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: 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.