New Delhi: Boeing has a twin-engine strategy for India - one as a market, and the other as a global partner.
What it calls its "integrated enterprise strategy" could well prove to be the differentiator between Boeing and its rivals, said Ian Thomas, head of Boeing India. US-based Boeing is putting in millions into India, with a view to tap the country's research and development capabilities, civil aviation infrastructure, and hi-tech manufacturing base.
The airplane maker has sold civilian aircraft to India, valued at $25 billion. On its delivery list for India are airliners for India's flagship carrier Air India, three business jets that would be "the Indian equivalent of Air Force One," and would ferry the likes of the president, the prime minister, and other top officials of the Indian government. Boeing estimates that over the next 20 year period, India would probably order around 911 aircraft, cumulatively worth over $86 billion.
Boeing also has the option of selling military aircraft from its fleet to India. Part of its stable is the F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, the P-3C Orion reconnaissance aircraft, the Chinook CH-47 helicopter and the Apache attack helicopter, all of which fit in well with India's defence strategies. Add to that a perspective about broadening India's aviation infrastructure and capabilities, and you have a recipe for a long-term commitment to India.
Boeing has invested around $100 million as part of a maintenance center in Nagpur in central India, which is also an emerging inter-modal transport hub. E
lsewhere in Mumbai, the company is assisting Air India to set up a $75 million engineer and pilot training facility.
Boeing's spares and after-sales services facility at the Noida Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is scheduled to go live later in the year.
Boeing is also partnering with Indian firms engaged in hi-level manufacturing such as Tata Motors subsidiary TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd, which has contracted to supply titanium floor beams for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, in a contract valued at around $500 million.
The incentive for Indian firms, is the opportunity to be a part of the global aerospace industry, and part of Boeing's supply chain. Boeing also has a long-term arrangement as part of a 10-year engagement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It has signed a billion dollar worth memorandum of understanding with the domestic aeronautics company.