Bharat Electronics Limited : A pioneer in protecting the country from the border to the democratic system
All the countrymen are proud of the Indian Army. Our brave soldiers are working day and night to protect the borders, so that we can sleep peacefully in our homes. But there is no discussion on the hidden warriors who make the country’s army fit for battle. In today’s series, we will talk about Bharat Electronics Limited i.e. BEL, which serves as the eyes and ears for our armed forces. This country’s leading public sector company prepares defence equipment for the army. BEL’s expertise is in manufacturing communication equipment for the armed forces. Apart from this, the company oversees the manufacturing and maintenance of several key products and services such as radar, data link communication systems, etc. Built in the year 1954, BEL got the status of Mini Ratna category in the year 2002. It became the first public defence company to achieve this award. BEL not only manufactures equipment to protect the country’s borders but it also manufactures the basic requirement of democracy, i.e. Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). Apart from this, BEL also manufactures Biometric Capturing System for the National Population Register. BEL is the pride of the country. Along with protecting our borders and democracy, it also earns profits for the government. What is the future plan of Bharat Electronics Limited and what is the company going to contribute to the progress of the country? In this regard, Dinesh Kumar Batra, Director, Finance, BEL, had a detailed discussion with Uday India. Excerpts:
What are the plans BEL is coming up with for the coming future?
BEL has been consistently performing well since its inception in 1954. In the last two years, BEL continued its good performance while battling the lockdown during the Corona epidemic. Even in these years we have reached the highest peak of our performance. Last year, we achieved the highest target of Rs 15 thousand crore turnover. The government has 51% stake in our company. The rest belongs to the common people. It is our commitment that BEL brings maximum benefit to its shareholders. We gave a dividend of Rs 450 crore. We have reached a market capitalization from Rs 24 thousand crore to Rs 60 thousand crore. Till now, we were only in the defence sector but now we are going to work in the field of civil aviation, metro, railway, electric vehicles, etc. What is more, during the Corona period, we made 30 thousand ICU grade ventilators and transported them to every corner of the country.
The effect of Corona was visible on the whole world. But BEL continued its journey of progress even during this period. What is its secret?
The credit for this goes from the senior management of BEL to the common worker. Our CMD herself used to be present on the floor during the Corona period. Our research, technical, material management, production team achieved the goal of maximum production without worrying about their lives. BEL has a dedicated team–the one who does not see its selfishness in front of the interest of the country. Be it the top management of BEL or general employees, there is a feeling in everyone’s mind that he/she is working for the defence sector. That’s why everyone works hard. Let me tell you that our target was to achieve 15% growth, but due to restrictions during the Corona period, we were reduced to only 9 per cent. Although, soon we will achieve our growth rate of 15 per cent.
Recently, BEL has got a big contract from the Indian Army. This includes contracts for the maintenance of tanks and equipment for fighter planes. How many such big contracts do you see coming to BEL in future?
In the year 2021-22, BEL got contracts worth Rs 19 thousand crore from many places including Army, Navy, Air Force, Election Commission. This year also 20 thousand orders are expected to come. We already have an order book of Rs 57 thousand crore, due to which we have set a target of 15% growth. We expect at least orders worth Rs 20 thousand crore to come in every year.
What has been the contribution of BEL in the Prime Minister’s Make in India programme?
BEL is already working under Make in India programme. We create in-house technology. We have spent about Rs 1000 crore, i.e. 6 to 7 per cent of our turnover, on research work, which paves the way for Indianisation of technology. This is a step taken in the light of the Prime Minister’s guidance towards self-reliant India. We give samples of the equipment, which we need to import, to indigenous companies and tell them that if they prepare such equipment, then we will order it to them only. We are working to take the objective of self-reliant India to a new height.