In conversation with Mr. Rajeev Joisar, Managing Director – India, Bombardier Transportation

Context: With the recent RRTS rolling stock contract awarded to Bombardier Transportation India, We reached out to them for an exclusive insight into this project besides other details on their activities in the Indian market. Mr. Rajeev Joisar ( recently appointed Managing Director for India – Bombardier Transportation ) holds a bachelor’s degree and is a certified engineer with specialization in Electronics and Communications from a recognized university in Vadodara, India. 

He has held various roles with increasing responsibility during his career at Bombardier, and He brings vast experience in managing complex multi-site cross-divisional projects. He has also had management positions in operations, strategic sales, project management and bid management. Most recently, His direction and leadership helped the India team to win two major new contracts with the combined value of more than half-a-billion euro. The first was signed in May 2020 for the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, which includes 210 commuter and intracity cars, and the second was signed in the first week of July 2020 for the Agra-Kanpur Metro Project, which includes both rolling stock and signalling. 

Interview Insights :

Rail Analysis: Please tell us about your journey with Bombardier Transportation India so far and How did you get started in this industry?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: In my current role, I am responsible for the end-to-end mandate of business development and sales through to project execution and services delivery, with customer satisfaction and business growth as priorities. For almost two decades, I have held various roles with increasing responsibility during my career at Bombardier in operations, strategic sales, project management and bid management and accumulated experience in managing complex multi-site cross-divisional projects. Together with my team in India, our primary focus is to develop innovative mobility solutions that delight our customers and meet India’s growing need for sustainable transportation.

One of the major strengths for Bombardier in India is its talent base. We deliver India projects from our local sites and also support the global projects of the company improving efficiency and we are proud that our local teams have been contributing to mobility needs for the people in India and globally. In India, we are not just a train-maker – we are a full-service provider. The ability to bring a full suite of solutions to a city or a region is becoming critical with capacity to manufacture a complete rail package out of our Indian sites.

Rail Analysis: Congratulations on the recent award of the rolling stock tender of NCRTC project? What is the timeline of this project and What are the new features which are expected in the rolling stock? How much indigenization is expected in the project?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: We are proud to be chosen to deliver India’s flagship regional rapid transit system project which will expand public transport in the national capital and connect adjoining fast-growing cities. Our new trains will be truly designed and manufactured in India, and they will enhance passenger comfort and safety.

This project award for India’s first and most advanced semi high-speed regional trains, together with maintenance services, reaffirms Bombardier’s pioneering position in India’s rail industry. This is also the first project in India for regional and local transit services operating on the same network, progressively realizing India’s vision for the multi modal integration of transport networks.

Mr. Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director at NCRTC said, “Finalization of the Rolling Stock bid process is an important milestone in the implementation of India’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project. Our partnership with Bombardier Transportation to supply 100 per cent locally manufactured train sets for the entire Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS with over 83 per cent local content will be a shot in the arm for the Make in India initiative of the Government of India. We are confident that together we will deliver this transformational project in time to fulfill the aspirations of the residents of the National Capital Region contributing to improvement in their quality of life.”

The project will be executed in accordance with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ guidelines, with the trains being manufactured at Bombardier’s Vadodara sites in India. The rolling stock will be designed at the Global Engineering and Technology Centre in Hyderabad, India and local teams will provide maintenance services through two project and maintenance depots established by our customer in Duhai and Modipuram.

Our Plant in Savli where RRTS trains will be manufactured

It is India’s first project to include maintenance services as part of rolling stock tender process and Bombardier will deliver globally proven maintenance solutions to ensure safe and reliable train operations. The 82-kilometre Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS will boast a 180 kmph design speed, first of its kind rolling stock in India for regional transit services and will be implemented in phases between the cities.

Rail Analysis: In your perspective, what has been the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Indian Rail & Metro Sector. What are the precautionary measures you have undertaken to resume your operations?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: We take it as a priority to ensure our employees and business partners can work in a safe environment. During the pandemic, Bombardier follows the guidance of the official authorities in each country, also the situation varies considerably from one site to another. In order to take all these factors into account, different regulations are applicable for each Bombardier site. In the current unprecedented circumstances, we want to protect our people from COVID-19, support the Indian Government’s efforts to spread the virus, and to ensure sustainable business continuity.

