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DC Design now eyes airplanes
M Karthikeyan in Dubai | December 13, 2005 11:02 IST
Having conquered the roads, India's leading car stylist Dilip Chhabria is training his eyes on the skies.
DC Design, founded by the designer in 1993, hopes to tap the booming aviation sector by offering private airlines interior designing solutions.
"It is a huge market. Estimates suggest it (the aeroplane market) will be worth $300-$400 billion over the next few years. As a thumb rule, 8-10% of it would be the market for interior designing," Chhabria told PTI on the sidelines of the 8th Middle East International Motor Show in Dubai.
DC Design has already proven its mettle by designing the interiors of India's Advanced Light Helicopter 'Dhruv.' The chopper, which is in the 5.5 tonne class, has passed several flight testing and performance evaluations.
The Advanced Light helicopter is HAL's flagship programme and it has been accorded high priority in the country in terms of development, production and marketing for the next decade.
HAL has a letter of intent for 300 of the ALH from the Indian government and its agencies, and hopes to deliver 24 annually. Some 110 are planned for the Indian Army, 150 for the Indian Air Force, and 40 in a combined batch for the Navy and Coast Guard.
Besides Dhruv, DC Design re-designed the interiors of a Volvo bus on the lines of the interior of a private jet aircraft for an Indian corporate.
Without naming the businessperson, Chhabria said the coach was a testament to the company's capability to deliver world-class designs at an affordable cost.
He said there was a huge opportunity in designing the interiors of aeroplanes as worldwide airline companies were looking to distinguish themselves from competition.
India's civil aviation sector itself has grown exponentially in the last one year, with over four new carriers, including Kingfisher Airlines, Spicejet, IndiGo and Air-India Express, taking to the skies. With so many players, no wonder there is an urge to look different from the other.
Chhabria, however, did not assign any value to the airline interior designing market in India. He also said his company's joint venture with the United Arab Emirates-based EximStar for promoting custom-built vehicles would tap orders for armoured vehicles -- another niche segment.
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