Adani’s Ashish Rajvanshi: Building aerostructures is not going to take us too far
New Delhi: The head of defence and aerospace at Adani Group, Ashish Rajvanshi, talks about how the group is building the foundations for its defence business one step at a time.
Some other big firms like Tatas, Mahindras and L&T have things to show in defence or aerospace but Adanis have almost nothing?
India gets very excited because they just want to see these big parts but in percentage of costs they are like 10-15% (aerostructures). The real capability is design, engineering, system integration maintenance and upgrade. If we are able to bring those technologies to the country, then we have a sustainable ecosystem. Building aerostructures is not going to take us too far.
But despite the friendly ties, Israel, Russia and others don’t part with their technologies.
Absolutely. They have developed these IPs (Intellectual Property) over decades of work and we need to be creating a platform which can actually help them bring these technologies to the country. For the first time, the SP (strategic partnership) policy which has come out is actually creating that platform where they can share technology with the country. In the past we did not see that visibility.
Which verticals will you bid for?
Today the focus area is Saab fighter jets. The intent is “let me do everything and anything”, which is wrong. If there is infrastructure that already exists in the country, let the better person do it. That is the philosophy we believe in. Why do we need to replicate what is already out there? If someone can do it better than us, let them do it.
How many people are there in Adani defence?
We have a team of almost 50 people. This has been on for the last two years. Adani has set up technology scouting centres in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, New York and London to ensure we are able to bring best of technologies and partners to India. We are setting up a defence and aerospace manufacturing cluster in Mundra SEZ, where we have our private functional airstrip, hangar and plug-and-play infrastructure with excellent connectivity to ports, railways, highways.
How’s your tie-up with Israel’s Elbit Systems India Ltd going?
We established a joint venture with our Israeli partner Elbit Systems on unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Our joint vision with Elbit is to design, develop, maintain and upgrade the Hermes 900 UAS.
Jointly, we replied to the RFI for 150 platforms required under Make in India last year. Adani and Elbit are setting up carbon composites aerostructures manufacturing unit in Mundra where carbon fuselage, V-tails and the wings of Hermes 900 will be made and exported to Israel. This will be a state-of-the-art carbon composites facility, which will later be used to serve Indian orders.