Rolls-Royce to strengthen Bengaluru R&D centre, eyes 'Make in India' push

Rolls-Royce to strengthen Bengaluru R&D centre, eyes 'Make in India' push

Rolls-Royce to strengthen Bengaluru R&D centre, eyes 'Make in India' push

Global aircraft engine legend Rolls-Royce has announced plans to strengthen its engineering centre in Bengaluru to 500 engineers by 2017.

Explaining the company’s strategy to Deccan Herald, Rolls-Royce India President (India and South Asia) Kishore Jayaraman said, “In 2015, we decided to hire 500 engineers captive to Rolls-Royce, in order to strengthen our aerospace capabilities. We have an R&D centre in Bengaluru, with 200 staff at present, which will reach the expected 500 by next year.”

The company, which has been a part of the Indian growth story for decades now, especially in the realms of aerospace and aviation, had already begun building an engineering team in 2005, having around 1,250 engineers working for it from Quest and TCS today. “We are moving from strength-to-strength, and are building from capacity to capability, thereby enabling ourselves to develop and grow more in India,” Jayaraman said.

Rolls-Royce is one of the few major producers of aircraft engines in the world, having bestowed numerous planes with the power of flight. The company, which is currently involved in making engines for wide-body airliners, claims to hold around 50% share in the segment.

Today, there are 70 million air passengers in India, which is expected to touch 300 million by 2027. Talking about the Indian airline market predominantly being served by narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft, Jayaraman hinted, “In India, while the wide-body aircraft market isn’t very prevalent today (especially for the domestic segment), the new policy will improve the industry. As flight routes diversify, it must be noted that small aircraft can’t fly everywhere, and the market itself must graduate to larger aircraft. As a company, we are watching the market, and are constantly in touch with airlines here, and will do whatever it’s required to serve the market.”

Meanwhile, talking about Rolls-Royce’s plans for the ‘Make in India’ campaign, he informed that the company already has over 20 suppliers in the country, in the areas of forging, fabrication, and precision machining, among others, who are qualified to provide for its global supply chain. “Even in terms of defence aerospace, we signed a JV with HAL in 2010 to manufacture compressor components that go into our global Trent engines,” he added. Today, over 750 aircraft in the Indian Air Force — combat, transport, reconnaissance, and patrol — are integrated with Rolls-Royce engines.

“Besides, we are also bullish to push our other businesses in India, including power systems, naval marine, commercial marine, and nuclear,” Jayaraman said.