This is the right time to enter the Indian aviation sector as the industry ecosystem is developing, Singapore-based consultants said. Joshua Ng, a director at the Singapore-based Alton Aviation Consultancy, along with fellow director and aviation consultant Alan Lim, told PTI that the aviation sector in India was abuzz with expansion activities.
“There are a lot of tailwinds in the Indian aviation sector. We do see a lot of activities and it is just a start,” said Ng, highlighting the Indian government’s USD 24 billion in incentives being provided for over a dozen industries in the coming years.
Ng and Lim spoke with PTI on Monday following the recent Airbus-Tata Group partnership to manufacture helicopters, along with other expansion activities such as manufacturing plants and airports.
“A lot of investment is required in India and FDI is flowing in,” said the Singaporean aviation expert, citing the progress of Singapore Airlines and Tata Group joint programme to rebuild Air India.
The Indian private sector is also putting in money in the aviation sector.
“India has a lot of congested cities and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) has the potential to succeed in those areas. Transportation demand is going to grow and intra-city trips are going to create sufficient demand to build a UAM market. Overall, it is a very exciting growth story for both traditional and new technologies in aviation,” Lim said during the interaction on Monday.
American and European Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are seeking partnerships and contract manufacturing in Asia that offer lower cost factories and manpower, which India can supply, according to the consultants.
India produces 1.5 million engineers every year and the country has a lot of “excellent engineering centres”, widely preferred by OEMs.
However, both consultants said they feel a lot of Indian industries will start from the basics.
“The aviation industry is complex with a high-level of safety. There is a long-drawn learning phase to overcome the challenge of designing and manufacturing parts to aviation quality and standards. The industry needs to start from basics like contract manufacturing,” Lim said.
“However, India has the right ingredients to make things happen and they are going in the right direction,” added Ng.
The consultants also noted India’s success in the space sector, especially the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon at a much smaller budget than the space industries of the West.
Further, they noted sustained global MRO demand which is expected to be worth about USD 139 billion in the next 10 years.
The consultants pointed out that labour shortages have highlighted that human capital is one of the most important resources for the MRO industry.
“Perhaps India has the answer, given the growing pool of engineers in the country,” said Ng.
“Pursuing digital strategies should be seen as complementary to the workforce,” added Lim, noting India’s aggressive campaign in building digital workforce.