The PHDCCI Defence & HLS Committee, in association with the Department of Defence Production, Govt. of India, TIDCO and CODISSIA, recently organised a hybrid conference on ‘Opportunities for MSMEs in Defence Manufacturing and Exports’. The webinar was focused on several initiatives of the government to indigenise and encourage innovation in the sectors and to shed light on the plethora of opportunities for MSMEs.
Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary Defence Production, PHDCCI Defence, chief guest for the conference said that MSMEs are the rising star of any production manufacturing ecosystem, and the same is applicable to the MSMEs working in the defence sector. He also mentioned that orders worth 50K crores have been opened up for domestic defence manufacturing. He added that more than 12000 MSMEs are fuelling the growth of the aerospace and defence sector towards making an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
He applauded that the industry and the industry associations are joining hands to enhance the country’s defence manufacturing capabilities. He insisted that the impetus is being given by the government in procuring through domestic sources. The government, through the various innovation projects and iDex, is committed to promoting the interest of MSMEs in the sector.
Addressing at the conference, Anurag Bajpai, Joint Secretary (DIP), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, cited, “The Government of India is laying down policies to strengthen the defence production as well as R&D ecosystem in the country simultaneously, creating a level playing field for the private sector. In line with the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it has given a push to realise the goal of self-reliance with MSMEs playing a vital role.”
Moving further, Praveen Kumar, DDG-DOMW, Department Defence Production, Government of India, highlighted, “The key objective of the defence offset policy is to develop the Indian defence industry at large. The development of the Indian MSME, by leveraging capital acquisitions and technologies, is crucial for the development of the defence sector in India.”
In his welcome address, M K Gupta, Chairman, PHDCCI Defence & HLS Committee, mentioned, “The government has been able to drive key programmes with speed to bridge the critical asset gaps for the armed forces, which is the 'primary objective'. However, much more is desired from the Indian Government to address the 'secondary objective' of building indigenous defence industrial capability in India and towards reducing dependence on imports.”
Plus, Pankaj Kumar Bansal, IAS; Chairman & MD, TIDCO, informed, “The major opportunities for MSMEs in the defence sector are revenue budget of armed forces, innovations for defence excellence, technology development fund, transfer of technology from DRDO, international collaboration due to negative import list, Make in India opportunities - Srijan portal and export opportunities.”
Continuing the discussion, M V Ramesh Babu, President, CODISSIA, mentioned, “The new policies are focusing on the institutionalisation, streamlining and simplification of defence procurement procedures to boost the Make in India initiative for promoting indigenous design and development as well as manufacturing of defence equipment platforms, systems and subsystems. The policy reforms such as the draft DPP 2020, defence corridors and tax initiatives are expected to boost private participation in the defence sector.”
Further, Ashish Saraf, VP & Country Director-India, Thales, highlighted, “It is important to acknowledge that MSME’s of the world today provide an incredible amount of agility, innovation and cost-benefit in an ever-changing world. MSMEs having a small structural cost base, smaller workforce and agile management controlled by a small number of people, is able to make quick decisions and adapt to changes quite early in the supply chain situation.”
Adding to it, Ashwani Bhargava, Director, Supply Chain Management, Boeing India, mentioned, “Significant success has been observed in standards and machining sheet metal as well as other parts that are newly being produced. There is a width of sourcing opportunities coming from India and a wide variety of trade opportunities for MSMEs. India’s becoming more relevant in the Boeing supply chain because of a bigger supply base; there is also a stark focus on new technologies and the notion of Industry 4.0.”
Expressing his views, Partha P Roy Chowdhury, Director – Commercial & Industrial Dev, Lockheed Martin, cited, “India is expected to emerge as one of the leading economies in the world. India’s MSME sector is also expected to play a significant role in this emergence of the Indian economy. The development of this segment is extremely critical to meet the national imperatives of the financial inclusion and generation of high-level employment; this is for both the urban and semi-urban sectors.”
Speaking at the webinar, Cmde (Retd.) Mukesh Bhargava, VP & Board Member, L&T Defense, mentioned, “MSMEs are an integral part of the supply chain for the OEMs and large industries because they are mainly the creator of niche technologies. The foreign OEMs look at them for design technologies, EMRs, Deep-Tech and disruptive technologies as well as building blocks of Industry 4.0.”
Vikas Balani, AGM, SIDBI, shared about the various schemes that SIDBI is offering to the MSMEs, especially with respect to the defence and aerospace sector.
The votes of thanks was given by Vikram Sahgal and Rudra Shriram, Co-chairs of PHDCCI Defence & HLS Committee. The sessions were moderated by Vivek Seigell, ASG, PHDCCI and Dr Nasir Jamal, Secretary, PHDCCI. The conference was also addressed by the global OEMs, Indian OEMs and the MSMEs, sharing their perspective and role on the vision of self-reliance in defence manufacturing. It was attended by more than 200 MSMEs from across the country.
The webinar was also supported by PHDCCI’s annual sponsors, such as Multani Pharmaceuticals; Star Wire; P G Industry; Uflex; DLF; Continental Carriers; Belair Travel & Cargo; Radico Khaitan; Jindal Steel & Power; MMG Group; Paramount Communications; Superior Industries; JK Tyre & Industries; SMC Investments and Advisors; Crystal Crop Protection; Sagar Group of Industries; Samsung India Electronics; Comtech Interio; R E Rogers; AYUSH Herbs; Apeejay Stya Group; DCM Shriram; EaseMyTrip; Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products; Oswal Greentech; Trident Group; MV Cotspin; Synergy Environics; Ajit Industries; P S BEDI & Co; Indian Farmer & Fertilizers Corporation; Jindal Steel; Hindware Sanitary; Modern Automobiles; Livit; Axa Parenterals; Bhagwati Plastic and Pipes Industries; J K Insurance Brokers; DD Pharmaceutical.