BAE Systems Doubles Efforts To Find More Business Partners In M’sia
By Noor Soraya Mohd Jamal
KUALA LUMPUR : Global defence, security and aerospace company, BAE Systems, is looking at expanding its relationship with Malaysian partners and doubling its efforts to engage with more small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Its managing director, South-East Asia, John Brosnan, said having established Kuala Lumpur as its South-East Asian hub since moving from Singapore last year, BAE Systems was now looking beyond Klang Valley to strengthen its presence.
“We are here for the long term. We just started the process of going outside Klang Valley. We went to Sabah and Sarawak, East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Johor, again trying to find potential partners. It’s a continuous engagement,” Brosnan told Bernama.
Brosnan said the British company was doubling its efforts to find new business partners, especially SMEs.
“We have to be realistic about it but we found some quite good connections,” he said.
BAE Systems has had a presence in Malaysia for over 20 years. The company is currently involved in more than a dozen partnerships and joint-ventures with local companies such as Composites Technology Research Malaysia Systems Integration Sdn Bhd (CTRM), Boustead Heavy Industry Corp and BHIC Bofors Asia Sdn Bhd.
“Malaysia has been pretty good experience for us. CTRM is an example, we played a small part to what the company is today — from handful of people working to thousands now,” Brosnan said.
He said BAE Systems found a lot of small companies with big aspirations that were well-managed with good capabilities in Malaysia.
“We’re a big company, it’s quite hard to be as agile as smaller companies. We need companies that have agility, creativity and innovation. Those are the qualities we found here,” he said.
Brosnan said a lot companies remembered BAE Systems in early days here as the British Aerospace but the company was no longer just that.
“We’re a global company operating in air, sea and land. We want to be part of the industries of society here and we want to understand economic priorities of these places,” he said.
Brosnan said although BAE Systems was mainly a defence company, its investment track record was not only in defence industry but also in areas such as human capital and education.
Moving forward, he said, one of the areas the company was looking at was cybersecurity.
“We have established a regional cybersecurity hub for South-East Asia, the BAE Systems Stratsec, here in Kuala Lumpur,” Brosnan said.
The BAE Systems Stratsec is the largest provider of independent information security consulting and testing services in Australia and South-East Asia.
Brosnan said the company employed 12 highly-skilled staff, all Malaysians, doing a lot of business working with government agencies and financial services sector.
“It has tremendous capabilities. It’s a local company providing high-technology jobs for Malaysians. What we don’t want to do is to say hey, we got the answers in Europe, so come and buy it. We want to develop solutions for Malaysia in Malaysia,” Brosnan said.
BAE Systems has ambitious growth plans in the area and expects significant increase in size of workforce in the couple of years, he said.
Brosnan said BAE Systems did not see itself as a foreign company operating in Malaysia.
“We want to be part of the Malaysian industry. You will see us more in the coming months,” he said.