India to Buy $317 Million in Training Services for Boeing P-8i

India’s Ministry of Defense approved the purchase of Boeing‘s P-8I Training Solution along with a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service for $317 million. This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems, and will help the Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft.

The P-8I for Indian Navy, courtesy Boeing

The P-8I for India’s Navy, courtesy Boeing

This aircraft is equipped for long range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations. Its communication and sensor suite include equipment developed by state-owned defense and private manufacturers.

January 9, 2018   No Comments

Boeing to Set Up Engineering and Technology Facility in India

Seattle-based commercial aircraft maker Boeing will invest $170 million to set up a new facility for engineering and technology which will manufacture and assemble electronics /avionics in Bangalore, India. The Karnataka state government gave permission for the project which will be set up on about 36 acres of state-owned land at Aerospace Park.

Boeing 777-300

Business Line reports that Boeing expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 new aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years which, according to the plane maker, is the highest-ever forecast for the country. Boeing also expects single-aisle planes like the next generation 737 and 737 Max to account for most of the deliveries.

“The increasing number of passengers, combined with a strong exchange rate, low fuel prices, and high load factor bodes well for India’s aviation market, especially for the low-cost carriers,” Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said.

December 11, 2017   No Comments

Boeing To Hire 800 Employees in India

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Boeing is set to hire 800 employees over the next two years in India. The company plans to take fresh hires on board for job functions ranging from core engineering to frontline factory workers, and also support functions such as human resources, top company executives said. While Boeing’s India operations will likely have 1,500 direct employees by the end of this year, the company also expects its partner firms to increase the count of  7,000 people working on its projects.

“We’ve set aspirations to have 25% of our footprint outside the U.S. We’ve focused on key target markets and obviously India is a big one of those,” Heidi Capozzi, Boeing’s senior vice-president for human resources globally, said.

Boeing 777-300

LiveMint reports that India’s booming aerospace industry represents a major opportunity for international firms operating in the space. The country is set to become the third-largest aviation market by 2025, a year earlier than expected, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association published in October.

Boeing will train new graduates. “People such as Aircraft maintenance engineers— there are a lot of them graduating but not enough [who are] trained,” Pratyush Kumar vice president of Boeing India, said. “We are building that right now and it should come online in the first quarter of next year,” he added.

 

November 24, 2017   No Comments

India Improves Investor Appeal

You may want to take a fresh look at business opportunities and investments in India, if a new World Bank report is to be believed.

In November 2001, Goldman Sachs published a landmark paper where they identified India, along with Brazil, China, and Russia as the four “BRIC” economies that the world needed to watch. Many companies and investors began investing in these countries.

In 2002, the World Bank launched a project to rank the Ease of Doing Business in countries across the world. For well over a decade, more than 135 countries ranked better than the world’s largest democracy — India continued to be stymied by red tape, limited infrastructure and an army of bureaucrats who seemed to revel in creating complex, conflicting, and even arbitrary rules. India ranked worst among the BRICs and many companies mitigated their enthusiasm for India as a result. Persistent players such as Abbott, Accenture, Boeing, Coca Cola, Cummins, Deloitte, Exxon Mobil, GE, Hewlett Packard, Mylan, Oracle, PepsiCo, Vodafone and Western Union thrived despite some setbacks.

In our consulting, we always advised clients to look at specific Indian states, rather than the entire subcontinent when locating sales offices, subsidiaries, or manufacturing plants; some states welcomed businesses while others did not care. For the first time in India’s 67-year-old democracy, the leader (Chief Minister) of a state was elected as Prime Minister in 2014. One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first goals was to improve India’s business environment.

The latest report from the World Bank, “Doing Business 2018“, published this week, shows that India made important reforms in six of the eight areas that the Bank measures for its report. Small economies can pass reforms relatively easily and it is important to note that Nigeria and India are the only large economies to make significant improvements as shown in this table:

Table

To global companies and investors, it is even more important to note that India jumped by 30 ranks overall to go from 130 to 100 and leapfrogged over Brazil, which is stagnant at 125. Such an improvement in just three years since the new government took over is quite remarkable. The juggernaut of the BRIC countries is China and it is currently ranked at 78. If Modi’s government can keep up the momentum, it is not inconceivable that India might vault ahead of its autocratic neighbor in three to five years.

We often help clients to start a new company or office in India and that process has improved considerably. Getting credit and obtaining construction permits for a business has also become easier according to the World Bank’s research. Minority foreign investors in India felt vulnerable in the past but new procedures protect them a bit better while enforcing contracts might also become easier once the new National Judicial Data Grid starts paying results. Paying taxes electronically is becoming the norm and import of goods is being streamlined with more and more online functions for customs clearance.

Does this mean that India is an easy place to do business now? Not at all. The World Bank only measures a few criteria. Foreign companies have many challenges in India: the weather, the pollution, the current government’s tendency to place non- tariff barriers, even occasional price controls, and most importantly the illusion that they can readily understand India, just because they can understand their Indian-American physician.

Skeptics may ask, will progress continue? What if Modi’s party loses the next general election, scheduled in 2019? One major initiative that cannot be rolled back is that the states of India were encouraged to compete with each other for foreign and domestic investment. State leaders in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and at least seven other provinces and territories have led the charge in improving their own attractiveness. This genie cannot be put back in the bottle and we anticipate that up to 20 of India’s 29 states will join the race shortly.

If you have questions about how your company can do better in India or if you want to take a fresh look, Contact Us or drop me a note here on Linked In.

November 2, 2017   No Comments

India’s Army to Receive 6 Apache Helicopters

India’s Defense Acquisition Council has approved the purchase of six Apache attack helicopters from Boeing, for $700 million.

The variant of the attack chopper that the Indian Army will get is the Apache AH-64E, which has a height of 15 ft and a wingspan of 17 ft. The helicopter has a primary mission gross weight of 15,075 pounds, with a vertical rate of climb that is more than 2,000 ft per minute and a maximum rate of climb of more than 2,800 ft per minute. The chopper also has a maximum level flight speed of more than 150 knots, reports International Business Times.

AH-64 Apache

August 18, 2017   No Comments