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In sunburnt Khamgaon, a small unit of Local firm to make protective cover for other Indian fighter jets

Source : The Times of India

After Su-30, Local firm to make protective cover for other Indian fighter jets
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The Khamgaon town in Buldhana district may only bring up images of harsh summers and water shortage. Here is another aspect of the place which may be otherwise discounted by the upcoming class. A little known small industry has made it to become a niche player supplying specialised equipment to the Indian Air Force (IAF). Protective cover for some of the fighter planes are made here.

Vikamshi Fabrics Private Limited, which bagged the best small industry award from Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) on Saturday, is indeed a dark horse. Operational since nearly four decades, the company lately began making specialised protective cover for fighter planes and even satellites. With a turnover of Rs25 crore, the promoters have preferred to keep the unit at Khamgaon as they feel sticking to the same place meets their objective of providing employment to locals.

Swar Vikashmi, the third generation entrepreneur, said in 2018 the company bagged an order to make specialised canopies for the Su30 aircraft under the Make in India programme. As the order continues the company has also cleared the technical rounds for making canopies for another fighter jet used by the IAF.

Vikamshi preferred not to name the aircraft make citing security and non-dislosure reasons. “The company also make similar products for other aircraft too,” he said. The canopies cover the aircraft when the planes are parked. “It is needed to protect the aircraft from external temeprature. This saves components, especially the glass shields. There are places like Jodhpur where the ambient temperature goes up to 50 degree Ceslius where the canopy comes into use,” he said.

“In fact it is my mother who brought the business to this level. She took over after my father passed away in 1994,” said Vikamshi and added, “We started with tarpaulin and later colour coated fabrics and rubber sheets that are used in hospitals.” His mother Geetika said in the next three decades the company achieved a niche finally making specalized covers used by defence and space sectors. “In fact, we have a very stereotype image of small places and always look for typical industries which require only basic technology. It should be known that niche industries like ours can come up in such places too,” she said.“In early 2000 we had begun a project for ISRO for making thermal shields for satellite which provide the protection to satellites till the launch. Our company is a registered vendor for ISRO. The supply began in 2013,” said Vikamshi and added, “During the pandemic, the company also provided inflatable canopies to Gujarat government for Covid centres.”

Lipi International, which got the award for the mid-scale sector, has come up with tamper-proof packaging for food sector during Covid. “This is different from regular seal and once taken off cannot be put back,” said Giriaj Kothari of Lipi International. Rakhee Agrawal got award in the women entrepreneur category for having a specialized colour machine for packages.

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