INTERVIEW / AIRBUS
SP’s ShowNews in conversation with Pierre de Bausset, President & MD, Airbus India
SP's ShowNews (SP's): How are you supporting the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative?
Pierre de Bausset (Bausset): To start with, we have put make in India front and centre of our business strategy here. We are increasing India’s contribution to our global products and at the same time we have proposed multiple projects, especially in defence, to kick-start a defence focused industrial ecosystem in India.
Today, every Airbus commercial aircraft produced is partly ‘Made in India’. Our annual procurement from India surpasses $550 million from more than 45 Indian suppliers. Airbus secures 6,000 jobs nationwide across all Airbus programmes, including 1,500 engineers.
In defence, the ‘Make in India’ programmes that we are pursuing with local partners are the manufacturing of the C295W military transport aircraft and helicopters. Once these programmes materialise we will set-up system integration and final assembly lines in India, which would require substantial investments and lead to the development of a robust aviation/ defence ecosystem in the country. Once these programmes materialise we will set-up system integration and final assembly lines in India, which would require substantial investments and lead to the development of a robust aviation/defence ecosystem in the country.
SP's: Skill development is another area which is very dear to this government and it is all the more important in a high-technology field like aerospace and defence. What role are you playing here?
Bausset: As a company which is keen on creating an industrial ecosystem in India focused on aerospace and defence, we realise our responsibility to help in the skill development of the local work force. Airbus set up its innovation, research and engineering facilities in India to leverage the engineering talent in the country. The company employs about 80 per cent of its direct workforce in engineering roles in India. We work with our suppliers here and have created more than 6,000 jobs, including 1,500 engineers across the company and our supply chain network. If we get the defence programmes we are competing for then we will further ramp up our training and skilling programmes, working alongside partners.
We are also coming up with a greenfield training facility in New Delhi to support India’s growing need for Airbus aircraft pilots and maintenance engineers. The investment in a training centre is a key strategic Airbus initiative in line with the country’s “Skill India” programme launched in 2015 by the Indian government to develop a wide range of advanced competencies. The centre will have an initial capacity to train more than 800 pilots and 200 maintenance engineers annually.
SP's: Any update on your partnership with Mahindra Defence?
Bausset: We have already initiated industrial relationship to produce helicopter parts locally and are defining additional work packages to be industrialized in India allowing to reach the local content objective. We want to have the ground work ready for a quick take-off in case we are awarded a contract. Airbus Helicopters’ proposal to manufacture the Panther and the H225M in India in partnership with Mahindra now falls under the ambit of the SP model. Our value proposition for these programmes is that we will help India create an indigenous defence industrial eco-system.