Movers & Shakers Interview with S. Ravi Narayanan, Chariman & CEO, CADES

What are CADES's strength and core competencies? What are the factors that differentiate the company from the other companies in the market place?

S. Ravi Narayanan

CADES strength lies in its technical capability - providing Product Design and Engineering services encompassing the entire product life cycle from Concept Design to Manufacturing Support to the global Aerospace & Defence customers.

Domain expertise, quality, grasping and understanding the needs of the global aerospace customer, and innovative business models has given us the edge over our competitors.

What kind of expansion has CADES planned for upcoming years? What is the level of investment that is required for such growth?

CADES, as part of Axis group, will be India's first vertically integrated Aerospace & defence private sector company with Axis groups interest in complete aerospace life-cycle support activity from Aviation Infrastructure, Training, Aviation Lifecycle Support, Aerospace Design & Engineering and expanding into manufacturing. CADES expansion will be to increase its foot prints with multiple delivery centers near to its customer locations, provide value to its customers by engaging in programs from the concept to certification, testing and manufacturing support.

With merger with Axis group, CADES is in a position to commit funds for its growth and also look at organic or inorganic growth in areas of composite manufacturing and setting up of avionics & embedded solutions division. In the next 18 months we are planning an investment of over 30 Million USD which will be spent on acquiring an European design company, establishing joit venture D2B(design to Build) practices for Electrical harness, embedded and composites.

What are the strategies that are being adopted at CADES to overcome the effects of slowdown/recession?

The global slowdown has affected aerospace and automotive markets in a big way. As part of our strategy we are offering innovative business models such as risk sharing partnerships, Joint Venture, India offset management etc which are pretty much recession proof.

Do you see an increase in off-shoring to India in years to come? How do you see CADES placed benefit from this trend?

Yes, there is a definite increase in off-shoring to India. Global aerospace OEM's are looking at making investments in India and working with Indian companies to derive benefits of availability of knowledge pool, market penetration and dollar/lower sorucing value. Moreover, with the Indian Govt's commitment to modernize its defence portfolio, there is a huge offset commitment, more than $10 billion which the global OEM's need to meet.

CADES has positioned as a turn-key partner in strategic sense, rather than a vendor of low-end engineering services. CADES intends to scale up technology competence, setup dedicated offshore centers, invest in Centers of Excellence and invest in offshoots of engineering like manufacturing (primary structures/composites) and avionics, to ultimately become a risk-sharing partners for global OEMs

Which international market/segment do you consider being the prime market and which market do you consider as a key to your growth?

CADES sees growth happening in all the international market, however, at this point in time, Europe looks to be more vibrant in terms of business growth. However, other geographies like Brazil, Russia, Israel, Asia Pacific are opening up to India sourcing. US still remains lucrative and we see positive signs of market opening up soon both in Aerospace and automotive.

The Aerospace industry will certainly drive the industry for the next five years because of the numerous programs being announced all over the world, including India. Apart from the aerospace & defence industry, Energy is the next big opportunity for engineering services.

What kind of investment has CADES made in Research and Development facilities to remain competitive?

CADES has an in-house program to keep abreast of the latest advancements in the R&D field. Our investments/programs involve competency development and Knowledge management programs which provide value to our customers.

Is CADES looking at inorganic growth in near future especially considering that the valuation of firms in the developed countries has reduced considerably?

Yes, as part of corporate group strategy, CADES is looking at both organic and inorganic growth around the world which could help us provide value based solutions to our end customers.

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