“Godrej aims to be a tier 1 supplier to global aerospace industry”

Godrej Aerospace recently delivered the 100th air frame assembly section of the BrahMos missile (Land Version) and also bagged an order for 100 sets of the air frame assemblies for BrahMos missile’s air launched version. Associated with aerospace industry since 1985, Godrej Group today is one of the leading suppliers of components to aerospace and defence sector in India. Rakesh Rao interacted with Surendra M Vaidya, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Aerospace
“Godrej aims to be a tier 1 supplier to global aerospace industry”
Godrej Aerospace recently delivered the 100th air frame assembly section of the BrahMos missile (Land Version) and also bagged an order for 100 sets of the air frame assemblies for BrahMos missile’s air launched version. Associated with aerospace industry since 1985, Godrej Group today is one of the leading suppliers of components to aerospace and defence sector in India. Rakesh Rao interacted with Surendra M Vaidya, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Aerospace, to know more about the company and its action plan for the future.
 
Godrej has been in the aerospace manufacturing space for close to three decades. How has the aerospace industry in India and Godrej Aerospace evolved over these years?
 
Godrej & Boyce started its journey with the manufacture of locks in 1897 and today, has 14 diverse business units offering consumer, office, and industrial products and services of the highest quality to every corner of India and across the globe.
 
Since 1985, it has been working with government agencies such as ISRO and DRDO. It also became a supplier to Brahmos for its missile programme. The company has been a top vendor for ancillary supplies to global Defence and Aerospace majors. Recently, the company delivered the 100th Air Frame assembly section of the prestigious BrahMos missile (Land Version) manufactured by it and also bagged an order for 100 sets of the air frame assemblies for the air launched version of BrahMos missile. In March 2018, Godrej Aerospace had also inaugurated a new facility called Centre of Excellence to strengthen its foothold in the aerospace sector.
 
In India, Godrej Aerospace is one of the key players in the sector. It has and continues to contribute towards the launch of the various GSLV and PSLV satellites and other space missions such has Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan. 
 
How will the recently launched Center of Excellence (CoE) in Mumbai help the company? 
 
The Centre of Excellence (CoE), with the best in class manufacturing facility for complex brackets will be capable of meeting the diverse needs of aircraft manufacturers, and can cater to fabrication, machining, assembly as well as testing, using certified special processes required in aerospace and defence applications. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will help to strengthen the foothold in the commercial aerospace sector. The company specialises in fabricated items and actuators, and undertakes complex fabrications. As of now, Godrej will be producing over 600 types of brackets for a customer, amounting to more than 20,000 annually. The current capacity at the CoE is for 40,000 brackets. 
 
The CoE's metallurgy capabilities include stainless steel, inconel and titanium. With an investment of Rs 500 million towards this facility, Godrej Aerospace opens itself to a global market size in excess of Rs 15 billion. It is one of the best aerospace facilities in India for the manufacture of aerospace brackets. 
 
How is the partnership with Rolls-Royce assisting Godrej Aerospace? Are you looking at similar type of alliances with global majors in aerospace industry? 
 
Godrej Aerospace’s partnership with Rolls-Royce (RR) began in 2014 with the first contract for the manufacturing of unison rings. The partnership grew with another contract in 2018 for the manufacturing of sheet metal brackets. Under this contract, Godrej will supply 650 different types of parts for RR’s civil aerospace engine portfolio over the next five years. With end-to-end capabilities to manufacture aircraft engine components that meet global requirements, Godrej has now enhanced its capabilities in the civil aerospace sector. This partnership would help RR control its costs by 20-30 per cent for the parts procured from Godrej Aerospace. 
 
Since we are expanding our capabilities in the aerospace sector we would certainly like to explore alliances with other global majors. 
 
What does Godrej Aerospace brings to the table for its customers in aerospace industry?
 
Since 1985, Godrej Aerospace has increasingly been entrusted with work from ISRO, especially for complex equipment such as liquid propulsion engines for PSLV and GSLV rockets, thrusters for satellites and antenna systems. We have been committed to the cause of indigenous manufacturing for India’s space programs and will continue to do so in the future. Partnering the Indian space program is a way to push the nation’s technological advancement as far as possible. 
 
