Indian Air Force Promoting MSMEs In Defence Sector

Sapna Bhardwaj
Sapna Bhardwaj May 11 2022 - 6 min read
Indian Air Force Promoting MSMEs In Defence Sector
IAF urges MSMEs to take benefit of ‘Ingigenisation Opportunities Of The Force’. Indian Air Force and PHD Chamber organised a seminar yesterday urging the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to join the indigenisation efforts of the force.

‘Indigenisation Requirements of Indian Air Force: Opportunities for MSMEs’ was held yesterday on 10 May 2022. The event was organised by the Department of Defence Production, Indian Air Force; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was an industry interactive conference and a B2B gathering.

Understanding the role of MSMEs in India's Defence ad Procurements the one day conference discussed:
1.   Integration of MSME in Defence Supply Chain
2.   Initiatives for Promoting MSMEs in Defence Sector
3.   Atma Nirbhar Bharat Initiative
4.   Galvanising the Indian Military Aviation - Make in India
5.   Industry’s Perspective on Indigenisation requirements of IAF
6.   Certification and Qualification of Airborne Stores: Supporting the Private Sector to promote indigenous R&D manufacturing.
7.   Recent Q&A incentives in the field of Military Aviation towards Atmarnibhar Bharat
8.   Indigenisation requirements of IAF in Manufacture, Repair, Reclamation, Refurbishment, Outsourcing, Part Tasking: Opportunities for MSMEs
9.   B2B Interaction of Project Officers with Industry/Start-ups
As India looks to build indigenous defence industrial capability and reduce dependence on imports, MSMEs will definitely contribute and participate in the country's defence procurements.

Repair will not only reduce cost and failures but will also ensure better performance of equipment’s in long run and calls out to the MSMEs to join the indigenisation efforts of IAF, Air Marshal Vibhas Pande, AVSM, VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance, Indian Air Force.

Repair will not only reduce cost and failures but will also ensure better performance of equipment’s in long run, said Air Marshal Vibhas Pande at the interactive session on Indigenisation Requirements of Indian Air Force: Opportunities for MSMEs organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry an at PHD House, today.

Keynote address was given by Air Marshal Vibhas Pande, AVSM, VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance, Indian Air Force. He said, “Indigenisation definition would be to have a wider perspective in terms of repair, refurbishment, upgradation, increasing longevity and upgradation. One of the crucial elements in the sector is repair which will not only reduce the cost and failures of the equipment but also ensure better performance in the long run. Many hits and trials are required so the need arises of creating a separate manual of indigenisation, which is now a necessity for Atma Nirbhar Baharat.”

Chandraker Bharti, IAS Joint Secretary Aerospace, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, highlighted that 12,000 MSMEs are currently engaged in development of equipments in the sector but the figure is very small compared to other nations and there was a need to increase the number of MSMEs. Releasing payments in a time bound manner will be of much help for MSMEs to thrive in the country.

One of the important aspects, he mentioned, is import substitution which will prove expedient in reducing the foreign exchange burden. He urged all industry members and all stakeholders to come forward and provide handholding to the MSMEs. He also added there is an offset obligation of more than USD 13 billion which offers a great opportunity for the MSMEs in the defence and aerospace sector. The Government has also allocated around 10000 crores for the IDEX platforms for promoting the startups across the country. Chandraker gave the special address titled ‘Integration of MSME in Defence Supply Chain.

The theme titled, ‘Schemes and Initiatives for Promoting MSMEs in Defence Sector’ was addressed by Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India. She talked about roadmaps prepared for upscaling the MSME sector. Reclassification of MSME is one of the significant steps taken by the government in this direction, to make them comparable globally.

Epao talked about numerous portals like CHAMPION, SAMADHAAN, UDHAYAM and many more which have been especially designed to cater the needs of MSMEs and entrepreneurs in the sector. All these initiatives will be helpful in upscaling the production and output in the sector. Further steps are also being taken to bring informal MSMEs under formal MSMEs to avail the benefits provided for them by the government.

Epao also asserted that it was time to be self-reliant, the ministry has already defined and classified the major sectors and defence is one major sector for the ministry. She said it is time that we are comparable with the global MSMEs. As of now with the aid of the Ministry of MSME there has been a spike in the national manufacturing output and as of now 11 Crore people are employed with the schemes of MSME. MSME ministry has a list of 6000 products. With the economy being aware that the MSME is a very important and integral part of the Indian economy. And in order to make it happen Atma Nirbhar Bharat there are various verticals which totals to more than INR 200 Cr. The ministry has also been working on Ease of Doing Business, trying to bring the informal MSME sector under the formal sector with Nukkad Natak Registration.

Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI gave the welcome speech. He said, “During his presidential remarks mentioned that Indigenisation is the capability of developing and producing any defence equipment within the country for the dual purpose of achieving self-reliance and reducing the burden of imports. Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is one of the key objectives of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces. Besides hi-tech equipment like propulsion technology, engine systems and missile and bombs, indigenisation is much-needed in smaller parts like tyre of the aircraft, batteries, bulbs, filters and other spares. There is also a need to promote investment in the defence sector, both in R&D and production, thereby resulting in higher self-reliance and indigenization. Since the defence technology needs long term investment, its obsolescence is high with low economies of scale. Hence, the policy of maximizing indigenous production should be well supported by R&D policy and export strategy.”

Air Vice Marshal P S Sarin, VSM, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Maintenance Plans, Indian Air Force, mentioned that the biggest stepping stone will be repair, refurbishment and upgradation in the sector for achieving the vision of Atma nirbhar Baharat, and stressed on the role of the MSMEs to come forward and join IAF in the indigenisation efforts.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI, presented the vote of thanks with deliberations on the Indian defence and aerospace sector which has come of age with refreshing policy shifts over the last few years. As the country looks to build indigenous defence industrial capability and reduce dependence on imports, MSMEs will definitely contribute and participate in the country's defence procurements. Vivek Seigell, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI, moderated the session.

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