By Staff Correspondent
After a two-year COVID-19 break, it was two days of the who is who of the MRO industry in India and abroad, rubbing shoulders at Aero MRO India A&D 2022. A classic example of birds of a feather flock together, the annual conference organized by MRO Association of India, which completes 10 years this year, attracted both Indian and global MRO industry professionals. It was a congregation of Airlines, MROs, OEMs, Supply Chain Managers, Legal Experts, Lease and Finance Experts, Support Services Providers, Bureaucrats, Defence Forces, Design Companies, Aviation Laboratories, Airport Developers and Operators, to name a few.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Sh. Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, who could not be present at the Inaugural Ceremony, was kind enough to address the gathering through his Video Message.
Additional Secretary and Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation Sh. Piyush Srivastava, in his Keynote Address said, “We need to have a manufacturing base of aircraft and aircraft components, leasing capability in the country, and the role of drones in the cargo industry is only said to expand exponentially. The biggest challenge is that we have been late mover in the race and we need to reach to the heart of the race quickly.
This Aero MRO India was an event with a difference as stress was not on what was not happening but on what is happening and the positive developments in the ecosystem which make India a self- sustained MRO market with solutions in hand. The stress was on why the MRO business should now remain within the country rather than going beyond the borders.
Capt. Rajesh Pratap Singh Member JWG Integrated Aviation Hub, Hisar, Government of Haryana in his inaugural address apprised the gathering on all works which were over including shifting of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam high tension power line, setting up of 33 KW sub-station on two acres of airport land, construction of alternative route from Barwala Road, observation home shifting, cat lighting works, shifting of the water supply channel and terminal.
Annabelle Larouche, Counsellor and Senior Trade Commissioner at Global Affairs Canada | Affaires mondiales Canada and Ajita Hathlia, Dy Head Trade, Department for International Trade (DIT), South Asia, The UK both representing their nations as country partners were key note speakers at the inaugural session.
A White Paper on ‘Growing Opportunities in the Indian Aviation Market 2022’ by MRO Association and Caladrius Aero LLC was released along with “Indian MRO Market Unlocking The Seven Billion Price” by Adani Defence and Aerospace and AT Kearney.
The session on Atma Nirbhar Bharat – MRO (SELF RELIANT – MRO) was moderated by Dr. S K Bansal, Vice President (Fleet), IndiGo. It was a mix of Indian and foreign MROs brainstorming India’s clarion call on self-reliance with Joe Depaoli, VP – APAC, HEICO, C S Tomar, Willis Lease Finance Corp., Anand Bhaskar, MD & CEO, Air Works India, Joel Cadeux, Head, Liebherr Aerospace & Transportation Systems and S.K Bhattacharya, OSS Air Management Pvt Ltd.
Another session was India: An MRO Hub – Unlimited Opportunities; Steps taken by OEMs in this Direction moderated by Arun Kashyap, Director, Air India. Ashutosh Agarwal, Business Head, South Asia, Airbus, Vikram Rai, Country Head, South Asia & Indonesia, GE Aviation, Farrukh Qamar, Director Customer Ops. India, SE Asia & Oceania, Safran Helicopter Engines Asia Pte Ltd, and Cedric Genevaise, Dassault Aviation together discussed the status quo of the MRO industry in India.
The third session deliberated on the Key Initiatives Undertaken to Improve the Economic Viability of Component MRO Business in India. It was moderated by Dibendu Maiti, CEO, HAL Nashik, MIG Complex where Anurag Garg, Head Strategy & Marketing, Thales India, Mahendra Kumar, ED AI Engineering Services Ltd, Per Smedegaard, President, Horizon Aerospace , Ambalik Agarwal, Managing Partner, Global Sales Director, AMP Aero Services LLC, Sven Krickow, COO, GMR Aero Technik, Babu Kerai, Ex-RR & GE Elano Thailand and Samay Bahulikar, Millenium MRO discussed the topic thread bare.
This year Aero MRO India also had Canada and United Kingdom as Country Partners. Both had representations of the original OEMs/MROs and their Indian partners. A session on Canada – Your Partner in Aviation & The MRO Sector was moderated by Dipesh Mathur, President, Stellar Aviation and Jason Diniz, President, Eagle Copters, Ashwani Acharya, CEO, CAE Simulation Training Private Limited and John Ling, CEO, Canadian Aviation College cogitated on Indo-Canadian aviation opportunities.
S.K. Rahman, Principal Commissioner of Customs delved deep into the GST systems and its advantages to conduct business said, “Ease of doing business and trade facilitation is our aim. There is a threshold Limit and we have in mind to extend threshold limit for inter-state supply of goods as well and further to extend threshold limit to E – Commerce operators as well. According to him up to certain limits quarterly tax payments may also be provided to SMEs and there will be a provision for distinction between B2B and B2C invoices.”
The stress on brainstorming was not majorly on what is hurting the Indian MRO business and the reasons for declining share in Global MRO Business, but on what was available in India and how to make it lucrative for the users.
Day 2 at Aero MRO India was dedicated to Defence MROs and the need of military air assets to fulfil their requirements within the nation rather than sending them overseas to the manufacturer. The session was moderated by Bharat Malkani, President, MRO Association of India and Lt. Gen. Ajay Kumar Suri, Director General Army Aviation, Indian Army was the Chief Guest.
In his inaugural address Gen. Suri appreciated the growth in the military MRO sector and agreed that the symbiotic relationship could help in creating this market with both user and service supplier perspectives in mind. Adani Aerospace & Defence was represented by Lt. Gen S K Upadhya in the session who put forth a platform for the industry to let the user feel its needs could be met domestically and at cheaper rates.
Bharat Malkani also moderated a session on Progress of Govt’s Vision Of Civil-Military Convergence and partnerships In MRO with Air Cdme DB Murali- GMR Aero Technic, Mangesh Karyakarte, Chief Sales Officer, Air Works Group etc.
Lastly, a session on MRO – New Avenues was conducted by Rear Admiral (Retd.) Srinivas Kanugoo with, Saharad Agarwal, CEO AIESL, Manu Saxena, Vistara, Aviation College (Training), Vipin Vohra, Chairman Continental and Advisor to MOCA on Cargo. GR Dharanidharan, Adani Defense (Military MRO), Hardik Someshwar, Senior Manager MRO Projects, Collins Aerospace, Nitin Despande, Bytsoft Technologies (MRO Software) and Aman Johri, CEO Jatayu Unmanned Technologies (Drone MROs).
The concurrent exhibition was also a thunderous success too. Over 31 companies form MROs, both Indian and Overseas, Oil and Lubricant company, Logistic companies, Country Partners, State Partners, Spare Parts and Asset Management companies, MRO and Aerospace Equipment companies, Insurance and Re-Insurance Broker, Media Houses, etc. A detailed list of exhibitors can be provided on request.