Our Plants in India with COVID-19 action plan

Following the Indian Government’s directive to extend the lockdown whilst announcing relaxation norms for essential industrial units from April 20, Bombardier Transportation resumed its operations across both Vadodara sites in the last week of April. Our sites are operating in adherence to strict internal safety guidelines and in compliance with state and central government directive to re-start operations. Our remaining staff across India continues to work from home and customer services staff follows enhanced safe working practices in case of any urgent onsite support required by the customer.

When the crisis began to unfold globally and in India, we acted swiftly to protect the health and safety of our employees, support government mandates to slow the spread of the virus and service our customers to the best of our ability. It’s clear that a new reality is upon us and it’s critical that we embrace this new reality very quickly.

“We’ll need to change how we operate and how we move forward to support our customers.”

That’s exactly what we’re doing to execute our priorities and business in India to be more predictable and consistent in our performance. However, based on our current assessment of the COVID-19 situation, and the continuing resumption and stabilization of our operations, we have already started deliveries to our customers in India.

Rail Analysis: In the thriving Railway sector of India, what are the opportunities and challenges for your company in India today?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: It is imperative to stay focused in a highly competitive rail market like India, we need to introduce innovative and proven technologies. Bombardier offers the broadest portfolio of rail vehicles and technologies in the industry and can offer individual solutions for all Indian cities. Focusing on the most pressing public transport challenges in India, Bombardier offers all products needed for a comprehensive transport system – from metros and Light rail vehicles (LRV) as well as APM and Monorails to regional commuter and high-speed trains along with rail components, signalling systems and maintaining the asset.

BOMBARDIER INNOVIA fully automated and driverless transportation systems

Expertise, creativity, market knowledge and vision are just some of the reasons why Bombardier is setting the industry pace in providing the most innovative and reliable rail solutions in today’s market. We strive continuously to improve reliability, availability, maintainability and safety while supporting and strengthening sustainable rail transport. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. There are various projects of Indian Railways delivering rolling stock, components, signalling and services, Bombardier is keen to participate.

Ministry of Railways has set out its vision for rail as a key provider of connectivity and enabler of economic development, with significant investment over the next five years. With our presence and experience in the Indian rail market, we are well poised to play a key role in India.

“In addition, Reinforcement on public private partnerships (PPP) will gain momentum with faster development of railway infrastructure, including rolling stock, and gives reassurance to the private sector. Bombardier shares government’s vision to decongest India by rail investments and outlining a safer railway system in India. ”

Bombardier is one of the leading global suppliers for commuter and intercity trains along with semi-high speed (upto 200 kms p/h) and high-speed trains (from 250 to 380 kms p/h) across the world and is keen to support Indian Railways efforts to increase train speeds, upgrade signalling systems and improve passenger comfort. We are able to bring world-class technologies to one of the world’s fastest growing economy through our deep and extensive engineering, manufacturing and service footprint in the country.

Metro projects in India would prove to be significant to the country with technology injection, moving millions of people faster and enabling economic growth. With focused approach on innovative financial models and private investment, metros across Indian cities will supplement domestic capital, technology, skills for accelerated growth.

Rail Analysis: Along with the rolling stock for metro projects, please inform us about other major projects Bombardier is currently executing in India and which upcoming rail & metro projects are you looking to participate now?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: Rail will play an Important Role in Solving India’s Mobility Needs. India is investing greatly in its infrastructure, including its rail network. As a result, it’s no surprise that the Indian rail market has attracted the attention of suppliers in the sector, with all the major rolling stock manufacturers wanting a share of the market. Bombardier is proud to forge long-term partnerships in India, built on a strong track record of delivery performance, best-in-class rail echnology and value-adding long-term solutions; which has laid the foundation to further support Indian Governments great efforts to meet a higher demand for public transport to ensure the comfort and ease of every passenger’s journey.

India also has an opportunity to become a major rail manufacturing hub with a strong focus from the government to invest in local content and railway infrastructure, including new trains, signalling systems and maintenance. Bombardier Transportation is keen to apply its local experience with global expertise to propel the country forward. As the cost of energy and the need to improve efficient performance are challenging rail operators globally, Bombardier is playing a key role in shaping sustainable mobility for the 21st century. Responding to our customers’ needs, we are delivering cutting-edge products to rail operators to optimize efficiency and environmental performance.

Rail is the only sustainable transportation solution to many of today’s environmental, social and economic challenges and Bombardier is looking forward to continuing to safely move millions of people across India. In 2020, Bombardier aims at investing in India with a longterm perspective in manufacturing facilities, local talent, developing local supplier base, enhancing engineering capabilities and new technologies in the projects which are strategic to our growth in India.

