Major General C. S. Mann, VSM, Additional Director General, Army Design Bureau (ADB) emphasizes leveraging evolving technologies as key to achieving Aatmanirbharta while discussing NCNC demos, suo moto proposals and,scalability potential in the defence sector

PR No – 62

19th March, 2024

New Delhi


Major General C. S. Mann, VSM, Additional Director General, Army Design Bureau (ADB) emphasizes leveraging evolving technologies as key to achieving Aatmanirbharta while discussing NCNC demos, suo moto proposals and,scalability potential in the defence sector



Major General C. S. Mann, VSM, Additional Director General, Army Design Bureau (ADB) referred to MSMEs as the backbone of the entire ecosystem, emphasizing their crucial role while speaking at PHDCCI’s 3rd International Conference on Defence & Security held on 19th – 20th March, 2024 at Hotel The Lalit, New Delhi On the theme-“Navigating Evolving Technologies in Defence and Security”


He stated that the ecosystem is currently in a learning phase, and achieving aatmanirbharta depends on leveraging evolving technologies. Discussing the main projects of the Indian army, he mentioned that out of 32 projects, 11 are especially reserved for MSMEs, with 28 of them involving active MSME participation. Many of these projects are enhancing capabilities through suo moto proposals.


Highlighting the basic requirements, he mentioned of a regional portal with approximately 35 thousand items listed and further informed about recent government relaxations aimed at assisting startups in leveraging these technologies. Formalization of spiral development has further added value to capabilities, with procurement procedures, scaling, and costing being handled on a case-by-case basis. Payment terms have been relaxed for raw material procurement, and security bonds have been added too, Major Mann informed further.


Additionally, he mentioned NCNC demos based procurement and emphasized the potential for scalability, citing relaxations in various eligibility criteria provided by the government. He also discussed upon exports, noting the interest shown by friendly countries. While concluding, General Mann further discussed innovation developed by service personnel and plans to expand it to bulk procurement by involving academia.


Smt. Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India highlighted the Ministry of MSME’s support of key sectors, emphasizing its multi-sectoral approach. She mentioned the importance of Udyam registration and informed about the availability of over 4 crore data of MSMEs on the portal, with around 30 thousand onboardings per day.


She informed, special emphasis has been given to women and the informal sector, recognizing their critical role in the MSME sector. Approximately 16,000 MSMEs contribute to the defense sector, playing a significant role in projects like Chandrayaan-3, Tejas combat aircraft, atomic energy replacement units and areas like defense, space. She emphasized the importance of technology intervention for MSMEs and discussed various government schemes and initiatives, including the Champion Scheme and Incubation Scheme.


Ms. Epao further added, the Ministry has identified 729 host institutes for R&D to help create viable business models and offers numerous courses for upscaling. Collaboration with Germany and the Netherlands has resulted in the establishment of technology centers, with more upcoming centers expected. The Ministry has recently launched two important centers- an Export Facilitation Center in Hyderabad and a Green Technology initiative in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad. These initiatives aim to support MSMEs in entering the global value chain and adopting green technology.


She also informed about the latest collaboration with the EXIM bank which has led to the creation of the Global Market Intelligence System portal, assisting MSMEs in exporting by providing market information and certification details. She added, the Ministry is currently developing a specialised program and a five-year plan for the industry, with continuous stakeholder consultations. Additionally, efforts are being made to keep the environment clean through schemes like Zero Effect and Zero Defect, she concluded.


Mr. Rudra Shriram, Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHDCCI & Joint President, DCM Shriram Industries Ltd. highlighted the vital role played by the MSME Ministry, particularly in the defense sector and discussed that this conference will pave the way forward in harnessing technology powers for national security. This event underscores the critical need for stakeholders to collaborate, innovate, and strategically navigate the complexities posed by emergent technologies. He futher discuseed that it embodies the essence of adapting to rapid advancements in AI, cybersecurity, robotics, and space technologies within the context of defense and security sectors.


