Defence Industrial Park will Also House Ancillary Industries: KINFRA Chief


Thiruvananthapuram: Wg. Cdr. K A Santhosh Kumar has assumed charge as Managing Director of Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA).

A graduate in Electrical Engineering who did MTech in Communication Engineering from IIT Bombay and MBA from Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Santhosh Kumar has over 28 years of experience in private and public sectors. He succeeds Dr. M Beena IAS, who was functioning as the MD of both KINFRA and KSIDC.

An IIM Indore-trained professional, he joined the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer in Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) branch in 1988 and subsequently held position as Chief Engineer (Aircraft Tester Indigenisation). He worked as Chief Engineering Officer from 2009 to 2010. Santhosh Kumar also served as Project Director at HCL Infosystems Ltd. and as Senior Vice President (IT & Electrical) at Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Limited.

Thanks to his vast experience in the defence sector, Santhosh Kumar is bullish about KINFRA’s proposed Defence Industrial Park at Ottappalam in Palakkad district, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. “The concept is a greenfield Park wherein ancillary industries for defence offset production are made available at one location. Now PSUs in the defence sector have to liaise with various manufacturers at different locations. Here, they will get their items manufactured at a single point,” he said.

According to Santhosh Kumar, KINFRA is in the process of holding meetings with manufacturers and end users to better understand the supply and demand factors in the sector. “There is an Industrial Cluster Committee under the Ministry of Defence which looks into the requirements of PSUs in the defence sector, and who can meet those demands. We have requested the Ministry that KINFRA also be made a part of the Cluster Committee so that we can learn about the demand. Accordingly, we can brief the investors who are willing to set shop at the Park,” he said.

On his new role, Santhosh Kumar said: “As a defence person, I have been working in various parts of the country. I wanted to return to my native place and contribute to the State. The Government has found me suitable for this post considering my experience in infrastructure development. Of course, the guidelines are different here. But I am sure I will get used to it within a short period. Personally, I believe Kerala has an ideal industrial investment climate now.”