Ignis Aerospace eyes a manufacturing buy

Madhumathi D.S. Bangalore | Updated on August 24, 2011

After three years of providing analytical solutions to global aerospace companies, Bangalore start-up Ignis Aerospace & Design says it wants a bite of manufacturing, too.

Mr Nihar Samantara, Chairman and Managing Director of the Ignis group, said he expected to acquire a company in North America or Europe this year to enter aerospace products. It would be an investment of Rs 12-23 crore.

“Now we have analysis and design capabilities but are not into manufacturing. It has been our long-term goal to get into products. We are looking out for an aerodynamics company this year in the range of $250,000-500,000,” Mr Samantara, who formerly worked with the DRDO, told Business Line.

To garner revenue

Ignis would recruit around 35 people to the 70-strong aerospace arm and also planned to start a captive training programme in aerodynamics. “We are looking at both, organic and inorganic growth,” he said.

Mr Samantara said the aim was to capture revenue of $ 25 million from aerospace business alone in the next three years and level it off with the other two streams of engineering software and consulting. Currently 75 per cent of the revenue of around Rs 34 crore ($ 7.5 million, as in 2010-11) was non-aerospace.

Promising areas

Ignis has worked on aircraft programmes of the DRDO / Aeronautical Development Agency's light combat aircraft Mk II; Piper Aircraft Inc's general plane; supplied to executive jet and cargo aircraft programmes of US company Nex-Tech, a Cessna prime vendor; and French major Safran. Landing gear, wings and hydraulic gear were promising areas for Ignis to get into.

Mr Samantara said, companies such as Ignis also eyed the defence offset opportunities arising from HAL's fifth generation fighter aircraft, the medium multi-role combat aircraft and the MBDA missile programmes; under each offset deal, 30-50 per cent of the sale value compulsorily benefits Indian companies.

According to Mr Raj V. Rajgopal, Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), the global aerospace pie was forecast to grow to a huge $200-billion pie by 2020. The Indian opportunity in this was put at $42 billion and domestic companies needed to scale up to meet the opportunities in the development programmes of large aircraft makers.

Published on August 24, 2011

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