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S. M. Vaidya, VP, Godrej Aerospace, "Economic Slow down has Least Impact on Indian Aerospace Industry"

The Godrej PCS Division, is executing major Aerospace projects involving Precision machining, Precision fabrication, Assembly, Testing & Supply of Complex & Airworthy Systems. Vice President, PCS Division, S. M. Vaidya shares his experience with Editor, Lucintel, K. Venkateshwar. Rao. Excerpts:

1. What are the key drivers for composites consumption in Aerospace industry?

S.M. Vaidya: The domestic projects have matured enough to productionise and supply to end users. There is also possibility of Government allowing export of domestic projects in future and thus increase volume. Mandatory offset requirements will open aerospace manufacturing and design business for private sector. Composites intake in aerospace will increase due to these factors. We see huge investment taking place in composites and some of the Private Industries have even started exporting their products taking advantage of best cost territory which is over and above the two scenarios mentioned above.

2. Challenges faced by your company in Indian market?

Vaidya: The biggest challenge for all of us is availability of Raw Material for all types whether it is metallic, composites or electronics. Even though sufficient manufacturing expertise has been developed but most of us are in the area of built to print and on FIM (Free Issue Material) culture.

3. Tell us about the impact of government policies on aerospace industry?

Vaidya: Govt. polices like 26%, Foreign Direct Investment, releasing of licence and even considering some of the private industries for RUR will have good impact on Aerospace industry. We would be happy if govt. looks to forgo the taxation i.e. duties, levies applicable to Indian manufacturers vis-a-vis PSU and ordinance factories and duty exemption on imports. Govt. should also look into setting up SEZ’s or industrial areas specific to aerospace much faster with single window approach and also equip them with good infrastructure, training institutes, material stockiest and qualification and acceptance/non destructive testing laboratories. Govt. shall also emphasize need on DGAQA, DGCA for back to back approvals from Federal Aviation Authority and European Aviation Authority.

4. Steps required for making India an exporting hub?

Vaidya: Similar to automobile industry, Govt. shall allow private industries to participate in direct programs of armed forces by which proper tierised system will get set up which is urgently required. Govt. shall also focus on developing specific business units as Indian manufacturers, Hydraulic Aggregate manufacturers, Actuators Manufacturer etc.

5. Challenges faced by composite end-users in India?

Vaidya: We have limited exposure in usage of composites, but we regularly hear in various seminars that composites raw material has finite shelf life and more than 50% of time is lost in transit and custom clearance between the two countries. Due to this, cost of manufacturing and delivery gets adversely affected.

6. How does 'Made in India' product compare with 'Rest of the World' in terms of quality?

Vaidya: Presently quality of our manufacturing is controlled by extensive inspection which actually filters out non-confirming parts. Therefore, the end user is not seeing it, however, for this business to sustain we need to improve on yield which will reduce our cost and to do this; we shall focus more on systematic manufacturing process as per AS9100 recommendations. FAI shall be done more rigorously and we should find out statistical process control for repeatability of our process. When we will reach close to six-sigma we can say that “Made in India” product is comparable or beyond rest of the world in terms of quality.

7. Has global slowdown affected the market and how do you foresee the growth forward?

Vaidya: Presently we do not see much of an impact because of economic slow down as we are engaged in government projects. Most of us are working on new programs of international aerospace players which will not be stopped as new generation Air Crafts are becoming necessity for better fuel efficiency and to protect global warming, but we see that after 6 -8 months our delivery may get staggered and there can be a limited impact on inventory carrying cost.

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