Gautam Maini, Managing Director, Maini Precision Products provides
an informed view of what measures need to be taken to boost India’s aerospace industry
Bengaluru-headquartered Maini Precision Products is a diversified manufacturer and supplier of high precision components and assemblies, catering to a global clientele in the automotive & industrial and aerospace sectors. Key products manufactured by the company for the automotive & industrial sectors include precision components, machined castings & forgings, fuel filters and sub-assemblies used in engines, transmissions, fuel injection, turbo chargers, steering & chassis, for passenger commercial vehicles and precision components, machined castings and forgings for other industries; and for the aerospace sector include precision components and sub-assemblies used in aero structures, aero engines and aircraft systems. Presenting, edited excerpts of DMI’s interaction with Gautam Maini, Managing Director, Maini Precision Products on the subject.
India’s still-evolving aerospace industry: Challenge or opportunity
Given the relatively small size of the global aerospace business, and India’s emerging position as a cost-effective destination for sourcing in aerospace, there is a great opportunity. There is a challenge as well since the industry outside the government organisations is still in infancy and hence, to build up [the industry] to the levels of global aerospace industry, a tremendous amount of work is required in terms of developing skill sets, drawing investments and building the infrastructure.
Leveraging strengths to accelerate growth
To scale the global opportunity and leverage the inherent strengths, industry players and also the government have to get into a highly collaborative mode. There are efforts today, but most of the industries are working in silos. The industry needs to adopt a consortium approach, since there is hardly any need for competition with the overall pie being so big.
Ever since the US-China trade war has begun, Mexico has taken advantage of it to strengthen its aerospace exports to the US, the world’s biggest aerospace market. India has strong business ties with the US, can it or why can’t use the shift in global trade dynamics to help grow its aerospace industry?
An improvement in relationship with the US is a good opportunity to be leveraged by India. Also the Indian industry is better placed to give some competition to China than it was a couple of years ago. There is a need for concerted effort at the industry level and also at the level of the government. As a lot of business would flow to India if it is seen supported very strongly by the Indian government.
A few weeks ago, French aerospace major Safran announced plans to build Rs 290-crore plant for LEAP engines in Hyderabad, Telangana. What are its possible positive implications for the Indian aerospace industry?
Safran announcement of a facility for LEAP engines in Hyderabad is a good opportunity for the industry to create sub-tier ecosystem. This can be done by emulating the example of countries like Mexico which have used the location of a major OEM to create substantial long-term industrial infrastructure in aerospace.
A large number of companies in both the large size segment and the SMEs are taking keen interest in the aerospace sector. The government also has taken a number of measures, particularly to support the offset opportunities. There is a need for consolidating these efforts to achieve greater results.
The biggest challenge for the Indian aerospace industry are the long term investments, since it is very well known that the gestation period is very long for ROI to accrue. Both the Indian industry and the government have to accept this fact. We need to see the examples that we have in other economies that have developed their aerospace industries or are developing fast, where the government has supported by providing long-term investments or the soft funding for the industry.
What are the plans and the vision that Maini Group and Maini Precision Products Ltd for India’s aerospace industry?
Maini Group and its flagship company Maini Precision Products Ltd are fully committed to the aerospace sector and its growth. The company has taken a number of initiatives and has done substantial investments to grow its infrastructure and skill levels. In November 2017, a new aerospace facility dedicated only for aerospace manufacture was built. In less than two years, it has grown to a plant area size of 1,35,000 sq ft. with job opportunities for 500 people. A large number of CNC machines have been inducted into this new factory at a very rapid pace. These machine tools include a number of 5-axis machines including a large bed 3 meter size 5-axis profiler. The other company from Maini group, Maini Materials Movement Pvt. Ltd. is serving the aviations sector by developing indigenous battery-operated vehicles for the airside as well as for usage within terminals. The battery operated vehicles range from carrying capacities of 100 kg to 25 ton covering a vast range of ground support capabilities.
Gautam Maini, Managing Director, Maini Precision Products