UK-based Rolls-Royce, which is into civil aerospace, defence, power systems and other sectors, is expecting its engine and genset-manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune to start operations within the next few months. The unit has been set up as a joint venture with Force Motors.
The company, which has a tie-up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others in India, is eyeing more collaborations in the country, said Kishore Jayaraman, president, Rolls-Royce India and South Asia.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems, a subsidiary of the company, and Pune-based vehicle manufacturer Force Motors in March 2018, started a joint venture to manufacture Rolls-Royce's engine brand MTU and 12-cylinder Series 1600 units, which are used in power generation and rail underfloor applications. The company has earlier said Force Motors will hold a 51 per cent and Rolls-Royce Power Systems a 49 per cent stake.
"India will be the only destination where the Series 1600 engines will be made for all of Rolls-Royce customers globally. If everything goes well, we should open the facility in next couple of months," said Jayaraman. "We are looking at about 2,000 engines a year, for export as well as local consumption," he added.
The supply chain and engineering are local and the whole genset will be packaged in India. While there may be some components coming from overseas initially, localisation will be 100 per cent in this segment in a few years. Rolls-Royce has, over the years, moved from selling products in India to technology transfer, people engagement, products development, and building capabilities, capacities and then producing from India for the globe. The next step is to enter the microgrid segment in the country.
"There are lots of opportunities to do partnerships. Hopefully India will grow into a wide-body market. We would like to have our fair share of that market," said Jayaraman.
On Monday, the company announced a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to explore opportunities in the area of joint research and to roll out a ‘Technical Higher Study Framework’ to facilitate higher education for its engineers. The company is keen to leverage the collaboration to promote upskilling and professional development of its engineering talent, and facilitate higher education and research in areas of strategic interest, Jayaraman said.
The company has a JV with HAL for making components for its civil aerospace business, which is fully operational and is a tier-I facility for the company. Its engineering centres in India have around 750 people working, apart from outsourcing partnership with firms such as Tata Consultancy Services.
It is focusing on building capabilities in the digital and electrical segments and already has a team of 100 in the digital segment. Rolls-Royce is also working closely with organisations in the defence sector and is keen not only to make its existing products in India, but also to create in India.
"We need to generate IPs by developing them in India for the globe. That is going to be the future or sustainability for India, for Rolls-Royce and any company that wants to be here for the next 100 years. We are figuring out how we can develop technologies in collaboration with partners from India - whether the public sector or private," Jayaraman added.
The tie-up with IITM will also help its 'Create in India' programmes. As part of the MoU, Rolls-Royce and IIT Madras will aim to pursue advanced research in areas of relevance to future technological and programmatic needs of the company. In addition, as part of its Technical Higher Study Framework, Rolls-Royce will sponsor select employees keen to pursue Masters and PhD studies, in partnership with IIT Madras.