The conference aims to explore the opportunities, challenges, and implications of these advancements. Through engaging discussions, insightful balance, and knowledge sharing, the conference seeks to empower participants with accessible strategies and best practices for leveraging evolving technologies responsibly, enhancing signature security, and scalability, he added.


Lt. Gen. Raj Shukla, PVSM, YSM, SM, ADC (Retd.) Former GOC-in-C Army Training Command Indian Army, emphasized the critical importance of the trio of technology, talent, and innovation in emerging national security space.

He discussed, the volume and velocity of challenges we are facing today are having a persuasive impact. The world of business in international security has become increasingly brutal, and only the fittest will survive. National security is now driving politics like never before, and the grammar of foreign policy is also changing.


He highlighted that we are in the midst of the most significant national security makeover since independence, making aatmanirbharta critical to establish India as a powerhouse in this realm. MSMEs can play a significant role in this endeavor by bringing in technology and innovation. Events in

Ukraine and West Asia serve as inspiration, with the buzzword in this conflict being innovation. While the American budget for defense is $950 billion and China’s is $290 billion, innovation holds paramount importance for both nations. In the battle between innovation and big corporations,

innovation emerges victorious. General Shukla also highlighted the potential of leveraging drone capabilities, discussing various startup initiatives and technology use in Ukraine for medical and combat needs during war.


He further informed, data leveraging in Ukraine has prompted the Indian armed forces to unlock and leverage their data as a business tool, presenting vast opportunities alongside significant challenges. He emphasized the need for careful risk-taking and handling in this regard. General Shukla noted that the current scenario presents great opportunities for MSMEs. He urged for outstanding initiatives to upgrade emerging technologies within our legacy systems and emphasized the importance of moving away from copying and adopting failing programs of the Western system, advocating for aatmanirbharta in defense.


Mr. Sanjay Dwivedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Ltd. (AVNL), emphasized that the most relevant time to discuss technology, particularly in AI, is when we can integrate emerging technologies into all products of the defense sector. While conventional technology is still crucial, India is making good progress in emerging technologies like robotics and AI. He highlighted India’s trajectory towards indigenization in the defense sector, attributing much of the credit to MSMEs, which contribute 50% of the procurement. Mr Dwivedi further suggested that evolving technologies can be effectively utilized to enhance defense capabilities.


He stressed the importance of exploring all areas and avenues for the use of these technologies and platforms to significantly strengthen our armed forces. The requirement is not only for developing new products but also for enhancing capacity.


Vote of thanks was given by Mr. M K Gupta, Co-Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHDCCI  where he discussed how this event underscore the imperative of collaboration and innovation in navigating the complexities of our evolving defense landscape and taking our nation towards greater self-reliance and security.


There were two very important Technical Sessions on “Increasing Dominance of MSMEs in Domestic and Global Defence Supply Chain” and “Emerging Technologies and Technology Cooperation: AI, Cyber, Space and Robotics” with presence of technical experts from the sector, Government and International Speakers sharing their perspective on the subject


The Event was organised under the aegis of Ministry of MSME, Government of India and Department of Defence Production, Government of India and was supported by PHDCCI annual sponsors, DLF Ltd; Jindal Steel & Power; KLJ Group; Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd; Marble City; MMG Group; Radico Khaitan Ltd;  Uflex Ltd; Vestige; Eazy ERP Technologies; JK Tyre & Industries Ltd; Sagar Group of Industries; Superior Industries Limited; Samsung India Electronics; Oswal Greentech; Apeejay Stya Group; Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt Ltd; DCM Shriram;  R E Rogers; Trident Group; Ajit Industries Pvt Ltd;  Bhagwati Plastic and Pipes Industries; Central Coalfields Ltd; DD Pharmaceutical Ltd.;  Hindware Sanitary; Jindal Steel;  Modern Automobiles; P S BEDI & Co.

Warm Regards,

Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry