With an India focus on capacity building in the defence sector, Rolls-Royce says it’s committed to supporting India’s self-reliance vision with its wide portfolio of products and solutions. “As a leading industrial technology company, we’re pioneering the power that matters to our customers,” says Kishore Jayaraman, president – India & South Asia, Rolls-Royce, in an interaction with FE’s Huma Siddiqui. Excerpts:
What is the focus of RR at this year’s Def Expo?
Rolls-Royce is pioneering cutting-edge technologies that deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs. DefExpo presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase our full range of efficient and reliable power and propulsion solutions from our power systems and marine business across both land and marine defence applications. Our power systems business, a world leader in large reciprocating engines, propulsion and distributed energy systems, has proven its abilities in a wide variety of operational situations and has thus gained the trust of navies, coast guards and armed forces around the world. With an India focus on capacity building in the defence sector, we remain committed to supporting India’s self-reliance vision with our wide portfolio of products and solutions.
What is the company doing towards the government’s Make in India initiative and how do you see this initiative growing?
We already have a manufacturing facility in partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics – IAMPL (International Aerospace Manufacturing), which manufactures components for aero engines. Our partnership with Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers assembles MTU Series 4000 engines for naval vessels at the diesel engine plant in Ranchi. More recently, our power systems business announced a JV with Force Motors to manufacture MTU Series 1600 engines suitable for power generation and rail under-floor applications at a dedicated state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Chakan near Pune. Going forward, it is important to not just focus on manufacturing and technology transfer but on creating a broader ecosystem that includes co-design, co-development, co-manufacturing and service support. This entails capability creation and skilling rather than just technology transfer and it is something that the company considers as one of its core strengths.
How has your presence grown in the region in the last few years in terms of investment, jobs creation and technology sharing?
We have come a long way since we started our journey in India over 85 years ago. Over these years, we have invested time and resources to build capabilities across engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, digital and customer support. Our belief in India’s skilled talent led to the setting up of engineering centres in Bengaluru and Pune. Both these engineering centres enable us to embrace opportunities to co-design, co-develop and co-manufacture with the right Indian strategic partners. Last year, we set up a digital hub, R2 Data Labs, in Bengaluru in partnership with TCS, to leverage the digital workforce available in the country. This will enable us to use data to innovate within all of our businesses and collaborate more effectively with partners and customers. We are also growing our supply chain capabilities in the region to get into more complex commodities. Recently, the company expanded its partnership with Godrej & Boyce and awarded contracts worth $30 million spread over the next five years. This contract is for manufacturing products like unison rings, complex fabrication and external brackets commodities, which once in manufacturing, will result in shipment of 600 different parts spread across various Rolls-Royce civil aerospace engine portfolio. Through our partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics, we manufacture a wide range of components for our aero engines flying around the world.
What is Rolls-Royce’s newly-defined vision of ‘Pioneering the power that matters’?
‘Pioneering the power that matters’ is the golden thread running through the newly-defined vision of Rolls-Royce Group. Throughout its history, Rolls-Royce pursued ever cleaner, safer and more competitive power — developing ground-breaking technologies and providing the world’s most powerful and efficient aero engines. The transition to a low-carbon global economy is spurring us to develop new technologies and capabilities. Today, we are combining distinct engineering disciplines to produce state-of-the-art electro-mechanical and hybrid power systems. We will develop next-generation technologies to sustain and grow our current competitiveness. At the same time, the rapid pace of digitalisation offers substantial and wide-ranging opportunities. We will be digital first in everything we do to generate new insights, new solutions and new opportunities. We will seek new markets and products that bring new technologies and capabilities, and generate scale and synergies.