In­ter­view: Su­nil Raina, Rock­well Collins


Rock­well Collins re­cently an­nounced the new Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. Su­nil Raina, the new Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, will be lead­ing the com­pany’s strat­egy for con­tin­ued in­vest­ment and long-term growth in the coun­try. Raina joined Rock­well Collins’ Sin­ga­pore of­fice in 2005 where he was ac­tively in­volved in defin­ing the strate­gies for the com­pany’s com­mer­cial avi­a­tion and ser­vices busi­ness in the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion. Pre­vi­ously he led Rock­well Collins’ Com­mer­cial Sys­tems in In­dia and was suc­cess­ful in de­vel­op­ing cus­tomer re­la­tion­ships that es­tab­lished Rock­well Collins as the pre­ferred avion­ics part­ner for lead­ing air­lines in In­dia.

Jayant Baran­wal, Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, SP’s M.A.I., spoke to Su­nil Raina, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor In­dian Sub­con­ti­nent, and also briefly to Mau­reen Stevens, Se­nior Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Busi­ness Part­ner In­ter­na­tional Rock­well Collins. Ex­cerpts from the in­ter­view:

Jayant Baran­wal (JB): What is Rock­well Collins’ fo­cus in In­dia? Su­nil Raina (Raina):

Rock­well Collins is well en­trenched in the com­mer­cial avi­a­tion mar­ket as well as the de­fence mar­ket in In­dia. For com­mer­cial avi­a­tion, we have com­pany’s ad­vanced avion­ics, in­clud­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, nav­i­ga­tion, sur­veil­lance and in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tems for IndiGo, SpiceJet and Jet Air­ways, and its Dis­patch as­set man­age­ment per­for­mance based ser­vices for Air In­dia’s Boe­ing 787 fleet. Rock­well Collins ad­vanced avion­ics, cabin and in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tems is part of most busi­ness air­craft through­out the re­gion.

For de­fence ap­pli­ca­tions the com­pany is fo­cused on com­mu­ni­ca­tions and avion­ics so­lu­tions that pro­vides en­hanced sit­u­a­tional aware­ness so­lu­tions for fixed and ro­tary-wing air­craft, as well as SAT­COM, elec­tronic war­fare (EW), and net­work­ing sys­tems. We are a com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany; we have a new prod­uct, TruNet, which we want to bring to In­dia. The prod­uct is ex­portable, ready for trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and highly cus­tomis­able. With the multi-wave­form ca­pa­bil­i­ties, TruNet is the first sys­tem of its kind that en­ables civil and govern­men­tal users to use ex­ist­ing or de­velop their own pro­pri­etary wave­form and crypto to meet their sov­er­eign mis­sion needs.

All prod­ucts that are part of the TruNet net­work run the ex­act same wave­forms and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, which pro­vides the po­ten­tial to sup­port coun­tries’ civil and mil­i­tary forces by en­abling them to ‘plug and play’ and work seam­lessly to­gether. The sys­tem’s soft­ware

de­fined ra­dios (SDRs) pro­vide mul­ti­ple wave­forms, both nar­row and wide­band, high speed, mo­bile ad hoc net­worked com­mu­ni­ca­tions, point-to-point data, voice and next-gen­er­a­tion SAT­COM ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Im­por­tantly, we are ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial us­age of TruNet around the globe and there­fore we can say that we are, in fact, offering the first-hand tech­nol­ogy to In­dia at this junc­ture. We will be show­cas­ing this prod­uct at De­f­expo 2016. We are work­ing with the Elec­tron­ics Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia Lim­ited (ECIL) on the front of Elec­tronic Counter-Counter Mea­sure (ECCM) ra­dio mod­ules for Do 228 com­mu­ni­ca­tions and nav­i­ga­tion equip­ment be­ing pro­vided to the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL). Th­ese sys­tems are be­ing used by the In­dian Navy on their P-8I and he­li­copters, and also by the Coast Guard and the Air Force. We also pro­vide 721S Fixed Site Ground ra­dio as part of an ad­vanced teleme­try sys­tem for the In­dian Air Force through Park Con­trols & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (P) Ltd.

JB: Tell us some­thing about your fa­cil­i­ties in Ben­galuru and Hyderabad. Raina:

We aim on how to bring the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in In­dia and have the best part­ner­ships and to grow our engi­neer­ing fa­cil­i­ties and lever­age for the ex­ist­ing mar­ket and de­velop for the rest of the world. With the new engi­neer­ing of­fice open­ing in Ben­galuru, our strate­gic al­liance with Zen Tech­nolo­gies for sim­u­la­tion and train­ing sees a tremen­dous en­thu­si­asm and boost for the ‘Make in In­dia’ pol­icy. This in­cludes help­ing air­lines by pro­vid­ing sys­tems for more ef­fi­cient oper­a­tions, ad­vanc­ing the mil­i­tary with state-of-the-art avion­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies, and even help­ing with pas­sen­ger flow through air­ports with more ad­vanced pas­sen­ger pro­cess­ing sys­tems.

