Consulting & Advisory
Indicia realizes that specific fields within a state architecture produce distinct sets of ideas or policies that are often times either different from each other or falling short of meeting existing, current and future challenges. This problem is more visible in areas like national security in general and national defence, armed forces, internal / homeland security, defence industry, defence science and technology base and related areas in particular. Taking the case study of India, Indicia finds that the Indian national security sector entails a set of strategic challenges that range from formulating a national security strategy; charting out courses of direction for key national security stakeholders like higher military organizations, security industry, R&D institutions and others; laying out as well as implementing viable policies for specific sectors that are not divorced from the core objectives of the national security policy; and evolving and nurturing mechanisms for consistent refinement and maturing of the national security mechanics.
Keeping these in mind, Indicia has created larger and specific knowledge domains for its clients. General domains include consulting and advisory services in subjects and areas like national security, regional security and international security / relations. Indicia’s specific domains include consulting and advisory services in subjects like Indian national security, national security architecture (including bureaucratic and institutional mechanisms related to national defence and homeland security), defence resources (resources allocations for defence and homeland security, equipment, human resources, etc.), self-reliance in national security ambitions (reasonable resources allocations, force and capability development, defence scientific and industrial base and others); and national security policy formulations and implementation (defence production, defence procurement, defence offsets, cyber security, counter-terrorism, homeland security, etc.).
Indicia’s knowledge dissemination does not end here. It goes beyond consulting and advisory services to offer ideas for further debate and possible benefits for the clients.
Political and Security Risk Consulting
One of Indicia’s prime areas of consulting services is Indian state. Indicia’s argument about Indian state is distinctly different from most of the existing notions and assessments floating in open domain. India is variously portrayed as a rising global power, a breakout nation, a robust democracy with relative socio-political stability, a regional hegemon and a country to watch out for in future. Indicia conforms to most of these broad assessments, yet its own observations are markedly different. India is a rising power, Indcia argues, not because of its growing economy or any other factor but because of its inherent strong domestic fundamentals. India could be a breakout nation, but Indicia believes that unless rules of law are adhered to its true spirit, India could even break up or survive as a weak state. India is a robust democracy with relative socio-political stability, yet, as Indicia argues, it could be hostage to internal security instabilities and attendant weaknesses. India is a regional hegemon, yet, as Indicia argues, it could manage its peripheries so that its own growth could take it to a higher trajectory in international affairs. India is a country to watch out for in future, yet, as Indicia argues, it could spring surprises as well.
As India has shown strong economic growth with a traditionally resilient societal structure and coupled with massive national re-construction programme including a comprehensive military modernization programme, it has not figured prominently in the strategic calculus of countries, multi-nationals, international business communities as well as major institutions. To cut the long story short, concerned individuals, institutions and states in varying degree of seriousness strive to find which way is India going and what could be its future course of direction. States and investors are specifically interested to know the finer nuances of India story for their strategies toward India.
However, India is not an easy country to understand because of a variety of reasons. Traditional or conventional methods to understand India have proved to be a mixed bag for many. Unpredictability in Indian politics, uncertainties in Indian economic environment, complexities in security situations – all these need not only a multi-disciplinary but also a fusion approach to unravel such problematics. It is here that Indicia’s distilled wisdom comes in, which helps clients to refine their strategic visions.
Indicia provides strategic consulting services in the areas of Indian polity, political climate assessments, economy, risk assessments, socio-economic and socio-political dynamics. It offers customized assessments on these aspects to enable its clients to refine their assessments.
National Defence & Industry Consulting
Another of Indicia’s prime areas of consulting services is Indian national security and defence. Absence of a stated / declaratory national security strategy combined with a new found flavor of the season debate on interpreting Indian grand strategy especially by Indian intellectuals, analysts and research institutions have left stakeholders with no choice but to be self-dependent on understanding nuances of national security and defence. This is where Indicia comes in to the aid of stakeholders by providing them with customized knowledge products.
India’s rising military power profile has drawn a lot of attention in recent times. This is reinforced by a resolute political will and rising purchasing power. Indian defence and security sector has been witnessing a consistent growth in resources allocations. Indian defence expenditure has witnessed consistent increase, with nearly 15 percent of central government expenditure devoted for national defence. It has also witnessed growing allocations in other security spheres. Indicia estimates that about a quarter of central government expenditure is now directed toward enhancement of national security. Indian higher national defence architecture is witnessing major institutional and bureaucratic changes, whose impacts will be noticeable in future. Creation of new institutions and arrangements like Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence to improve joint-ness among armed forces, joint command, strategic forces command, defence acquisition council, defence production and R&D boards, etc. have been set up to streamline and strengthen institutional mechanisms.
Indian defence procurement and production sectors are witnessing major changes as well. The MoD has been refining the defence procurement procedures (DPP) from time to time, introduced defence production policy (DPrP), included defence offsets policy, technology transfer and undertaken a set of measures to strengthen Indian defence production activities. Issues related to foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence sector and disinvestment of government stakes in defence public sector units (DPSUs) like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are being deliberated by the government. Despite all these, Indicia argues that the Indian defence market is not an easy market for the vendors because of three major inter-related factors: lack of clear policy directions and guidelines from the government; complex procurement and related institutional mechanisms; insufficient and fragmented knowledge bases available for stakeholders on the sector. This has led to growing frustrations among the major industry stakeholders – both Indian and foreign OEMs. It is here that Indicia steps in to help major stakeholders of Indian defence and security.
Indicia’s consulting services include Indian defence and security, defence procurement and production, industry, defence resources, defence science and technology, defence offsets and risk assessments.
Indicia argues that threats to Indian security and stability stem both from external as well as internal sources, the latter being greater than the former in all respects. Although both conventional and non-conventional threats from without are formidable and challenging, more problematic is the nature and magnitude of threats from within, commonly referred to as ‘homeland security’. The magnitude of the threats to homeland security has been amplified by all stakeholders and the Indian Prime Minister’s repeated assertion that homeland security threats pose biggest challenge to the state bears the most visible testimony to this.
Despite substantial resources allocated to meet homeland security threats, which sprout from multiple sources and whose impacts are multifarious, the state still struggles to find effective ways to deal with both tangible and intangible aspects of such threats. This may necessitate efforts from concerned government as well as private sectors, what Indicia finds through its sustained research is the following: a) the need to define and contextualize the threat/s; the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to establish and nurture effective mechanisms to deal with the problems; the need for enhancing both defensive as well as offensive capabilities; and most importantly, creating a conducive environment for sustained growth and stability. This sounds a tall order simply because of the enormity and complexities associated with the problem itself.
Indicia provides the following services in this area: a) politico-security and economic risk mapping, forecasting and related exercises for stakeholders; b) periodic assessments of micro-situational awareness for stakeholders; c) macro and micro level research activities; d)dissemination of knowledge products on the subjects for better understanding; and e) tasks as may be required by stakeholders from time to time.
Indicia’s knowledge base is validated by the specialized advisory services that it offers to its clients. Specialized advisory services include government relations, industry relations, public affairs, media management, event and outreach programmes, strategic directions and related services. Indicia is also open to ideas or queries emanating from client’s side and would encourage cross-deliberations and come up with strategies for implementation of programmes.