New Delhi: State-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has set a target of Rs 20,300 crore for financial year 2023-24 as demand for indigenous products is driving growth for the company, its Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Bhanu Prakash Srivastava said on Tuesday.
In an interview with PTI, he said the order book of the 'Navratna' PSU under the Ministry of Defence stands at around Rs 64,800 crore as on August 1 this year. The company has plans to start marketing offices in Brazil, Armenia and Kazakhstan, Srivastava said.
He said export sales target for 2023-24 is $90 million.
BEL achieved a turnover of about Rs 17,300 crore in the previous financial year, a 15 percent growth.
Srivastava pointed out that defence business in any country is closely linked to government policies that are based on factors like the geopolitical scenario, security threats and economic growth of the nation.
The Government of India, he noted, is focussing on self-reliance to encourage domestic industry and has imposed restrictions on import of certain category of defence equipment.
"This will enhance the demand for indigenous products and services in the near future," he said. "BEL being a leading indigenous solution provider in defence sector will have more opportunities in the coming years and this will drive the growth of the company".
In order to increase indigenisation and value addition, BEL, a technology-oriented company, has been investing approximately six to seven percent of its turnover in research and development.
Constant efforts in indigenous development has led to achieving about 70 to 80 percent of turnover from indigenous products, he said.
BEL, Srivastava said, is giving increased thrust to harnessing the export potential of its defence and non-defence products that represent its core areas of business.
"BEL has broadened its footprints into multiple geographic locations by opening overseas marketing offices in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United States, Singapore, Nigeria and plans to start marketing offices in Brazil, Armenia and Kazakhstan," he said.
Also, capex investments like infrastructure and facility, along with strategic alliances with niche companies, including startups and MSMEs, are also some of the key factors driving the growth of BEL, according to him.
The major orders expected by BEL during 2023-24 are: 'Buyer Nominated Equipment for Ships', 'Long Term Electronic Fuzes for Ammunition', Radars, Tank Upgrade products and Electronic Warfare Systems for Ships, he said.
According to him, the defence segment continues to be BEL's main business and provides about 85 percent of revenues.
Segments like radar and missile systems, communication and network centric systems, anti-submarine warfare and sonar systems, tank electronics, gun upgrades, electro optic systems and electronic warfare and avionics systems would continue to drive the company's growth in the coming years.
In non-defence, EVMs, homeland security, Smart City projects are existing business opportunities for BEL.
Srivastava said BEL has been putting continuous efforts and focus to enter and address several new areas in both defence and non-defence for further expanding its business in new markets for sustainable growth.
Some of the areas being focussed upon in defence include missile systems, seekers, arms and ammunition, unmanned systems, airborne radars, next-gen solutions for night vision devices, Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), directed energy weapons, countermeasure systems for air platforms, avionics systems for next-gen aircraft/helicopters, software as a service, network and cybersecurity.
Some of the areas being focussed in the non-defence include: solutions for civil aviation sector, anti-drone systems, space/satellite electronics, space launch vehicles, satellite communication services, solar business, railway and metro solutions, homeland security, smart meters, medical electronics and healthcare solutions.