MKU Ltd, a Kanpur-based defence company emerging as shining example in Indian Defence segment through pioneer leadership in personal and platform protection, besides Night Vision Technology. MKU’s latest patented technology MoST and 6th Generation Armour Technology to build up to 40 per cent lighter and thinner armour panels to protect the helicopter from small handguns, assault rifles, armour piercing ammunitions, fragments and heavy machine guns, is ready which is commendable. In an interview to Raksha Anirveda, MKU MD Neeraj Gupta unveiled on the progress of variety of latest technology products produced by his company. Some excerpts…
Q: What’s your take on Ease of Doing Business (EODB) policy of the Govt of India? Is it actually workable on ground? How far you benefited from it?
MKU: It is a step in the right direction. Some progress has been made and India has climbed 40 steps in the last two years. However, this has been mostly due to the changes in insolvency laws and implementation of GST. A lot remains to be done on the ground especially in manufacturing.
Q: Your company MKU Ltd, has progressively been indigenously manufacturing armoured helmets, jackets, over-vests, shields etc. How far do you feel the policy has been eased to promote Make in India?
MKU: In personal protection the government has been encouraging ‘Make in India’ and the procurement is being done from Indian manufacturers.
Q: Recently your company got Transfer of Technology (ToT) from DRDO for the manufacturing of Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs). Pease elaborate on the development.
MKU: Yes we are proud to have received the TOT from DRDO for BPJs. It will help us to increase our range of solutions and offerings especially for the Indian Army. We also plan to use this for further R&D to develop newer solutions.
Q: Please explain about the latest technologies you are using in the manufacturing of the equipment? What is 6th Generation Armour Technology?
MKU: R&D in defence is a continuous process. With the development of new technologies, materials and threats, new solutions have to be found to meet the challenges. Working with new technologies and materials helps us improve on the existing solutions in terms of weight, bulk, protection etc. 6th Gen Technology is a current technology level in this evolution process.
Q: Could you please elaborate on solutions for personal protection, platform protection and night vision devices?
MKU: MKU caters to the global market for defence and aerospace. Consequently, it is exposed to a large variety of threats and requirements. Over the years it has developed a large database of solutions both in Personal and Platform protection space to meet most of the commonly faced threats globally. We have invested in setting up a modern facility for the manufacture of Electro Optical Devices based on both the II Tube and TI technologies. We continue to invest in improving our manufacturing capabilities to remain at the forefront globally.
Q: As your company works on producing protection devices, are state governments also your customer in the backdrop that MHA is striving for internal security?
MKU: Yes, the State Police forces and CAPFs are our major customers. MKU is participating and looking forward to active participation in Procurement of NVDs and Thermal Imagers by CAPFs. MKU is uniquely placed in this business. It has the IPR of the Products and also the world class infrastructure for manufacturing and quality assurance under one roof.
Q: How do you feel your company is contributory in providing internal security?
MKU: As mentioned earlier as a leading manufacturer we continue to invest in technology and upgrading our facilities. We will continue to provide the security forces with the best possible equipment which will enhance their capability to perform in all theatres and situations. We believe in ‘empowering our forces’ with our products which are designed to meet various threats faced by these brave personnel.
Q: MKU has been in the business of protecting people and all three platforms of land, air and naval for the last three decades. What have been your achievements so far?
MKU: Globally, we are proud of the fact that over 230 forces use and trust our products. Today we are considered a leading name internationally in protection. In India we have provided personal protection equipment for special forces and many CAPFs & SPFs. We have provided protection to many of the FPBs in service on our coastal borners. We are very proud for being the recipient of the prestigious Indian Army contract for Bullet Proof Helmets. We are especially proud that through our products we have been able to save precious lives.
Q: Do you see a boost to Make in India/ Indigenisation following the recent go ahead of procurement proposals for Army, Navy, Air Force by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman?
MKU: It will be a boost to Make in India / Indigenisation when the orders actually fructify. Barring a few the other orders are yet to be received by the industry. MKU is fully committed to harness the IDDM benefit through local manufacturing and development.
Q: How did you find DefExpo 2018 in terms of defence and aerospace business?
MKU: The participation from the Global OEMs and the international customers could have been better. Perhaps the change in venue and the associated issues were the reason.
Q: Your final comment, if any?
MKU: Defence sector has the potential to become a major source of revenue for the nation. It can be a big earner of foreign exchange. The government is already seized of the matter and perhaps need to fast track the implementation of the various policy initiatives. This will help kick start the process. The private defence industry must be treated differently and considered a national resource much like the DPSUs. The flow of orders to the industry must become regular and more transparent. After all, orders are