Farnborough Air Show

Quest Lightens The Engineering Load For Major Aerospace Manufacturers

 - July 8, 2012, 2:00 AM

Quest Global Engineering (Hall 3 Stand B9), a diversified aerospace and defense engineering services company, is aiming to increase its current year revenues of $168 million to $300 million, based on the assumption that it can sustain its recent growth rate of 40 percent compound annual growth. The Singapore-based group employs 3,400 people across 30 global delivery centers.

According to Ajit Prabhu, CEO, who founded Quest along with fellow U.S.-trained engineer Aravind Melliger, growth will also come from acquisitions. So far Quest has expanded its portfolio of niche engineering companies in Western Europe and the U.S., which offer capability in embedded systems and a strong aftermarket presence.

For example, last year, Quest acquired UK-based GKN Aerospace Engineering Services, to which it had been outsourcing for several years and which is a preferred supplier to the company. “This acquisition enhances our engineering capabilities close to our customers in Europe,” said Prabhu. “With this enhanced capability and our low-cost centers in India using our local-global approach, we will be able to deliver high-quality services at optimized costs to our aerospace and defense customers, especially in work streams such as design, stress, concessions, continuous product development and manufacturing engineering.”

The new Quest subsidiary’s customers include AgustaWestland, Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce and Sikorsky. These airframers all have tapped the company for product development, manufacturing and life-cycle support.

Quest’s acquisition of Interface in Spain gives it access to systems engineering and engineering technical data capabilities. “Aerospace OEMs are looking for service providers capable of managing large work package execution and managed services solutions,” added Prabhu. “Both these acquisitions add on a near-site presence that makes our engineering solutions compelling to our key customers.”

Prabhu’s optimism seems well placed. Recently, Quest won the order for setting up an Airbus offshore development center (ODC) in Bangalore for A350XWB wings and is scaling up its operation as that program progresses toward certification. The facility is also supporting engineering work for other single-aisle, long-range and widebody programs for the European manufacturer.

“After having supported the Airbus design and engineering sites in the UK, the plan in the coming months would be to expand engineering support in France, Germany and North America,” said Prabhu. He expects the ODC will gain the confidence of other EADS divisions to increase their business with Quest. “Customers are looking at the ODC as a new business model to globalize their engineering needs,” he added.

Plans are being firmed up that, between now and 2015, will see Quest investing $50 million in Singapore, where it relocated its headquarters from the U.S in 2010. Singapore’s strong talent pool, excellent market connectivity, coupled with its vibrant oil and gas and aerospace sectors encouraged Quest to move. A new center of excellence is planned to offer value added engineering services. Quest generates 40 percent of its revenue in the U.S., 50 percent in Europe and 10 percent in the Asia Pacific region.

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