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70 years in India: a platinum partnership to match the country’s ambitions

Present in full strength at the 14th edition of Aero India beginning February 13, Thales is also celebrating its 70th anniversary in the country. In this special year, the company is moving forward on its Make in India roadmap as part of the Indian government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat* vision.

Aero India, the country’s flagship air show, is being held February 13 – 17 at the Yelahanka air force station in Bengaluru. It is the opportunity to showcase cutting-edge technologies across defence, aerospace and space sectors, putting a particular focus on the progress towards ‘Make in India for India and for the world’. At Thales, helping Indian industry to play a greater role in world markets has been a key part of the Group’s strategy since it started operations in the country in 1953. 

Since the beginning, Thales has played an essential role in India’s growth story by sharing its technologies and expertise. The Group has steadily built advanced in-country capabilities across manufacturing, critical systems and services in India through local teams and collaborations. 

“As we celebrate 70 years in India, Thales is eager to pursue its long-standing commitment to partner with India in its big ambitions including the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. We are fully committed and mobilised to continue supporting the modernisation and indigenisation efforts that are underway in the Indian aerospace and defence sector.” 
Ashish Saraf, Vice President and Thales Country Director in India.

‘Make in India’ to accelerate growth

Thales’s strategy of developing its industrial footprint in India is in line with the Indian government’s policy of “Make in India”, notably for the development of the country’s defence base. Strengthening collaborations through local partnerships means developing more products and creating more jobs, resulting in increased growth. 

Working today with 75 suppliers, Thales has generated more than 1900 indirect jobs in India, and the Group is looking to include even more partners and suppliers in the country.

A good example is the partnership with Bharat Dynamics Limited. Together, the two companies are manufacturing 60% of STARStreak / Laser Beam Riding MANPAD (LBRM) system, a product that Thales will display at the Aero India show alongside other defence equipment with local content.

A large-scale recruitment programme

Thanks to its growing local engineering capability, Thales in India now counts more than 1800 employees including 1400 engineers in its two global Engineering Competence Centres (ECCs), located in Bangalore and Noida. 

In its 70th anniversary year, Thales is further strengthening its presence to meet local and international needs. The Group is recruiting hundreds of new employees, primarily hardware engineers, software engineers, systems engineers and experts in digital technologies, especially cybersecurity.

Thales is also committed to supporting research and developing innovation at India’s leading educational establishments. The most recent example, in April 2022, was the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI) of India in the field of Open Hardware. Similar partnerships have been with formed with IIIT Delhi in July 2021, and with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras, Delhi, and Bombay as well as the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, notably for jointly supervised PhD fellowship programmes. 

In support of this expansion, Thales HR executives will be present during the public days at Aero India to meet Indian engineering talent and discuss the Group’s exciting career opportunities with them.

For more information on Thales’s participation at Aero India, visit the dedicated page.


*Atmanirbhar Bharat can be translated as 'self-reliant India'. It is a phrase used and popularised by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and his government in relation to the country's economic development plans. It encompasses the Modi government's plans for India to play a larger role in the world economy, and for it to become more efficient, competitive and resilient.