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Coimbatore industrialists envisage ‘Defence manufacturing hub’ status

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on February 02, 2018

Integrated company being formed for collective bidding

There is cautious optimism among the members of the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (Codissia) of the region emerging as a ‘Defence manufacturing hub’ and possibly an ‘electric vehicle cluster’ in the next 10 years.

“Some players in the region have emerged OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to renowned manufacturers in the automobile industry. With the thrust on electric vehicles, some of the units that have been supplying spares and parts to the automobile sector will need to realign their processes to cater the electric vehicle market requirements. The units are gearing up to meet the challenge,” V Sundaram, President, Codissia.

He recalled the confidence shown by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who identified the potential of MSMEs here and announced the release of ₹20 crore to establish a Defence Innovation Centre. “We are awed with the gesture, but the task is not going to be easy as MSMEs that want to supply armaments to the defence sector have to participate in the tendering process. A majority of units operate on a tiny scale and it will be difficult for them to compete with bigger players unless we do it collectively,” Sundaram said.

Joint company

“We are contemplating to set up an integrated company with MSMEs as stakeholders. This will help share ideas and improve our expertise,” Sundaram told BusinessLine. “We are also considering to set up the Defence Innovation Centre differently so that the stakeholders will be able to study and innovate not only products but the processes as well. Codissia is preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to get the project going.”

The association has called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on February 8 to get the members’ approval.

“We foresee huge potential for supply of rifles and small arms. Magnesium alloy is tricky, but we can look at bringing some technology by joining hands with a foreign company,” he said in reply to a question.

Published on February 02, 2018

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