Our approach is to leverage our experience of manufacturing & delivering flight-worthy engines & other assemblies/sub-systems that utilises our integrated manufacturing infrastructure and AS9100, Nadcap certified systems & processes for the rapidly growing aircraft & other segments in aerospace industries. Recently, Godrej Aerospace has expanded its focus to the area of design and to that effect has signed an MoU with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). With its foray into rubber and composites manufacturing, its built-to-print and built-to-spec capabilities will help position Godrej Aerospace to be a complete systems manufacturer and solution provider. With our experience in procurement coupled with many forwarding agents in different countries, we aim to be a tier 1 supplier to meet the needs of the global aerospace manufacturing industry.
 
How is Make in India initiative aiding the aerospace manufacturing sector in India? 
 
With its low production cost and government’s strong focus on building manufacturing sector under Make in India initiative, India has caught the attention of major aerospace defence manufacturers. 
 
We believe that the Make in India initiative has the potential to be a path-breaking movement to placing India advantageously on the global aerospace industry map. India’s willingness to spend on acquisitions and on infrastructure has sent the right signals to major aerospace players worldwide.   
 
As far as the aerospace and defence sectors are concerned, the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative has certainly gathered momentum with the defence offsets, and Indian companies having proved themselves as trusted partners in civil aviation for quality and delivery.
 
How competitive is the global aerospace industry? Where does India stand in the global market?
 
According to a study by Deloitte, the global aerospace and defense (A&D) industry in 2018 is forecasted to experience a significant boost as revenues are forecasted to increase by 4.1 per cent, doubling last year’s 2.1 per cent growth. Global defense spending is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of about 3.0 per cent over the 2017–2022 period, crossing $ 2 trillion by 2022. In 2018, global M&A activity is expected to remain strong in the aerospace sector, driven by pricing pressures from aircraft OEMs and their expansion of high-margin aftermarket services. This has pushed suppliers to consolidate for scale and cost effectiveness.
 
Taking into consideration rising commercial aircraft deliveries and higher defence spending in India, the outlook for the 2018 aerospace and defence industry is positive. Because of its low production cost, India is gaining attention from global players. The Indian industry is all set to grow with the global market.
 
Could you also throw some light on the Godrej Aerospace’s plans to tap the satellite launch vehicle market?
 
As mentioned above, Godrej Aerospace started working with ISRO for its requirements in 1985 and currently participates in all the liquid propulsion engines used for both PSLV and GSLV rockets and thrusters for satellites. Our plans, for the areas we participate in, have been synergetic with ISRO’s requirements. Based on the planned increase in the scheduled launches, Godrej would also need to gear up to increase its capacity for manufacturing the engines and thrusters. Further, Godrej Aerospace would look for opportunities to do more value addition to the assemblies being supplied with an intent to progressively build capability to deliver liquid stages to ISRO. 
 
What kind of opportunities are you looking at in the aerospace sector (globally and in India)? 
 
The aerospace and defence market in India is in its growth phase. The government, in its draft defence production policy (DPP) has indicated its goal to achieve a turnover of Rs 1.7 lakh crores in defence goods and services and increase exports by almost 10 times by the year 2025. With the government’s Make in India initiative expected to drive growth and offsets being mandated as per DPP, this segment will provide ample opportunities in the coming years. 
 
In the domestic segment, Godrej Aerospace will continue working on the legacy programs that we are already working on and as well on new programs requiring similar capabilities and experience, all of which would primarily be on the ‘Build to Print’ space. Rubber and composites is relatively a new area we are focusing to grow. To garner new opportunities in ‘Build to Spec’ and MRO segments, we have signed an MoU with Israel Aerospace Industries and are in the process of developing opportunities. 
 
With the global customers, we are focused on opportunities in precision machined, fabricated, assembled and tested assemblies & sub systems for aero engines, line replaceable units (like actuators, pumps, valves etc) and structures in the ‘Build to Print’ segment and for LRU’s in the ‘Build to Spec’ segment.
 
What are the growth plans for Godrej Aerospace?
 
With a vision to be a tier 1 supplier to global aerospace majors, Godrej Aerospace is currently focused on increasing its capacities and develop new capabilities in specific areas like to ‘Build to Spec’, MRO, composites, sheet metal forming, etc.
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