BEML Puts Thrust on Aero-Structure Manufacture
BEML is aggressively marketing its capabilities and bidding for projects that the company could participate in with existing capabilities and partnerships. The strategy is to become a leading aero-structures manufacturer in India, with special focus on UAVs by accelerating strategic partnership with OEMs and focusing on orders from domestic and global customers. Moreover, there is a continuous surge in the demand for spares for High Mobility Vehicles & Armoured Recovery Vehicles and BEML is gearing up to meet the requirements, said M V Rajasekhar, Chairman and Managing Director, BEML Limited. In an interview with Aeromag, he talks about the company’s indigenization efforts and expansion plans.
India is keen on pushing its defence exports and has been taking various initiatives in this regard. How does BEML support the country to boost its exports? Can you share the details of exports business?
BEML’s ‘International Business Division’ IBD), is working in tandem with Marketing divisions for execution of export orders. Several measures are being adopted to meet the export targets and to expand the export business.
BEML is in the process of enhancing its marketing network by way of appointing Distributors/Representatives in various countries. We are in discussion with the Defence attaches of Africa, Middle-East and neighbouring countries for export of defence products and have registered with defence portals of foreign countries like Philippines and Singapore to participate in the tenders initiated by these countries.
Govt. of India’s Department of Defence Production has allotted Kenya region to BEML to carry out all export promotional activities on behalf of DPSUs/OFB through its branch office at Kenya. BEML has floated Global EOI for widening the market network through appointment of authorized representatives and service providers. BEML will appoint a representative in Africa, Middle-East and neighbouring countries and has already appointed representative for defence products in Bangladesh.
For promotion of defence products, BEML has organized global outreach program with EXIM Bank of India and ECGC through EXIM Bank’s global offices. Our products and technology were displayed and demonstrated at Def Expo and other exhibitions for product familiarization. Moreover, webinars are being organised in Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Sri Lanka for promotion of defence exports. Also, BEML is building its brand and enhancing its visibility by taking part in international exhibitions and events.
Further, we are exporting defence products through LoC under Govt. of India and utilizing EXIM bank opportunities.
There were reports of BEML firming up tie-ups with two foreign companies for setting up joint manufacturing facilities in India. Could you shed some light onto the company’s collaboration with foreign players?
BEML has worked out a strategy to partner or collaborate with many firms to setup joint manufacturing facilities in India. EoI has been published for Wheeled Infantry Combat Vehicle (WICV), Remotely-Operated Armoured Dozer & Armoured All-Terrain vehicle to select the technology partners for joint development. Responses have been received from Global OEM’s and are under evaluation. We have also signed MoU with M/s Rakkatec, Finland for jointly exploring the feasibility of developing an autonomous ground vehicle. The technical requirements are under study.
How did BEML gear up to survive the challenges faced by the Covid pandemic? What were the various initiatives taken by the company during the pandemic?
BEML is encouraging the employees to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and ensuring a safe working environment thereby, aiming for increased employee yield compared to previous quarters.
We extended our manufacturing support to M/s. Skanray Pvt. Ltd., Mysore by supplying critical machining aggregates to manufacture CV200 Ventilators & ICU Ventilators, developed exclusively for treating COVID-19 patients.
We have received an order from DEBEL-DRDO for manufacturing and supply of 80 Medical Oxygen Equipment to enhance the availability of oxygen at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. So far 45 of them have been supplied to various hospitals across the country and the entire order will be executed by August 2021.
In the offices and factory premises we have implemented various measures to overcome the challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic. This includes;
- Dividing the manpower 50 % on each alternate day for production department.
- Organizing work from home in the areas of R&D, Planning, Finance etc.
- 100% thermal screening at entry gates.
- Vaccination drive for employees and their family members
The better participation of private players in manufacture to support indigenization is the need of the hour. What are BEML’s initiatives to nurture private participation and Atmanirbhar Bharat?
BEML has made considerable efforts during the last few years to indigenize large number of imported parts across all the three Business verticals under Atmanirbhar Bharat. Accordingly, 1458 parts have been identified for indigenisation over a period of five years and same have been uploaded in SRIJAN Portal for indigenisation.
We have indigenized the products manufactured under license and technology transfer agreements through extensive R&D efforts and achieved over 90% indigenisation in most of Mining and Construction products, over 84% in Defence & Aerospace products and over 60% in Metro & Rail products.
BEML recognizes outsourcing as one of the strategic tools to achieve cost benefits and also complement the strengths of private sector to build a strong industrial base. BEML has established itself as a system integrator by outsourcing substantial part of manufacturing activities to domestic suppliers.
Further, BEML has indigenously developed and manufactured various equipment by involving Indian private industries. They are:
- Arjun Armoured Recovery & Repair Vehicle (Arjun ARRV)
- Medium Bullet Proof Vehicle (MBPV)
- Mounted Gun System (MGS) Dhanush
- Mounted Gun System (MGS) with AK630.
- AI based Medical Health Care Diagnostics System (MHDS)
- Mobile Stand by command post vehicle (MSCPV) on 4x2 chassis.
- Pinaka 5th to 10th Regiment.
- Sarvatra Bridge System
- 10 Mtr. & 5 Mtr. Short Span Bridge System
- Mine Field Marking Equipment (MFME)
- Mechanical Munition Self Propelled (MMLSD)
- India’s Biggest High-end Dump Trucks of 150 Ton & 190 Ton
- India’s Biggest High-end Excavator of 180T
- Unmanned Train Operation (Driverless) Metro Rolling Stock
What is the roadmap ahead for BEML and what are the major programmes to be implemented in future?
BEML is aggressively marketing its capabilities and bidding for projects that the company could participate in with existing capabilities and partnerships.
Our strategy is to become a leading aero-structures manufacturer in India, with special focus on UAVs by accelerating strategic partnership with OEMs and focusing on orders from domestic and global customers.
Moreover, there is a continuous surge in the demand for spares for High Mobility Vehicles & Armoured Recovery Vehicles and BEML is gearing up to meet the requirements. The supply of spares is a substantial portion of the revenue generation in the defence segment. We have undertaken major overhaul programmes of Defence Services are being pursued which will propel our growth further.
BEML is developing defence equipment to induct them in next 4-5 years so that they could be included in the Negative list of imports. In Mining and Construction Business, the emphasis is on design and development of higher capacity equipment. On Rail & Metro front, BEML is pursuing orders for Medium / High speed Coaches / LHB Coaches.