HomeAatmanirbhar BharatZetwerk: Zetwerk bets big on defence, investing Rs 350 crore, to acquire...

Zetwerk: Zetwerk bets big on defence, investing Rs 350 crore, to acquire European company

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Contract manufacturing startup Zetwerk is betting big on the defence market and is looking to invest up to Rs 350 crore in the next few years to acquire foreign companies involved in manufacturing components for electronic warfare, setting up a new test facility in Tamil Nadu and creating a new drone manufacturing unit.

In an interview with ET, Vishal Chaudhary, co-founder at Zetwerk, said the company is in advanced stages of acquiring firms that specialise in high precision manufacturing, which will compliment its current portfolio of electronic warfare equipment. The executive said the acquisition would be in the Rs 50-75 crore range and would most likely be from Europe.

“We have to be very selective in the choice. At the end of the day, the application is aerospace and defence, so that sort of narrows the world and then there are certain international regulations where you can go and where you can’t. So, Europe is one of those potential areas where there are some very good companies,” Chaudhary said, adding that negotiations are at an advanced stage and the acquisition could be completed within six months.

Zetwerk has already acquired Pinaka Aerospace Solutions, which manufactures electronic warfare equipment of all sizes—from aircraft-based systems to ground sensors and vehicle-mounted systems. The company is targeted to achieve revenues of Rs 220 crore.

Zetwerk also plans to add a new drone manufacturing facility.

“As a manufacturing company, we are also actively exploring opportunities of drones/UAV manufacturing where we are going to work with a few companies for technology transfer. That’s a market over and above electronic warfare, so it is a very large-scale opportunity,” Chaudhary said, adding that the focus will be on developing advanced payloads for the UAVs.In the short term, Zetwerk is looking to invest Rs 300-350 crore in the defence sector, which will include a first-of-its-kind testing facility for the private industry. The flight test facility will be used for testing Zetwerk products and will also be rented out to other companies.“We are trying to see how much of private testing can be done outside (government labs) to expedite the whole process of getting those systems approved,” Chaudhary said. The new facility is likely to come up in the Tamil Nadu Industrial Corridor and the company is scouting two possible areas, including near the Sulur airforce base.

Zetwerk, which had reported revenue of close to Rs 11,500 crore last year, is looking at three core areas for future growth—consumer electronics manufacturing, aerospace and defence and capital goods manufacturing—for customers in India as well as abroad.

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