Deccan Engineering Enterprises (DEE) , a specialty automobile body-building unit based at Hyderabad, is now looking to specialise in bullet proofing vehicles.
This apart, it is planning to be a sub-contractor to original equipment manufacturers of ambulances and upgrade its technologies for manufacture of aircraft refuellers, hitech buses and fuel bowsers. It will invest about Rs 10 crore in these new business plans.
DEE chief executive S Janardhan said there was a wide scope for the bullet proofing segment. Among others, the unit has already done a Level-III protection on Tata Safaris for the Andhra Pradesh chief minister's convoy recently. It is now processing three enquiries two on buses and one on cars.
"There is an increased threat perception among people and the number of enquiries for bullet proofing are increasing," he said, adding that increasing money power was also a reason for some to preferring a shielded car.
Though the gestation period in this segment is long, it will help in building a niche area for the company, he said. On an average, it costs about Rs 25 to 30 lakh for a Level-III protection with armoured steel. Costs are likely to come down with the use of composite materialand ceramic products.
"We are looking for an international player for setting up a manufacturing facility," said DEE general manager J Vivek Anand. It is not out of place to say there are enquiries from the corporate sector for bullet-proof vehicles, he said.
"We are in talks with an automobile manufacturer for a sub-contract to build the body and interiors of ambulances," Anand said, adding that the finished product will be sold under the brand name of the partner. He, however, refused to name the automobile manufacturer as talks are underway.
DEE is also scouting for partners abroad to get into super specialty areas like aircraft refuellers, hitech buses and regular fuel bowsers. "We have the labour advantage and are looking for a technology partner in one of these lines," he said.The company is also in talks with a few marketing agencies abroad for tie-ups.
DEE has built bodies for over 2,000 vehicles including field operation theatres for the army, cable laying vehicles for the Prithvi missile for BDL, battle field station radars (short range) for LRDE Bangalore, seismic vans for communication vans for BEL, fuel bowsers for Reliance Industries Limited, ACC, NMDC and others.