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‘India Among Top 3 Mkts For French Firm Thales’

After six decades of presence in the country, French aerospacecompany Thales is set to take the next big leap in the country.

Thales Group chairman and CEO Patrice Caine said India is among the top three priority markets for the manufacturing conglomerate and that the company will line up “significant investments”, into the country over the next three to five years.

“India is among the top three priority countries for Thales... meaning we mobilize at the group level the necessary energy and focus to grow our presence in India. We will be making these investments for winning new markets and new customers,” he said.

Thales plans to not only manufacture more inIndia, but also use it as a hub for exports into other neighbouring regional markets.

The company has been present here since 1953 and draws bulk of its revenue of 300 million euros from the defence sector — primarily through joint ventures. Thales also hopes to make good of “challenging”, but fast-emerging opportunities in the field of ground transportation and aerospace. “We have ambitions to reach 1-billion-euro revenues in India in the next three to five years,” Caine said.

Additionally, Caine said the offset clause in defence contracts handed out by the government is a strong incentive to move the supply chain to India from Europe. The Centre’s defence procurement policy requires foreign majors to source a part of their raw materials from domestic players. “This is one way to ensure offset obligations, but more importantly to set up genuine engineering capabilities so that we can make products that will serve the domestic markets as well as for exports,” he said.

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