Companies

India Inc stands to benefit from NSG entry: Walchandnagar CEO

Pronoy Nath Banerji | Updated on January 20, 2018

GK PILLAI, CEO and MD, Walchandnagar Industries





Indian industry has hailed the diplomatic efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in getting the support of major countries such as the US, Switzerland and Mexico for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India Inc is upbeat that the move will bolster Indian defence industry. Speaking to Bloomberg TV India, Walchandnagar Industries CEO and MD GK Pillai says the company plans to increase its outlay to ₹600 crore as the focus shifts to defence, nuclear and aerospace.



What’s your broad view on the PM’s US visit? Do you think it’s only talk and no work at the ground level? Or do you feel that the outcome of this visit will help India get into the NSG and bolster order books for Indian companies?

Even to have something on the ground level you have to make a start. So first of all, this start is very important. As far as the US is concerned, it has been a very major breakthrough for India — for the Indian missile technology as well as for the defence segment. So my initial take is yes, it’s a real good beginning. But ultimately, it has to be translated into business and actual tangible manufacturing products for the country. So let’s hope that will follow soon and that is what we are actually hopeful about it.










You have supplied critical core components and performed primary system integration for INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear submarine. How does India’s entry into the NSG benefit your company? How can it boost your order book?

As far as companies like Walchandnagar is concerned, we are into nuclear energy. What we do is in-house developed technology, which may or may not be the best in the world today. This entry into the NSG will enable the country to get in new technologies. And my take on this subject is Indian industries are already in a position to imbibe this new technology. The question all along has been the availability of these technologies. So ultimately, what happens is once this positive development happens, the industry will be able to manufacture the required components and equipment for meeting the defence needs of the country. So, as far as Walchandnagar is concerned, we definitely feel this will be a great fillip for us as we have one of the oldest core manufacturing facilities in the country.



The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) is an important hurdle to be crossed before the orders start flowing in thick and fast. What is your stand point on that?

A lot of work has been done on CLNDA over the last one-and-a-half years. Initially there was a lot of scepticism in the industry and in various circles. But with government insurance agencies coming forward, working together and bringing up a nuclear insurance policy for the first time in India, it is in the last stages of finalisation. And I’m sure the issue with CLNDA will be resolved in totality very soon. That will also pave the way for setting up nuclear power plants and finalising nuclear orders for both imported reactors and home-grown reactors of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.



What are our outlays for FY17? Is there a shift in focus?

We are planning to have an outlay of ₹600 crore for FY17. Unlike in the past, when our focus was on engineering procurement and construction business, this time it will be defence, nuclear and aerospace fields — it will constitute 70 per cent of total business. The DNA of Walchandnagar will be Defence, Nuclear and Aerospace.



Published on June 09, 2016

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