Bengaluru, April 08: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India push is slowly showing positive signs in the defence sector, with the private industry getting visible roles in design, development and manufacturing processes.
At the just-concluded DefExpo in Goa, OneIndia interviewed Rajesh Gupta, Senior Sales Manager, Light Weight Armour Solutions, MKU Pvt Ltd, a Kanpur-based defence company, to get a pulse of the Make in India mission.
Rajesh said with the thrust on Make in India, the change in the mindset of the government of the day is inspiring.
"Export is an important factor in self reliance. You cannot sustain your business interest only on local competition. In defence, it is paramount to have a global perspective which will only come through exports," says Rajesh.
MKU is probably among the largest defence exporter in India and their businesses have grown substantially in the last 10 years.
He said with the Make in India push, the whole response system has changed, which he termed as a welcome change.
"Even Indian missions abroad are now listening to us. We find them very reactive. He said events like the DefExpo held in Goa would help more technology to come to India. All we need to build is a better echo system around the defence sector within the country," Rajesh said.
He said with an experience of over 25 years of manufacturing uncompromising protection solutions for the world military, MKU has today become a world leader in the segment.
"We have around 400-plus employees across various centres, including in Germany and UAE. We are investing around Rs 500 crore for a new facility. Our R&D spend is around 6-8 per cent of the total sales turnover. If we can go to Mars, what's defence industry? Just that we should get an opportunity," he said.
At DefExpo, MKU unveiled a new product named NICS -- Network-centric Integrated Combat System for Soldiers.
Rajesh said NICS is MKU's answer to the ever-increasing NCW (Network-Centric Warfare) missions.
"NICS is an integrated body armour embedded with a health monitoring system. It is light and helps the soldiers to remain connected to a multiple communication systems," he said.
At DefExpo, MKU inked a MoU with Russian firm JSC Shvabe to manufacture electro-optical (EO) devices in India, with production facility in Kanpur. MKU said the JV is not focused only on manufacturing of EO devices but also to cater to the needs of Army.