New Delhi(PTI): Besides bilateral security ties, the agenda of defence minister Manohar Parrikar's three day tour of South Korea that began on Thursday - his first official foreign visit after taking charge in November lastyear- has the 'Make in India' written largely over it.
Accompanying him is a powerhouse of eleven Indian business leaders representing eight firms –both private and state-owned- into defence manufacturing.
With an aim to facilitate joint production and investment by South Korean defence companies into the Indian market, these business heads belonging to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Larsen and Toubro, Tata Power SED , among others, made detailed presentations before the joint forum of India-Korea defence industries.
In fact, the India- South Korea defence industry interaction that took place on Thursday in the capital Seoul began with a 'Make in India' video, DNA learnt from one of the participant.
Later in the day, Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director of GSL gave a presentation on 'supply chain requirements of shipping industry in India' . GSL is looking forward to source shipping equipments from reliable marine equipment suppliers from South Korea, a source said.
Presentations were also made by Dilip Sundaram, country head, Mahindra Korea, Mahindra Defence, Jayant Damodar Patil, executive vice president defence & aerospace , Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Rahul Chaudhry, co-chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) defence committee & CEO, Tata Power SED.
These leaders visited South Korea as part of the Ficci business delegation on defence and aerospace.
Tata Power SED is a prime contractor for the indigenous production of Pinaka multi barrel rocket launcher and Akash missile launchers. The company's interest lies in collaboration over the artillery systems, combat management systems, engineering systems for land and marine forces, missiles and land and naval weapon systems,
Larsen and Toubro which is the largest private player in India's defence sector too have largely similar interests as that of TATA Power SED.
The business delegation accompanying Parrikar also include SK Sharma, the CMD of the state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The company which designs and manufactures radars, naval systems, military communications products, simulators, tank Electronics, among others too is looking for collaboration with Korean firms.
Executive vice president of Bharat Forge Limited (BFL) , the flagship company of Kalyani Group , Colonel Rajinder Bhatia (retired) too has gone to South Korea to explore its areas of interest in artillery systems, armoured protected vehicles, ammunition, missiles & radars and defence electronics.
Other business leaders accompanying Parrikar are the CMD of Micron Instruments Private Limited, and Dr PKC Bose, MD and CEO of Seartex India private limited.
The Korean firms that the Indian businesses engaged with during the visit are eRAP Korea which is into aerospace and military electronics, Insopack company limited, Hanwa corporation and Hyundai among others.