Should the Public relations department of Defence organisations must be privatised?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by SATISH, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Public relations of DRDO, ADA and HAL are totally non-existent.The public relations is one of the most important factors that help in gaining support of the Tax-Payers, because it is their money that is being spent on defense research and development. The public must be brought into confidence or else large fundings cannot be justified. The press always criticizes the projects because of half baked knowledge and inability to acquire sensitive data which all the Defense R&D organizations are not ready to divulge. The press can be told what they want to hear and hence leading to responsible reviews of defense projects.


    I would like to hear what other forum members think about it.
     
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  3. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    Yes. It should.

    We all have seen the videos of brahmos, trishul, AAD etc. and those videos simply lacks the effect it should have on the viewers. Also, more than half of our population just don't know what DRDO is! If they know, many don't know what they do or what kind of progress they make.

    DRDO, HAL and other defence research and development orgs. have indeed set quite a few extraordinary milestones, but except for few notable incidents like LCA, Trshul, Prithvi, Agni, Arjun etc. - the big guns - the general populace is not aware about them in whole. Let me tell you that many of my friends don't know that LCA and Tejas is one and the same.

    I said these stuff to make the point that this lack of awareness among the populace means bad PR or complete lack of it. A good PR firm would glean every bit of info. to get the clients' maximum advantage. In my PR class my prof. said that a informed public is a happy public (or something of the sort, never been an attentive student). information garners confidence; and if our tax-payers know what their country can get indigenous is equal to what they will get by import, there would be less fan-boys in forums rooting for imported toys and support for our R&Ds. For example, I didn't know much about Indian defence and etc., was unaware of USA's various legalities (golden sentry etc.); and without knowing them or the qualities of F/A-18F/F Super Hornet I wanted it to win MMRCA. Now I want Rafale. Like my friend can't care less what sort of Air defence system India is paying Rs. 10000 crores for, or that DRDO claims to be able to build similar indigenously.

    A PR firm would have made sure to get proper news coverage - adequate space and time - of DRDO's indigenous efforts, without needing DRDO to go for a mud-slinging match against AF or MoD.

    And also, in truth no in-house govt. PR can match a client and profit-oriented private PR org.
     
  4. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The PR also helps in pulling many talented people to apply for jobs in the defense R&D sectors tus enhancing its capablities.
     
  5. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    JackPrince makes a good point but there has to be a at least some sort of military involvement in these matters. I propose that the Indian armed forces start thinking about having a "spokesman" of sorts liaisoned to the DRDO(Since virtually everything comes from there), there they can work with the Civilians.
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Indian armed forces are perhaps the main and only buyer of domestic defence organizations offerings. PR will not help it gain any others but result in greater tenstion b/w MoD, DRDO and Indian Armed forces. I don't think a slick PR team will really help, as they have to peddle their products to the armed forces and not the gullible public at large.

    I believe all Public defence and research organizations should be made into one giant conglomerate. And that conglomerate should be publicly traded on the bourses and run professionally, this will bring in huge amount of funds. All research to be carried with consultation and armed forces money should also be locked in to research so that their interest in seeing the product successful remains.
     
  7. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The first rule of business is to take the business investors and the customers into confidence. The spinn-off that arise out of defense research is massive. This will help the DRDO to maintain a good relation with public. The main customer will be the Indian armed forces but we are also exporting to a large number of foriegn countries. The Airbus tails and fins are made in India, the MC for the SU 30 is made here. There are a lot lot of products that can be sold to other countries but due to bad PR and customer management we lost the deals. The Chilean air force loved the Dhruv but couldnt clinch the deal because the Bell Helicopters had enough lobby there to beat Dhruv. So we must have enough clout all over the world and this can be achieved only by good articles. The public pressure must be put on the armed forces to get more indigenous weapons. After all it is the tax payer's money that is used to fund these research.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    1 your business rule number one is debatable.
    2 depends on research, there is no point in re-inventing the wheel
    3 DRDO doesn't need public sympathy or approval
    4 what are we exporting again ?
    5 Airbus is a private concern, Mission computer is yes indigenous so ?
    6. like ?
    7. Dhruv has not received air worthy certification approval, it is not a flawless product.
    8. And for this rather than PR or articles, diplomatic muscle is required.
    9. why ? I would rather if our army opts for foreign products if they are better and within our budget.
    10. What's the point of pumping money into research, of which you have no control over and which produces products late and expensive only to be rejected ?
     
  9. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    2. Re-inventing the wheel gives us knowledge of the design and a good design base which gives us more expertise in the further enhancement of products that are derived from it.
    3. Yes the DRDO neeps public apathy so as to pressurise the armed forces to absorb as much of the products as they can. The goals wont change much.
    4. The SU 30 MKM and the venenzulan SU also carry the Indian MC.
    5. The project getting late is due to poor management. But your Idea of making all the defence research into a huge conglomerate is applied in this.
    6. The PR also helps in bringing many fresh students to apply for jobs in DRDO. Many people here dont know that DRDO is the one of the biggest research base in India.
    7. PR also involves showing off of stuffs in international defense expos. These are very useful in securing contracts.
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    1. NO
    2. Why should armed forces be forced to go for products that are lacking and not delivered on time ? Being forced to buy Arjun and in the future Tejas is exactly the stuff Armed forces don't need
    3. Thanks didn't know that.
    4. ? Expand on this point please
    5. Good pay, career progression, due merit to hardwork, good facilities etc matters more.. Why do you think there is a shortage of people for armed forces ?
    6. This is secondary, first the product has to be good,in use by our own armed forces, approved for sale, and has a USP.
     
