In 1954, in a newly independent India, the need was utmost to develop indigenous industry. The dream of a self-reliant India gave birth to many Public Sector Undertakings. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was one such dream, which has come a long way since then with the far-sighted vision of its pioneers, the dedication and hard work of its employees, support and faith of its customers and the Government of India. The Government’s clarion call for ‘Make in India’ resonates with what BEL has been successfully doing for over 6 decades.
From humble beginnings in 1954, when BEL was set up in association with CSF, France (now, Thales), to manufacture basic communication equipment, BEL now produces a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment in fields such as Defence Communication, Radars, Naval Systems, C4I Systems, Weapon Systems, Homeland Security, Telecom & Broadcast Systems, Electronic Warfare, Tank Electronics, Electro Optics, Professional Electronic Components and Solar Photovoltaic Systems, BEL also provides turnkey system solutions. Civilian products from BEL include Electronic Voting Machines, Tablet PC, solar-powered traffic signal systems and Access Control Systems.
Starting from a single Unit in Jalahalli, Bangalore, BEL has established its presence across the country by setting up eight other Units – in Ghaziabad, Pune, Machilipatnam, Panchkula, Kotdwara, Navi Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Each Unit has a specific product mix and customer focus. BEL has also set up a wide network of offices and service centres countrywide as well as two overseas offices – at New York and Singapore.
Factory Construction in Progress at Bangalore
BEL was established to meet the specialized electronic equipment requirements of the Indian Defence Services. While this continues to be its prime focus, the Company has a significant presence in the civilian market, too. BEL exports some of its products and services to a number of countries as well.
BEL has been laying great emphasis on Research and Development right from the early years. It has also been able to successfully partner as production agency with many DRDO labs. From a meagre turnover of Rs.2 lakhs in 1956-57, BEL has grown manifold to record a turnover of Rs.7,510 crores (provisional) in 2015-16.
Mr K C Pant, Defence Minister, Inaugurating BEL’s Kotdwara Unit
BEL is not only a successful business story but also an organization which cares for people and society. Even before the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ gained currency, BEL has undertaken innumerable CSR activities and continues to do them with a lot of passion and commitment. BEL has set up educational institutions, including a special school for the mentally challenged. It has also set up hospitals, fine arts clubs and sports facilities. These and other welfare initiatives ensure a good quality of life for employees and their dependents. Some of these facilities also serve the local community. BEL is currently concentrating on promoting education, sanitation, health care, rural development, employment and enhancing vocational skills, while ensuring environmental sustainability.
'Clean and green' is true of every Unit of BEL. Concern for the environment is visible in the profuse greenery in all the Units. Afforestation, effluent treatment, used water recycling, generation and use of bio gas, rainwater harvesting, green buildings, setting up and using wind energy and solar energy power plants, to name a few, are some of the activities in this direction.
Going Past the Saluting Base of the 1982 Republic Day
Awards galore have come BEL’s way, recognizing its emphasis on excellence. Recent accolades include India Today PSU Awards for ‘Best Global Presence Award’, ‘Eco Friendly Award’ and ‘Best R&D Innovation Award; Digital India PSE of the Year Award; Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) Meritorious Award (Gold Trophy) for HR Excellence for Best Practices in Human Resource Management; Mentor Graphics Silicon India Leadership Award for ‘Best VLSI/Embedded Design in Defence/Aerospace Sector’; International Aerospace Award for ‘Innovation’; SAP Award for Customer Excellence; SODET Gold Award for ‘Technology Innovation’; Government of Karnataka ‘State Export Excellence Award’ in the Electronics & Communications (excluding IT/BT & ITES sector) Medium/Large Industries sector; and Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence.