Private Sector Emerges as Powerhouse in India's Defence Industry

Private Sector Emerges as Powerhouse in India's Defence Industry

The Indian private sector is carving out a formidable presence in the country's defence manufacturing landscape. In fiscal year 2023-24, private companies made a significant contribution of ₹16,411 crore ($1.9 billion).

This marks their highest participation since 2016-17 and accounts for a noteworthy 22% of India's total defence production, valued at ₹74,739 crore ($8.8 billion).

While this represents a slight decrease from the previous year, it underscores the growing strength of the private sector in a domain once dominated by government-run enterprises.

Drivers of Change​

This transformation results from India's concerted push for self-sufficiency in defence. Government initiatives like 'Make in India' and the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India Campaign) have created incentives for domestic production. Private companies are seizing this opportunity, investing in indigenous technologies and bolstering their manufacturing capabilities.

Positive Implications​

The private sector's increased role in India's defence sector holds several advantages:
  • Reduced Import Dependence: Domestic manufacturing lessens India's reliance on expensive foreign military imports, improving its strategic autonomy.
  • Innovation and Competition: Private companies often bring greater efficiency and innovation to the defence sector, fostering healthy competition that drives technological progress.
  • Economic Benefits: Boosting defence manufacturing creates jobs, supports ancillary industries, and contributes to overall economic growth.

The Way Forward​

To fully realize the potential of India's burgeoning private defence industry, several steps must be taken:
  • Continued Policy Support: The government needs to maintain predictable and transparent policies, offering financial incentives and easing investment regulations.
  • R&D Collaborations: Collaborations between public-sector defence organizations and private firms will be crucial for developing cutting-edge technologies.
  • Export Focus: To become globally competitive, Indian defence companies need a supportive regulatory environment to export their products.


The Indian private sector's growing muscle in defence production is a positive sign of the country's transformation into a self-reliant defence powerhouse.

With sustained government support and a continued focus on innovation, India is poised to play a significant role in the global defence manufacturing landscape, ensuring its security while stimulating economic advancement.

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