'Every airliner has some part made in Belagavi'
Jul 16, 2017
With the Indian airline industry set to soar, Aequs, with its aerospace SEZ in Belagavi, is doing its bit. Spread over 260 acres at an investment of about $100 million (about Rs 640 crore), the facility is the largest private aerospace ecosystem in the country. In conversation with DH’s Hrithik Kiran Bagade, Aequs Chairman and CEO Aravind Melligeri shares his vision. Edited excerpts:
As the largest private aerospace SEZ in India, how has been your journey?
The government’s decision to do direct offsets back in 2003-04, helped us open up, with Airbus and Boeing being interested to buy from India. It was in 2007 that we felt that it made sense to be aggressive on the aerospace manufacturing front, and we decided to establish an SEZ because export was our focus. By 2009, we operationalised the SEZ, deciding to set up the project spread over 60,000 sq feet area, with two facilities -- one for surface treatment and the other for machining. If you saw the industry then, in terms of machining, it mainly brought raw materials from outside. The incountry value-add was about 20-30% over the product. We felt that we wanted to build an ecosystem so as to increase the in-country value-add. Since 2009, we have fostered capabilities of processing, surface treatment, and machining; then we brought in forging and assembly, and material suppliers, and so on. Hence, we’ve been able to grow some of the parts’ in-country value-add by up to 90%.
The parts that you mentioned, go where exactly?
If you look at our customers, we work with Airbus, United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Saffran, Premium AEROTEC, and Honeywell, among others. Being a build-to-print company, we only make hardware as per customers’ designs. Today, we are the Tier-I supplier of parts to sub-assemblies of the said companies’ products. Across all commercial aircraft worldwide, I can assure you that there is some part originating out of Belagav