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As India focuses on defence exports, GRSE looks to engage customers.

Date: 22-05-2019
Subject: As India focuses on defence exports, GRSE looks to engage customers
KOLKATA: As India is focusing on stepping up defence exports, premier defence shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSENSE 0.35 %) is looking to engage customers in the region and has been in conversation with nations such as the Philippines for major potential orders in the near future. 

GRSE, which recently delivered the 100th warship to be constructed here, has constituted special teams for its overseas efforts and is pursuing an order for two new corvettes that are required by the Philippines as part of a competitive selection process. “There is a lot of thrust on exports and we are approaching friendly foreign countries in the South East region, in west Asia and LatinAmerican countries. Discussions are on and our teams have been going to meet customers,” GRSE's CMD Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena (Retd) told ET. The yard, which constructed the first ever warship exported by India, the MCG Barracuda to Mauritius, says that it will be competitive with global players as it has the experience of delivering different classes of ships to the Indian Navy and coast guard and has won domestic orders in competitive bidding. 

“Our aspiration is to be a global player. We have the capability and the experience. At the same time, there is huge potential here when it comes to the Navy and coast guard. The maritime perspective plan for 2027 aspires for a potent blue water force and a fleet that will grow to 200-odd ships,” the CMD says. 

The shipyard’s plans are in line with renewed efforts of the government to increase exports by effective utilisation of the defence lines of credit extended to friendly foreign countries. In April, the ministry finalised the standing operation procedure to enhance the pace of utilisation of the lines of credit to boost exports.India has announced lines of credit to nations like Vietnam and Myanmar in the recent past. For starters, the SOPs have been laid down for defence public sector units but will later be extended to the private sector as well that are looking at the export market. 

On the domestic front, GRSE, which went public late last year, is on a strong footing, with as many as eight warships delivered in a span of 22 months. Its order book remains strong with the recent anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft deal signed with the navy for Rs 6311 crore. The order was won on a competitive basis against the private sector yards. 

GRSE says that it managed to underbid more modern private yards due to its experience in cost determination. “In 34 months, we would have delivered almost 15 ships, that is the speed we are looking it. Our biggest thrust has been to come out of the earlier mindset – in terms of build time and more and we have come a long way,” Rear Admiral Saxena says. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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