Aviation Operations and Infrastructure Management in India

Steven P. Levesque of Charleston, SC was the project manager and executive in charge in early 2007 under a Professional Services Agreement to assist in an investment made by a New York based private Equity firm into the leading provider of general aviation services in India

  • The Indian aviation services company is the oldest provider of general aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul services in India dating back to 1951 and, in addition to that brand equity, with the growing popularity of general aviation on the subcontinent, private equity firms felt there was great opportunity to bring western-style operational best practices in order to meet this implied demand
  • The company was owned by a Mumbai family which did not possess the resources to expand the operation throughout the country and also desired to import western style best management practices in order to best position the company as a premier service provider

 

Advisory Area 1 – Advise on the transaction

  • This was intended to be a three month project leading up to the closing of the investment however several external factors, including the introduction by Indian aviation company of an additional investor delayed the closing
  • Performed financial & operational diligence performed
  • During that time though, Mr. Levesque provided assistance with all financial and operational modeling and due diligence review including:
    • site inspections of facilities in Mumbai and Hosur
    • Determination of those non-core assets and business units which should be shed immediately post-closing to streamline the operation

Advisory Area 2 – Recruit and negotiate employment contracts for key management

  • Levesque led the process of identifying which key executive level position were required in the operation as well as the sourcing of those individuals
  • This included negotiation of employment contracts with the CEO of the commercial airline maintenance division and identification/interview of several candidates for CEO of the general aviation services division
    • This was done both through polling of Mr. Levesque’s network of executives within the general aviation industry as well as use of several executive recruitment firms

Advisory Area 3 – Business Plan Development

Mr. Levesque completed both a review of all the lines of business currently performed by the company and an assessment of the appetite for new lines of business

  • This included identification of a major aircraft manufacturer to partner with for an aircraft sales division as well as a US based maintenance provider with whom to partner
    • Levesque developed the marketing plan for the aircraft sales division and, through its network of contacts, received manufacturer buy-in at the senior management level
  • Oversaw the upgrading of both the work order and general ledger information technology systems and their full integration
  • For the first time in its history the company procured $50 million of aviation liability insurance through the advice and consultation of Mr. Levesque
  • Led negotiations at India’s three largest airports for long term lease rights to conduct services including but not limited to commercial airline handling, commercial and general aviation fueling, commercial and general aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Aircraft Charter & Management (ACM) and other ancillary services

Advisory Area 4 – Operational restructuring to Western-style best practices

  • Levesque was able to achieve the following major milestones during the engagement:
    • Identification of and plan for the “demerger” of several non-core and underperforming business units
    • Initiation of discussions and negotiations with major manufacturers to obtain service center designations and expand service offering:
      • Gulfstream, Dassualt, Hawker Beechcraft and Honeywell were among the OEMs whose designations were received
    • Development of job specifications for all new executive positions
    • Development of general ledger and work order systems for proper management and financial reporting
    • Implementation of a robust insurance program that covers the operation beyond its traditional “India-focused” policies to facilitate service center designations with major manufacturers

 

 

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Published by

stevenlevesquecharleston

Senior executive leader in the aviation industry, with 20+ years’ experience in the management and operations of airport infrastructure and aviation services companies.

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