Combining key roles as defence manufacturer and distributor

Combining key roles as defence manufacturer and distributor
Xtek production plant

Xtek chief executive Philippe Odouard delves into how the firm balances its two-pronged business strategy as a defence manufacturer and third-party distributor.

"Traditionally, we were more of an importer of foreign products into defence here in Australia and we've done that for the past 20 years or so [that] the company has been operating," Odouard told Defence Connect, adding that more recently the firm had started to develop its own products.

"The logic of it is, there's a lot more value adding if you develop your own products, of course, and we've done it in synergy with the focus we had before," he said. "We are operating in a number of areas and we are developing products which are in synergy with what we import."

Essentially, Odouard said that if the company was unable to source the right import, it opted to develop it in-house in accordance with the needs of the customer.

"That has been what has been pushing us in that direction,” he explained. "Now that we have a number of more mature products, we are seeking to sell them overseas. It's not good enough to sell it [just] in Australia. If you have something unique … it's very much a question of offering it to the world, and that's exactly what we're doing now."

Odouard said the global push Xtek had embarked upon was a fairly recent shift for the company, adding that his predecessor had been more focused on the local market.

"So the push is very recent, but it's looking pretty good," he said. "For instance, we have a particular technology to make ballistic plates to protect the soldiers and we've had that tested by the US Department of Defense very successfully, [and] we're looking at ways to push into that market on the back of that."

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