Export of defence equipment from India will see tremendous growth in the next decade, said Baba Kalyani, chairman and managing director of Bharat Forge.
Kalyani was speaking on the sidelines of a session on opportunities in defence for the Indian industry held at College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) on Thursday.
“We not only would be the largest producer, but we will also make products better than others in half the price,” Kalyani added.Pune can be an ideal location for a defence corridor, added Kalyani.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), had jointly organised the session on ‘Opportunities for Industry in Defence’ where eminent panellists spoke on various aspects such as emerging opportunities in defence, Make in India for defence and private sector participation in defence research.
Speaking on the tussle between private and public industries in defence manufacturing, Baba Kalyani said, “There is no such contention between public and private industries.
In fact, at many places, both the industries are working together. However, we still have a long way to go. Also, higher imports in the defence sector is a result of less private sector investments in it.”
Lt Gen (retd) Subrata Saha, said, “There is a limit to what the government can achieve. However, an industrial support will give a major boost in developing the defence manufacturing sector. Also, public and private sectors working together will create a better and stronger brigade to fight out adverse situations.”
Speaking on the rising import in the defence sector, he added, “India’s import in defence has gone up by 24 per cent. This is an alarming situation and a serious cognisance of it must be taken.”
Speaking about the defence production policy, Lt Gen Saha, said, “This is for the first time that the government of India has come up with clear and unambiguous targets. The government has decided to spend Rs 1,70,000 crore and has aimed at increasing exports to around Rs 35,000 crore in the coming years.”
SIDM is a not-for-profit association which is the apex body of the Indian defence industry. SIDM plays a proactive role as an advocate, catalyst, and facilitator for the growth and capability building of the defence industry in India.
Lt Gen (retd) Subrata Saha said, “We have received tremendous response for SIDM. Our vision at SIDM is to catalyse the Indian defence industry to effectively contribute to India’s national security and become a global trustworthy partner.”
Dr Shailendra Gade, associate director, Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), said, “We have done very little for our soldiers. Although industries have helped a lot in research, a lot of efforts still need to be taken.”