Hyderabad: Indo–American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) AP & TS organized a Round-Table Discussion on “Overcoming Challenges in Aerospace and Defense sectors for sustainable business growth at Hyderabad” on Friday at Novotel Hotel Airport, Hyderabad. The Round-table discussion supported by GMR Aerospace & Industrial Park was attended 35 people comprising of MDs / Directors / CEOs / CFOs of sectors. The round table saw people from different sector put forth the problems they face and opportunities they foresee in the Aviation, Aerospace and Defence sectors.
Giving details in a press note issued in the city today Mr. Shrikant Badiga, Chairman of IACC – AP & TS said that Aerospace and Defence sector plays a very important role and to complement and accelerate economy more industries need to come up. Hyderabad has very good potential and the GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park is complimenting the growth of the sector for India. The eco-system is there but minor issues have to be addressed and ironed out for the sector to bloom. Most international companies are looking at Hyderabad as a potential hub for setting up industries, he said.
There is huge business potential for the Aerospace and Defence sectors in Hyderabad. With the encouragement and the positive policies of the Telangana Government, a huge eco-system of Aerospace and Defence sectors can be created in Hyderabad. There is a very investor-friendly environment in Hyderabad. The Aerospace and Defence sectors have taken off smoothly and have a promising journey ahead. IACC would coordinate with American companies to bring in a good number of American companies to develop a very positive ecosystem and further strengthen it, said Mr. Shrikant.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Praveen PA, Director, Aerospace and Defence, Government of Telangana said that Aerospace, Defence, IT and Pharma are the thrust areas of the Telangana Government. More companies are looking at Hyderabad as it has the people with the right skill sets, infrastructure, vendor base and a proactive government. Aerospace and Defence companies are looking at Hyderabad to set up their manufacturing bases, he said. With GMR Aerospace and Industrial Park, Adibatla, Hardware Park, etc. the south of Hyderabad city is becoming home to 4-5 strong clusters in these sectors, Mr. Praveen said.
Hyderabad will be a hub of aerospace and defence where all activities, including R&D, manufacturing, etc. will happen, Mr. Praveen opined. The government is having a multi-pronged approach with tie-ups with universities to set up need-based education programs, setting up of centres of excellence and promoting a lot of startups and related activities, he stated.
Some other things discussed, shared and suggested by the eminent leaders from State Government, Industry leaders and other stakeholders were: Regulatory Certification processes to be streamlined; Tax structure in Engine MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) to be rationalized as compared to other countries; Delay in processing of tax rebates by various ministries to be addressed; Focus on Aerospace and Defence industry for youth; Startup ecosystem in Aviation, Aerospace and Defence to be created; Skill development programs to be strengthened; Skill development programs between MSMEs Tier1 and Tier2 suppliers to be developed; etc.
Dr. Ramkumar Rudrabhatla, MD, P&P Nexgen Tech P. Ltd. sharing his thoughts said that Hyderabad has a huge potential and it needs to be tapped. The private sector has a critical part to play, he said. He opined that we need to integrate R&D to the industry operations. Though there are a lot of issues and challenges, the defence industry is going from an era of self-sufficiency to self-reliance, Dr. Ramkumar said.
Mr. Rajendra Velagapudi, MD & CEO, Cyient DLM lamented that it is a challenge and takes a lot of time to get approvals from the Government. Support is needed in this regard, he said. Giving an example of them, he said that it took 1 year’s time for approvals from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MIETY).
Mr. Gaurav Kamath, Head, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.-Boeing (TASL-Boeing) stressed on skill and quality of STEM education; he said that it is a challenge to find and retain the right talent. Aerospace requires intellect, but with so many easier options available for youth, it is taking out much talent, he opined. We have defence offset but maybe civil offset will give the industry a nudge, he said.
Mr. Vijaya Sai Meka, Senior Vice Chairman, IACC AP & TS said that the objective of the program is to highlight the challenges and to discuss the solutions for the sustainable business growth of Aerospace and Defence sectors at Hyderabad. The findings will be shared with the Government of Telangana and further steps will be taken to mitigate the problems.