International Conference on the Future of Aerospace and Aviation

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Senior Executives discuss the sector’s toughest challenges & exciting opportunities at International Conference on Future of Aviation and Aerospace 2023 at IIM Bangalore
8 APRIL 2023, Bengaluru: The Office of Executive Education Programmes at IIM Bangalore, in partnership with Toulouse Business School, France, hosted the fifth edition of the International Conference on Future of Aviation and Aerospace (FOAA), today on the campus. Senior executives from aviation and aerospace industries across India participated in the conference.

Welcoming the conference participants, Professor G Shainesh, Chairperson, Executive Education IIMB said “ The conference is being held yearly as an exclusive platform for professionals in the aviation and aerospace industry to explore collaboration and discuss the adoption of technologies that will drive revenue and innovation in the sector”.

Professor S Raghunath, the Conference Chair, in his opening remarks said “The fundamental human need during pandemic was survival and the air cargo demand for transporting medicines and medical equipment was soaring and now air cargo is softening while the air passenger demand is growing rapidly High passenger traffic combined with lower aviation turbine fuel prices and less volatility in forex would lead to a better performance of the aviation industry . In response to increased demand, airlines are attempting to deploy more capacity but the shortage of spare parts , staff , serviceable engines and long workshop turnaround times are posing a challenge to sustain growth.The mantra for the long term is to create policies for a value chain and a mobility ecosystem which supports and develops the industry based on localization of suppliers and services. “.

The conference was inaugurated by Savyasachi Srinivas, Executive Director, Collins Aerospace. In his opening remarks, he said: “The Aerospace and Defense sector in India is one of the key sectors to have embraced the Government’s ‘Make in India’ vision. When Collins Aerospace set up shop in India 25 years ago, 100% sourcing was from abroad. Now, over 70% is sourced in India. There is a need for more private players to focus on R&D. The country also needs more PhD scholars to join the sector and work on innovation.”

In his presentation, Capt. Gopinath, Founder and CEO, Deccan Aviation and Air Deccan, focused on the increased penetration of aviation in India. “Business reforms are the need of the hour. The Indian government must work towards making business easier. Our aircraft need not go abroad for checks and maintenance,” he said.

Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, BIAL, spoke about the current landscape of airport operations in India. “The sector has immense potential. To be self-sufficient and profitable, de-carbonization is important,” he said. He highlighted the need for skilled manpower and a streamlined taxation regime to ensure effective implementation of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO).

Dr. Kota Harinarayana, former Programme Director and Chief Designer, Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, gave the delegates an analysis of India’s drone regulations policy. “Groundwork around policy development and standardization has happened. Now, the industry must take on the challenge of drone component manufacturing and implementation,” he said.

Anshul Gupta, Managing Director – Travel Industry, Accenture – Advanced Technology Centers in India, spoke on application of biometrics, AI and Identity management. “Digital Identity and Data Transparency are set to be big in the next few years. The next wave of biometrics is going to be behavioural. AI, biometric, identity management will come together to enable accelerated growth, enhanced efficiency and delightful customer experiences,” he said.

D Anand Bhaskar, MD and CEO, Air Works, spoke on ‘MRO – Opportunities and Challenges’. Suraj Chettri, Head of Human Resources, Airbus India, spoke on managing talent in the aviation industry. “We need collaborative leadership,” he said.

Prof. G. Raghuram, Visiting Faculty, National Rail & Transportation Institute, shared his views on the future of airport privatization. He provided a comprehensive view of airports in India, where 16 airports currently fall under PPP model, and touched upon the clubbing model.

Vasudevan S, Ex-Partner and Global Sector Lead (Airports), KPMG, drew the delegates’ attention to opportunities in the sector. “What we need is an increased focus on the hub strategy, a boost to sustainability, an impetus for the MRO industry, and digital modernization of the aviation value chain. We need to focus on PPP contracts, green infrastructure, airline-airport partnerships, accessible airports, and diversity and inclusion ratios,” he explained.

Rajeev Hundekar Founder & CEO, Preusse Powertrain Innovations Pvt. Ltd., spoke on the ‘Future of Technology in Aerospace: Start-ups and Make in India Policy’. “Changing geopolitical scenarios have accelerated opportunities for India to become a manufacturing hub. India is witnessing a shift from services to manufacturing, but the number of MSMEs must increase for us, as a country, to realize the ‘Make in India’ vision,” he said.

Uma Maheshwar D, Chief Consulting Engineer, GE Aviation, said the country must have a clear strategy for developing technologies. He observed that the Government must focus on creating an ecosystem which offers a level-playing field to all companies to innovate and deliver.

U Raja Babu, Outstanding Scientist and Director, Research Centre Imarat, addressed issues concerning supply chain such as the shortage of components. “If 60% of the components are sourced within the country, it will spur new technologies, new processes and push the ecosystem to grow,” he said.

Chandra Shekhar Y, Sr. Director – Global Sourcing Strategy, GE Aviation, said the sector gaves the challenge of shortage of raw materials. “Adoption of latest technologies will help component manufacturers. Technologies like AR/VR/3D Printing have started to see adoption. The industry will see a lot of consolidation, and financial leaders will have a key role to play,” he said.

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