Gripen – An Asset for India
When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the idea of Make in India on the Independence Day function, 2014, it brought focus on what India was trying to do – increase indigenous manufacturing - both for India’s domestic consumption, and for export too.
Make in India is a very powerful idea, as India has a competitive advantage in terms of human resources and also high-end technology in many areas.
The Make in India movement can do a lot of good for both India and Indians in terms of increased job opportunities. India can also leverage her large skilled population for a bigger piece of the global manufacturing pie.
“We believe that there should be a Knowledge Transfer Mechanism built into the core of all joint production. In an interconnected world, the goal should be to see how both Indian and foreign companies can share knowledge, and learn from each other. In that way, Make in India will transform itself into a mission which will be spoken about in the years to come, by providing a tremendous boost to joint development and manufacturing”, says Jan Widerström, Chairman and Managing Director, Saab India Technologies Pvt Ltd (SITL).
The Make in India Week recently held in Mumbai invited some of the world's leading companies to increase cooperation with India. Saab was one of several Swedish companies that were part of a business delegation led by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, one of the few heads of government present at the event - an important fact for Saab and the other Swedish companies. Under the slogan "Sweden makes in India", Swedish companies showcased some of their cutting-edge products, as well as their ideas for greater cooperation for the future of the Indian market.
“We have had plenty of opportunities to discuss future business potential and technology transfer with the Indian decision makers as well as with Indian partners and future partners. It is a very promising future in India for Sweden and Saab", says CEO Håkan Buskhe.
One of the future businesses discussed was Gripen.
“Saab is willing to offer Gripen to India, an offer consisting of a unique combination of operational performance, availability, cost effectiveness, technology transfer and industrial partnership. The offer includes setting up of a full manufacturing facility; transfer of state-of-the-art technology; setting up of an aerospace eco-system in India; creation of a local supplier base of ancillary systems; employment of a well-trained Indian workforce.
We would train engineers in Sweden, as we’re doing with Brazilian engineers right now for the Brazilian Gripen program. We see ourselves as a catalyst. We will provide India with cutting-edge technology which will energise India’s aerospace ecosystem”, says Jan Widerström.
Saab believes that Gripen is the perfect fighter aircraft for India’s requirements. “Gripen would serve India well, with a lasting impact on the existing support infrastructure. In a force mix with India’s existing fleet, Gripen would be the ideal frontline fighter for the country. We believe Gripen is more than just a smart fighter – it will provide air powerand industrial growth for India. It will be a national asset of India”, says Jan.