CYIENT is a technology driven company in the aerospace product engineering sector with a distinctive focus on supporting Indian initiatives in the additive engineering sector. Their product range include dual transmitter and receiver module, aircraft interiors and printed circuit boards. CYIENT intends taking the advantages that accrue from DPP 2016 for a greater presence in the India Defence Sector. They also expect further improvement in doing business in India.
Interview With Dr V Padmanavan, Sr VP, Systems & Solutions, CYIENT
Brig SK Chatterji (SKC): Tell us about your growth story. The landmarks you have achieved, product range etc.
Dr. V Padmanavan (Dr. VP): Cyient entered aerospace product engineering about 15 years ago, and with the support from clients has been consolidating its domain expertise continuously. Starting with discrete drawing conversion and analysis the company is currently co-innovating for a leading global aero-engine manufacturer and has filed more than 25 patents jointly with them. To date, Cyient has 2700 plus engineers supporting clients across domains such as aero engines, aero structures, avionics, aero interiors, and aero systems. The Cyient team has cumulative experience of over 30 million hours in aero-engineering. Likewise, Cyient’s subsidiary, Rangsons Electronics, has graduated from being an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) company to an Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) partner supplying mission-critical electronics hardware to the global
SKC: You are a technology driven company. How do you progress R&D within your company/Group?
Dr. VP: Cyient has been designing solutions for various global majors in the aerospace and defence sector for 15+ years, and research and development (R&D) is in the DNA of the company. Two of Cyient’s R&D units in Hyderabad are recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India). We are also working with the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI, under the Department of Science & Technology, of the government of India), and are proposing to support India’s R&D initiative in the area of additive manufacturing.
SKC: Currently who are your major defence customers and what products do you sell them?
Dr. VP: Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with our clients restrict us from sharing confidential information about the specific work we do for them. Some of our key products include the following:
- Dual transmitter and receiver modules (DTRMs) for microwave radar
- Central processing units (CPUs), motherboards and power supply for tactical reconnaissance
- Onboard radio and ground systems for air traffic management
- Seeker and computer assemblies for missile systems
- Aircraft interiors and cabin lighting components
- Printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in lighting boards and landing-gear electronics
SKC: DPP – 2016 is mostly out there in the open domain. How do you rate the DPP 2016 and what are your other major expectations.
Dr. VP: The DPP issues addressed so far pertain to the flexibility in offset discharge and creating a level playing field for the private sector. These changes are encouraging, and expected to stimulate offset execution as well as instill the much-desired confidence in India’s private sector to participate in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) tenders. The announcement about the introduction of a new procurement category—Indigenous Design Development & Manufacturing (IDDM)—in DPP 2016 is a welcome step and supports Indian companies, and will pave the way for self-reliance in defense. Going forward, we expect the MoD to further open up exports of defense products, and review the methodology for calculating indigenous content, since defence supply chain is distributed globally with very little homegrown content. We believe that the focus should always be on system engineering, integration and building intellectual property (IP) in the country.
SKC: What are your views about defence business becoming a reality for Indian entities in 3-5 years timeframe?
Dr. VP: Indian government’s intent to source defence products from Indian entities with prescribed indigenous content will undoubtedly result in the substantial growth of the domestic industry in the long term. This, coupled with the introduction of the IDDM category in DPP 2016, will lead to self-reliance in defence through design-led-manufacturing of defence goods. Although the modernization needs of the Indian armed forces are both significant and technology intensive, budget and capability constraints mean that the actual supply from the domestic industry cannot be expected to commence in 3-5 years. It is, therefore, essential that the government encourage setting up of facilities in India and enable export of India-built defence equipment (which is not sensitive from the national security perspective) for the global supply chain.
SKC: How do you think liberalisation has helped growth of Indian defence industry?
Dr. VP: The government has taken significant steps by removing products, which are not sensitive from the defence perspective, from the Industrial License list. Likewise, the notifying procedure for obtaining a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Department of Defence Production has shrunk the lead time for export of components and accessories of defence equipment. However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) still face difficulty in categorising their products under appropriate categories as per the ITC (HS) Classification. The department of industrial policy and promotion must work for further improvement of ease of doing business.