June 18, 2012
Despite a slew of scandals, defense acquisition issues and scorching heat in India’s capital, Mark Kronenberg, vice president of international business development for Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS), remains upbeat about business opportunities in the South Asian nation. For Kronenberg, who leads international marketing and sales for BDS, India already is a success story for Boeing. Kronenberg sat for an exclusive interview with Aviation Week’s Jay Menon recently in New Delhi and discussed why he thinks Boeing is entering banner times in India.
AW&ST: What are the opportunities that Boeing is eyeing in India?
Kronenberg: We will look at additional P-8Is and additional C-17s and potentially even more AH-64D Apaches and Chinook CH-47s down the road. There is a tremendous services business in support of all these platforms and quite frankly services can be about two and a half times more of a revenue generator than you do from the platform if you win the business. So, I think what we have got is a situation where there is going to be significant number of Boeing platforms in this particular market. We can leverage all the services; necessitate all the logistics and training associated with that. We will have to partner with the customer, with the industry here in India to provide services. These platforms are going to be operational probably for the next 35-40 years. It is not all about the airframe, it’s about the systems that are stuffed in the airframe and with the amount of technology you can insert into these platforms year after year. They are going to be quite capable 30 years from now.
AW&ST: When do you think you can start delivery of C-17s?
Kronenberg: The C-17s will be delivered in June 2013 and P-8I aircraft also next May. So, things are going well with both programs. In the case of P-8I, the U.S. Navy, the Indian navy and Boeing already have several program management reviews. It is the same in case of C-17s – the U.S Air Force, Boeing, Indian air force working through the program. We have got people on ground to get these inbuilt. We are just making sure the program is on track so that the customer is happy and these things show up on time, which they will.