August - 2015 - issue > Cover Story

Air Works: Rocking the Aviation Industry to its Very Foundation

Susila Govindaraj
Monday, July 20, 2015
Susila Govindaraj
Not to contradict with the common perception, but transformation is not brought on by large and politically powerful companies. It is the nimble SMEs that slip the surly bonds of earth and dream big to formulate solutions that shake the industry to its very foundation. Serving as the perfect archetype of this statement is the awe-inspiring story of Air Works India Engineering – an Aviation MRO company, which has made a remarkable impact in the industry by consistently pushing the edge of the envelope. Founded in 1951 as a family run business, Air Works corrected its course to become an aggressive leading-edge company by augmenting its technology footprint to a whopping four digit percentage over the past three years. The Gurgaon headquartered company espoused cloud and BYOD four years ago, when they were considered as just fancy words by rest of the industry. The commoditization of cloud-based collaboration and connectivity infrastructure across hangars and line stations secured with proprietary encoding techniques not just led to a non-linear revenue growth in double digit percentage, but also minimized attrition.

Aviation Software Services – Wearing Yet another Hat

Leasing companies – devoid of which most airlines can't function – are unable to understand the technicalities of aviation, due to the absence of the whole lifeline record of the aircraft. Even if a few claim to have the record, it is extremely difficult to use and expensive. This makes evaluation a nightmare when the airline goes down or when the aircraft field is being decommissioned. There is a dearth of a good ecosystem with great set of IT solutions – either packaged or technical consultancy or IT services to salvage such situations in aviation industry. The technology changes before they build a product, hence they again fall back in the race. Motivated by this factor, Air Works picked the SaaS app market lane to create its own fabric, instead of falling into paradigm of colossally expensive big shelf products like ERP. As the capabilities of the resulting flight management product surpassed the company's expectations, Air Works determined to alleviate customers' pain point as well and took the concept further to include aviation software services to its agenda; thereby also increasing its profitability and valuation by venturing into the very core market of aviation software services.

Air Works shook hands with like-minded companies that have the capability to improve existing products, converted them into SaaS and integrated them for the user community who are extremely hungry for an excellent leading-edge product. This ground-breaking product uses end-to-end cloud stack – IaaS, PaaS and different layers from archival to real-time storage, rather than undergoing the grind of complex and expensive product engineering. The product is being concocted to perfection, since the company understands, observed and profited by unfurling the full capability of cloud and fused it with its unique expertise in commercial airlines as well as general aviation gained over the past 6 decades, not to mention the strong relationship it has built with customers and its profound knowledge of regulations. "Our strategy is to manage our own technology by keeping an eye on the architecture and strategy and to outsource maintenance and support to other decent vendors," proclaims Ravinder Pal Singh, Global CIO, Air Works India Engineering.

End-to-End Flight Management Experience

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