The company has been associated with the Indian Army for almost 60 years now and is well positioned to capture a number of defence contracts in the coming decade.
MDS is the major private supplier to the Indian Armed Forces in the armoured vehicles sector, successfully competing with established public sector undertakings (PSUs). The company has also been approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a sea mines supplier for the Navy and is also manufacturing decoy launchers to be fitted onto Indian navy vessels.
"One of the key challenges that MDS has effectively addressed is breaking the stranglehold of PSUs in obtaining defence contracts from the MoD," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Gautam Ganapathy. "The company has successfully fought for and won defence contracts from the MoD as a privately owned firm."
Another persistent challenge has been price sensitivity. However, MDS has converted this into an opportunity for itself by providing defence technologies at a premium price to the Indian army, thus winning several defence deals with state-owned defence agencies.
Currently, there has been a significant increase in demand for armoured vehicles. MDS has a wide and comprehensive product portfolio of armoured vehicles, including military light utility vehicles, bullet proof vehicles, up-armoured vehicles and mobile surveillance and rapid intervention vehicles. The company has also introduced shell-proof armoured vehicles which the Indian Army will require in large numbers over the next five years.
"By providing its customers with varied, high quality, cost-effective options, MDS has been able to capture a substantial part of the market for armoured vehicles," adds Ganapathy. "The company's extensive portfolio of 'mid-sized' armoured vehicles has considerably enhanced the value delivered to customers."
Being a part of the conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, MDS is able to deliver end-to-end solutions by forming strategic alliances with its own sister concerns under the flagship of Mahindra & Mahindra. This has given MDS an edge over its competitors in terms of efficient supply chain logistics; it does not have to rely on other companies for its resources including technology transfer, research and development or raw material supply.
Earlier, the vehicle armouring industry was considered part of the unorganised sector.
MDS has been instrumental in transforming the industry in India into an organised one, offering quality products with full warranties and guarantees for vehicle armouring.
"Through concerted efforts, MDS has established an effective vendor base for ballistic material fabrication which was non-existent earlier and has established a dedicated factory with focused systems exclusively for vehicle armouring," concludes Ganapathy. "This has had a positive impact on the Indian land combat systems market as a whole as it has made local suppliers integral to the functioning of the industry." The Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. This award recognises the company's focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.
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About Mahindra Defence Systems
Mahindra Defence Systems is part of the $6.3 Billion worth Indian multinational Mahindra & Mahindra. Mahindra Defence Systems was setup specially to oversee the requirements of the armed forces. The company provides total solutions for the entire range of light combat / armoured vehicles and their derivatives for defence / security forces. It also addresses specific segments of the Government's import substitution/indigenization programmes like sea mines, decoys and torpedo launchers. It has also incorporated state-of-the-art technology into its products at a reasonable cost and has emerged as the largest private sector company for the supply of uparmored bullet-proof vehicles and high mobility vehicles.
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