Mr. T. Suvarna Raju who has a distinction of being granted the first patent in HAL in January 2002 has been entrusted Addition Charge as Chairman, HAL. He took over from Dr. R.K. Tyagi here today. “Given the high expectation built around the Company, my priorities would be to concentrate on operational excellence, and build the company as technology powerhouse”, says he. He is committed to set the HAL as one of the best examples that align with “Make-in-India” endeavour of the Government of India and he believes that doing so may be a challenging job in the aviation filed, however not impossible because he strongly believes that “the Best of Technologies can never be bought, it can only be developed”. “I would like HAL to grow as knowledge based organization”, he emphasises.
Born in a humble village of P. Vemavaram of Tanuku (West Godavari) district in Andhra Pradesh (A.P.), Mr. Raju, an Engineering Gratudate, joined HAL on June 26, 1980 as Management Trainee. Unfazed by the extreme work hours and challenging goals, Raju not only continued to deliver and meet his professional goals and targets, but also continued perusing is academic interests. Raju, attended prestigious Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai. Raju was selected and attended the elitist National Defence College. Raju also undertook academic program at National Law School of India University relating to Intellectual Property Rights. He obtained his Masters in Business Administration as well as Masters of Philosophy in Deference and strategic Studies.
The combination of professional responsibilities and academic exposures provided Raju an edge in leading a number of new initiatives and out of box solutions. Under the leadership of Raju, INDIA achieved self-reliance producing 25kN turbofan engines. Raju led drafting of HAL’s first R & D policy, HAL has now applied for an unprecedented 1000 patents in last two years. He also conceptualised, prepared and implemented a number of automation and real-time systems. Raju is recognized for his achievements time to time. One of the feather in has cap is the Dr. Biren Roy Trust Award by the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) for his unstinted efforts in planning and establishment of new technologies at HAL.
Under his leadership Raju heralded a new era in research and development programmes that covered LCA, LUH, LCH, IJT, HTT-40, Jaguar DARIN-III, Mirage Upgrade etc., Significant milestones have been achieved on R&D front with delivery of first series production LCA-Tejas aircraft and ground test vehicle run of LUH. He implemented the concurrent engineering to facilitate the development and production of new aircraft. He also developed the concept of performance based logistics for military aircraft.
Mr. Raju has been instrumental in taking various path breaking measures to make R&D set up of HAL more competitive. He was responsible for drafting of first ever R&D policy of the Company that has shaped various policy initiatives in last few years. With his leadership, all the design centres were brought under the ambit of Committee of Institutional Network (COIN) to synergize the learning across the organization. The policy has enabled creation of a corpus for the R&D by keeping aside 10% of Operating Profit after Tax.
He also contributed towards success of Jaguar production and overhaul facilities establishment at HAL. He has the distinction of having experience in Design & Development, Manufacturing, Maintenance and Upgrade of various types of platforms. Mr Raju was instrumental in establishing production line of Hawk Mk 132 aircraft and its record delivery. He managed the Mirage 2000 aircraft maintenance project which has the distinction of on time deliveries without any cost over-run.
Mr. Raju has been member of various High Level Teams formed by Ministry of Defence (MoD) for assessing the Techno-economic viability of acquisitions. He has been a member of various studies constituted by Indian Defence services and has received commendations for his professional involvement and contributions.
Currently, Mr. Raju is the Chairman of the Bangalore Chapter of AeSI and is the first Member Secretary of Design Development Management Board (DDMB) established by Ministry of Defence (MOD). He is also Member Secretary, National Aeronautics Co-ordination Group.
(Photo and text by Ministry of Defence, New Delhi)