Every year, The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer, evaluates the performance of its 12,000 sub-vendors spread across the globe and awards its best 10 suppliers the coveted recognition of Supplier of the Year.
Amongst the winners for 2019 is a Kolkata-headquartered company, Rossell India, which builds electrical harnesses for Boeing at its Bengaluru-based subsidiary Rossell Techsys. Rossell’s award is for being “instrumental in the design, modification or production of a product”, for 2019.
The 10 Suppliers of the Year this year include eight American companies, one Israeli firm, and Rossell Techsys.
This Make In India triumph is no fluke. In 2016, at Boeing’s glittering centenary year celebrations in Seattle, Rossell Techsys — then just six years old — won its first Supplier of the Year award.
This double achievement, unprecedented amongst Indian aerospace suppliers, has set Rossell Techsys on a high-growth path with its customer portfolio now featuring names like Lockheed Martin, Expleo, InterConnect Wiring, Bharat Electronics, and Hindustan Aeronautics.
However, Boeing remains the primary destination for Rossell Techsys’ wire harnesses and electrical cockpit panels. Amongst the Boeing aircraft that Rossell Techsys feeds into are the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 Strike Eagle fighters, the AH-64E Apache, and CH-47F Chinook helicopters (both of which are currently being supplied to India), the V-22 Osprey tilt rotorcraft, the KC-46 tanker and the P-8I Poseidon maritime mission aircraft.
In addition, Rossell is a sub-vendor in the giant US programme to build the T-7 advanced jet trainer aircraft.
Boeing explains that it decides its supplier recognition awards scientifically each year, using an assessment software called Enterprise Supplier Performance Management. This assesses vendor performance over a 12-month timeframe, measured over a rolling, month-by-month window. The Supplier of the Year is awarded for various categories, some of which may change on a yearly basis.
In addition to Supplier of the Year, Boeing also awards high performing vendors with Performance Excellence Awards (BPEAs). Rossell Techsys has won the BPEA on multiple occasions, including last year.
The parent company, Rossell India, has its origins in tea growing. It currently operates seven tea gardens across Assam and remains a profitable exporter and supplier of high quality teas.
The company’s executive chairman Harsh Mohan Gupta says: “We forayed into aerospace and defence engineering and manufacturing at the end of 2010 when we saw the opportunity to tap the offset business. The decision that we took was the right one and at the right time.”
For 2019-20, Rossell India reported a turnover of Rs 310 crore, on which it turned a net profit of Rs 18.55 crore. Over preceding quarters, the aerospace business, under Rossell Techsys, is emerging a key profit centre of the company.
Disclosure: The author is an independent director on the board of Rossell India