Boeing’s relationship with India goes back to the 1940s when the Indian Air Force enlisted two Boeing aircraft: the T-6 Texan, and the C-47 Skytrain military transport. From then on through the years, Boeing has continuously invested in local capacity building and has collaborated with Indian organisations across manufacturing, infrastructure, engineering services, research and technology, training and skills development.
As we gear to celebrate the 75th year of independence for the country, it is an opportune moment to reflect on what we have achieved in these 75 years and what more we need to accomplish in the years to follow. At Boeing, as we reflect on our journey in the country over the last 75-plus years, we feel privileged and proud to have been part of developing the indigenous aerospace and defence capabilities in India.
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Aerospace and defence aficionados know that Boeing’s relationship with India goes back to the 1940s when the Indian Air Force enlisted two Boeing aircraft: the T-6 Texan, and the C-47 Skytrain military transport. From then on through the years, Boeing has continuously invested in local capacity building and has collaborated with Indian organisations across manufacturing, infrastructure, engineering services, research and technology, training and skills development. These collaborative programs are developing a skilled and trained workforce in India needed to build an ecosystem conducive to business success.
As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, India offers tremendous growth and productivity opportunities. The aerospace and defence sector in India is at an inflexion point, considering the magnitude at which both modernisation and indigenisation programs are being led by one of the largest military forces in the world. We welcome the efforts made by the Government of India to strongly promote investments in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services. Also commendable is the enabling environment that the country’s armed forces are creating to help develop the MRO ecosystem in the country.
Boeing continues to grow a globally competitive supplier base in India, with strong partnerships aligned with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision. Currently working with over 280 suppliers in the country, our industrial partners in India are raising the bar to deliver world-class quality, cost-efficiency, and productivity, as they become an important part of the company’s supply chain for some of the most advanced platforms in the world.
As we look ahead to achieving the milestone of India@100, we believe there is an opportunity to give a thrust to the Indian aerospace and defence sector. There are visible markers indicating the firepower the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has added to several industries to boost the indigenous manufacturing capabilities. We firmly believe that expanding this already successful PLI scheme to the Indian Aerospace and Defence sector can catapult growth while serving the vision of "Make in India" for the world and an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat".
India’s defence sector is poised for growth, and Boeing is committed to supporting and enabling this progress. We believe that building capabilities indigenously will drive innovation and contribute to the growth of the Indian aerospace and defence industry. The future looks promising and Boeing’s vision for India continues to be to bring the best of Boeing to India and take the best of India to the world.
—The author, Salil Gupte, is President at Boeing India. Views expressed are personal
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)