Dr Vivek Lall - CEO of Gen­eral Atomics

Dr Vivek Lall, an en­ter­pris­ing aero­space and de­fence ex­pert, has held var­i­ous key ap­point­ments in the past. Of late he headed Boe­ing In­dia op­er­a­tions and later took over as Pres­i­dent & CEO of Re­liance New Ven­tures. He is af­fil­i­ated with the United Na­tions


“In­dia is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing the epi­cen­tre of great in­no­va­tion and it is crit­i­cal that we help con­trib­ute to its growth and tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess.”

SP’s M.A.I. (SP’s): Con­grat­u­la­tions on tak­ing over as CEO of one of the world’s most tech­nol­ogy driven com­pa­nies head­quar­tered in US. Can you in­di­cate on your fore­see­able roles within the company and for the company? Vivek Lall:

Many thanks, Jayant. As Chief Ex­ec­u­tive glob­ally re­spon­si­ble for com­mer­cial strate­gic de­vel­op­ment it be­comes im­per­a­tive for me that the cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies de­vel­oped by the world’s lead­ing sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers are of ben­e­fit to US and in­ter­na­tional gov­ern­ments and cus­tomers.

SP’s: Gen­eral Atomics is renowned for its con­tri­bu­tion to­wards nu­clear sec­tor. Can you elab­o­rate on this? Its ini­tial char­ter was fo­cused to­wards peace­ful mis­sions of atomic en­ergy. Can you take us to the jour­ney from that point to the cur­rent vastly ex­panded ca­pa­bil­i­ties? Vivek Lall:

Gen­eral Atomics (GA) had an ini­tial char­ter to ex­plore peace­ful uses of atomic en­ergy. Lead­ing sci­en­tists came to GA, form­ing the nu­cleus of the hu­man re­sources. GA car­ries out the largest and most suc­cess­ful nu­clear fu­sion pro­gramme in pri­vate in­dus­try. The company has been the pri­mary de­vel­oper of mod­u­lar he­lium-cooled nu­clear power re­ac­tor sys­tems, and its TRIGA® re­search re­ac­tors have op­er­ated around the world for over 50 years. Gen­eral Atomics is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive en­ergy so­lu­tions to meet global needs. We are fo­cused on the fun­da­men­tal the­o­ret­i­cal re­search needed for sus­tain­able, al­ter­na­tive tech­nolo­gies that are safe and eco­nom­i­cal through im­proved per­for­mance. And with over 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, Gen­eral Atomics plays an im­por­tant role in nu­clear re­search and sci­en­tific dis­cov­ery.

SP’s: What are the core strengths of the company as of to­day? Vivek Lall:

In ad­di­tion to what has been men­tioned, GA de­vel­ops elec­tro­mag­netic air­craft launch and re­cov­ery sys­tems for the US Navy as well as elec­tro­mag­netic rail­gun launch­ers, pulsed power sys­tems and pro­jec­tiles. Gen­eral Atomics Aero­nau­ti­cal Sys­tems is a world leader in proven, re­li­able un­manned air­craft sys­tems (UAS) and tac­ti­cal re­con­nais­sance radars, as well as ad­vanced high-res­o­lu­tion surveil­lance sys­tems. GA pro­duces a va­ri­ety of high tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts from high-en­ergy ca­pac­i­tors and nu­clear/ra­di­a­tion mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems, to de-ic­ing prod­ucts and di­ag­nos­tic en­zymes.

SP’s: How would you view, as the CEO of Gen­eral Atomics, In­dia as part of your global ex­pan­sion and global mar­ket­ing strat­egy? Vivek Lall:

In­dia is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing the epi­cen­tre of great in­no­va­tion and it is crit­i­cal that we help con­trib­ute to its growth and tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess.

SP’s: How do you find the pol­icy ini­tia­tives by the new gov­ern­ment in In­dia? Vivek Lall:

It is very en­cour­ag­ing that the new gov­ern­ment is work­ing ac­tively to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for catalysing true tech­nol­ogy growth and in­no­va­tion. One el­e­ment of that en­abling en­vi­ron­ment is FDI pol­icy. I am very op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture prospects.

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