Star Navigation bridges the gap between flight experience and flight safety.
In the aerospace industry, the Ontario-based aviation safety tech company offers both hardware and software solutions that work in real-time.
The company continues to gain traction with its applications which track performance trends and predict incident occurrence, as its clients look for ways to increase safety and reliability, while at the same time, reducing costs.
To find out more about the company’s growth, particularly in large parts of Africa, I’m pleased to be joined today by Star Director and Investment Strategy Officer, Anoop Brar. Thanks for dropping in today.
TMH: Last time we spoke with your executives, you had just wrapped up several meetings with transportation clients in a number of countries in Africa. Tell us why that particular area has you so excited.
AB: We used to go to a lot of air shows, and from the air shows, we met a lot of executives who said, can you come to our countries and actually do an aviation conference and bring a little bit more in-depth one-on-one information and awareness in terms of safety. We held our first aviation conference in Kenya back in March last year, and then we had more countries that joined us and so we went to Nigeria, we went to Tanzania, Senegal and right now, our team is actually in Cairo, Egypt, and they will be heading to Ethiopia followed by Kenya. Really particular question that you asked is why are we focusing on Africa? I think Africa is one of those developing countries which is thirsty for technology. They’re looking for innovation, they want to strive with the big players in terms of when it comes to safety, profitability, and efficiency. There is a lack of resources, sometimes the Covid pandemic hit them pretty hard as well. So they’re looking for companies like Star Navigation that can actually help them innovate and take them to the forefront of technology.
TMH: Give us an update now, on how your sales and other interest are going there so far.
AB: It’s been really, really good, and we had a lot of LOIs. The reason we put out LOIs is to show our investor base as well, that there has been a lot of interest from customers we have not announced all the LOI, but there has been so much going on right now. Our team is in Egypt, and we are meeting up with the big players over there, big airlines. Great interest. Now, this is going to be followed by big players in Ethiopia. So this will be our second meeting. We are being called back to Nigeria. The military is very interested. Then we’ve got commercial aviation. So I feel like we need more resources and more manpower because the interest is growing quite a bit in Africa.
TMH: And your technology has appeal to both the commercial aviation and military or cargo sectors, correct?
AB: Absolutely, and the reason for that is that we are a data company. We are a technology company that is able to get data from an aircraft in flight, and then once you have real-time flight data, there are endless opportunities for what you can do with that. That’s why our technology isn’t just restricted to the military but also to commercial cargo jets as well and recently, we signed an LOI which got converted to a contract with Astral Aviation. So our team was actually in Africa doing the inspections on Astral, and we’re looking forward to the installations for them.
TMH: What has the reception been from potential clients, including state-run agencies and how does that play into your corporate strategy?
AB: With the overall strategy, I think we have been targeting a lot of airlines initially, but with these aviation conferences actually opened up the doors where the DGCA’s, the general civil aviation of many countries, are very interested because they’re looking to optimize safety. They’re looking to optimize profitability. There are so many different incentives that the African region has in terms of bringing more tourism in, and so when you can showcase that the airlines are flown efficiently, that they’re flown more safely and with the Star technology, they’re looking towards us to in ways lobbying, mandating the technology and being able to figure out how we can have these installed throughout the continent.
TMH: I imagine it’s got to be pretty tough for someone to say no to something that’s going to make their business and the industry as a whole safer. Right? It’s hard to say no to safety.
AB: It’s hard to say no to safety, but you also got to see that the airline industry is run by legacy systems and to intercept that, to disrupt that, sometimes there is a little bit of resistance, and that’s why these aviation conferences are very helpful where this one-on-one conversation, Q&A’s, actually help them realize that we’re not really looking to replace, we’re looking to enhance the aviation industry and by doing that we are putting the data in the hands of the operators. So now we are giving them the power of innovation, we’re giving them the power of putting technology in their hands, and so now they can feel like they can be able to compete with the big Lufthansa’s, the big British Airways and the Emirates and actually have Africa be known as a continent where aviation safety is taken very seriously.
TMH: At this point now, we are now into 2023. What should or can investors expect from the company over the next 11 months?
AB: 2023. We just started, but it’s going fabulously right now. We are in Africa. We are looking to actually have joint ventures when it comes to innovation and more technology. We’re taking our existing system, which is already a generation three system, and it’s fully optimized, but there’s always room for innovation. There are new innovations and developments happening in satellites. You probably heard about Elon Musk’s Starlink. So we’re looking at how we can bring that in. We’re looking at edge computing technology, taking our existing system that is computing while an aircraft is flying and enhancing that even further. We’re looking at artificial intelligence partnerships. Just had a conversation with somebody about blockchain, and blockchain will help with the integrity of the data, which is something that regulators in Africa would really want to know. So those are some of the innovations that are happening. When it comes to sales, as I mentioned, we have a lot of interest right now, and we’re looking to convert those LOIs into contracts. We are looking to host more aviation conferences, get more partnerships, and have more collaborations with airlines so that we together can help solve their pain points and help them innovate and reach for success.
TMH: Why would some people consider the company “undervalued” today?
AB: Star Navigation is very undervalued right now because of the technology. Right now, in the aviation industry, there’s a technology that exists where data is being captured post-flight, and there are systems out there that collect data from the black boxes. I call something the perishable value of data. The more delayed, the later the data is analyzed, the less value it holds, and so with Star Navigation’s technology, we have an edge computer that’s installed right on the aircraft. It’s analyzing not only the black box but the other computer systems while the aircraft is flying. That is what gives Star Navigation the edge over its competitors, and that’s how we are gonna be continuing to innovate and disrupting the aviation industry.
Thanks for coming by The Market Herald today Anoop and spending a few minutes with us.
We’ve been speaking with Star Navigation Director and Investment Strategy Officer Anoop Brar here in studio.
Thanks for watching Top Line. In Vancouver, I’m Simon Druker. We’ll see you next time.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by The Market Herald.