Xtek chief executive Philippe Odouard has identified some key learnings he gleaned during his tenure as executive director of Quickstep – an Australian components supplier for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.
Prior to Xtek, Odouard served nearly years as managing director at Quickstep during which he built up a keen insight into the ins and outs of connecting with US defence players within the global supply chain.
Odouard said that even smaller outfits could well prove highly successful when venturing further into the global or US-centric defence market.
"As long as you do your job properly and you're professional in the way you approach things, and [are] daring to go and talk to these people," he said.
"Lots of small organisations are not; they don't understand how big business works, and if you want the large contracts, typically you have to go to big business or other defence organisations."
Odouard said it was crucial for Australian defence companies to be able to understand how their US counterparts worked and what they themselves could bring.
"It's not that complex, but if you don't know how to do it, it looks overwhelming," he added.
Recently, Odouard's former employer Quickstep Holdings completed a $10 million capital expansion of its aerospace manufacturing facilities in Bankstown, an expansion that includes a capital investment program for ongoing Joint Strike Fighter production.