BEML Puts Thrust on Indigenization and Exports

By Editor 2021

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“Atmanirbharta is in BEML’s DNA and indigenization has been the core of our strategy over the years. We are seeking manufacturing & technology partnerships from reputed OEMs looking to establish or expand their supply chains/manufacturing base in India. Positive responses have been received and are under compilation. We aim to indigenize various goods and service business that are being imported as we want to go towards zero import status,” said MV Rajasekhar, Director (Mining & Construction), who assumed additional charge as Chairman & Managing Director, BEML. In an interview with Aeromag, he talks about the company’s latest business operations and expansion plans.

Over the last five and a half decades, BEML has been supplying quality products and services to sectors such as Mining & Construction, Rail & Metro, Defence& Aerospace.How successful has been the company in achieving its missions and goals? What aremajor accomplishments in the recent times?

BEML has been able to achieve our short-term goals. However, some of the long-term plans are yet to be achieved and we are on the trajectory for achieving the same. During recent times, numerous accomplishments were achieved by the company. Some of them are:

  • Designed, Developed and supplied India’s biggest Excavator and Dump Trucks to Coal India and Bulldozer to Nalco.
  • BEML received prestigious orders from VSSC, ISRO for manufacture of 8 types of Light alloy structures for GSLV. This is first of its kind for BEML to venture into space domain to manufacture critical launch vehicle structures thereby supporting ISRO for their upcoming launch mission including “Mission Gaganyan”. Required facilities including an assembly hangar have been set up at Bangalore Complex.
  • BEML received orders for supply of more than 800 BEML HMV vehicles and 1512 Mine Ploughs for Tank T-90
  • Overhauling of two Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) has been taken up at KGF Division which is yet again first of its kind in BEML.
  • So far, more than 8200 High Mobility Vehicles, 350 Armoured Recovery Vehicles, 3200 Trailers / Wagons, 6 sets (330 nos.) of Pontoon Bridge Systems, 7 sets of Sarvatra Bridge systems, 18000 Rail Coaches and 700 EMUs, 1650 Metro cars, 32000 Mining & construction equipment and 27000 engines.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, unveiled ‘Driverless Metro Car’ manufactured by BEML for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) recently. Could you talk more about the project? How strong are the business operations of BEML in rail andmetro sectors?

Indigenously designed and developed state-of-the-art Driverless Metro trains are being manufactured at BEML’s Bangalore Complex. The cars will operate on 25 kV AC traction power and equipped with CCTV surveillance and with the provision to carry passenger bicycles in the coaches. The cars are made up of stainless-steel body with a capacity of carrying 2280 passengers in 6 cars Metro train-set.

BEML bagged a total order of 576 cars for MMRDA’s MRS1 project, the largest order ever, amidst stiff competition in the presence of international players and the supply is scheduled progressively up to January 2024. On 29 January 2021, Chief Minister of Maharashtra unveiled the First Train on Metro Lines for 7 & 2A designed and supplied by BEML Limited.

What are the capabilities of the newly-launched Aerospace Assembly Hangar, situated within BEML’s Bangalore Complex, and the new Industrial Design Centre?

New Aerospace Assembly hangar has been set up at Bangalore Complex to take up the manufacture of the Light Alloy Structures for GSLV Mk III structures. Required infrastructures have been established to meet the stringent quality requirements of ISRO. The Industrial Design Centre focuses on implementing Industrial Design & Human Factors in all Products. It undertakes global benchmarking for Industrial Design and Ergonomics and integration with R&D and manufacturing. It is a hub for exchange of creative ideas and concepts to provide the ‘Design-edge’ for better Market & User acceptance.

What is the size of BEML’s order book?

At present we are having and orderbook position of over Rs. 12200 crore which will be executed by 2023-24. Over the last few years BEML’s order book has been very good. With respect to Defence vertical, it has seen a rising trend in performance over the last five years. BEML has around Rs.4660 Crores order book as on date and around Rs.850 Crores orders is in pipeline. With this order book position, BEML is poised to grow reasonably well in Defence business in the forth coming years.

How does the company support Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative?

Atmanirbharta is in our DNA. Over the years indigenization has been the core of our strategy. We are seeking manufacturing & technology partnerships from reputed OEMs looking to establish or expand their supply chains/manufacturing base in India. Positive responses have been received and are under compilation. We aim to indigenize various goods and service business that are being imported as we want to go towards zero import status.

BEML is associating with IIT, Kanpur to establish a potential Industry – Research Institute relationship for joint development of 25 kg class Tactical UAV for surveillance application. Furthermore, BEML is entering into an MOU with NAL to associate in the areas of Advanced Composites & Autoclaves, Mini UAV, Design & Analysis of Aircraft Structures & Systems.

What are the activities by BEML to promote the defence indigenization?

We have already achieved indigenization levels of 84% in High Mobility Vehicles and entered into ToT with M/s. Tatra Trucks for indigenous manufacture of cabins for HMVs. Further, we have also planned for local manufacture of defence spares through JVs.

BEML has taken up a project for Design, Development and Supply of 1500HP engine to CVRDE with end user being Indian Army. The engine will be supplied to use on FMBT and is dsigned to work in extreme environmental conditions.

The products of BEML are exported to more than 67 countries. Could you shed somelight onto the export operations? Which are the main customers and what are the main export products?

BEML is exploring opportunities for exporting defence products to friendly neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Thailand etc. Apart from this, BEML has exported more than 1100 equipments to various countries across the globe. Our main customers are Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Nepal and the main export products are HMV 8x8, HMV 6x6, Sarvatra Bridge System, Recovery Vehicles, Dozers, Excavators etc.

We have mainly exported Mining & Construction products globally. For improving the geo-strategic reach and increasing exports, we are working on various business opportunities in Defence, Mining & Construction and Rail & Metro segments in SAARC and Africa.

We are in continuous discussion with Indian Embassies / Defence Attaches w.r.t. business promotion / Engaging Local Representative and have already appointed representatives in Bangladesh, Tunisia, Cameroon, and Thailand. Also, we are conducting various Webinars and e-meetings through Indian Mission abroad - Kenya, Senegal, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Oman - to promote BEML Products. KENYA region has been allocated to us by MoD and we have already registered BEML branch office at Kenya.

What are the highlights of BEML’s participation at the Aero India 2021? How do you look at the expo as an opportunity to bridge new business relationships?

With theme of ‘Atmanirbharata’; BEML’s display at Aero India 2021 includes niche products such as Transporter Landing System (TLS) and Variants of Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). In the indoor Stall, BEML is also displaying various equipment and critical components in the aero-space sector. We aim to explore opportunities under offsets, Joint Venture in the areas of mutual interest. We hope to facilitate interactions with top government officials, global OEMS and Indian Business entities.  Meetings have been planned with global OEMs such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing – USA and Rosoboronexport– Russian Federation

What are the expansion plans for BEML’s business operations?

BEML is looking for growth in aerospace sector and have recently, established manufacturing facilities at out Bangalore Complex. We have planned to manufacture and supply Aerospace components and aggregates for National progammes and for other DPSUs. Recently, we have engaged Management consultant firm M/s. McKinsey & Company Inc, Gurugram for devising Business cum Growth Plan, after obtaining Board & MoD approval.

BEML plans to associate with global leaders for manufacturing airborne structures, aircraft systems that would enable BEML reaching the level of a Lead Integrator in the area of missile systems. In addition to this, BEML is also signing MoU’s and NDA with strategic OEMs for introducing new products such as autonomous ground vehicles, twin tracked carriers, light armoured dozers, aggregates for T-90 tank etc under Make in India initiative.

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