GRSE Vendor Development Programme
India has a long legacy of defence production, most of which have been championed by Defence Public Sector Units. Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited is a shipbuilding company under the administrative control of the MoD, primarily catering to the shipbuilding requirements of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Set up in 1934, it holds the distinction of building India’s first indigenous warship – the INS Ajay, in the year 1961. GRSE has built and delivered ships ranging from small to large and advanced vessels, including frigates, anti-submarine warfare corvettes, missile corvettes, landing ship tanks, landing craft utilities, survey vessels, fleet replenishment tankers, fast patrol vessels, offshore patrol vessels, inshore patrol vessels, WJ-FAC, hover crafts and fast interceptor boats for the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, MHA and governments of other countries. In addition to its ship and warship building capabilities, GRSE is also engaged in engine production and other engineering activities. The engineering division manufactures deck machinery items, pre-fabricated portable steel bridges and marine pumps.
Over the last few years, private sector companies in the Indian defence manufacturing industry have grown not just in numbers but also in capability. DPSUs like GRSE already outsource production of various components and subcomponents to small or medium scale enterprises. To increase participation of private sector vendors (especially MSMEs) in the supply chain of the Shipyard and with the view of optimising efficiency, speeding up production and energising the Indian defence manufacturing sector SIDM organized a ‘Vendor Development Programme’ at GRSE, Kolkata on 31 July 2019.
The half-day programme was conducted in four parts. The programme commenced with the Keynote address delivered by RAdm VK Saxena IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE. In his address, Admiral Saxena talked at length about GRSE's capabilities and the avenues it creates for their MSME vendor partners. He highlighted that GRSE order book which currently stands at Rs. 26,500 Cr (approx.) will provide tremendous business opportunities for their vendor partners as GRSE outsources nearly 80% of the job. He also covered the various initiatives which GRSE has undertaken to improve ease of doing business for vendors such as payment tracking mechanism, skill training centres, grievance redressal cell et al. He also emphasised on the need for quality management and meeting timelines.
Following the CMD's speech, a presentation was made by Cdr Bhaskar Sengupta IN (Retd.), General Manager QA & VD, GRSE. Among other things, the presentation covered GRSE's vendor registration process and provided details of the items available for indigenization. The presentation also covered the systems, sub-systems, components, part and services for which GRSE is looking for new vendor partners. Cdr Sengupta also briefly talked about the projects which are in the pipeline, including the coveted P-17 (A) Stealth Frigate.
After GRSE's presentation, SIDM representative Yashvardhan Verma talked the participants through the various schemes the Government of India has put in place to promote MSMEs in defence. He further explained SIDM's services like policy advocacy and export facilitation and how that benefits SIDM's members and the industry at large. In addition, and he also identified the opportunities existing with other DPSUs, FOEMs and the Armed Forces.
Towards the end of the programme, RAdm AK Verma IN (Retd.), Principal Advisor, SIDM chaired an interactive session between the vendors and officials of GRSE in which a lot of the vendors' queries were resolved. Many companies were also able to initiate the process of vendor registration with GRSE which stands them a chance to do business with the shipyard.