shiv wrote:10 years is soon. Sooner than that is unlikely, unless work is outsourced to existing offshore plants such as the one bought by Mahindras in Australia. And there too its the people who run the company that matter. Developing the manpower in India will be difficult unless they can buy off competent workers from HAL and give then 10 x salary. Not easy because PSUs give pension.
Shiv, there are a bunch of private companies being set up by ex PSU, ex DRDO folks which are actually doing good work & are part of vital programs. Two ex BEL/DRDO firms are Alpha Design Tech (Bangalore) and Astra Microwave (Hyderabad). There are several others SMES around the Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune areas which are also working in such areas.
The basic problem - its a chicken and a egg story really - is where these companies struggle, and that is investment. These have been raised in various industry seminars, here and there. There are 3 "public issues" which are flagged, and another major one, which is usually not said publicly, but its what it is.
The first three are resources - prior competence/technology, manpower, infrastructure. Most companies are willing to transfer build to print stuff as part of offsets. You can even import the raw material, machine it and then supply back. Point is it takes time, competence etc - which can be built up, but few if any SMEs can invest anywhere near the kind of money required to become part of Boeing's WW 767 supply chain etc.
So the systems that do come in are smaller items. Not the complex large end to end systems...say entire jet engine assemblies with many subcomponents.
So far the bulk of offsets have actually gone to the private sector, but what's holding them back from the real big ones has been investment! SME's cant and till date, many of the larger combines - wouldn't!
They have been instead asking the DPSUs to lobby the MOD for funds & then pool it to invest in partners. Problem with that approach is the "losers" feel they got gypped - Pipavav controversy with Mazagaon comes to mind.
The last issue - which is the elephant in the room - and which nobody wants to admit - is that foreign companies are very wary of increasing Indian domain competence. Stuff like Agni-family, Tejas etc shows that a) we can do stuff b ) we can keep learning c) we have very high ambitions.
We are clearly not the usual allied poodle which is content to get business but not make platforms. Because making platforms means strategic independence and second, possible competitor tomorrow.
This fear is present across all so called partner countries. They routinely do everything they can to block tech transfer and make life miserable during negotiations, but then do a song and dance about how they are reliable partners once deal is signed. Yeah right. I am giving away no secrets (and this is public information) that one of our so called JVs for guidance systems is stuck because the partner did everything it could to wriggle out of working with a PSU but is finally stating it will be a JV...its been several years now.
Its East India company redux, they want our money, but they don't want us to make stuff which makes us stand on our own two feet. The good thing though is that it does seem MOD understands this.
Despite immense lobbying, credit where it is due, so far they have resisted pressure to relax their aims and objectives regarding offsets and they have kept coming out with better DPP (Defence Procurement Procedures) which are fairly comprehensive.
One hopes that will continue.