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India’s Quest to partner with Nordam

 - November 27, 2006, 11:47 AM

Fast-expanding Indian engineering and software specialist Quest has signed another strategic deal with a major aerospace company, Nordam, to provide a range of solutions in engineering design, tool design and manufacturing support in key aerospace domains. Under the contract with Nordam, Quest will undertake system and component design, computer-aided design modeling and stress analysis. The company will also help set up a dedicated design center.

Operationally headquartered in the U.S., Quest has been growing by 40 percent a year, with revenues of $30 million in 2005, offering itself as an interface between western aerospace companies and the emerging technological know-how available in India.

“We’re leveraging India as a resource and finding there is a significant demand for the latest technology it can bring to the design and manufacturing processes,” said Quest CEO Ajit Prabhu.

Established 10 years ago in New York, Quest had a 100 percent-owned subsidiary in Bangalore, India the following year and achieved ISO certification in 1998. Since then it has signed deals with numerous aerospace companies, including United Technologies, Rolls-Royce, Smiths Industries and now Nordam. The company, which is partly funded by the Carlyle Group, has subsidiaries in China, Italy, Germany and, most recently, Japan.

The deal with Rolls-Royce was signed in November 2005 under which Quest will undertake system and component design, modeling, stress analysis, technical documentation and numerous other engineering services covering the range of Rolls-Royce aero-engines. “We provide a program management interface for executing work in India, where costs are lower and there are increasingly sophisticated software and design capabilities,” Prabhu told Aviation International News. “We identify what can be manufactured more cost effectively in India, look for vendors and recommend solutions,” he said. “We can reduce the up-front cost of design by 30 to 40 percent, which releases more funding to evaluate different options and might give a company more opportunities to bid on different programs for the same outlay.”

Quest is looking for manufacturing opportunities in China as well as India, and while tending to be low-technology, non-aerospace items, Prabhu is convinced the market for higher technology work in China will grow significantly in the next few years.