Rock­well Collins’ de­sign cen­tre in Hyderabad aug­ments the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing engi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The In­dia De­sign Cen­tre (IDC) is ded­i­cated to prod­uct de­vel­op­ment for global mar­kets, with ini­tial work fo­cused on the de­sign of dis­play ap­pli­ca­tions for com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary cus­tomers and flight man­age­ment sys­tems. The IDC cur­rently has 630 employees with plans to con­tinue to grow the fa­cil­ity.

JB: What are your expectations from In­dia in the next 10 years? Raina:

With the new gov­ern­ment things are hap­pen­ing at a faster pace and mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to do some things dif­fer­ently. We are hop­ing to see some­thing very soon both in civil and de­fence.

JB: How about Rock­well Collins’ in­volve­ment in busi­ness avi­a­tion? Mau­reen Stevens (Mau­reen):

We are ex­pand­ing our Cor­po­rate Air­craft Ser­vice Pro­gram (CASP) to reach both op­er­a­tors seek­ing a scaled-down pro­gramme and those pre­fer­ring a more en­com­pass­ing pro­gramme. Rock­well Collins has de­vel­oped CASP Elite, which in­cludes more main­te­nance ser­vices, FMS up­dates and dis­counts on in­ter­na­tional trip sup­port. The com­pany also is offering CASP Es­sen­tial, aimed at en­try-level jet or tur­bo­prop op­er­a­tors and with a lower min­i­mum flight hour per air­craft re­quire­ment.

Raina: In fact In­dia is do­ing very well for our CASP pro­gramme, last year In­dia has seen the max­i­mum num­ber of tak­ers for this ser­vice in the APAC.

JB: You men­tioned that your 43 per cent busi­ness is out­side US. Which mar­kets con­trib­ute the max­i­mum? Raina:

Europe and Mid­dle East con­trib­ute a ma­jor share.

JB: Your take on the Civil Avi­a­tion Draft Pol­icy and what is your in­volve­ment with MRO? Raina:

More the num­ber of air­crafts means more equip­ment for us! The gov­ern­ment is lis­ten­ing, at­mos­phere is con­ducive and the vibes are pos­i­tive. The Min­is­ter and Sec­re­tary are very open to ideas and so­lu­tions. How it shapes up is to be seen.

We are in­volved with MROs in two ways – di­rectly, like Air In­dia, where we take up the whole lo­gis­tics part of the MRO and work on dis­patch re­li­a­bil­ity; and the other in­volve­ment is as a ser­vice. We have an across In­dia cov­er­age on the MRO with Air Works, In­damer, Jet­star and Shau­rya.

JB: What is the size of Rock­well’s in­vest­ment on R&D? Mau­reen:

We con­trib­ute 20 per cent to R&D, which is con­sis­tent over the years and is pretty large com­pared to our peers.

JB: Do you have some so­lu­tions for com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism? Mau­reen:

Rock­well has the ground-based de­tec­tion sys­tem – Pa­trol Per­sis­tent Sur­veil­lance Sys­tem (PPSS). The PPSS com­bines sound, vi­bra­tion and imag­ing sen­sors for en­hanced sit­u­a­tional aware­ness and the con­stant mon­i­tor­ing of threats against mil­i­tary bases, for­ward ob­ser­va­tion posts and other se­cure fa­cil­i­ties. The PPSS net­work au­to­mat­i­cally recog­nises new sen­sors ‘on the fly,’ so there is no need for the op­er­a­tor to man­u­ally re­con­fig­ure the sys­tem.

Ex­pand­ing base in In­dia: Rock­well Collins has opened a new, ex­panded fa­cil­ity in Ben­galuru. “The open­ing is a re­flec­tion of our com­mit­ment to In­dia, as well as the in­creas­ing de­mand for ser­vices from our In­dia De­sign Cen­tre in Hyderabad,” says Su­nil Raina (inset) who took over as the new Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Rock­well Collins

In­dia. “We chose Ben­galuru be­cause of the high con­cen­tra­tion of engi­neer­ing tal­ent there and the fact that it is an aero­space hub,” he added.

With the multi-wave­form ca­pa­bil­i­ties, TruNet is the first sys­tem of its kind that en­ables civil and govern­men­tal users to use ex­ist­ing or

de­velop their own pro­pri­etary wave­form and crypto to meet their sov­er­eign mis­sion needs

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