SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
It seems from the various media outlet reports that India’s LCA-Tejas might have missed the contract to supply 18 jets to Malaysia, not because the aircraft was found to be more expensive or failed to meet technical parameters but due to the PR machinery of the Koreans that ensured that jet that failed to meet many parameters was not only popular with the masses but also effective use of lobbying worked to secure orders for them.
State-owned HAL over the years has not roped in marketing gurus or lobby groups to swing orders in the aviation sector, if India wants to be among the top 5 global defense exporters then it needs to sell big-ticket items like aircraft and ships but over the year defense PSUs like HAL have not able to up the game.
HAL needs to have a dedicated LCA-Tejas team that participates in air shows and defense exhibitions around the world no matter if the country is interested or not in its procurement. Global OEMs often launch new fighter jets and are able to manage enough media hype that the jet that is yet to take make its maiden flight is already well-known in defense aviation.
Even though LCA-Tejas has been flying for some years now, the company has not created videos and documentaries to promote it in the export market nor has engaged with any aviation marketing company which will hurt any chances of export prospects. many freelance artists and illusionists are willing to work for the creation of marketing videos and images for the company but yet not one skilled individual has been approached by the company.
Like ISRO, HAL should create a new subsidiary that has only job to promote its products in the export market and work like a private organization that is hungry for sales and keen to push its turnover for which it has to take the lead since it now has many products that can do well in the export market but it needs to be marketed well which babus in a government environment simply aren’t capable of doing it.
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