron wishes to en­gage with var­i­ous In­dian stake­hold­ers on sus­tained long-term ba­sis as we are keen to par­tic­i­pate in In­dia’s growth story. In­dian gen­eral avi­a­tion mar­ket po­ten­tial is sub­stan­tial and we have ex­cel­lent prod­ucts from both Bell and Cessna to meet the fu­ture de­mand. Both Bell and Cessna al­ready have ma­jor mar­ket share in their re­spec­tive seg­ments. We strongly be­lieve that the In­dian mil­i­tary and para­mil­i­tary will con­tinue to up­grade their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and we shall be happy to be their part­ner in this process. Our cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy can pro­vide force mul­ti­plier ben­e­fits to the mil­i­tary and cen­tral po­lice forces. SP’s: Which are the ar­eas in which you are col­lab­o­rat­ing or pro­pose to col­lab­o­rate with the In­dian de­fence es­tab­lish­ment? Sial: Tex­tron De­fence Sys­tems has been con­tracted to sup­ply so­phis­ti­cated air launched weapons for fighter air­craft of the IAF. The pro­ject is cur­rently un­der way. We are in dis­cus­sions with IAF, the In­dian Navy, De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), Min­istry of Home Af­fairs (MHA) and pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ings (PSUs) for var­i­ous prod­ucts in­clud­ing pre­ci­sion mu­ni­tions, un­manned sys­tems, soft­ware an­a­lyt­i­cal tools, ar­moured ve­hi­cles and helicopters. SP’s: Tell us about the pro­posed Tex­tron-Dy­na­matic deal? Sial: Bell He­li­copter has con­cluded a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with Dy­na­matic Tech­nolo­gies Limited (DTL) for sourc­ing of ma­jor air­frame struc­tures for Bell 407. The co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Bell and DTL is grow­ing rapidly and we hope to have greater vol­ume of sourc­ing go­ing for­ward. Re­spon­si­bil­ity of TIPL has been to fa­cil­i­tate Bell over last sev­eral years to de­velop this mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship with DTL. TIPL con­tin­ues to sup­port Bell for all its sourc­ing ini­tia­tives. SP’s: What are TIPL’s ma­jor on­go­ing pro­grammes? Sial: TIPL is a cap­tive en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre ex­clu­sively for Tex­tron. TIPL re­sources are fully com­mit­ted for Tex­tron busi­ness units in avi­a­tion, de­fence and in­dus­trial seg­ment.

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