Rail Analysis: Indian Railways is planning to run around 150 trains under the PPP model along with many other initiatives declared during the budget. Is Bombardier also looking to partner with the Railways on such projects?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: We really appreciate the efforts of Indian Railways to explore the possibility of private train operation on their network. Bombardier is following the train operations project closely and is in discussion with senior Indian Railway officials. It is too early at this stage to comment the future course of action
as we shall evaluate the viability of the project. We, at Bombardier, feel that reinforcement on public private partnerships (PPP) will gain momentum in the coming years in India resulting in faster development of railway infrastructure, including rolling stock.

We share Indian government’s vision to decongest India by rail investments with higher involvement of private sector in train operations as an initial project and outlining a safer railway system in India. As our recent investments demonstrate that we are committed to the development of rail transportation in India, where we have built capabilities covering complete range of railway vehicle manufacturing, local engineering, strategic supplier base with local skilled employees.

Rail Analysis: Further, the Govt. is seeking to adopt high localization for its new projects in the Metro sector, any suggestions on how can the “ Make in India” Program be more effective for the Indian market?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: With modernization in the intermodal transport, rail transportation can be a significant engine of inclusive growth and development for India. India’s transportation infrastructure sector could significantly benefit from a stable regulatory environment that has an independent regulator, appropriate dispute- resolution mechanisms and supportive, comprehensive policies. In fact, India’s high rate of economic growth will be difficult to sustain if infrastructure development does not increase and keep pace with demand.

India has the fourth largest rail network in the world and we at Bombardier are pleased with the efforts of Indian Railways and Metro rail organisations to modernize the rail transportation in India. Technology which we’ve got available now enables us to take significant cost out and drive up utilisation. It also provides a platform for its continuous development going forward.

Emerging technology is something that Bombardier is very much involved in. As well as building trains, our Indian sites also helps devise new innovations which can improve the performance and efficiency of its products. Our Savli and Maneja sites are building trains and rail equipment for many years and has got an extremely good track record for delivering high quality rail products. What we see in the field is testament to that. We have no doubt around the quality of our rail products coming out and that’s down to the skilled workforce in India.

Bombardier has a very strong organisation in the India across all areas. We have all the fully integrated capabilities sitting in the India, from software creation and development all the way through to train production through to the ability to maintain a fleet over its life. All our skills sets sit in India to deliver rail products for the Indian market. That’s exciting because it means we can shape what we deliver in India to what the local rail operators needs.

Rail Analysis: Lastly, Congratulations for winning the Special Appreciation Award for Achievement in Significant Contribution to Railways at our recently held Rail Analysis Innovation & Excellence Summit 2020. Please share your views on the same.

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: We are delighted to have won this award which recognizes our commitment to the Indian government’s local content policies and to manufacturing rail products for India in India. Bombardier has demonstrated a high degree of collaboration between the rail industry, local operators and industry at large.

Harsh Dhingra, Former Chief Country Representative for Bombardier Transportation in India handing over the award to Bombardier Transportation Team at the Rail Analysis Innovation & Excellence Summit 2020

This award is a testament to locally manufacturing rail products, which improves and transforms mobility in major Indian cities. It is a great initiative by Rail Analysis India and I am sure the summit will become bigger and bigger in the years to come.

Rail Analysis: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Mr. Rajeev Joisar: Bombardier has been investing in India for nearly six decades. Bombardier has a well-established manufacturing operation, innovative technologies, engineering capabilities, supplier base and around 2000 highly skilled employees in India. Bombardier is one of the largest rolling stock suppliers to Delhi Metro having delivered 776 metro cars with 40 more metro cars in delivery and is the largest signalling supplier to Delhi Metro with over 140 track kms delivered.

Bombardier is one of the largest rolling stock suppliers to Delhi Metro having delivered 776 metro cars with 40 more metro cars in delivery

Bombardier has been associated with Delhi Metro for around 13 years now with more than USD 1.25 BN worth of orders placed on Bombardier since 2007. The high degree of localization executed in the project at Bombardier’s Savli and Maneja sites fulfils the requirements of the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign and Delhi Metro’s indigenous procurement plan that encourages local manufacturing. Currently, Bombardier is moving around 5 million people daily in the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi and our propulsion equipped locomotives travel around 300,000 kms on Indian Railways network daily.

This Interview is a part of our June 2020 MagazineSubscribe to our Magazine Today!