Flying High In The Aviation Enterprise

High flyer company Global Turbine Asia (GTA) Sdn Bhd is truly a flight above in providing  comprehensive services in the aviation industry.

Located at the Helicopter Centre, Malaysia International Aerospace Centre at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya, GTA is the sole provider supporting the Malaysian military, police missions, Oil and Gas services,commercial sectors while also providing personal medical assistance.

This conglomerate is spearheaded by GTA Chairman and Founder Dato’ Nonee Ashirin Mohd Radzi whose late father was Dato’ Mohd Radzi Manan, the Founder of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA)  Airshow and Perak State EXCO. He was the person  says Nonee who was responsible in stirring her passion and excitement for the industry.

As long as Nonee can recall, in the past 20 years, she has been mesmerised by the sight of airplanes flying above her. The aerospace events that she would attend with her father that were held biennially in Langkawi holds fond memories for her. This Perak-born Entrepreneur who completed her barrister-at-law from Lincoln’s Inn in the UK  later ventured to establish her own practice in Ipoh, Perak.

STARTING IN THE BEGINNING

In 2007, Nonee’s love and determination to build the only aerospace and aviation business in Malaysia continued to burn strong until GTA was incorporated in 2010.

As a result, she left her law practice and used her networking circle to build her company represented in GTA.

“In GTA, there are different tiers in the aerospace industry comprising maintenance repairs as well as overhaul and the manufacturing of certain parts and components,” shares Nonee.

She adds that aviation is a niche and highly-regulated industry with safety being a paramount factor at all times.

Despite the aerospace industry posing minute interest to most people, nevertheless the travel industry has contributed highly to the local economy and towards fulfilling the Government’s aim to become Southeast Asia’s aerospace hub aimed at achieving a total revenue of RM55.2 billion in 2030.

Nonee’s modus operandi was firstly rooted in building strong rapport with the French counterparts in terms of networking and consultation with the Safran Group based in France.

The group which holds a 30% stake in GTA represents a huge French multi-national aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component, defence and security company.

Nonee who has a credible record of accomplishments and high level of trust in business relationships has overcomed many challenges and grown in terms of her business acumen. Furthermore, her ability to network effortlessly with international clients is also praiseworthy.

 She has also opened the doors for the the aviation industry market to penetrate into the Asian region, starting with Malaysia. This pertains to clients from the Military, Oil and Gas industries who are seeking authorised dealers for engines and maintenance engineering.

Nornee says that most of the company’s engineering staff comprise graduates from University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL). They were trained abroad for competency levels and skills as special accreditation licences are needed to deal with the components or parts of the engines.

According to her, graduates in aviation are highly valued and sought-after in terms of employment in the aerospace sector especially in the neighbouring regions in Asia. Subsequently, Nonee has been responsible in contributing to nation building and developing competent human capital.

During LIMA 2017, it was an eminent achievement for Nonee as she signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) valued at RM50 million. The MoA is to build a manufacturing facility and kickstart an aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company.

This facility which will be fully completed in 2019 is situated on eight acres of land at the Subang Aerospace Park in Selangor. 

MOVING UPWARDS

“We have garnered tremendous achievements over the years while increasing our staff strength from 10 to 30 people now. We are seeking new contracts with the Government sectors ranging from dealing with MRO on helicopter engines to bigger airbus planes,” adds Nonee.

She also cut a deal together with the company’s Spanish counterpart recently and is expecting a contract by next year which would gain double turnover for the enterprise.

“There are only six nations in the world in which the military owns this Airbus A400 which runs on TP400 using the most powerful turbo-shaft engines with giant propellers. GTA in Malaysia is the only country having the expertise and TP400 engine in this region. We have the capability to assist our clients,” she says.

Nonee adds that one propeller engine costs EURO15 million (RM75 million) and is designed to power the Airbus Military A400M military transport.

GTA’s marketing strategy is to have the right people with the right mindset working at the company. The objective of the company is to ensure clients get familiar withthe group’s footprint here. Furthermore, the idea is to cement a working relationship with a company which has the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) substantially establishing a faster landmark achievement for GTA.

In the long run, Nonee also believes in training her staff to achieve their maximum level of capability.

She also has plans for her long serving staff who have been loyal to the company for many years to become part of her internal succession plan.

As the world of technology is anticipating Industry 4.0 now, Malaysia is also vying to stay relevant in terms of technology advancement.

At GTA’s new manufacturing facility, tools and engine parts would be produced in multiple quantities with quality control being governed by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and relevant authorities.  GTA’s next challenge is to get approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) accreditation for Part 145 which allows the group to undertake work for its European clients in accordance to the group’s standards.

SUCCESS FACTORS

Nonee shares that the top factors which have sustained her in the business include equipping oneself with skills and knowledge; being perseverant, disciplined and hands-on in approach.

Nonee says she was naturally motivated by her mother who is a teacher.

However, Nonee who has three grown up children believes in maintaining a sense of balanced lifestyle now.

“I have exposed my children at an early age to this industry and business,” she adds.

Nornee is also contemplating embarking on a more diversified portfolio which include journeying towards entrepreneurship and venturing into property investment.

After expanding into international business deals which is her core business, she is more than ready for the next challenge that is to put a deal together for her manufacturing facility.

“As an Entrepreneur, I have the business acumen in my bloodline as compared to my siblings.

“Even though my biggest hurdles were during the early years in business, I didn’t give up but picked up the pieces and moved on,” testifies Nonee who has overcome several downturns in the past.

Her vision for GTA now is to make sure that the goals for the company is met.

She aims to achieve this by  turning the business into a public listed company.

Nonee says there are no shortcuts in the aviation industry. Next on Nonee’s bucket list is seriously considering venturing into property development and piloting a helicopter!

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