Established in 2013, the aerospace business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN) has been providing solutions for actuators (cylinder and piston), aero structures, machining, sheet-metal, assembly and testing in the aerospace sector. In January 2019, WIN’s aerospace business commenced shipments of part supplies to Boeing from its plant in Devanahalli (Bengaluru). In this interview with Rakesh Rao, Srinivas Devareddy, Head - Aerospace, WIN, highlights the importance of aerospace industry for Indian component suppliers and plans of the company to tap emerging opportunities.
In January 2019, the aerospace business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN) commenced shipments of part supplies to Boeing. What is the significance of this to the company?
This is a significant milestone for us. This is the first business with an OEM from our India plant. This demonstrates that we have a quality management system that meets Boeing's requirement. Incidentally, the components we ship to Boeing that of the structural assembly was also manufactured for the first time in India. We added Titanium machining and thread rolling capability and executed this project as scheduled.
How has the acquisition of HR Givon, an Israel-based aerospace metallic parts supplier, in 2017 helped WIN?
In our plant in India, we manufacture actuators. Wipro Givon has helped us diversify into aerostructures business. Apart from five-axis machining up to 6.5 metres components, Wipro Givon also has hot forming of Titanium sheet metal capability. Acquisition of Givon will help us in accelerating into structural parts and assemblies business in India as well. Wipro Givon’s long relationships with various aerospace and defense clients has helped the India unit establish business relationships with some of these clients.
In spite of many efforts of the present and past governments, aerospace manufacturing has not grown as fast as one would have expected. What are the reasons for these?
The focus for a long time was to let the public sector set up aerospace manufacturing. This is slowly changing with the participation of the private sector. We have seen in the recent past, global players such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Dassault establishing joint ventures in India. The industry is now in a mature phase and ready to take off. The aerospace industry is highly capital intensive and involves multiple approvals for some of the processes like non-destructive testing, heat treatment and surface coatings standards which are very customer specific and tightly regulated.
The aerospace ecosystem has progressed steadily with quality of talent and process capability in areas like machining/sheet metal capabilities, special processes improving significantly. This will get a further boost if the Government eases the pressure on capital investment by supporting the first five years of operations if the entity focuses on process qualifications and capability building.
Is India’s offset policy helping the Indian manufacturers of components (that go into aerospace & defence)?
The offset policy meets its intent to a large extent and is one of the drivers for some of the OEs and Tier1's to source the commercial aerospace components from India. Extending the offset policy to commercial aircraft sales in the country can provide a better stimulus to increase sourcing from in India.
How do you see the future of aerospace manufacturing in India?
India now has a sizable number of players and the critical mass in many of the capabilities and is well poised for exponential growth. It is likely to be the third largest global aerospace market by 2025.
Going forward, how do you intend to grow WIN’s aerospace business?
We have all the infrastructure to support our growth plans for the next 10 years. Apart from aerostructure and actuator assemblies, we are exploring landing system components and assemblies in the coming years.