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Excerpts from an interview with J.N Godrej

Mr J.N Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd.

The Godrej Group was founded in 1897 by Ardeshir Godrej. Since then, the corporate has grown with a wide range of products from home appliances to aerospace technology. The following are the excerpts from an exclusive interview with Mr J.N Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Brahmand: Godrej Company is a brand name in home appliances, over the years it has diversified itself into several business range. How did aerospace sector enter in the company’s existing profile?

JN Godrej: Godrej began its association with the aerospace sector in 1985, when it started developing critical, high-precision components from exotic alloys. It made its beginning by developing control module components for space.

Brahmand: The company has shown its excellence in aerospace sector with the success of Chandrayan-1. What are its future plans in Indian space programme?

JN Godrej: To move up in the Value chain from being a Component / Sub-assembly supplier, to supplier of Assemblies, and then extend our reach to the global market. The ambition is to become a Tier-I vendor for bigger projects.

Our niche area will be Power Plants. In our phase two, we shall be OEM suppliers for line replaceable units. Finally, we shall enter into design simulation, analysis, testing and systems involving composites & electronics with metallic structures.

Brahmand: Is the company associated with the ISRO’s Chandryaan-2 project as well?

JN Godrej: Yes, we will be supplying Launch Vehicle Liquid Engines, Chandrayaan (Satellite) Propulsion Components and Ground System Support.

Brahmand: What are the major challenges faced by any private sector Indian company to establish itself in the development of any space/missile programme?

JN Godrej: The usual challenges of ensuring availability of raw material, meeting the exacting quality standards, acquiring competence in design, understanding of codes and standards, developing work skills and culture necessary for the precision work, etc.

Brahmand: What are the verticals that Godrej is seeing to build a strong momentum in the space industry and also on new projects?

JN Godrej: Launch Vehicle Propulsion and Satellite Propulsion Systems, Antennae & Radars.

Brahmand: India’s indigenous cryogenic engine was produced by Godrej in partnership with Hyderabad-based MTAR Technologies. What were the technological challenges in developing the engine?

JN Godrej: Establishing process and producing on 5-axis machining centers, Developing Brazing technology for Cryogenic Alloys, Developing Welding Technologies like Electron Beam and TiG for dissimilar and low thickness Alloys, Cold Testing and a wide variety of NDTs needed for Quality Assurance.

Brahmand: Godrej Aerospace manufactures rocket engines, thrusters and various satellite systems for ISRO. It has also started making critical liquid propulsion engines for launch vehicles as well as parts of the engines fitted directly to the satellite. What are the company’s next steps in the aerospace industry?

JN Godrej: To be a global Tier-I supplier and domestic solution provider for complete systems like UAV, AUV…

Brahmand: What are the company’s future plans for associating itself with any international Space project or Space agency?

JN Godrej: As the Precision Manufacturing Sector of the Indian economy starts getting integrated with the Global supply chains, opportunities will emerge for all of us to be part of the Global supply chains. We are in discussions with many, but they are at a preliminary stage.

Brahmand: What Godrej is going to offer at Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX) 2010?

JN Godrej: We will showcase unique expertise developed in Metallic Assemblies for various verticals such as Aerospace, Defence and Civilian Aircrafts.

Brahmand: How promising BSX 2010 will be in accelerating the company’s future plans and programmes in aerospace technology?

JN Godrej: We expect that showcasing our competencies in the exhibition will open up opportunities for developing business relationships, international tie-ups & relationships with experts coming from all over the world.


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