Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane said that the startups working in the Defence space require low-cost financial support and mentoring. The Government, which has begun large-scale indigenisation of defence products and technologies, is encouraging the startups by ensuring smooth facilitation of procurement.

“The cost of capital has to be reduced for the startups,” he said.

Asking the Defence startups to focus on quality, he said the look and feel of the final products were also very important in the procurement process. He wanted big corporates to support startups.

Addressing the maiden Defence and Aerospace Innovation Summit (DAIS 2024) here on Wednesday, he said a lot of emphasis had been given by the Government in the last few years to promote the local design and manufacturing of both top-end products such as tanks and small components.  

“In 2021, the Prime Minister said that the Defence procurement will primarily done locally. Any exception has to be approved by the Defence Ministry,” he said.

The second important thing which is then is that we have ensured that the procurement process itself was speeded up and was delegated to various levels.

“More than 100 contacts have been signed in a period of six to eight months and many supplies have taken place. Last year we concluded more than 80 contracts,” he said.

“We are also ensuring that orders take place soon after the design and development are completed. We are ensuring that whoever designs and develops in the country is rewarded adequately,” he said.

The emphasis was also on promoting the development of critical technologies within the country if they are already available. “If they are not available. They have to be developed and manufactured in India,” he said.

Citing the example of how one batch of poor-quality ammunition caused the death of many soldiers a few years ago, he said quality control is given top importance in all Defence-related manufacturing processes.

T-Hub-SIDBI fund

Meanwhile, startup ecosystem enabler T-Hub has signed an agreement with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) to launch a funding programme to promote the domestic defense and aerospace sector. It launched an exclusive Defence vertical to focus on nurturing startups in the sector.

The initiative will foster collaboration and promote innovation in the defence and aerospace sectors.

T-Hub also signed agreements with KAVACHH, the International Institute For Space Studies & Research (IISSR), the Directorate of Defence Research & Development- Israel, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Collins Aerospace, the College of Defence Management and the Indian School o fBusiness.

“These collaborations will facilitate knowledge exchange, expedite technological progress, and cultivate a vibrant ecosystem for innovation within the defense and aerospace sectors,” T-Hub Chief Executive Officer Mahankali Srinivas Rao said.