Tuesday, February 20, 2018

British defence industry body ADS Group downs shutters in India

New Delhi: Even as New Delhi and London talk up the importance of their “strategic partnership” and exchange top-level political visits, the UK defence industry is thinning out from India.
Business Standard learns UK defence industry body ADS Group (the acronym encompasses “aerospace, defence, security and space”), which represents over a 1,000 defence firms, is shutting down its India office from March 31.
Since 2002, when ADS Group opened an office in New Delhi, it has been only its second foreign station after Toulouse, France. In 2009, ADS Group opened another office in Bengaluru. “With its massive defence budget, a booming civil and military aviation market, and ambitious homeland security plans, India is a country one cannot afford to miss,” says the company websight even today.
That enthusiasm has dramatically waned. While no public announcement has yet been made, ADS Group member companies have been informed about the closure of the India office. So have Indian defence companies that joined the British industry body, hoping that would help them connect with small, UK-based, high technology companies, which they could potentially ally with or even buy out.
One of those Indian members was the Pune-based Kalyani Group, which confirms its membership lapsed as it became evident that ADS Group was pulling down the shutters in India.
After March 31, only a handful of large British manufacturers will retain a presence in India — large firms like BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Cobham, which do enough business in India to justify maintaining company offices.
The UK government will continue its support, though, with defence products ranking amongst Britain’s top three exports. This would be done through the UK Department of International Trade, which operates from the British High Commission in Delhi.
20/02/18 Ajai Shukla/Business Standard