MSME Defence Expo 2024 Concludes on a High Note, Showcasing the Future of India’s Defence Sector

(L to R) Ganesh Nibe, Chairman and MD of Nibe Ltd, Kaustubh Dhavse (GOM), Dr Vipin Sharma, CEO, MIDC, Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff at the Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo 2024

The MSME Defence Expo 2024, Maharashtra’s first defense expo, concluded after three days, showcasing India’s prowess in domestic defense production. A significant highlight of the expo was the signing of MOUs, particularly between the Maharashtra Govt and Max Aerospace and Aviation Pvt Ltd, SBL Energy Ltd, as well as a collaboration between Nibe Ltd and Munitions India Limited.

The Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo stands as a notable display of Maharashtra’s defence sector‘s prowess and ingenuity. With Nibe Limited as the knowledge partner, this expo echoes the ideals of Atmanirbhar Bharat, emphasizing independence and excellence in defense manufacturing. Serving as a meeting point for industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders, the event aims to promote collaboration, exchange of ideas, and drive progress.

More than just a gathering, the expo encourages in-depth discussions and forging of strategic alliances, showcasing Maharashtra’s dedication to nurturing a robust defense ecosystem for continuous progress and technological innovation. The event also featured informative panel discussions, providing insights into the current state of the defense ecosystem and the challenges and opportunities in India’s journey towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing.

The exhibition, which attracted over 200,000 visitors, featured defense equipment from prominent organizations like DRDO, L&T, Solar Industries, Bharat Forge, Nibe Ltd, Tata Advanced Systems, and others. Major players in the defense sector presented a wide array of products, ranging from small arms to various military vehicles and advanced air-defense and missile systems.

Highlighted exhibits included the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, the Light Combat Helicopter Prachand, the formidable Dhanush artillery gun, the precise Field Howitzer 77 Bofors gun, T-90 Bhishma and Arjun Tanks, as well as the Infantry Carrying Vehicle BMP-II. Additionally, attendees got a glimpse of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) domestically manufactured Samar II and the Akash surface-to-air weapon system.

Moreover, the event saw engaging discussions led by Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar PVSM AVSM VSM ADC, and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Manoj Pande PVSM AVSM VSM ADC. They interacted with students, discussing the challenges and opportunities in the defense sector, offering insightful perspectives.

Additionally, Gen. Anil Chauhan PVSM UYSM AVSM SM VSM, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Indian Armed Forces, participated virtually. Admiral R. Hari Kumar expressed confidence in India’s vision to become a fully developed country by 2047, stating that the Indian Navy is committed to ensuring that all defense-related assets, including ships, submarines, and aircraft, are manufactured in India in alignment with the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ mission.

He highlighted the importance of the MSME expo in fostering dialogue between the armed forces and the defense industry. He also mentioned that INS Vikrant is collaborating with 500 MSMEs, acknowledging the funding challenges faced by smaller players and mentioning efforts with SIDBI to address these challenges.

He emphasized the Indian Navy’s commitment to creating a safe and secure maritime environment as India grows to become the third-largest economy, emphasizing the importance of embracing technological advancements and promoting indigenous products and technologies. This approach aims to transition the Indian Navy from being buyers to builders, ensuring a successful transformation.

Gen. Manoj Pande emphasized Pune’s role as a hub of innovation, housing various institutions, startups, research centers, and manufacturing units that drive economic growth. He highlighted Pune’s reputation for pioneering innovative products, solutions, and services not only for India but also for the global market.

He expressed that the gathering represents the foundation of India’s vision for progress, driven by the perseverance, belief, hard work, and sacrifices of the youth, who are the driving force behind the nation’s growth. He noted the ongoing technological revolution, led by startups, innovation, and research, and assured MSMEs and industry leaders of the Indian Army’s commitment to supporting them to strengthen India’s indigenous defense capability.

Dr Samir V Kamat, Chairman of DRDO, echoed the sentiment, stating that India’s future, as envisioned by the Prime Minister, relies on advancements, particularly in defense. He emphasized the need to build an ecosystem that integrates academia, MSMEs, and the startup industry.

Dr Kamat highlighted that with recent developments and disruptive technologies, the aim is not only to enhance services but also to become the global leader in the defense field. He expressed confidence that by working together, expectations can be surpassed, and goals can be achieved well before 2047.

Ganesh Nibe, Chairman and Managing Director of Nibe Ltd, shared his excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to be the Knowledge Partner for the MSME Defence Expo 2024. This event showcases the latest in indigenous defence equipment and technologies, aligning with the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The expo plays a vital role in strengthening our nation’s resolve to produce critical defence assets independently, including ammunition, fighter jets, and submarines.”


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