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This little-known Kanpur company is making India proud in defence exports

Author: Satyam Sharma
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: July 6, 2017
URL:   https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/this-little-known-kanpur-company-is-making-india-proud-in-defence-exports/articleshow/59469992.cms

At the height of Kargil War in 1999, when Indian Army was fighting day and night to win several peaks, a little-known company in Kanpur was burning the midnight oil to help our forces win the Kargil war, including one of the toughest fights at Tiger Hill.

We all know the brave stories of our soldiers, how despite adverse conditions our soldiers scaled Kargil heights, particularly Tiger Hill. But not many know that these stories of valour and courage would not have been possible without the small contribution of this Kanpur-based company, which now calls itself as one of the biggest arms exporter in India.

During the Kargil war, when the Army was planning an attack on the peaks, they encountered a unique problem. Due to their quick-climbing abilities, soldiers from Gorkha regiment were called to complete the Kargil mission. But the Gorkhas could not climb the mountains as Army was facing a shortage of small-sized mountain shoes. It had a stock of only large-sized shoes of numbers 7, 8, 9 and above.

No supplier was ready to complete the order in a short span of time. This was when MKU got the emergency order of 10,000 mountaineering boots.

"After three other Kanpur companies refused to take the order, we got this order to supply mountaineering boots on immediate basis. We supplied 10,000 boots despite the company's monthly capacity of 8,000 units," MKU Managing Director Neeraj Gupta said.

"As the soldiers were being moved to the battle front, we completed the order working day and night before the start of attack. The order was the turning point for our company and our efforts were very much appreciated by the Army after the war," Gupta said.

 MKU now manufactures a wide range of defence products including bullet-proof helmets and jackets, body armours and night-vision devices. It claims to supply military equipment to more than 100 countries. It has a manufacturing and testing facility in Germany besides three units in Kanpur and Fatehpur districts of Uttar Pradesh.

- (The writer visited the MKU's facilities at the invitation of the company)
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