Planet Scuba India to Drive Make In India Initiative

Manufacture of scuba diving equipment for the first time in India 

The Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), a unit of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), on Thursday, flagged off India’s first‐ever venture to manufacture scuba diving equipment in the country.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Planet Scuba India (PSI), one of the country’s foremost scuba diving companies, and a forerunner in bringing innovation to the diving industry in India. To drive the Government of India’s #MakeInIndia initiative, it has introduced Taiwanese design house CREST Diving for the development of state‐of‐the‐art scuba diving equipment in India.

Multi‐billion‐dollar global industry:

Scuba diving equipment manufacture is a multi‐billion‐dollar global industry requiring high‐precision engineering skills to create underwater breathing and survival systems that can survive the rigours of deep oceans to fast‐flowing rivers and lakes. The major global brands are based in Europe and the US. China manufactures lower‐end products like masks, fins, snorkels and wetsuits. Higher‐end products requiring precision engineering and quality such as critical breathing systems are mostly designed and manufactured in Taiwan.

India, despite its military prowess, and over 7,500 kms of coastline, has no manufacturing capability in this sector. We are 100 percent import‐dependent, spending nearly $100 million a year. The country already has the necessary infrastructure – from precision metal‐shaping and mould‐making to manufacturing various grades of plastics and associated polymer products – thanks to the efforts of DRDO and India’s space programme.

Planet Scuba India, an early starter in the country’s diving industry, having begun operations in 2008, has been importing and distributing diving equipment for the last 14 years. Now, encouraged by DEBEL and military divers, PSI’s two‐pronged approach aims to not only help bring some of the best scuba diving technology to our shores, but also to provide the world an alternative to China for the manufacture of dive equipment. The objective is to create an end‐to‐end dive equipment manufacturing eco‐system in the country.

Atmanirbhar Bharat or Make in India initiative:

To this end, PSI has roped CREST Diving into designing and manufacturing of some of its high‐end products in India. “We laud this effort to bring manufacturing of diving equipment to India. It is a great step towards the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat or Make in India initiative. DEBEL has already made great strides in developing several underwater breathing and survival products for the military, and will support all such ventures that lead to indigenisation of technology and products,” said DEBEL’s Joint Director, Dr R Indu Shekar at the launch event in the city.

“The Make In India initiative and the world’s need for an alternative to China have come together to give us a geo‐strategic opportunity. This is our contribution to our passion for diving and the oceans,” said PSI’s Managing Director, Madhava Reddy, adding that, “With help from Taiwan and CREST Diving, we will help bring India up‐ to‐ speed on existing technologies in diving, and then with help from Indian research agencies like DEBEL, create new products both for India and the world. We will do our best to create an eco‐system in the country for the manufacture of underwater breathing equipment.”