By Kamal Shah
13 September 2023, London – A robust delegation of India’s defence industry, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), made their presence felt at the ongoing Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exposition at ExCeL London. This marks a significant surge in India’s growing role in global defence collaboration.
Speaking to Indian Aerospace and Defence, Colonel Sanjeev Poonia (r), Additional Director Aerospace & Defence at FICCI, said, “We had a panel of good speakers in the inaugural welcome. We discussed problem areas and intellectual Property sharing, among others. We also shared India’s intent of ‘making in India for the world’. We’ve brought a 25-strong delegation of the Indian defence industry for the DSEI event.”
The SIDM delegation, led by Neeraj Gupta, Chairman of SIDM International and Exports Committee and Managing Director of MKU Limited, consisted of leading figures from India’s defence sector.
The FICCI team was equally formidable, spearheaded by Ashish Kansal, Executive Director of SMPP Private Limited and Ashok Atluri, Co-Leader of Delegation Member, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee, Chairman and Managing Director, Zen Technologies Limited.
Highlighting the importance of this delegation, Colonel Poonia further remarked, “If you observe, the industry base is almost identical for both chambers. This is the first time such a large delegation from India has visited the UK for DSEI. Altogether, we’re looking at a strength of nearly 56 delegates. The Indian embassies are also keen on partnerships and new technologies. Opportunities are opening up really fast. Either we catch the train, or we miss it.”
The UK’s perspective mirrored the optimism. A communique suggested that the country remains committed to bolstering its government-to-government ties with India. This commitment finds its roots in diverse areas – from fostering industrial partnerships, embarking on joint ventures, and ensuring seamless technology transfer to enriching supply chain integrations. The ongoing initiatives by UK enterprises to further the ‘Make in India’ cause underscore this intent.
DSEI 2023, marking its 24th year, stands out with its theme ‘Achieving an Integrated Force’. With over 2,800 vendors, the expo is a hotspot for collaboration across domains like air, cyber, electromagnetic activity (CEMA), land, sea, and space.
“A second day of record-breaking attendance has set DSEI 2023 on course to be the busiest in its 24-year history. Exhibitors too have reported unprecedented levels of visitor footfall with delegations from across the globe choosing DSEI as THE defence event to forge new partnerships,” highlighted the event organisers.
“The impressive turnout confirms DSEI as the premier global event for the defence and security sector to conduct business, share knowledge and shape the future capabilities of armed forces worldwide,” they added further.
Commenting on the delegation’s progress, Col. Poonia shared, “DSEI has been a success for us. We’ve been touring pavilions. Just yesterday, we were at the Indian pavilion, followed by a visit to the UK pavilion. Plans are underway to visit the US and Israeli pavilions, and we’ve also received invites from the French and other pavilions.”
This year’s DSEI is pivotal for global defence dynamics. As Col. Poonia put it, the race is on, and India seems keen not to miss the train.