India is one of the most notable emerging markets across several different industries and the fifth largest economy in the world, so it makes sense that the country is pushing aggressively towards self-reliance. Its potential has been made especially prominent through recent endeavors championed by India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi, focused on driving growth and development for the Indian workforce. It’s through campaigns like Make In India, Digital India, and Skill India that PM Modi continues to strive for AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, or a self-reliant India.
Globally, the aerospace industry stands to benefit greatly from these initiatives, both through cost savings and talent acquisition. This has led industry leaders like Raytheon Technologies to invest heavily in expanding its footprint in India over the years. Across its four businesses – Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense – Raytheon Technologies employs about 5,700 people in India, evidence that it has invested in the country for decades.
“I don't think today any OEM (original equipment manufacturer) having interest in aerospace and defense can stay away from the Indian market,” said Sunil Raina, managing director for Collins Aerospace in India, noting the numerous areas of continued growth in the region, from satellites to commercial aviation.
“We are one of the pioneer companies in manufacturing here, with a presence in the country since 1997. We have skillful talent and we do business with almost 235 international patents. That tells you how much technology we are presenting on a global platform.”
The company’s manufacturing presence is growing in India, said Parag Wadhawan, executive director at Collins Aerospace in India.
“We are evaluating various options to increase our manufacturing footprint in India to support the initiative of Make In India, further boosting the manufacturing skill set as well as the digital economy,” Wadhawan said.
Aligning with aforementioned government initiatives, Raytheon Technologies is contributing to Make In India with its design and engineering centers, Skill India with its training center, and many STEM education programs, internships and scholarships to cultivate a highly skilled future workforce in aerospace and defense.
Savya Srinavas, executive director of the Collins Aerospace Hyderabad Design Center, expanded on the wide variety of focus areas in these engineering and training centers. He noted that their teams are exploring nearly anything related to the connected aviation ecosystem, including aircraft connectivity, touchless airport technologies, the application of AI, machine learning, augmented and mixed reality, system autonomy and data analytics. These areas of innovation are striving to keep pace with the rapidly growing Indian aerospace market and will be key in achieving self-reliance for India in aviation.
India is also the world’s third largest military spender, after the U.S. and China, and is looking to spend more than $70 billion on military modernization over the next five years.
“That is a huge opportunity to sell, partner, and work together in defense alone,” said Ashmita Sethi, president and country head for Pratt & Whitney India.
The opportunities abound in commercial and regional aviation as well, she said, noting that India will need more than 2,300 new planes – a value of about $330 billion – over the next 20 years.
“India will need to spend $440 billion on operating and maintaining this fleet,” Sethi said. “That is a tremendous aftermarket opportunity for companies like Raytheon Technologies, in partnership with India, to create a sustainable, competitive advantage in life cycle support for our customers.”
As these opportunities come center stage, the importance of collaboration across India’s government and the aerospace and defense industries could not be clearer. Which is why the chance to connect on these issues at events like Aero India 2021 is imperative to ongoing growth and innovation in the space.
“The government has an ambition to not only become self-reliant for the capabilities that are required in India, but also wants to start being an exporter of these capabilities to other countries in the future,” Srinavas said. “And I think with the expertise at Collins Aerospace and the other RTX companies, we can effectively collaborate with the Indian government and bring in best-of-class solutions. Not only for India, but also for the rest of the world.”
Raytheon Technologies has approximately 60,000 engineers and scientists, along with a broad technology portfolio and deep expertise across key R&D areas. All that empowers the company to support programs and customers in India like never before.
“India really represents the vision of a global RTX future,” Sethi said. “Our continually growing presence in India and partnership with the Indian government in enacting their top initiatives will continue to sow seeds of innovation in aerospace and defense on a global scale.”