Group Captain (retd) Jetendra S Gavankar has taken over as Managing Director of Safran Helicopter Engines India (SHEI), succeeding Satish Kirtikar, who completes a successful tenure heading the French engine maker’s Indian arm.
Based in Bangalore, SHEI supports the engine maker’s military customers in the Indian armed forces and Coast Guard through its partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Gavankar (51) will lead SHEI businesses and will be responsible for its strategic partnerships with HAL. Safran’s Shakti / Ardiden 1H1 engine powers HAL’s Dhruv MkIII/MkIV variants and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), while the Ardiden 1U powers the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). Safran TM333 engines power older variants of the Dhruv.
Earlier Gavankar was the Director Engineering at Honeywell Technologies & Systems in Bangalore and previously VP Strategy and Business Development at Adani Group, where he helped establish the company’s Defence & Aerospace business. He has also served with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as Deputy Project Director for the ASTRA Air-to-Air missile programme.
Gavankar retired from the Indian Air Force after 25 years of service and is a graduate of the Air Force Technical College, BITS-Pilani and IIM-Ahmedabad.