Swedish ex-envoy to head defence firm Saab in India

August 29th, 2012 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Former Swedish ambassador Lars-Olof Lindgren will return to India as the chief of the defence firm Saab’s operations here. He will forge new ties with the Indian private sector and build strong, collaborative partnerships, the company said.

Lindgren was appointed as head of the India market for Saab beginning Dec 1 this year, according to a release. He had earlier served in India as Swedish ambassador for five years from 2007 to 2012 before joining Saab.

“Lindgren’s experience and relationships with the Indian and Swedish governments and industries will further reinforce Saab’s long-term commitment to the Indian market,” the release said.

He succeeds Jan Widerstrom, who has led the company’s growth in India into a 30-employee firm.

Widerstrom will move on to a new assignment with the Saab group, the release added.

“India has been identified to be one of Saab’s most important markets and we look forward to welcoming Lindgren who, with his considerable experience of India, will enable us to contribute significantly to the country’s defence industry,” Saab president and chief executive officer Hakan Buskhe said.

Lindgren will “forge new relationships with the Indian private sector and build strong, collaborative partnerships,” Buskhe said.

“We are delighted that he will be leading the India team at a crucial juncture where we are looking at significantly scaling up our business in India,” he added.

“Sweden’s and India’s defence collaboration has reached an important phase where companies such as Saab have an important role to play. Swedish technology can play a vital role when India continues to develop an indigenous defence industry for the future, supplying both India and the global market with advanced products,” Lindgren said.

Before coming to India as the ambassador in 2007, Lindgren had served as the state secretary to the Swedish prime minister dealing with international affairs and the European Union.

Prior to this, he was the state secretary for trade in the ministry of trade and industry.

He has also held various important offices in the Swedish foreign ministry between 1991 and 2004, including as deputy head of mission and minister at the embassy in Beijing, China.

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