Airbus has appointed Ashish Saraf as Head of the helicopter division of Airbus India to lead its initiatives across the civil, defence and parapublic rotorcraft markets. Saraf, whose appointment is effective July 1, 2018, is based in New Delhi; he takes over from Xavier Hay who leaves India after six years to take over new responsibilities.

Saraf joins Airbus Helicopters at a time when the company is competing on several military helicopter projects that would reinforce and enhance the local aerospace and defence industrial ecosystem. Airbus Helicopters is a market leader in the Indian civil and parapublic market with close to 100 helicopters in operation today, and it is helping to develop new market segments such as Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and heli-tourism in the country.

Since 2015, Saraf had been serving as Vice President – Industry Development, Strategic Partnerships and Offsets at Airbus India, focusing on ‘Make in India’ initiatives aimed at enhancing the company’s industrial footprint.

Before joining Airbus, Saraf was the India Head of the Tata Sikorsky joint venture and led Sikorsky’s industrialisation and strategic partnerships. His experience spans offsets, industrial relations, greenfield start-up development and strategic partnerships; he started his career with Dassault Systems and Deloitte Consulting; he is an alumnus of the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune and the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Nagpur.