In a change of corporate strategy, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) wants to develop its own products and look for customers.

Addressing reporters at Aero India 2019, R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, said: “Earlier, we were taking orders from the Indian Air Force (IAF), or based on their requirements, were developing products. Now, we want to be a product company.”

Madhavan said HAL is not interested in the Rafale project any more in the current phase. “We are not interested in offsets and direct purchases. That was the government’s decision to take it as a direct purchase and we are not interested in it. If it’s coming as a business to us, we will be interested in it.”

Responding to a query on the company’s reported “financial distress”, Madhavan said it was not true.

“We are not facing any financial crisis but there was some problem with the cash flow this fiscal; now, it has been sorted out.”

The company’s Director, Finance, Anantha Krishnan, added: “Our condition is stable and the cash flow problem is a thing of the past. With the new budget getting passed, our cash flow problems will be sorted out.” He futher said: “Our profits are growing each quarter and we have achieved a growth of 13 per cent in the third quarter. The financial condition is not an issue at all.”

Citing the example of HTT-40, a trainer aircraft completely built by the company from scratch, he said: “Here, we have invested our own money. Now, since the IAF has evinced interest, we will get back our money and increase our shareholders’ value.”

Talking about the order-book, the CMD said: “Recently, we got an order for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and aero engines from Indian Air Force.

Healthy order-book

At the end of December, HAL’s order-book stood at ₹61,000 crore. “Now, especially since the bagging of the LCA order and orders for engines, helicopters and others, our order-book is likely to touch ₹1.25 lakh crore.”

Talking about outsourcing, Madhavan said: “We have increased our outsourcing to private companies. We have achieved outsourcing of up to 30 per cent mainly on components, including aero-structures.”

“By doing this, we have become main integrators for aircraft and subsystems. This has ensured rationalisation and re-deployment of workforce besides bringing down the cost of products,” he added.