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DEFEXPO 2018: First Photographic Recap

First Undertones at DEFEXPO


History is being written in the historic town of Mahabalipuram the venue for DefExpo 2018. Famous for its stone carvings of the chariots from the characters of the epic – Mahabharata, these carvings date back to 7th century, while now an epic battle a new kind is being rewritten in Mahabalipuram: DefExpo 2018.

On the first day, the defence manufacturing giants both global and Indian were busy showcasing their industrial might. Also, there was a beeline of business visitors – those who want to jump into the fray and be part of the big story unfolding in India’s Defence manufacturing sector. Though not very obvious, but one could sense the pulse of the business meetings, interactions and seminars happening through the day. Even if some section felt little disappointed for the lack of any major policy announcement by the Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, during her press conference on an inaugural day, it did not take away the sense of urgency for those who mean only business and hard bargains. And why not, this is how the commerce is played in its arena.

An RfI by the Indian Air Force for 110 fighter aircraft has rekindled the flame. Medium and Small Enterprise are upbeat to join hands with a global major and make their own mark in defence manufacturing. Buzz of activity was witnessed around stalls of all major manufacturers and suppliers including Honeywell, Boeing, Thales, Rafael, Russian manufacturers and others. So was the story with the Indian giant including TATA, L&T, Mahindra Defence, Adani, the Ordnance Factory, the DRDO and many lesser known – in their own right. Some of these have recently ventured into the area of defence manufacturing and have just found a foothold. They are now ready to take a major leap. They may not be very visible now but should not be discounted just by their small footprint today.

The stage is set for fierce competition as the bench strength of the Indian industry is likely to reach a proportion where the past credentials will not matter much. Ironically, is all happening in Chennai, the same town is also witnessing a fierce contest between the IPL cricket teams -reaffirming that past performance will not carry the baton to the finishing line. A lot of vigour was added by the surprise visit by the Charismatic Indian cricketer Mahendra Dhoni and the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat to the DefExpo.A special inaugural session is organised tomorrow when the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, who would visit the DefExpo to reaffirm his commitment towards the growth of the manufacturing sector in India.

Gp Capt. (Ret.) Sundeep Mehta

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