Thales Group, the 13 billion euro French defence electronics firm, is planning a likely foray into “intelligent transport solutions” with an Indian partner, besides scaling up its existing operations in India radar and avionics systems.
“There are very interesting prospects in India’s smart cities projects,” Thales chairman and CEO Patrice Caine told HT.
“We are at initial stage of discussion for partnering with the (Anil Ambani-led) Reliance Group for smart city projects.”
A Reliance Group spokesperson declined to comment for this story.
“We can offer good solutions, we are the leading player in signaling in railways and urban mobility, which is an very important aspect of smart city,” Caine said.
Thales, in which French firm Dassault group holds 25.3% stake, already has a joint venture with public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) to make radars for both military and civilian markets in India.
It has another joint venture with New Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems Ltd to locally produce and sell avionics systems and helmet-mounted sight display systems for IAF.
“With BEL we are co-developing radars. These products are for both Indian market and exports, and will be developed in a couple of years. With Samtel the production of display for Mirage 2000 upgrade will start soon,” he said.
India recently announced its decision to buy 36 Dassault Rafale jets in “fly-away condition” from France.
Recently, L&T Technology Services purchased 74% of the equity capital of Thales Software India Pvt. Ltd.
On ease of doing business, Caine said: “The Indian market has unique characteristics. You have to be patient in India.”
“India has its own acquisition process,” he added.