Bengaluru, November 11: Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao has charted a flight-path for the growth of aerospace and defence in the state. KCR's dream of capturing the legacy of the defence sector in the region will be spelt out during a three-day international conference set to take off at the Novotel Hotel in Hyderabad on November 12. The CM and his team have lined up some proposals to inspire plane parties to spread their wing over the skies of Telangana. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India' pitch is expected to get a further boost at the event, with the Telangana Government ready to embrace the idea wholeheartedly.
In an exclusive interview to OneIndia on Tuesday, Dr V K Saraswat, Chairman, Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), said that in addition to exploring the opportunities in aerospace and defence sector, the meet will also capture the available supply chain logistics in the region. "The idea is to avail the growth in the sector in line with PM's Make in India campaign. Hyderabad has many defence establishments and the CM is keen that the benefits reach the entire Telangana region. The government is ready to give land, communication systems, infrastructure and tax incentives to companies who are willing to spread their businesses in the region," Dr Sarswat said.
Creation of jobs priority for KCR
Dr Saraswat said that the CM also wanted creation of more jobs out of aviation and defence sector. "During the meet, we shall help the companies to have B-2-B meetings with the government officials. Over 35 speakers have been lined during the event, which will see participation from many international companies as well. Dassault Aviation, Honeywell, Bell Helicopters, Israeli Aerospace Industries, Airbus and Lockheed Martin will have their top representatives at the meet. We are confident that more jobs will be created when these companies start their business ventures, which will economically push the Telangana state forward," Dr Saraswat, former DRDO chief, said.
He said with Hyderabad being the home for many DRDO labs, defence PSUs and SMEs actively participating in some of the national missions, the stage is ideally set for global aviation firms to look for joint ventures. "Getting land won't be an issue and the state government is ready to fast-track all that is needed to begin operations. We are also looking at opportunities in civil aviation and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). It's a great opportunity and Telangana state will soon become the hub for India's aerospace and defence activities," Dr Saraswat said. He said companies can also take advantage of the GMR Aerospace Park set up close to the airport.
Tapping legacy resources of the state
According to Jayesh Ranjan, Managing Director, Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC), the government is ready with an Aerospace Policy which will be tabled in the Assembly soon. Speaking to OneIndia over phone from Hyderabad, Ranjan said that the government had identified 12 core sectors, including defence and aerospace, as prospective growth areas. "This is part of our industrial policy. We have a great eco system in the state aviation and defence, which we call it as legacy resources. There are over 500 SMEs actively involved for the last 3-4 decades. We are truly inspired by the PM's ‘Make in India' policy and are pushing our agendas in that direction now," Ranjan said.
He said once the industrial policy is out, Telangana state will be become the much-sought-after-destination for business houses. "While we are committed to provide jobs for the people of our state, we are excited to explore new business avenues in the aerospace sector. Many next-generation R&D works are happening in this field, which we want to tap for the benefit of our state," Ranjan added.
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)