  11. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    what will a pr deptt do even if it is made private, do networking and then. probably what you meant would have been the sales deptt of the concerned organisations and if these organisations do not have that deptt then well it is shocking to say the least. more than a sales deptt there should be a marketing deptt which takes care of every thing right from pr, to publicists, to networking, to sales figures to be achieved and more. but the idea is not feasible, for all it will create is tensions and frictions for the work culture would be absolutely different, coordination is the last in the minds of these organistaions and all of a sudden all the pressure of performing will be on this deptt to deliver on all fronts right up till the targets to be achieved.


    it is a half hearted measure if any to transform these organistions and quite clearly i agree with what singh put across as a solution but with a rider and that is if that path has to be followed then these cant be made a publicly listed company by not making anything less than 50% of the company's share value be traded at the browsers, anything less will again hamper what one would have set out to do at the first place, followed by this the management needs to be over hauled, and then force a top down over hauling of this organisation. with this approach you can function as a company with out the interference of the government but the govt would still be obliged to fund the organisation, the coordination between them and the end user would be much much better as th projects initiated would be limited to demands that are generated by the end users and even if they want to initiate any project on their own then they would either require strong convincing on part of the end user, or the share holders, and if after this the feasibility is there then there would be a go ahead. no false commitments would be done on the contrary only if these organistations have the requisite expertise, technical know how, would they venture in a project and since this would be publicly traded company the pressure of delivering on time on all the projects would be that much more, salaries would see a steep hike, but with this also would come fast and furious hire and fire culture and if the talent is over sees then hiring them would not be a hindrance.


    are we open for this, not quite but believe me if we go this way indignation will a top priority on the minds of the end user for if they are motivated by the greed of money be rest assured they will be best looked after or if they are patriotic enough then anyways the fillip will be there and decision taking would be absolutely smooth and fast.
     
  12. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    singhji,
    The Arjun and Tejas are really good weapon systems and are regarded highly by many people in the international circles. The armed forces will not have any trouble with them in cae of war as all Most of the) the parts are home grown. The DRDO, DRDL, ADA, and other design bureau must be broght to gether and made into something like the SKUNKWORKS. A stable job is also a real criteria for many.
     
  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Undoubtedly they are great products , but when were they supposed to be completed ?
    Those young pilots who have died during Mig-21 crashes would've been alive if Tejas was readied on time for eg - Think about this.
    A good portion of the parts of both are imported. In case of war you don't order spare parts, you maintain a reserve(either by domestically producing them under license, or by ordering them) keeping in mind future requirements and attrition.

    We lack the technical capability to manufacture next-gen products singlehandedly. What we need is joint-development.

    Well cannot be explained in case of DRDO - shortage of quality staff and brain drain.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    excellent !! :113:

    A publicly traded company will have to perform, will have to make quality products that can sell and generate cash, and also keep at cutting edge of research (by ploughing by profits, or raising money through govt, end user or public)...

    At the end of the day this is the way to go, having several dozen companies, institutions, which are understaffed, underfunded and have no meaningful interoperability can only take us so far..
     
  15. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    The key word there is public...because competition is a very good motivator.
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    True.. but India cannot afford to have 2 such publicly controlled conglomerates and make 'em compete nor will GoI or Armed forces would deal with a private domestic defence company in competition with the publicly controlled conglomerate nor would a private conglomerate be able to sustain itself..

    the only competition would be from foreign companies ! which can be lured into joint development if the domestic conglomerate is incapable of producing the product...
     
  17. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Right you are...we should really open up the Defense industry to Private Indian companies...it seems like the top brass is always too keen to buy from foreign companies(No doubt so that they can make some commission/bribes off it). Competition between private companies is the reason American military technology is so far along as it is and if India wants to join the club, it will have to have strong support from the private sector
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    1. If you follow the thread, I suggested that we should club all govt owned domestic industries and sell it to the public(list on the stock exchange), thakur_ritesh suggested such should not be the case but a good portion ought to be sold to the public..

    2. Indian private companies can possibly compete against the domestic defence companies as they are too far back on the learning curve, require massive money, and govt's and armed forces historical distrust.

    3. What the private companies can do is become suppliers, strategic stake holders, partner with this conglomerate (or develop specialistations)

    4. It is not that top brass get commission etc. always. Army selects a product and MoD orders it. Unless all Army mid-top brass are corrupt and have understanding with all political parties and the entire MoD dept. then it can be safely assumed such otherwise not. The kind of purchases we have made like Barak-1, P8, Gorshkov, Akula, Tavor, Scorpenes, T90s, MKis, MMRCA etc. all look good on paper.

    5. This competition between private companies will soon dwindle, as US budget is under pressure and chances of a long drawn out recession appear on the horizon, and not to forget US defence budget is more than that of the entire world put together and they make a killing out of exports too. There is no way Indian defence scenario can emulate America's.
     

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