Maintaining the Magic

Following months of due diligence, inter-company meetings and sheer hard work it was finally announced to the market on 22nd October that QinetiQ had bought a majority shareholding in Inzpire.

This decision effectively swapped out our current investors of some 4 years.

The decision to choose QinetiQ over all of the many companies interested in us was made for a number of reasons, the most important of which was our shared desire to maintain that which had made Inzpire special in the first place: our integrity, loyalty, culture and ethos. From the outset the Inzpire team wrote a charter that encompassed everything that is special about our company and included those values which we hold dear.

QinetiQ agreed wholeheartedly that we should remain independent but they would help us to accelerate our growth to achieve our stated vision to deliver excellence to our clients by helping to deliver and enhance UK sovereign capability whilst expanding the company internationally. Furthermore, QinetiQ agreed to underpin our culture, values and ethos by agreeing to us maintaining our name, our brand and our identity. We will retain operational independence and will make our own management decisions. Inzpire is all about its high quality people who remain more family than employees; consequently we will remain responsible for all our people, employment policies and decisions. We will continue to remain agile, innovative and flexible in order to deliver the top quality products and services that we have won so many industry awards for. Just as important we will remain free to choose our own business winning partners to enable us to offer the right blend of products and services that we have become known, trusted and respected for. In short, very little changes.

What has changed is that we now have a new majority shareholder in the form of a FTSE 250 company which is both experienced and knowledgeable in the defence arena as well as other complimentary sectors and is willing to invest in Inzpire to help us grow. There is much that we can and will learn from QinetiQ but conversely there is much that QinetiQ can learn from Inzpire and we fully intend to use this symbiotic relationship to form a coalition of the willing to deliver excellence to our UK and international clients on time and on budget.

Part of the magic of Inzpire has been found in its deep and tacit understanding of the customer requirement and we constantly strive to deepen that knowledge. Relationships are key to building trust and respect and we constantly visit and meet with our customers to enable a full understanding of the complexities of the ever shifting sands that is defence. So what will change now? In short nothing, save the fact that we now have access to a wider business development effort spanning the globe and the ability to truly invest in our future leading to growth and expansion. In turn this will allow us to accelerate our plans to constantly examine, update and improve the terms and conditions that our people work under which in turn enables us to attract the very best talent available.

In addition, growth will allow us to set in place the apprenticeship and graduate schemes that we have been planning for some time to enable us to offer, where appropriate, the very brightest and best talent into areas such as mission data, space and cyber. Our Training Academy – which was formally launched at this year’s Farnborough Air Show – was borne out of our recognition of customers around the globe telling us that there was a paucity of quality, operationally-focused training available in some areas of the market. We were in a position to address those concerns but lacked the strategic reach to get to those customers. Now, through a trusting and close working relationship with QinetiQ we will have a more robust outlet for those high quality services.

An essential and rapidly expanding arm of Inzpire’s business is our GECO family of mission system products which are now in operational service on three continents, both on fast jets as well as helicopters but we need to reinforce success and expand wider. In QinetiQ we have found a willing partner to help us expand into additional markets through their enduring presence in regions that we could never hope to expand into alone. That said, the magic that is our customer-focused research and development into the products as well as all of the engineering and quality processes and project management that underpin everything will remain wholly within Inzpire and we will continue to ensure that everything works straight out of the box, on time and on budget. Nothing changes.

Having gone from a start-up in 2005 with 3 people, through to a majority shareholding by Angel Investors consisting of high net worth British individuals, we have now swapped out those investors and entered a third age of Inzpire with a new majority shareholder in QinetiQ. We trust, admire and respect them for the changes they are bringing to bear in their own business – for the benefit of all of their customers and employees – both in the UK and across the globe, and we see that reflected back at us from them. The magic is still there; always has been and always will be.