Success Story of Defsys

Success Story: In just 3 years, Defsys becomes one of the biggest private Defence Offset providers in the country

VAYU Interview with Dmitry Bernadiner, Executive Director of Defsys

Defsys is a leading Systems Integration company supplying to the Top-50 Global Defence OEMs and to Government (Defence Services). The company manufactures airborne pods, electro-optical payloads, airborne EW systems, integrated onboard electronic systems, thermal sights/cameras, role equipment for fighter aircraft, radar and missile seeker simulators, RF test and measurement systems. We interviewed Dmitry Bernadiner, Executive Director of Defsys about the success of his company and the key enablers of Indian content creation in the new “Make in India” era.

VAYU : Can you describe the journey of your company, particularly over the past few years in the backdrop of “Make in India” and the policy changes that have been incorporated in defence procurement ?

Our cogent understanding of the industry led us to an early decision on investing in creation of the “Indian Content” enablers for the upcoming era, even before “Make in India” was formally launched by the Government in September 2014. The latest edition of the DPP ushered very important changes in the procedures which clearly exemplified the Government of India’s intent of giving a fillip (boost) to turning India into a contributor in the Defence and Aerospace industry and a global manufacturing hub. Defsys had started designing and manufacturing electronic systems in the year 2007 at Bangalore and while sensing the market opportunities, we were fortunate to take the right decisions and establish our centre of excellence for Electro-Optical and RF Systems in 2015 in Gurugram. Besides our flagship manufacturing projects in the field of airborne pods, smart guidance kits, E/O payloads, role equipment and EW systems, we are also the country’s largest producer of Automated Test Equipment as well as an indigenous developer of the most complex RCS measurement systems.

VAYU : We believe that Defsys is arguably one of the fastest growing private companies today in the defence and aerospace sector in the country. What are your achievements and how have you been able to draw this growth trajectory?

We are proud of the fact that our market domain knowledge, the state-of-the-art infrastructure, a very precise selection of employees and their training, a conducive work environment with a constantly evolving organisational culture, the best systems, processes and procedures in place - all have been key enablers of our success. Over the last three years, we have constructed and commenced two new production facilities in Gurugram to the most advanced international standards and upgraded our legacy manufacturing facility in Bangalore, with an overall investment of more than INR 120 Crores. Defsys has grown 15 times in terms of employee strength and more than 20 times in terms of revenues in less than 36 months.

VAYU : Defsys has also come to be known for its work infrastructure which is so important not just from the point of view of ‘Making in India’ but also as a potential partner for any foreign OEM. How well are you equipped in terms of manufacturing infrastructure?

Defsys has a most modern and state–of–art facilities in Gurugram matching the best in the global industry standards. Our production lines are spread over 110,000 square feet and have an ample scope for future expansion. We have all required equipment for manufacturing, integration and testing of airborne ground and maritime equipment. Clean rooms, software and hardware integration laboratories equipment with very sophisticated RF test equipment, HASS Chambers, environmental test chambers, shock and vibration testing machines as well as collimator stations with blackbody and motorised target wheels are some of the many inhouse equipment and capabilities that we possess.

VAYU : What are the major programmes presently being executed by your company?

Defsys is manufacturing airborne E/O pods for fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force, which is an extremely complex and technologically advanced system. This is being done under a production transfer programme from foreign country involving complete manufacturing, assembling, integration and testing of the products indigenously. We are also assembling electro-optical guidance kits for the same customer. EW suites for helicopters are also being built in India now, based on a foreign technology. The programme commenced recently in Defsys, and we are currently delivering the FAI systems.

Defsys is taking a very significant part in offsets manufacturing programme of the new fighter aircraft for India and we are extremely proud that those aircraft will fly using the equipment manufactured by our company.

In the field of electro optical payloads for helicopters of various forces, we are indigenously incorporating the latest SWIR technology to meet user requirements. Smaller electro-optical payloads for small UAVs have been supplied to government PSU and with our strategic partnership Controp, Israel, we are fully achieving a very high percentage of Indigenous Content exceeding the statutory requirements of DPP. Deliveries of Defsys manufactured thermal sights for an air defence gun are nearing successful completion.

Defsys Radar Cross Section Measurement System

VAYU : What were the main challenges you have faced in the production of such complex products like airborne pods ?

The project was the first of its kind in India, and I am very proud to state that we have been able to set the bar very high for ourselves, and maybe for others too. It was certainly not a smooth going but was professionally very enriching and satisfying.

The first challenge was setting up the facility which was done in a record time of four months. Motivating local vendors to build something they have never done, was a task in itself, but at the end of the day, with tremendous technical support and management efforts, we were able to upskill them adequately to perform to the required standards.

Manufacturing of UAV payloads at Defsys

Second and the obvious is the supply chain. Establishing and managing a robust and reliable supply chain is a very challenging task in India. It requires a continuous monitoring 24x7, technical assistance and procedural guidance, recurring quality audits and finally – a financial support. Despite all this, we have indigenised over 90% of the system and established this local supply chain ensuring deliveries of over 60,000 components, each at the required time and quality.

Finally, as you may assume –the Talent acquisition and Talent retention. It was, it is, and it will be the most difficult and most important process. Being a mid-size company, we are able to attract talent only from Tier 2 or even Tier 3 institutes. To get the best, we scrutinised nearly 50,000 CVs and interviewed about 8,000 candidates. After such a deep search, we were able to select the right people having a potential to contribute towards our organisational goals, both technological and cultural.

Technical training, skill enhancement and inculcating the right work culture and ethos was the main focus of Defsys management, which has borne dividends by resulting in 100% on-time deliveries with zero defects so far.

Production line for Automated Test Equipment at Defsys

VAYU : Do you think Defsys is meeting the objectives of ‘Make in India’ ?

Today, Defsys can rightfully claim to be one of the leading private manufacturer and integrator in the Indian defence industry having a state-of-the-art facility and a very accomplished and competent workforce. We are proud of the fact that Defsys today meets all the objectives of the ‘Make in India’, namely, creation of world class infrastructure which is readily scalable, skilling employeescapable of technology absorption, self-reliance, employment generation as well as saving and earning of foreign exchange. With diverse experience of very effectively carrying out a technology and production transfer programme of the most complex systems, we are very well equipped and eminently suitable for contributing to the business expectations and goals of foreign OEMs as well as meeting the objectives of ‘Make in India’.

Tag:- Defsys, Gurugram, Gurgaon, India, Electro Optical and RF systems, Indian Air Force, IAF, UAV Payloads, Make In India, Defence Offset Provider,