Although the Indian job market has been stagnant over the past few years, a recent report by Antal shows things might be changing, with a significant increase in hiring activities across multiple sectors. 52 percent of Indian companies are now recruiting new staff with even more planning to do so in the near future.
In addition, with significant changes being adopted by the government regarding aviation and defence regulatory policies, a number of foreign players are stepping up their investments in the country and focusing on how they may make India one of their core manufacturing and service hubs. Former director general of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) V K Saraswat proclaimed that the Indian defence and aerospace industry would offer a US$ 200 billion business opportunity. He stressed the need to develop the technology in India through the concept of Design and Make in India
This positive job outlook, combined with the expansion of aviation investment and growth, provides a perfect opportunity for careers in the aerospace industry.
Engineering for the future of Aviation
In the aerospace market, there are growing opportunities for employment – and not simply for pilots or airport staff. Aeronautical engineering has become increasingly important for India given the significant expansion of the industry, with a focus on space exploration, commercial aviation and civil and defence systems. Honeywell’s aerospace engineering strength in India is the highest in its worldwide operations with 3,000 people here in aerospace. Employers are seeking a combination of aerospace engineering capabilities and IT skills – including cloud, mobility, networking and analytics – to meet the demands of the next-generation connected and intelligent aircraft. Honeywell employs about a quarter of the world’s approximately 2000 flight control engineers, and 150 of them are at Honeywell Technology Solutions (HTS) in India.
New developments in the Indian aerospace industry include the launch of airlines such as Air Asia India and Vistara, and the rise in local collaborative defence manufacturing. Currently, India ranks among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of military expenditure and is one of the largest importers of defence equipment. While on the civil aviation side, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicts Indias air traffic will be nearly 400 million by 2020-21.
There are four trends that positively contribute to a career in aerospace sector in India. First, the Indian government has built a strong offset policy that helped generate momentum for regional military manufacturing and product development over the past decade. Secondly, the government has encouraged private sector invest in aerospace and defence and in the past few years we have seen entry of a number of Indian business houses in this field including Tata, L&T, Mahindra, TATA Power SED–Honeywell partnership and Bharat Forge. Another trend worth mentioning is that with the renewed thrust on ‘Make in India we are witnessing a growing number of partnerships between international and domestic companies such as Tata-Sikorsky JV, Tata-Lockheed Martin JV, Tata-Airbus partnership to replace IAFs Avro transport aircrafts and Mahindra-Telefonics JV. Finally, many international defence companies have found Indias engineering talent extremely attractive and have set up engineering development centers in India.
Prioritising India for India”
Similar to Saraswats plea for Design and Make in India”, the concept of India for India” is one that Honeywell has made a priority since 2008. By marrying its strong engineering presence with a focus on developing products in India, Honeywell is not only a local player but also a local competitor.
Honeywell boasts an aerospace presence in India for the past 40 years, continually expanding in the region and providing the Indian defence sector the capabilities and expertise it needs to self-support its growth objectives.
Creating a passion for Aerospace
In addition to finding and cultivating first-class aerospace talent in India, Honeywell is also committed to fostering a passion for aviation from a young age through partnerships with Indian schools and universities. It launched the Aero Club program in July 2011 to educate Indian school children on the principles of aviation and aerospace modelling; the program has been extremely effective in igniting interest in aviation. With more than 15 strategically mutual relationships with leading technology institutes in the region such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at Chennai and Mumbai; BITS, Pilani; Manipal Institute of Technology; and VIT, Honeywell helps to coach the regions aerospace professionals of the future and ensures that the post-graduates today are industry-ready when they join the workforce.
The future of Aerospace in India is bright
The surge of opportunity in aerospace means that aspirants, graduates and personnel are in a commanding position to choose a course or career that truly appeals to them. With market conditions maturing and the national economy starting to show promising results, the future has never looked this bright for those wishing to take to the skies.
The author is Arijit Ghosh, President, Honeywell Aerospace India.