The parable of the blind men and an elephant has its origin in the ancient Indian subcontinent.
It tells the story of a group of blind men who come across an elephant, a beast which they had never before encountered.
Each one touches a different part of the elephant---and so each describe a different sort of creature. One man touches the elephant’s trunk and declares the animal to be a thick snake. Another one touches the elephant’s ear and says that the animal must resemble a fan. A third touches the elephant’s leg and insists that it must resemble a tree trunk.
The story goes on with other varying descriptions and concludes that limited knowledge of a part of a subject simply doesn’t give a valid description of the whole.
That age-old Indian parable could be said to apply to India today; it is truly a country whose dazzling diversity can be appreciated not only by looking at each of the pieces separately but, taken together, to form a mosaic where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
India’s variety is stunning across the board--geographic, climatic, linguistic, and religious as well as political, as the world’s largest democracy with over 1.2 billon people.
Its economic diversity is also remarkable, with both vibrant industrial and tech sectors. It has one of the largest automotive sectors in the world as well as the largest start-up hub in the world with over 3,100 technology start-ups in any one recent year. India is also a major exporter of IT services, and it has been such a source of modernization of the economy that the IT sector continues to be the largest private sector employer in the country.
A Tech Sector Empowering an Industrial Revolution
In fact, the tech sector is empowering a new industrial revolution. And Thales is there as a partner, says Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales Country Director for India. “We’ve been in India for 65 years, and have become a true and trusted partner in the country’s modernization. We are helping to strengthen the industrial and defence base of the country, a key government goal, through the government’s ‘Make in India’ program that focuses on developing India as a manufacturing hub. Thales’ initiatives in this direction include partnerships with the public, private and academic sectors, and helping Indian industry play a greater role on world markets as well.”
"Thales’ initiatives in this direction (government’s ‘Make in India’ program) include partnerships with the public, private and academic sectors, and helping Indian industry play a greater role on world markets as well.” Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales Country Director for India
The Thales Country Director for India adds, “Thales’ strengths in the defence, transport, aerospace, and digital identity and security markets are a perfect match for India’s ambitious objectives. And we have shown that we are flexible in applying our know-how to localizing products as appropriate, as in the Indian aerospace sector. So, we are growing along with India across all the lines of our business. As for the future, we are positioned to bring the benefits of the digital transformation to India, given our expertise and experience in Artificial Intelligence, Connectivity, Cybersecurity and Data Analytics.”
"As for the future, we are positioned to bring the benefits of the digital transformation to India," Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales Country Director for India
Today, Thales has 1600 employees in India, working at its New Delhi headquarters, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and at other sites including its four joint ventures.
Partnering with All Sectors for the Future
Thales seeks to play an essential role in the modernisation of the Indian railways, the largest rail system in the world. It is a key supplier of digital axle counters to the Indian railways.
And it provides signalling, communications and ticketing systems to metros in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Hyderabad.
Thales also makes Indian skies safer and flying easier and efficient. Government airports, pilots, crews and passengers rely on Thales each day in the civilian aerospace sector. Thales has provided avionics and In-Flight Entertainment to Air India, critical avionics to IndiGo, as well as navigational aids to the Airports Authority of India.
Thales’ long-standing experience and expertise in air traffic makes it a logical partner for airport development in the country whose annual growth in air traffic is the fastest in the world.
In defence, Thales is providing the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force with radars, avionics, optronics, battlefield equipment, and electronic warfare systems, in addition to support. It is part of the Rafale team and also supports the upgrade of the Mirage 2000 fleet. Thales works with Indian joint venture partners as well as with several expert supply chain partners. “We are committed to develop significantly our footprint in India in line with the government’s policy of “Make in India” explains Emmanuel de Roquefeuil “So in the next three years, we intend to double the number of people working directly with us and through our supply chain partnerships with Indian companies.”
"We intend to double the number of people working directly with us and through our supply chain partnerships with Indian companies.” Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales Country Director for India
Partnership is also the theme of Thales’ commitment to boost Indian excellence through activities with the nation’s academic institutions. One example is the joint PhD fellowship program with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and also with other such reputed institutions.
From people to enterprise security and the Internet of things, Thales Digital Identity and Security technologies and services are providing Indian enterprises and organisations with secure digital services for millions of individuals and their transactions. These include data protection solutions, biometric products, always-on connectivity, banking cards, passport readers, secure smartcard-based driving license and e-vehicle registration cards and other administrative security support.
“Our plan is to go beyond production to support innovation and develop engineering in India." Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Thales Country Director for India
Emmanuel de Roquefeuil concludes, “Our plan is to go beyond production to support innovation and develop engineering in India. Our two engineering centres – in National Capital Region and the one launched earlier this year in Bengaluru will support this plan. So more and more Indian nationals will work with us to design and develop the most advanced technologies for both our civil and defence businesses.”