Mr. Neeraj Gupta, Managing Director, MKU Limited and Chairman, SIDM International and Exports Committee.
Under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, the Government of India has given a strong push to indigenise the requirements of the Armed forces by focusing immensely on procurement from the domestic Industry. The Draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 along with the release of DAP 2020 and Draft DPM 2021 have laid down the foundation for the next phase of growth of the Indian Industry. The ‘Positive indigenisation lists’ together with separate allocation of the capital budget for the domestic procurement has given a great impetus to the Industry despite the prevailing pandemic.
Along with these efforts, there have been bold changes in the procedural landscape to ensure that the Indian Defence Exports grows significantly. The Indian Private Industry has shown excellent growth since the sector opened in 2001 and has evolved from being a component and subsystem manufacturer to one which designs and builds complete solutions, system of systems and platforms. According to the latest figures released by the Ministry, Indian defence exports have proved to be resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic with just a slight decline in FY 2020 – 21 where total exports stood at Rs 8434.83 Cr against Rs 9115.55 in FY 2019-20. The Private Sector’s contribution, based on export authorisations were valued at Rs 7271.25 Cr in FY 2020–21 and Rs 8007.81 Cr in FY 2019–20, representing 86% and 88% of total exports in those two years respectively, with DPSUs securing the remaining. In FY 2018–19 private-sector export authorisations were valued at Rs 7387.23 Cr constituting 89% of total exports.
Today, with the ability of the Indian industry to pursue frugal innovation, a track record in development and production of differentiated products, coupled with a greater contribution in Defence Exports, Indian Exports can be catapulted to achieve Rs 35,000 Cr in Exports by 2025 through focused interventions by the Ministry of Defence.
In the past decade as well, India has strengthened its defence relationship with multiple friendly foreign countries which has been marked by an increase in bilateral military exchanges and exercises. Along with the military engagements, India has also made significant strides to increase its overall defence industrial trade with these countries.
Since its inception, SIDM has been working extensively to expand the Industry’s global footprint by engaging with its counterpart organizations and Indian Missions abroad. The Society has organized seminars, delegations and interaction with countries having a strong defence market and has MoUs with Defence Industry Associations from the UK, France, South Korea, Brazil and Sweden.
SIDM continues to boost exports and connect industry with the global market by facilitating inputs as received from the MoD. SIDM has facilitated export and JV/partnership requests from Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Ukraine, South Africa, UK, Philippines and Tanzania for items ranging from Mine Protected vehicles to explosives and ammunition previously. We continue to engage strongly in promoting the Indian Defence Industry with India’s major strategic partners like the US, the UK, Russia, France and Israel.
I am delighted to share that SIDM’s latest MoU with the Swedish Security and Defence Industry (SOFF) was signed in the presence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Defence Minister of India and Mr Peter Hutlqvist, Hon’ble Defence Minister of Sweden on 8th June. As part of the MoU, a Joint Working Group will be formed to take forward mutual objectives of defence cooperation.
Though 20 – 21 has been marked by the pandemic, SIDM has had tremendous support from the Ministry of Defence and our Missions abroad through whom we have engaged with multiple foreign governments and associations. In this period, I am happy to share that there have been 25 bilateral engagements with 19 countries where the Indian Industry has duly pitched its capability for being a capable global supplier.
As Chairman of SIDM’s International and Exports Committee, I take this opportunity to reaffirm SIDM’s commitment to enhancing Indian exports and steering the Industry to achieve Rs 35,000 Cr in Defence Exports by 2025.
I would also like to invite all members of the Industry to join SIDM and be part of the ‘aatmanirbhar’ movement. With greater involvement of the Industry towards our export initiatives, I am confident we would be able to enhance our export value and volume in the near future.
MKU is an Indian defence company headquartered in Kanpur, India. It has 4 production facilities of which 3 are in India and the fourth one is in Sittensen, Germany. The company manufactures protection and surveillance range of equipment and solutions. MKU has spent the last three decades building up a broad product portfolio that includes ballistic vests, ballistic helmets and other personal protection products for military and security forces as well as Platform armouring solutions for land-air-sea platforms. It has recently set up one of the most modern facilities for the manufacture of Night Vision Devices and Day sights. MKU is a registered NATO & UN supplier, and all its manufacturing facilities are certified to ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100, ISO 14000 standards and it has also received the much coveted BA 9000 certification, mandated by NIJ for Body Armour products. Till date, it has provided protection to over 2 million soldiers and 2000 platforms. Its products are used by 230 forces in over 100 countries worldwide.