Chennai Defence Expo: A Showcase For MSMEs With A Special Focus On Atmanirbharta

Chennai Defence Expo: A Showcase For MSMEs With A Special Focus On AtmanirbhartaDefence Expo In Chennai
  • A main aim of the defence expo is to link MSMEs working in the defence sector with end-users in the services.

A defence expo is being organised in Chennai next month to empower the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India’s defence sector and promote atmanirbharta.

Swatantra Foundation, a Chennai-based think-tank, and the Aerospace Industry Development Association of Tamil Nadu, the nodal agency for the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, are organising the expo.

The event called ‘Defence Expo Empowering MSME 2021’ will take place between 19 and 21 March 2021 at Chennai Trade Centre Complex, Nandambakkam. It has been approved by the Ministry of Defence, and the Department of Defence Production, which is responsible for developing infrastructure for the defence sector, is also taking part in the event as a partner.

One of the main aims of the event, organisers say, is to link MSMEs working in the defence sector to end-users in the services, major defence manufacturers and the labs and institutions in the country working on defence-related research, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Defence Expo by Swarajya Magazine on Scribd

Organisers say the event is aimed at building the capabilities and capacity of the MSMEs to cater to the needs of the defence sector at a time when India is looking to build more and more defence equipment indigenously.

Opportunities for MSMEs in the defence sector have grown considerably over the last few years as a result of the government’s indigenisation push.

For example, the signing of the Rs 48,000 crore deal between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Indian Air Force for 83 Tejas Mark 2 fighters will give a push to a large number of MSMEs in the defence sector. A large number of MSMEs are part of supply chains built for indigenous equipment, including the Tejas fighter.

Opportunities such as these are only set to increase as India seeks atmanirbharta in defence. Towards this, the Ministry of Defence has already announced that it will ban the import of 101 types of weapons and ammunition over the next five years. These weapons and ammunition will be produced indigenously in India, by the private sector, which includes MSMEs, and the Defence Public Sector Undertakings.

“We plan to move from a $11 billion defence base to $25 billion by 2025,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said at Aero India earlier this month.

A large number of foreign defence equipment manufacturers are also investing in India to grow their footprint and comply with offset requirements, and have tied up with the local industry, including MSMEs, to build subsystems.

The government also plans to export defence equipment to friendly countries. Over 150 defence systems including Tejas fighter, artillery guns, tanks and missiles and ammunition, have been approved for exports. The Ministry of Defence has set a target of Rs 35,000 crore ($5 billion) annually for defence exports, and this too will generate opportunities of MSMEs in the defence sector.

This Defence Expo, its organisers say, will also provide a forum for micro, small and medium enterprises and defence sector buyers so as to interact and identify mutually beneficial areas of cooperation and business opportunities.

“The aim is to create a broad and sustainable supply chain base for a vibrant MSME sector. The event will be a great platform for Tier-1 & Tier-2 companies to meet up with their potential supply chain partners,” the organisers say.

“The main aim of this event is to connect MSMEs that have the capacity and the capability to cater to the aerospace and defence sector. A conference and seminar on opportunities for MSMEs in Indian Defence Sector – Building an Atma-Nirbhar EcoSystem is also being planned concurrently with the Expo,” they add.

Exclusive business to business sessions will also be organised, during which potential supply chain partners can exchange business ideas and information.

“Large defence industries such as Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge, HAL, BEL, DGQA, DRDO, Super Auto Forge, Hindustan Shipyard, LMW, LCC, Ordnance Board Factories, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, Adani, TATA Aerospace, TITAN, Carborandum Universal and other DPSUs and private industries are expected to participate,” organisers say.

“The Army, Navy, Air Force and BSF direct procurement and maintenance depots are also expected to participate, and many have confirmed so far,” they add.

Representatives of the Ministry of Defence will present a seminar on the Purchase Preference for Indian MSMEs in defence procurement, off-set policies, defence export opportunities and indigenisation opportunities. The nodal officers in-charge of indigenisation are expected to be present at the event.

Industries form the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor will also participate in the event.

“We also expect participation of Overseas Defence manufacturing industries/through their Indian representatives. Foreign Embassies and their trade departments are expected to participate which will be useful for the participating Indian MSMEs to find out potential export opportunities and also joint ventures and investment opportunities from overseas companies,” organisers say.

“Several industries associations, such as TANSTIA, Laghu Udyog Bharathi, CODISSIA, AIEMA, etc, are keen to join us and exhibit their capabilities,” they add.

Swarajya is digital media partner for this event. Visit to know more.


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