Safran and its role in driving growth in India
As the world's second most populous country with 1.2 billion inhabitants, India posts annual growth in excess of 5%, hot on the heels of its Chinese neighbor. Elected in May 2014, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has made industrialization one of his key priorities. Safran is bolstering its efforts to support the Indian government's strategy by creating new local partnerships, especially with research centers and universities. "As a stalwart of the Indian market, we need to show our customers that we're backing the development drive," explains Stéphane Lauret, CEO, Safran India.
A country with a plethora of talents
In October 2014, Safran partnered with two research centers: the Foundation for Innovation & Technology Transfer (IIT, Delhi) and Society for Innovation & Development (IISc, Bangalore). "By working together, we are able to raise the Group's profile among young talents likely to be hired," emphasizes Stéphane Lauret. The same principle is also applied by Safran Engineering Services India, a subsidiary of Labinal Power Systems (Safran), which employees 700 engineers in Bangalore. Specialized in high-tech engineering solutions, Safran Engineering Services India entered into a three-year partnership with the People's Education Society University in November 2014. The Bangalore-based university teaches engineering and management. Students will work alongside the Group to develop projects mainly focusing on the electrification and aerodynamics of aircraft.
Research-wise, Safran is also currently working on an aerospace campus project with all of the Indian players in the aerospace industry. The Group has also launched "The Safran Contest" with a view to meeting its requirements in terms of recruitment. The contest is open to students from all Indian universities, giving them the possibility to work on themes to do with innovation.
Working with local partners
In relation to production, the long-term partnership formed in October 2014 with Bharat Forge also shows promise. "We are going to work at local level to cast parts for aircraft in service worldwide," explains Stéphane Lauret.
Another bold move will see the creation of a joint company between Snecma (Safran) and Max Aerospace. Known as Max Aero Engines Private Limited, the entity will, from 2015 onwards, ensure the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations for M53 engines which are fitted to the Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000H jet fighters. "Safran and the Indian authorities enjoy a strong working relationship at all levels. This strengthens our commitment in India, and our efforts to grow alongside this country," says Stéphane Lauret.
Indian success for Safran
With 65% of the aircraft in service in the country fitted with Safran engines and systems, the Group is a recognized aerospace player in India. With regard to defense, India is the leading market for Sagem (Safran) for inertial units, with over 700 systems already installed. Lastly, in relation to security, Safran is playing a key role in the Aadhaar project, which is the largest identification and biometric database creation program in the world launched in 2009 by the Indian government. "The Group has over 2,600 employees in India, including only ten or so expatriates! It's our biggest workforce in Asia," says the CEO of Safran India.
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