April 2015 | Philip Chacko

'We see opportunities in aerospace and defence'

With the Indian government planning to increase domestic procurements, Tata Technologies sees tremendous growth opportunities in aerospace and defence. Excerpts from an interview with chief executive officer Warren Harris.

Is the company's $1 billion target in annual revenues by 2017 attainable if the current economic climate persists?
Our 'big, hairy and audacious goal' of $1 billion is still attainable but we will need to complement our organic growth plans with targeted acquisitions. We have now successfully integrated the Cambric acquisition and have used this opportunity to institutionalise a serial acquisition process that we intend to leverage for future transactions.

Beyond the automotive industry, where is the greatest potential for growth for Tata Technologies?
We see opportunities in aerospace and defence, which we expect will grow as the Indian government pursues its plans to increase domestic procurements in the next couple of years. We are also receiving a strong response to our full-vehicle proposition in the industrial machinery space. I continue to be excited about the work that we are doing in digitising the value chain of many of our customers with our solutions in product life cycle management, enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management.

What are the principal challenges the company faces as it gears up for expansion? Any booby traps to look out for along this way?
We can never be complacent. Developing scale in relevant areas will continue to be a challenge for us. Finding and developing the best capabilities in our industry is a core competence that we will need to continue to invest in and refine. At a macro level the indicators are positive. The 'engineering and research and development' expenditure of the global top 100 companies is set to grow at a much faster rate than the global economy, and Indian companies like ours — due to talent accessibility — will increasingly be relied upon to satisfy this demand. The majority of issues will, therefore, be about execution and deciding how and where we are going to compete.

This is an excerpt of the interview from the April 2015 issue of Tata Review in which chief executives of 14 Tata companies speak about the performance of their companies in the year gone by and their plans for the future:
Tata Consultancy Services: 'At TCS, it's always about the team'
Read the complete interviews and more in Tata Review
Jaguar Land Rover: 'Will deliver 12 significant product actions in next 12 months'
Tata International: 'Scale is necessary for a trading company'
Tata Steel: Driven by innovation
Tata Steel Europe: 'European countries remain the key to our success'
Tata Motors (commercial vehicles): 'We will deliver tangible value to our customers'
Tata Motors (passenger cars): 'We plan to introduce two new vehicles every year'
Tata Chemicals: 'Fiscal 2016 is going to be a year of consolidation for us'
Tata Global Beverages: 'The global market is vital to our health'
Titan Company: 'Will continue to explore opportunities in lifestyle space'
Tata Communications: 'Mindset is the key'
Rallis India: 'Want to be among the most valuable companies in our domain'
Voltas: 'We look forward to deploying our strengths...'
Tata Projects: New areas of business, new opportunities