OIS-AT is a prime original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in a variety of advanced technology products and services, especially in defence, homeland security and civil aviation. The company works closely with OEMs on their offset obligations and with SMEs in developing technologies. Given the evolving defence procurement procedure policy framework and the nascent stage of the aerospace and defence industry in India, the successful delivery of an offset project has been a challenge. Sanjay Bhandari, founder-chairman and managing director, OIS-AT, tells FE’s Huma Siddiqui about the journey.
What are the key strengths of your company?
OIS-AT believes in technology and as such have an aggressive approach to technology and marketing. But we don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel. We leverage what is available by getting the best talent to work for us and use that to move ahead very quickly in developing products and intellectual property. We are very comfortable with complexity.
What are your expectations from the Make in India initiative?
Fortunately we have been working for some years on a strategy that is in alignment with the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Making in India, developing your own IP, and marketing globally Indian manufactured products are core to our strategy. We think the campaign is on track to be successful.
What kind of opportunities are there for SMEs in defence?
There are opportunities across the board. The SMEs could be doing entirely everything unless of course you require a very large Rs10,000-crore integration project. SMEs could also partner with domestic and global companies to pursue these sealed up activities. There is no reason why R&D should not be done in collaboration with international companies. Globally, most R&D and creation of international IP on homeland security and defence are actually done by SMEs.
Through policy, SMEs can be encouraged in various ways. One way is to have a 1,000 Make SME programme. Instead of having a large Rs 10,000-crore single programme, have a 1,000 Make SME programme. SMEs will be able to develop systems and sub-systems as long as there is a customer.
How difficult is it for an SME to get into the field?
The policy structure at present provides some challenges to SMEs wanting to enter the industry. The government could encourage an SME to get into a programme, provided it is technically qualified, and remove obstacles such as the years trailing and past experience threshold. The criteria should be a business and technological base. Both the IT and auto industry benefitted from an enabling government policy environment, and this should be the way forward for defence and security as well. Entry into the sector should be based on merit and requisite security clearances.
How do you plan to grow your international footprint?
We have begun to market our radars in international markets. We are also aggressively expanding international sales channels. We have also been participating in international shows like Eurosatory, Farnborough Air Show, Paris Air Show and DSEI, UK.
What kind of products do you specialise in?
OIS Advanced Technology Pvt Ltd focuses on R&D and manufacturing of advanced technologies across defence and homeland security. It is a systems integrator of advanced technology-based solutions for homeland security, and as a radar house it is developing world leading radar systems. OIS-AT is an eligible IOP-Indian Offset Partner and is ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certified.
What has been your company’s biggest success so far?
We have developed and produced four unique advanced radar systems. Our True 3-D Bird Detection and the multi-mode UAV Detection and Air Surveillance radars are world firsts. We own the IP of these products.