The pandemic period has been a particularly odd time. How has the A&D sector fared in the past year, in your opinion? As an example, can you elaborate on how your organisation adapted to the industry low falls?
In the commercial aviation, we saw a sharp fall in orders over the last two years. What we have successfully done is, we have established new relations with aerospace majors from around the world like GE, Honeywell, UTC and others and one trend we saw was that the smaller companies in Europe and the US were really struggling to financially stay afloat. So, we managed to get a lot of that business transferred to us and also the anti-China sentiment helped us transition newer business here.
On the defence side, we have not seen a big shift either upwards or downwards in terms of demand in the defence sector. The pandemic hasn’t affected our defence work and is going as per plan because most of our defence projects are in tie-up with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
There is a forecast of India becoming the global aerospace hub. Your opinion? How can the government aid company, such as yours, in the journey?
There is no doubt that India will become one of the global aerospace hubs because an aerospace hub is first driven by the market. Although there has been a significant growth in air travel over the last 10 years, there is a lot of growth yet to be seen. The government can help in several way: The government needs to build more airports which can take not just turbo props but single line aircraft like A-220 and Boeing 737 to grow the air traffic and to develop a robust civil aerospace industry. It should also relook at the incentives for aerospace to get technology which is available in the west.
Unmanned aircrafts are a hot topic both from India's commercial & defence (government) perspective. Does your organisation plan on venturing into this segment? If yes, what strategies do you plan to put in place to compete with pre-existing players?
At Rangson’s, we very clear about what our business is. We do not have plans to make UAVs as we are already working with several companies who manufacture UAVs and provide them with our solutions. We have products that are tailored to these UAV companies. So, we will be an active player in it and provide systems that are required for successfully flying UAVs.
There are a lot of start-ups entering India’s A&D segment. How can industry majors and start-ups collaborate to ensure India becomes the A&D hub for the globe?
The biggest challenge in A&D in terms of start-up ecosystem is that when a start-up tries to develop a new product or solution, the qualification timeline of it is lengthy. I believe the ecosystem should come together and figure out how to shorten the qualification cycle without compromising on safety. In addition, incubation centres for start-ups will help it accelerate its time-to-market to bring out new solutions. Lastly, industry majors also need to collaborate with start-ups.
What does India in 2022 look like for the A&D sector to you? What strategies need to be instilled to ensure your organisation is a contributor to the Indian economy?
For commercial aviation, 2022 will be the first year in the last three years where we will see some significant uptake in global air, with vaccination proving to be successful. As far as defence is concerned, the biggest challenge continues to be our defence acquisition formalities because tendering system is the major bottle neck in moving fast. While we understand the challenges the MoD faces, it is very important for us to shorten the buying sales cycle times.
At Rangsons, we are trying to create an ecosystem where new product technology is developed with the range of our products. For us almost 80% of our revenue comes from product sales and not from services not manufacturing or design services.