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Aerostructures manufacturing facility to go live in 2013: Anand Mahindra Print E-mail
Written by James   
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Bangalore: Anand Mahindra, while speaking at the CSIR NAL Foundation Day celebrations, said that Mahindra's aerostructures manufacturing facility in India would go live in 2013.

He spoke about the initiatives within the Mahindra Group aimed at contributing to a larger role for Indian industry in the global aerospace industry while at the same time contributing to the development of a vibrant aerospace industry domestically.

"On the design engineering side of the business, we have built-up an excellent relationship with multiple global aerospace OEMs. Over time our teams have moved up the value chain from providing design support to taking on responsibility for design packages, and are now getting into certification aspects for the OEMs," he said.

"On the general aviation side of the business, we have already committed our efforts to developing and marketing a portfolio of light aircraft in the 2-20 seat range. The NAL-MAPL joint development, the NM5, is one initiative in this space, as is our acquisition of GippsAero in Australia, producer of the GA8 Airvan, which features the lowest cost-per-seat-mile in its class in the world," he added.

There are two domains where India’s private sector could participate in the globally networked industry, with benefits for our own domestic industry. One such domain is aerospace manufacturing, where the private sector has been largely inward-focused, and functions at a “Tier-3” level, supplying components for domestic consumption. As identified earlier, two of the key trends in the global aerospace industry are sourcing from target markets, and outsourcing to strategic partners as part of a networked supply chain. With projected US$ 100 billion in relevant procurements over the next decade, coupled with its low manufacturing cost base, India is well positioned to commit to entering this network. By committing to enter this global network, Indian industry will by necessity acquire best-in-class technologies and skills, which will in turn benefit the Indian aerospace industry at large.

The other domain where the private sector could increase its participation in the global aerospace industry is in design engineering services. We already have several largecorporations with a “blue-chip” clientele of aerospace majors. By increasing the level of participation in the programs of the majors, our industry is stepping up from being a service provider to be a design and development partner. Again, this will further accelerate the development of our experience and skill sets, which in turn will benefit Indian aerospace industry.

These growth domains are also synergistic with the strong analysis and development capabilities of our research laboratories and educational institutions. Over time, the combination of the acquired skills and innate capabilities could be the launchpad for creating new solutions for larger global problems – such as green propulsion, alternative fuels, and environmentally sustainable manufacturing techniques.

Speaking about key trends in the global aerospace industry Anand Mahindra said :

The first trend is the growing demand for aerospace products and services in developing nations. Setting aside the significant projections for India’s defence needs over the next decade, India’s demand for civilian airliners is projected to exceed that of Australia and Japan combined. The “BRIC” nations – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – together need more passenger aircraft than the United States, which has historically been the biggest market for such aircraft. So it’s a huge market out there. Can we use our joint expertise to get a part of it?

The second trend deals with the industry that provides those products and services. Gone are the days of the “vertically integrated” aerospace powerhouses. Today there are no “do-it-all-ourselves” monolithic aerospace providers. Instead they have been replaced by a widely distributed network of suppliers and partners. From being centralised businesses with a strong geographic identity, the aerospace giants of yore have transformed themselves into integrators, placing increasingly large responsibilities upon a globally dispersed supplier base. This is truly a global network, with goods and services flowing both ways between countries and continents. What can we jointly contribute to this global network?

The third trend is a happy marriage between developing nation’s aspirations to be more than just consumers, and the necessity for the producers to be closer to their key markets. Starting with the need to support their products in new markets, the OEMs of the world increasingly recognise that they must invest significantly in those markets to ensure a fair balance of trade. Current cost structures in developing economies also make it inevitable that the OEMs increase their sourcing from the very countries that want to buy their products. So there is a life and a business beyond offsets – and we should be looking for opportunities in this space.

The fourth trend – one which the Mahindra Group embraces whole-heartedly – is the global realisation that waste and inefficiency are contributing to a rapid deterioration in our quality of life. Pollution is tangibly degrading our forests and waters, while consumption of natural resources without replenishment is rapidly threatening established lifestyles. Hence the pressure to look beyond conventional business metrics to sustainability and green technologies. Can we work together to create green technologies that are relevant and also outrageously affordable?

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