Thank you, Shiv & Sreeman, for your views on user mindset.
One human trait is clear, that a person will buy & use based on his mindset, even if Indian stent is as good as imported stent, and Indian car being as good as a Japanese, Korean or German car.
Which is why many corporations have started a concept called Bring Your Own Devices, wherein employees bring their own laptop, tablets & mobiles and use them instead of company provided ones.
Similarly, in Punjab, Sri Lanka & Kashmir, local police, CPMF and IA dropped their Ishapore 2A1 rifles and SLRs and picked up millitant’s AKs because of convenience. No amount of disciplinary enforcement could make them use the earlier weapon. Thereafter MoD & MHA purchased Romanian & Bulgarian AKs. OF tried to make 1C, A-7, Trichi AR and finally Ghatak that has got orders.
Beyond a point, user mindset cannot be over-ruled even by disciplinary, even in organizations like the military.
In my opinion, User Mindset is determined by two factors, User Experience & User Perception.User Experience
Historically, India had a controlled economy, where production quotas of scooters & tractors were determined, and users had to wait for ages for delivery. Product quality, continuous product improvement, company support was negligible, that let to profusion of roadside mechanics & garages. Employees had lifelong job security, and promotion was time scale based, and since demand of a growing population was far greater than supply, they gave a damn to user experience. There were exceptions, but more or less, this was the situation.
The nation changed in 90’s & 00’s, but the situation did not change for DPSU’s. Same went for DPSUs. While IAF might import 49 Mirage 2000s, HAL had orderbooks full with 700+ MiG-21, 165 MiG-27, 130+ Jaguars. It gave a damn about timely supply of spares or repair & overhaul.
Whenever users tried to work with DPSU’s on product quality, product improvement, spares, support, etc in a TIMELY manner, all the user found was apathy. Sure, BRD’s tried jugaad, but that is not a long term fix.
In war, this can mean the difference between victory & defeat (less number of planes on the flight line or ships at sea) or life & death (Gnat gun jams).
In peacetime, flight hours and sea time are required to progress careers. Austin had posted new PAF’s chief interview, who said that JF-17 availability has improved sufficiently for pilots to progress their career that highlights the user reluctance to serve newly developed systems. An officer career grows when he practices using a sonar to hunt submarines, and not when he is testing whether a sonar works, and twiddling thumbs in the interim at the pier waiting for the next software or hardware upgrade to be developed and installed for the next round of testing.https://marutfans.files.wordpress.com/2 ... lide18.jpg
Now, Israelis, Germans, French & other western suppliers charge money, but spares & support are available in a time bound manner. The Mirage 2000 fleet has impeccable product quality, serviceability & availability, though at a cost. Which is why BR members who buy Japanese, Korean & German cars do so, because of product quality, assurance, serviceability & availability. There are product recalls, but the developer/manufacturer takes the onus of product improvement, instead of the user discovering flaws. Users are willing to pay a premium for this.
During Soviet times, the Soviets provided stuff at friendship prices & barter. They would supply spares from their own stock, or arrange for at short notice, their technicians & workers to come over & work on their supplied equipment. This has shaped the User Experience of many service folks. Though after the dissolution of Soviet Union, this is no longer happening, but those who’ve served in the 70’s & 80’s and presently in senior ranks still carry a favourable User Experience.
Same goes for training.
Ecuador Dhruv crashes were attributed to pilot error & BSF Dhruv crashes were attributed by DGCA to pilot error due to unfamiliarity. What is HAL’s recommended training curriculum for users? There is a CAe built simulator in Bangalore, but what is the training curriculum, how well is it implemented, is the curriculum updated, is refresher training given?
The French Government runs a proper agency to train buyers of French equipment called Defense Conseil International. Here is their Air Force training department http://www.groupedci.com/en/activities/airco/http://www.groupedci.com/en/activities/ ... ining.htmlUser Perception
This is created by manufacturers through their marketing (brochures), aircraft demos in tradeshows like Defexpo, Aero India, Farmborough & Paris Air Shows, and active outreach.
Most governments, like the French example above, also support their industry, so joint exercises also double up as a sales effort.
Japanese, Korean & German car companies come to your house on weekends to give test drives.
However, DPSU’s efforts are non-existent to reach out to general users. How many developers & manufacturers visit squadrons to 1. Understand user perspective and 2. To share new features of their products to users? How many DRDO Lab Heads visit forces in the field?
Which is why I had earlier posted that DRDO & HAL need to take Tejas to every airbase so that general pilots & engineers get their hands on it and start appreciating it. I’m sure 90% of IAF pilots would not know Tejas or its capabilities well enough.
Same for Arjun – take it to tank regiments deployed across India.
There was this movie – Harishchandrachi Factory – on Dada Saheb Phalke, who made India’s first motion picture Raja Harishchandra. Very few people came to watch Raja Harishchandra - India’s first movie - despite its revolutionary technical innovation. He then realized the need to promote it. Once he promoted it, the movie was a success.
To summarize, the mindset of pilots is not very different than the mindset of average Indians. Once DRDO & HAL take efforts for ensuring good user experience & user perception, the mindset will change.