Alumni in News

Mr Pratyush Kumar is batch of 1989 Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi.  He earned a PhD in Materials Engineering (Manufacturing) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.  Thereafter, he started his career at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in the US.  After McKinsey he joined a MEMS Startup in Cambridge Massachusetts, Coventor, and cofounded a biotech startup Cytonome in Boston area.  Pratyush worked at GE in US and India in various leadership roles.  For over past five years he has been the President of Boeing India expanding Boeing's footprint over 18 folds to more than 2,200 employees and launched the Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center in Bangalore, driving innovation, productivity improvements, talent access, and speed to market. He led a strong orders flow for Boeing's defense business and played a leading role in establishing Boeing's key partnerships in country, including Tata Boeing joint venture in Hyderabad, which manufactures Apache fuselages, aero structures and systems, and Boeing's unprecedented public-private partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Mahindra. Under his leadership Boeing India greatly magnified partnership with the India supply chain through focused skilling programs and significant supplier development efforts and now sources over $1B in products and services from 160 Indian companies.

Over the past five years, Pratyush served as chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Aviation Committee, was a member of the executive council of the Aviation Cooperation Program between India and the United States and was also Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce, India.

He was recently selected by Boeing to lead the iconic F-15 fighter program in the US.

In an interview with Dr Vanita Srivastava, he talks about his new role, the memories of his student days in IIT Delhi and more

Edited Excerpts:

How do you propose to build a strong business momentum for the iconic F-15 program? What were the major changes you brought about in India?

 

I am honored and thrilled about my new role. Like I did in India, I look forward to collaborating and empowering the team to deliver impactful results for the F-15 program.

My five year long journey with Boeing in India has been memorable. Together with my team at Boeing India, we launched a rapidly growing engineering and technology center in Bangalore to drive innovation, scaled up Boeing’s aerospace supply chain, established a joint venture in Hyderabad with Tata to manufacture fuselages for the Apache attack helicopter, established Boeing Defense India to serve customers locally, finalized the sale of both Apache and Chinook helicopters to the Indian military and converted options for the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft to firm orders.

During my tenure, I led a skill-development program for aircraft maintenance engineers along with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India Engineering Services Limited, and the HorizonX India Innovation Challenge that will nurture three start-ups to create aerospace innovations in India.

I am excited as ever for the future of Boeing in India, and the significant investments we are making in India to establish our roots and build our future together. We will continue to expand our local manufacturing, our technology and innovations, our products and people.

 

How has IIT Delhi helped in shaping you personally? Can you elucidate some memories from the Institute?

 

My time at IIT Delhi was special, formative in many ways; it helped me expand my horizons and realize my true potential. Apart from providing me with the skills and education, it gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and my dreams. For me, IIT Delhi was not just an educational institution, but was also the key that unlocked the door for my future success and growth.

One way I have tried to give back to my alma mater is to encourage the passion and talent of engineers of take up aerospace as a career in the future. To this end, Boeing and IIT launched the annual National Aero-modelling Competition which has been a growing and resounding success over the past five years. It indeed gives me an immense sense of pride when I see the scores of budding engineers give wings to their dreams during the finals held at the IIT Delhi hockey grounds The year. 2018 saw over 1200 engineering students from 250 engineering colleges participate in the zonal competition across India, before the winning teams came to Delhi IIT for the final round.

And IIT Delhi was fun – be it Rendezvous, BRCA club events, inter hostel competitions, and some good old fashioned balcony time in the hostel.  Memories abound.  I made life-long friends at IIT who we still meet regularly.  I was also fortunate to spend quality research time with Prof Raghavan in the materials lab and a lot of time at the central workshop.  All very enriching and ultimately rewarding in my journey well past IIT.

 

What in your opinion should the young graduates imbibe to become successful in life?

 

Young people should explore their horizons and play to their strengths. They will be rewarded by focusing on the opportunities they have any point which is the best development tool. ‘If you are excited about what you do, success will follow as a natural progression.’

Also, I believe that they should learn not to be afraid of failure. Each failure is an opportunity for additional learning that helps you come back stronger and better than ever before.