"Since 1940 we have been following 'Make in India'. For 75 years of its existence, HAL built 15 indigenous aircrafts and helicopters," said R. Kaveri Ranganathan, CEO, HAL Bangalore Complex, at Invest Karnataka 2016.
From the announcement by Anil Ambani on building a aerospace research, development, and manufacturing facility to the announcement of setting up of SEZ's in Belgaum and Bengaluru for aerospace and defence. Everyone has been bullish of the growth and development of the sector in the state.
A powerhouse of advantages
Shekar Viswanathan, VC Toyota Kirloskar and Chairman CII, believes that the reason Karnataka has seen exponential growth in terms of aerospace manufacturing is because of the availability of talent and innate knowledge.
Karnataka has enough talent and human resources to help develop the industry. Shekar also added that the state’s economy is growing faster than the country's.
Apart from that the state also has a wealth of resources. "Karnataka has always been a welcoming state, we've been able to set up one of the largest facilities here," said S.P. Shukla, Group Chairman, Mahindra Defence and Aerospace.
Where demand and supply meet
S.P. Shukla further said that with the growing need for equipment manufacturing in India, it was important that the government opened the space to private players. In that front Mahindra has created employment opportunities for over 6,000 people in the state.
In the same vein, Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President of AirBus India, said that for close to a decade now AirBus has been closely working with HAL in the civil aviation space.
He added that the demand in the next few years is to build close to 1,300 aircrafts and Karnataka division is working relentlessly in that objective
Considering the traffic congestion problem in the state, S.P. Shukla also mentioned that there was a growing need for general aviation in the state, for which Mahindra is working with the State.
While the panel and speakers remained bullish of the growth of the aerospace and defence sector in Karnataka, they also voiced concerns of the growing traffic congestion and infrastructure issues.
Both these issues need to be addressed immediately by the state and the centre to ensure that no roadblocks are put in the path of the state's growth and development.
However, Shekar predicts that Karnataka can create a $20 billion aerospace industry.