By Sumit Kumar Singh
Bengaluru, Feb 3 : Poised to grow reasonably well in defence business in the coming years, BEML Chairman and Managing Director M.V. Rajasekhar has said that BEML has around Rs 4,660 crore orderbook as on date and around Rs 850 crore worth of orders in the pipeline.
Rajasekhar also said during Aero India that the company will explore opportunities under offsets and joint ventures in the areas of mutual interest. Meetings have been planned with global Original Equipment Manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Rosoboronexport.
Excerpts of the interview:
Q: Over the last five-and-a-half decades, BEML has been supplying quality products and services to sectors such as Mining & Construction, Rail & Metro, Defence and Aerospace. How successful has the company been in achieving its missions and goals? What are major accomplishments in the recent times?
A: Yes. We were able to achieve our short-term goals. However, some of the long-term plans are yet to be achieved and we are on the trajectory for achieving the same. During recent times ample numbers of accomplishments has been achieved by the company.
Q: What are the capabilities of the newly-launched Aerospace Assembly Hangar, situated within BEML’s Bangalore Complex, and the new Industrial Design Centre?
A: New Aerospace Assembly Hangar has been set up at Bangalore Complex to take up the manufacture of the Light Alloy Structures for GSLV Mk III structures. Required infrastructures have been established to meet the stringent quality requirements of ISRO. There was focus on implementing Industrial Design and Human Factors in all products. It is also global benchmarking for Industrial Design and Ergonomics and integration with research and development and manufacturing. It is also a hub for exchange of creative ideas and concepts to provide the Design-edge for better Market and User acceptance.
Q: How healthy is BEML’s orderbook?
A: At present we are having orderbook position of over Rs 12,200 crore which will be executed by 2023-24. Over the last few years BEML’s order book is very good. With respect to defence vertical, it has seen a rising trend in performance over the last five years. BEML has around Rs 4,660 crore orderbook as on date and around Rs 850 crore orders in the pipeline. With this orderbook position, BEML is poised to grow reasonably well in defence business in the coming years.
Q: How does the company support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative?
A: Atmanirbharta is in our DNA. Over the years indigenisation has been a big plank of our strategy. Under the government’s guidance, we have issued an expression of interest on every product for seeking manufacturing and technology partnerships from reputed Original Equipment Manufacturers looking to establish and or expand their supply chains or manufacturing base in India for the manufacture of various goods and or service business that is being imported as we want to go towards zero import on whatever item is being imported. BEML has also signed a ToT with Tatra Trucks for indigenisation of cabins for military trucks.
Under Atmanirbhar initiative, BEML is associated with IIT, Kanpur to establish a potential Industry – Research Institute relationship for joint development of 25 kg class Tactical UAV for surveillance application.
Furthermore, BEML is entering into an MOU with NAL to associate in the areas of Advanced Composites and Autoclaves, Mini UAV, Design and Analysis of Aircraft Structures and Systems. Efforts are also being made with global OEMs to associate for indigenous design and development of Unmanned Aerial Systems through technology transfer.
Q: What are the activities by BEML to promote the Defence indigenisation?
A: We have already achieved indigenisation levels of 84 per cent in High Mobility Vehicles and entered into Transfer of Technology with Tatra Trucks for indigenous manufacture of cabins for HMVs. Further, we have also planned for local manufacture of defence spares through joint ventures. There was development of 1500HP Engine for Defence Application.
BEML has taken up a project for Design, Development and Supply of 1500HP engine to Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment with end user being Indian Army. The engine will be supplied to use on Future Main Battle Tank and is dsigned to work in extreme environmental conditions.
Q: The products of BEML are exported to more than 67 countries. Could you shed some light on the export operations? Which are the main customers and what are the main export products?
A: BEML is exploring opportunities for exporting defence products to friendly neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Thailand etc. Apart from this, BEML has exported more than 1,100 equipments to various countries across the globe. Our main customers are Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Nepal and the main export products are HMV 8×8, HMV 6×6, Sarvatra Bridge System, Recovery Vehicles, Dozers and Excavators.
We have mainly exported Mining and Construction products globally. For improving the geo-strategic reach and increasing exports, we are working on various business opportunities in Defence, Mining and Construction and Rail and Metro segments in SAARC and Africa.
We are in continuous discussion with Indian Embassies and Defence Attaches with respect to business promotion and engaging local representatives and have already appointed representatives in Bangladesh, Tunisia, Cameroon, Thailand and are in the process of appointing more representatives across the globe. Also, we are conducting various webinars and e-meetings through Indian missions abroad to promote BEML products. Webinars have been conducted through Indian missions in countries such as Kenya, Senegal, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. Kenya region has been allocated to us by MoD and we have already registered BEML branch office at Kenya.
Q: What are the highlights of BEML’s participation at the Aero India 2021? How do you look at the expo as an opportunity to bridge new business relationships?
A: BEML is showcasing some of its prime products during Aero India, the biennial mega aero exhibition. The products, with theme of ‘Atmanirbharata’, include niche products such as Transporter Landing System (TLS) and Variants of Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). In the indoor Stall, BEML is also displaying various equipment and critical components in the aero-space sector.
BEML will explore opportunities under offsets and Joint Venture in the areas of mutual interest. Keeping in view of the above, meetings have been planned with global OEMs such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Rosoboronexport.
Q: What are the expansion plans for BEML’s business operations?
A: We are looking for growth in aerospace sector and have recently have established manufacturing facilities at our Bangalore complex. We have planned to manufacture and supply aerospace components and aggregates for National progammes and for other DPSUs. Recently, we have engaged management consultant firm McKinsey & Company Inc, Gurugram for devising Business-cum-Growth Plan, after obtaining Board and Ministry of Defence approval.
BEML plans to associate with global leaders for manufacturing airborne structures, aircraft systems that would enable BEML reaching the level of a Lead Integrator in the area of missile systems. In addition to this, BEML is also signing MoUs with strategic OEMs for introducing new products such as autonomous ground vehicles, twin tracked carriers, light armoured dozers, aggregates for T-90 tank and others under Make-in-India initiative.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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