The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have been working closely with the Government at the Centre as well as various state governments in encouraging private sector to diversify their business into defence manufacturing. One such industrial region which was recently identified is the Mumbai-Pune-Nashik-Aurangabad and Ahmednagar region which is home to a thriving MSME industry already engaged in industrial manufacturing that have the potential to be integrated into the supply chain of major OEM’s in the region. In line with the long-standing national aspiration of achieving self-reliance in defence, the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and CII organised the Defence Industry Stakeholders Seminar in Nashik, Maharashtra in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and other local industry associations such as NIMA, AIMMA, MACCIA and NICE etc.
The seminar brought together key stakeholders-Government officials, senior representatives of the three Services, DRDO, Defence PSUs, and private Industry, to deliberate on opportunities in capital, sustenance and indigenisation requirements of the Indian Armed Forces and galvanise business engagements. A number of DPSUs, Shipyards, DRDO, the OFB, DGQA / DGAQA / Department of Indigenization of Army, Navy and the Airforce exhibited their products for indigenisation. Major private sector organizations like Larsen & Toubro Ltd., Bharat Forge and other local organizations like Alfa Tocol, Bhor Chemicals, ACEM, Mechwell etc. also actively participated in the exhibition and seminar. The seminar which was attended by nearly 500 participants also saw huge participation from nearby engineering and technical colleges.
Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, who was the Chief Guest at the seminar informed the audience that the Government has chalked out a plan to provide a major thrust to the existing defence infrastructure in the region. He announced that Nashik will be the site of the country’s second Defence Innovation Hub (DIH) after Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The DIH at Nashik will nurture start-ups and help local industries to manufacture for the armed forces, in line with the Prime Minister’s Make in India programme and vision for developing India into a defence manufacturing hub and subsequently rank among the top five arms exporters by 2025, with exports over Rs 35,000 crore.
Among those who addressed the gathering were Hon’ble Minister for Medical Education, Water Resources and Guardian Minister of Nashik, Shri Girish Mahajan, Dr. Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, HAL Chairman & Managing Director, R Madhavan and Deputy Chiefs of Army, Navy and the Air force.