Mr. Sanjay Kumar CEO and MD Altran India speaks about Indian aerospace industry, Rafale Jet Deal and how Altran as global technology and consulting company is making difference in Indian aerospace industries.
- Tell us about Altran, which are the industries Altran caters in India?
In India Altran caters to Energy focusing on Oil and Gas and Nuclear, Aerospace, Automotive and Industrial equipment.
- Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.
My job was initially to turnaround the India operations which we have since done. We are now firmly positioned to achieve our strategic objectives for 2015. The journey has been tough as we have scaled up from just over 200 Full-time equivalents (FTE) to nearly 550 in the past 15 months! Over the next 12 months we will be focusing on delivering continued growth and working towards our objective of being a 1000 FTE organization by end of 2015.
- What is in space for Indian aerospace industry?
The Indian Aerospace Industry is on a cusp of a revolution. Thanks to the various initiatives of the Government to “Make in India” we believe that substantial opportunities will emerge both in military and civil Aerospace. The much awaited Rafale deal could potentially be a huge catalyst for change as it will be the first major fighter aircraft procurement in over 15 years. With the now applicable offset conditions this can drive substantive opportunities both in manufacturing and services.
- How do you see the future of Indian economy and your industry?
Well some key events will need to unfold for anyone to make a definitive conclusion on the future of the Indian economy. Should the Fed raise interest rates we could see some hot money flowing out and short term weakening of the Rupee which will impact import of capital equipment and could increase project costs.
Some of the impact can be cushioned through a more benign monetary policy domestically thus helping reduce the overall cost of credit and offsetting project cost increases wherever they depend on capital equipment import. India currently has the highest interest rate amongst all BRIC countries and this doesn’t help making it a more attractive destination for investment compared to its peers. Besides reduced interest rates will help increase domestic consumption which is key to sustaining a robust GDP growth.
Lastly the GST bill will be a key factor in demonstrating the capability of the country to focus beyond political compulsions and bring about a mindset change that increased growth is in the interest of all. The ability to move goods seamlessly will also be a fillip to manufacturing as also reduces compliance and complexity issues.
“Rafale deal will be a game changer from an economic standpoint”
- What Rafale fighter Jet deal means to India?
There are many dimensions to the answer, starting from a technology perspective, it will help in not only upgrading the capability of our defense forces, but more importantly bring the generation of aircrafts that currently we don’t have within India. And linked to that is the offset program, which will enable a host of at least some low end manufacturing. And if services were to be included in service offset which in turn means both employment as well as investment.
In terms of Macro-economic it also will help to demonstrate that the Indian Establishment is capable of making substantive investments in the defense sector because so far in the last 10 years we haven’t seen a single deal of this magnitude and International investor community particularly those in the defense sector do not feel convinced about India’s capability to actually go through with such large purchases and do they have the expertise to execute the orders of this scope, so that’s why it will be a game changer both from an economic stand point as it will create confidence in the defense community plus from a domestic stand point besides upgrading our defense capability and making us a safer country, it will bring in technology investments both in manufacturing and services.
- What innovations Altran bring in and what strategy have Altran adopted to tap Indian Market?
We have been first of all most delighted with the arrival of the Solar Impulse aircraft in India for which we are the engineering partners, in addition our expertise in Air traffic management systems and nuclear spent fuel management are areas in which we are uniquely placed to add value locally.
- Anything in the expansion/acquisition pipeline?
Very soon you will definitely hear us making some announcements!
- What is next for Altran in India?
The India group is not premised on any one deal, we will grow through a mix of both organic and inorganic which means our growth will be driven through a growth of customers which we already have and also through acquisitions. Some of these acquisitions will be announced this year which will essentially broaden our capability within India and the services that can offer from India to our customers globally.