New Delhi: French defence firm Thales is searching for partners for more joint ventures in the military sector in India.
The JVs, according to Thales’ Senior Executive Vice President (International Development) Pascale Sourisse, will help it increase its six-decade presence in India, which would be roped ito the company’s larger global supply chain.
The company is looking for more JVs besides the ones it already has with state-run Bharat Electronics Limited and private sector Samtel and Larsen & Toubro, Sourisse was quoted as saying in an interview to PTI, carried by Business Today website today.
That’s part of the company’s “ambitious plans” for the future in India, which contributes less than 2.5 per cent to Thales’ Euro 14 billion annual turnover.
She said defence sector contributed over half of the Euro 300 million turnover for the company from India. Hence, there would be more focuse on the defence sector, though civilian sector, like smart city project and Railway.
“We believe that we can go much further. We see our activities in India not only as the right approach to get some business here but we also see our activities as a way to increase our footprint in other countries through export from India,” Sourisse said.
“We believe India will play a big role in the global strategy of Thales going forward. Our assessment is we need to do much more. Currently what we have done is to actually work on our purchasing policy to identify more Indian companies that can be suppliers,” Sourisse was quoted to have said.
On the existing JVs with BEL in radar technology, Samtel for avionics and L&T for software development, she said the aim is to use them more in the company’s supply chain.
She said they are also looking at involving other Indian companies and even a 300-strong Thales workforce in India for programmes in other countries.
Even though Thales, present in India since 1953, is slowly spreading its wings in the Indian civilian sector, like smart city projects and railways, besides the military segment, she said defence will continue to be the main focus.
Sourisse also expressed the hope that the much anticipated Rafale fighter jet deal will be inked soon and that India will continue too purchase additional aircraft. Thales is a major partner in the Rafale production.