Air Works India Managing Director Vivek Gour has set his sights on acquiring a medium-sized MRO. Gour joined the company in 2010, about two years after it started going after commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work with the support of private equity and a few months after it made its first big acquisition: U.K. aircraft paint services provider Air Livery.
Gour says that the Air Livery integration has gone well and that he wants to replicate the process by adding a business or general aviation or medium-sized airline MRO. Strategic acquisitions notch the path he has charted to build Air Works India into an international MRO business.
"The idea is not to transfer that work to India—scarcely," he says. "The idea is to use [an acquisition] to get a footprint in a different geographical area, and to use some of the talent and expertise of that MRO to upgrade our capabilities in India."
For example, Gour is taking advantage of Air Livery's know-how to add paint capability in Hosur, India, where Air Works is setting up a widebody paint hangar with pollution control equipment that meets the latest European standards.
The business is slated to launch operations this winter as Air Livery India, and Gour says he has begun booking customers there.
He also says he's interested in commissioning a paint hangar in Eastern Europe to take advantage of the demand for regional aircraft painting services.
As to the pure MRO work, Gour has his eye on a wide swath of geographic possibilities, including the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe. "That's our belt," he says. "Singapore to Frankfurt."
The timing is right, he adds. "We have recently raised $27 million of equity through private equity funds. The money is in the bank, and very soon my shareholders are going to start asking me, 'What are you doing about this?'"