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EMERGING STARTUPS IN INDIAN DEFENCE ECOSYSTEM

India's focus on indigenization cannot be completed unless startups are included in the supply chain. There are above 6,000 MSMEs across the country, supplying components and sub-assemblies to DPSU and OFB. To initiate MSMEs and startups to actively participate in defence manufacturing beside focusing on quality and R&D, needs the government attention. Introducing a new “Buy (IDDM)” procurement category is indubitably a right step towards it.

The focus of the Indian government has been recently on promoting indigenization and plunging imports,   hence, emphasis is on participation by industry, particularly MSMEs. To facilitate participation in defence contracts, procurement policies were made to boost indigenization in defence. Moreover, new category 'Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured' (IDDM) come up under “Buy” category, termed as Buy (IDDM).

Sadly but the fact is India imports nearly 60% of its defence equipment, spending close to $6.4 billion every year, despite of own governance nearly 70 years. The Government sector in defence design and production worked in closed compartment and DPSUs / OFB mainly relied on “Built to Print” production. They were engaged on taking all the limelight for producing even some less critical defence items and thus relied on imports for most of their parts and didn't look to break that cycle as they would have to go through the colossal process of getting it re-certified.

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