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Mahindra plots aerospace course
India's US$7.1 billion multi-national Mahindra
Group has set its sights on the aerospace
industry as its latest growth opportunity.
The group started out assembling the
Willys Jeep in India in 1945 and is now
involved in utility vehicle and tractor
production, information technolog y, nancial ser vices,
infrastructure development, tourism and logistics.
e group comprises more than 100 companies and
lays claim to being one of the world's top three tractor
In 2006, Mahindra entered the aerospace industry
with the acquisition of aerospace and automotive
engineering ser vices company Plexion Technologies.
"Over the years, our footprint in the [aerospace] industry
has increased through both organic and inorganic
growth," explains Arvind Mehra, executive director and
chief executive o cer of Mahindra Aerospace.
In late 2009, Mahindra expanded its aerospace
portfolio further, with the acquisition of Australian
companies, general aviation aircraft manufacturer
Gippsland Aeronautics, now called GippsAero, and
aircra component and assemblies company Aerosta
Australia, in a US$38 million deal with Kotak Private
Equity. Prior to this, Mahindra was already active in
Australia, having established an assembly and customer
support centre in ueensland for its tractor and utility
business in 2005.
"As Mahindra Aerospace, we are growing in the
manufacturing space with the recent acquisitions
of Aerosta Australia and GippsAero. At the group
level our aerospace portfolio has expanded with the
investment in Mahindra Satyam, which has a sizeable
aerospace practice," adds Mehra.
Prior to the purchase of GippsAero and Aerosta ,
Mahindra's aerospace activities had been concentrated
on design engineering ser vices, in addition to some
manufacturing ser vices. "Some of the successfully
completed programmes include the turnkey production
of the Seabird Seeker aircra [for Seabird Aviation
Jordan -- the Jordan-based branch of Seabird Aviation
Australia]," says Mehra.
In addition, the company has partnered India's
national Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on the ve
seat NM5 utility aircra , scheduled for its rst ight in
"We anticipate a further 12 to 18 months before
we can achieve type certi cation to start commercial
production," says Mehra . " e NM5 has been designed
to augment the utility-aircra segment with a modern
design that meets the latest safety and operational
regulations, compared to several designs now in service
that were designed under much older regulations. We
believe its low operational costs and versatility will give
us access into many market segments across the globe."
Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group is moving from tractors to aircraft, with ambitions to become a tier one
aerospace supplier and globally recognised aircraft manufacturer. Emma Kelly takes a closer look.
Mahindra is planning a 10-seat stretch of the GA8 Airvan, called the GA10.
AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2011 27
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