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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the renowned Indian aerospace and defence company, is gearing up for a significant transformation in its approach to international markets. HAL’s chairman and managing director, CB Ananthakrishnan, has confirmed the creation of a dedicated commercial and marketing arm. This strategic move aims to bolster HAL’s efforts in promoting and exporting its cutting-edge aerospace products to the global market.

HAL’s decision to establish a separate commercial and marketing arm comes in response to challenges faced in international markets. Notably, the company lost a deal to supply 18 LCA-Tejas Mk1A fighter jets to Malaysia in favour of South Korean Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and its FA-50 fighter jets. It was a surprising turn of events, as the LCA-Tejas Mk1A was not only more cost-effective but also demonstrated superior capabilities in various performance parameters.

The South Korean firm, KAI, effectively clinched the Malaysian deal through an aggressive and highly targeted marketing strategy, which included intense lobbying efforts. Despite the FA-50’s higher cost and inferior technical performance when compared to the LCA-Tejas Mk1A, the marketing arm of KAI played a decisive role in securing the contract.

In the wake of such developments, HAL has actively responded to numerous international inquiries and requests for information (RFIs) in recent times. However, despite its best efforts, the company has struggled to secure major export orders for its high-quality products, which have been developed for the Indian Air Force.

HAL’s decision to create a dedicated commercial and marketing arm is a proactive measure aimed at streamlining its approach to international markets. This new vertical department will serve as a one-stop contact point for external inquiries, RFIs, and requests for proposals (RFPs). It will be responsible for negotiating prices, offering comprehensive support, and promoting HAL’s products on a global stage.

The newly established arm will also actively engage in promoting HAL’s products at international defence exhibitions and ammunition showcases worldwide. This proactive approach will showcase the excellence of “Made by HAL” products to a global audience and highlight their capabilities in various defence applications.

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