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Rolls-Royce keen to strengthen presence in India

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Keen to strengthen its presence in the Indian defence sector, British engine maker Rolls-Royce has said it is optimistic about the 'Make in India' push by the government but indicated it would be a long haul before the company starts manufacturing its famous engines in the country.

"We got to walk before we run. I think the first step is to see how you can build manufacturing capabilities here in India," Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce India said when asked if the firm would start manufacturing engines in India in the near future.

The company, which has been operating in India for more than 80 years, powers a large number of aircraft, helicopters and fast-patrol vessels that the Indian military uses through its engines.

Rolls-Royce is optimistic about the growth opportunities in the Indian defence sector and is eyeing to garner a big share of the multi-billion dollar domestic aerospace industry.

It feels that long-term partnerships with state-run HAL and others would help it consolidate its position.

Underling that in 2010, the company started manufacturing components for the civil aerospace engines from India for the globe, Jayaraman told PTI, "We have been participating in the engineering services sector. We have been in sales, partnerships, joint ventures".

He said the company will continue to partnership and probably leverage the benefits of the system not just of selling into India "but working with India, making sure the resources that are available are tapped not only for India but for the globe".

Refusing to delve into specific military programmes that it is eyeing, Jayaraman said the company has proven it can make components of world standards in India.

He said the company's engineers are doing all kinds of work for the global aerospace platform here in India.

"As you prove to yourself it is possible, you build on that and you get to the next level of evolution and all of a sudden there would be a tipping point that will happen where there is a market, an ecosystem that is available to serve that market and then why not just build an engine," he said.

He said the focus should be on how to create more technologies from India.

Terming the 'Make in India' campaign as a 'vision', he said one has to figure out how everyone participates.

"Rolls-Royce already makes in India for the globe. So we will participate in a way where we continue to that even more and we continue to see how we can create, co-develop, partner and collaborate with Indian firms, large and small," he said.

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