Def Pro Ac Deputy Editor Ritika Behal interacted with Mr. Arijit Ghosh President and Managing Director, Textron India Private Limited. Some excerpt -------
Def ProAc (DPA):- Heartiest Congratulations on taking over as President and Managing Director, Textron India Private Limited. It has been a credible journey from IFS to Mckinsey, Honeywell and presently to Textron. Could you briefly elaborate on your vision and strategy toward driving growth of Textron businesses in India?
Arijit Ghosh (AG):- Firstly, thank you very much for your kind words. Textron is a global multi industry conglomerate. Textron has five business units: (1) Bell Helicopter, (2) Textron Aviation whose products include Cessna business jets and, Beechcraft turboprops as well as military trainers, , (3) Textron Systems which is primarily into defense but also offers aircraft simulators for training, and (4) Industrials whose portfolio includes Golf cart, utility vehicles, off road vehicles, turf maintenance equipment, airport ground support equipment, automotive fuel systems etc. and (5) Textron Financials. It is a diversified conglomerate in true sense. Just to give you an idea of the breadth of the product line, I would say that on one hand we are working on a jet called Scorpion which would be one of the most affordable combat aircraft in the world, on the other side of the house our EZ Go golf cart and Ransomes & Jacobsen turf maintenance equipment are best in class; Klauke is a leading brand of electrical tools, TRU makes flight simulators, Kautex makes blow molded fuel tanks and has a factory near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Our customers range from Government to private companies, mostly B 2B.
Because we are present in multiple sectors, we are well diversified. We are witnessing all round economic growth in India. Most of the sectors where Textron is present are growing in India. We are very well positioned to benefit from this as we will be able to offer products and services that are best in class with unparallel value propostion to Indian customers.
DPA:- Could you briefly elaborate range of your defence products? How important is India as a market for Textron Systems? What are the opportunities and challenges you see for Textron in Indian Defence Market?
AG:- We are excited about the Indian Defence Market. The Indian Defence Budget is roughly USD 40 Billion, which makes India one of the bigger defense markets in the world.
Textron is currently integrating its Sensor Fuze Weapon on the Jaguar Fleet of the Indian Air Force. In addition, Textron is engaged in several military and Para Military Forces opportunities. Bell Helicopters light and medium helicopters can meet Indian armed forces’ requirement. Textron Systems’ wide array of products including Tactical and small UAS, Armored Vehicles and Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) are also very well positioned to meet Indian Military’s requirement. Textron’s Micro Observer (MO) unattended Ground Sensors (UGS), Aerosonde UAS and Spider smart munition system are excellent products that could meet the internal security requirements of India. In addition, our Shadow UAS is one the world’s best Tactical UAS that could also find merit in some of the security environment.
DPA:-What are your views/experience of the Indian market vis-à-vis the markets of other developing countries and expectations from the changing environment?
AG:- We are excited about India. Inida’s GDP growth rate is one of the highest among emerging markets. Various initiatives are being taken by the Government and these reforms are in the right direction.. India is not only a market for us but also a place where you can get the right talent. We have got an outstanding engineering and technology center in Bangalore. Indian engineers are engaged in cutting edge work in the field of helicopters, fixed wing aircrafts etc. So we are excited about the Indian talent pool. India is not only a market for products, but also an important place where you look for bright engineering talents.
DPA:-Textron Engineering Centre, could you kindly explain the brief background and the technical edge the Textron Inc. has over the similar kind of industries?
AG:- The engineering centers started more than 10 years ago and since then we have ramped it up. The engineering ecosystem in Bangalore is well developed and we have access to good talents. Our engineers work in core design and engineering area. Really it's a winning proposition for both engineers as well as for Textron.
DPA:- Which are the areas in which the company is collaborating or propose to collaborate with the Indian Defence Public & Private Sector Companies?
AG:- We are considering collaborations with the Indian companies in various sectors such as for Helicopters or for Unmanned Aerial Systems. We are in discussion with several potential Indian partners. Without going into specifics, I would say that depending upon the nature of the business opportunity, we would take decision to partner with the Indian companies. We are also active in identifying sourcing opportunities in India. For example we are currently sourcing structural parts for Bell Helicopters from Dynamatic Technologies in Bangalore in addition to several other sourcing programs.
DPA:-India is currently in the midst of modernization drive with numerous procurements on the anvil. What are your thoughts on the Defence Procurements Procedures? Specially the offsets?
AG:- Textron is committed to work with the Indian MoD in accordance with the Defence Procurement Policy. We believe that with our technological edge, we can provide right solution to the complete satisfaction of our customers.
DPA:-The present Government is inclined to increase the FDI in defence sector; and in the recent budget, the FM has proposed abolition of FIPB. Is it likely to speed up or give boost to FDI in Defence?
AG:- I think it is a step in the right direction .