Boeing Offers to Build Aerospace Capacity in India

In an interview with Hindustan Times in New Delhi, Dennis Muilenburg the CEO of Boeing who joined the plane maker as an engineering intern in 1985, became CEO in 2015, and now becomes chairman on March 1, discussed his plans for Boeing’s investment in India.

More than an investment in money is his vision of investing in skills, capabilities, infrastructure, and partnerships – a long term commitment to build aerospace capacity in India.

Subject to all government-to-government agreements, he thinks that there is a great opportunity for Boeing to bring the F-18 Super Hornet – a twin engine, supersonic, all-weather, multi-role jet fighter that is capable of taking off from an aircraft carrier – to India.

F-18 Super Hornet

F-18 Super Hornet

“We think there is a great opportunity for us to bring Super Hornet to India that will fulfill an operational need, but even more importantly think about it as a capability investment, and architect it as a broad industrial investment. [We will] build up a supply chain that has industrial capability, not only to design but also to manufacture for the full life cycle of the products. We see Super Hornet as an opportunity to do that, to tie directly with the Make in India strategy,” he said. “In terms of our ability to execute the project, ramp up supply chain and skills base, that is something we can move up on fairly quickly,” he added.

When asked about the key hurdles the company foresees, Muilenburg replied, “The key here is making this big step from a buyer of technology to [developing] indigenous manufacturing capability. That is why projects like Super Hornet have the mass and critical size that can accomplish that kind of objective. This requires big investment in skills and technology. Not many countries in the world have that capability to make that big step from supply chain capability to indigenous design and manufacturing capability. We think India has that capability and that’s why we want to invest here.”

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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