TRAINING AND SIMULATION
Training and Simulation Market Growing in India
“We think it’s a growing market and there is a lot of demand coming up now,” said Ashok Atluri, managing director of Zen Technologies, an Indian simulation systems company.
Zen has been working in the Indian market since 1993, and has supplied about 700 simulators to Indian police forces and the army since then, he noted.
The Indian army has stringent requirements and demands high-fidelity simulations for many of its Russian-made equipment, Atluri said. There is a need in particular for land system equipment simulations, he added.
The Indian army’s push for new simulation technologies is driven by falling prices for such systems, Atluri said.
“It’s like in other countries, you cannot … train most of the time on the equipment,” he said. There is a “realization that there is a cheaper and better way to train.”
There is also a push to be prepared for any situation, he said. “We have neighbors which are not very friendly, but the reality is that operational preparedness is necessary for any country. Operational preparedness is a focus that the country has.”
Zen has manufactured a number of simulators including systems for firearms, tanks, land-to-air missiles and drones, he said.
Besides India, Zen is targeting the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia regions for new sales, he said. The U.S. market, however, is a tougher one to crack, Alturi noted.
“In the U.S., they have a very, very clear … preference for American companies,” he said. “It’s a very difficult market to penetrate.” Adding to that issue is the large amount of red tape foreign companies must go through to sell to the United States.
Zen is open to partnerships with U.S.-based companies and is currently working alongside Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins on projects. Alturi said that as part of the memorandum of understanding signed by both companies, Zen would be the prime contractor for India-based projects. Rockwell Collins would assist them in securing contracts stateside.