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The President of Boeing India says, India will need about 1,000 Airplanes of different types in the next 20 years.

Saturday , Posted by AME at 12:46 AM

Dinesh Keskar, the President of Boeing India and Senior Vice President of Boeing International discusses the outlook for the aviation industry in India. He says, India will need about 1,000 airplanes of different types worth about USD 100 billion in the next 20 years.
Here is a verbatim transcript of the exclusive interview with Dinesh Keskar on CNBC-TV18.

Q: I won’t be wrong if I say you are the best salesman of the aviation world?

A: I would say that is probably okay.
 Boeing India

Q: The deal you made with Air India of 68 aircraft and USD 11 billion, the single largest deal in 2005?

A: That is still today the largest deal in the history of aviation because it was one single deal worth USD 11 billion. There are other deals done but this was one single deal with one single contract.

Q: You started life as a scientist with NASA and then moved to Boeing as a research associate, so you moved from Lab to the corner office isn’t it something that people normally do?

A: When we started growing up in India, I did my high school and my engineering here and my parents always wanted me to do a PHD in engineering. So, I did that in the US and once I finished that I started working with Boeing, one of the things that I found out that there are lot of engineers and lots of good technologies etc but I wanted to do something unique. At that time I was working on the fly by wire system and which is one this airplane here and it took fifteen years to come there, so by the time you work on something till you see it, it takes a long time. When I was in a program called Expo in Boeing, it introduced me to different other functions in the Boeing company, one of them being sales and marketing.

Q: And then in 1987 they sent you to India because people say that Boeing lost the deal to Airbus and so they wanted you here?

A: Certainly, people like to change things and 1987 was the beginning of new era because there was big deal done at Indian Airlines and Boeing just wanted to change people. So, they wanted me to know whether I want to go and work in India and I said I would take a look at it and 22 years later I am still there.

Q: So you got the first deal with Mr. Scindia a USD 700 million deal and in the last two years you perhaps sold about 150 aircraft into Indian companies?

A: We did about 165 in about three year timeframe worth about USD 25 billion was very good going.

Q: Have you been a little more successful because some people would say that it is overcapacity that is driving Indian Airline Company?

A: Even I say that on every single program because that is indeed the reason. We carefully look at the business plan, where the airplanes are going to be used, so if you look at 68 airplanes of Air India, not one was going to be used in the domestic market, the wide bodies like these are going to New York non stop and one stop.

The 18 Air India Express are going as low fare carriers to the gulf and South East Asia and the 787s are not even here yet. We did some wide bodies with Jet Airways and some are yet to be delivered, they took a modest quantity of 737s and they are doing reasonably okay and also SpiceJet. So, what I wanted to tell you is that we have been fortunate and we have never had a cancellation, we had some deferrals but we carefully measure what is it that the airline can use and need and at the same time nobody at that time predicted the deep recession, fuel price and things associated with it.

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