Precision Heliparts (PHP) has seen revenues from its business in Brazil and the Latin American region grow each year for the past five years and in 2019 it will generate more than $12 million in sales from Latin America, according to Ketan Desai, v-p of sales and marketing for PHP’s parent company Precision Aviation Group.
In the years between 2020 and 2022 Precision Heliparts expects to outdo even the past half-decade’s strong Latin America sales performance, Desai told AIN. PHP reckons annual revenues from its Latin American business will double in the next three years. “We attribute a lot of that to having ‘boots on the ground’ in-country—a local facility, $2 million-plus in rotable inventory, MRO capability, and sales teams who deliver exceptional service every day, every time,” he said.
Precision Aviation Group has a substantial presence in Brazil and Latin America generally. “We focus on serving mission-critical operators and customers, who typically fall into the offshore oil and gas, military, and business aviation categories—both fixed-wing and rotorcraft,” said Desai. And like its parent, Precision Heliparts sees Brazil as “a huge market with tremendous opportunities,” he added.
However, despite Brazil’s potential and the company’s rapid sales growth in Brazil and Latin America generally, “we have been affected by the economic slowdown [there] like everyone else in 2019,” said Desai. “Most operators have tightened up on expenses—for example, more often we are hearing that when a component fails today [an operator is] looking to remove the failed component off another parked aircraft instead of sourcing an exchange from the market. Obviously, this creates a hole in the parked aircraft and at some point the component will need to be sourced, but for now it minimizes the operator’s expenses. That said, we have been through many global economic slowdowns and they’ve always had an upside. We’re well positioned and patiently waiting for that upside.”
Since late last year PHP’s physical presence in Brazil has been centered on a newly constructed sales and distribution facility located in Helicidade, a large helicopter base located in the São Paulo metropolitan area. “Prior to our new facility, we were located inside Helipark (another sizable helicopter base in the São Paulo urban area), but we quickly outgrew that location,” said Desai.
The company remains highly optimistic about market prospects in Brazil in the next few years because the huge nation “has one of the largest concentrations of helicopter operators in the world and the demand for the products and services PHP provides will continue to grow—which is why we green-fielded a facility in Brazil,” said Desai.
“We expect demand particularly to grow as newer aircraft come out of warranty periods and operators begin to source parts in the open market,” he said. “PHP is known for being able to deliver a part within hours of receiving a call from a grounded operator. Trying to source a part and have it arrive in Brazil from outside the country is a two-to-three-day process when you factor in shipping time, customs clearance, etc. [But] PHP is local, stocks inventory and has the ability to deliver the same day, within hours if needed.”
Desai also attributes Precision Heliparts’ present sales success in and rosy outlook for Brazil and the wider Latin American market to PHP being “a very well-known brand” which has “enjoyed a reputation of quality and excellent customer service.” That reputation “has allowed us to touch a large proportion of customers directly and indirectly, both in Brazil—where we have a local presence—and in the rest of the Latin America region, [for which PHP has] a dedicated team to serve that market.”
Precision Aviation Group’s—and PHP’s—business model in Brazil “is no different than what we do in the other markets we serve today,” said Desai. “Precision Aviation Group provides MRO and supply-chain solutions for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft” through a substantial number of country- or region-specific subsidiaries located throughout the world. The group’s subsidiaries “have MRO capabilities on over 35,000 products, including accessories, avionics, engine components, hydraulics, instruments, non-destructive testing, starters and generators, and wheels and brakes.”
However, “that said, I will share with you—without saying too much—that we are in the process of acquiring a repair station in Latin America which will help Precision Aviation Group serve our customers more efficiently,” Desai revealed.