50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2019
The Silicon Review
The military is a massive industry involving mind-boggling logistics required to transport troops, materials, and numerous supplies. While it has mostly been the business of governments, private contractors routinely carry out various aspects of logistical, material and technical support to militaries. Defence Unlimited International Corp is one of the world’s foremost private defence contractors. From delivering weapons, equipment, supplies, vehicles, and troops, to providing specialized training facilities for security personnel, Defence Unlimited is an established broker of military assets.
In conversation with the Founder of Defence Unlimited, Edward Banayoti
What was the motivation to launch the company? How have you expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
The founder’s background in the defence sector and contacts within it meant that in the early days he received requests for specific procurement requirements. As the company expanded its reach it became evident that there were specific niches that were under or inadequately served. Rather than simply hire organically, the company forged relationships with several expert companies and individuals who are the best at what they do. The company also leveraged its distribution channels to help smaller, up and coming companies secure visibility and compete with larger firms. From its beginnings as a broker, the company subsequently developed its offering to offer a full complement of services including advisory services and defence and security professionals that can support clients on anything from training law enforcement personnel, to carrying out maintenance on highly sophisticated military hardware.
How do you align your company’s goals with sustainability?
Success, long term growth and profitability are the ultimate goals. To achieve these objectives one needs to both have and also execute, the right vision, strategy, decisions and maintain high standards on the business side. However, this is not possible without the core of any business like ours, which is hiring smart people who can add value to the business and the clients. People with the right entrepreneurial mindsets, drive, loyalty and attitude contributing to a team environment to make the company successful. At times, it’s important to have the courage to take a certain business which others may refuse and in other instances refusing business that others may fight for, always keeping into perspective the right longer-term outcome.
Where does your company fit into the modern military-industrial complex?
Defence Unlimited occupies a niche as a bridge between companies, people with special skills sets and clients, government or private that require complex problems resolved, or advice on how to procure the best overall solution where the different parts including the human component work seamlessly and effectively to deliver the required outcome.
How does your company manage the technological necessities in its operations?
Technology in all aspects of defence and security is crucial today. Our role in the industry is the one which allows the best technologies out there the possibility to get visibility. As an example, we have worked with several start-ups or early-stage companies that had phenomenal disruptive technology and through our access, such companies could access company changing deals. Whereas our partners build some of the best, most innovative technology out there, we help place that in front of people who make decisions and people we have built relationships with across different types of needs and requirements. People trust our judgment and skill in identifying products which can add considerable value to their requirements. We also have the capacity to fund a scaling up of the business when we are certain deals are materializing, thus eliminating the ensuing difficulties companies could have in securing such funding even in the event of an excellent deal being on the table.
What are the types of operations that your company carries out, or assists in?
We have completed projects involving airport security and port security from scratch. The company has been involved in large scale specialized MRO programs. Law Enforcement Training, Military personnel training, lobbying to help secure equipment. The company, through investment portfolio companies, offers support to the US Military and UN in specific projects in “hot” zones.
Does your company provide services for gendarmeries or internal peacekeeping forces?
We offer support to police forces, civil protection, military and other personnel involved in providing security through training, equipment supply and other forms of support. As a policy, we do not engage our personnel in active zones but can deploy such personnel in private security functions, special close protection projects, and specific private sector requirements.
Do you have any services that are being readied for launch?
We are continuously seeking and identifying services or products which are in demand. As an example, anti-drone technology was not really in demand until an airport was effectively locked down due to drones. We may have offered clients solutions if and when they were available because we foresaw potential issues. However, the demand only really materialized when a real-life scenario actually materialized. The cost of closure was estimated to cumulatively exceed over $60million. The incident by far outweighed the cost of implementation of the system especially when one considers the disruption to travelers’ plans.
What were the initial challenges that your company faced?
Getting the deals that give you confidence in knowing that it is worthwhile pursuing this business. Getting the first deals is always the hardest and also the ones which you remember most clearly. However, once you get a taste of what is possible you need to find ways to develop a sustainable pipeline to help you secure growth and solidity in the business.
Meet the enterprising founder of Defence Unlimited, Edward Banayoti
Edward Banayoti has a distinguished record of ethical leadership. He is the Founder & Co-Chairman of Defence Unlimited International and the CEO of the Canadian League of Lobbyists & Advocacy Professionals (Canada), as well as the CEO of Canadian Association of Political Consultants.
Mr. Banayoti is a registered Lobbyist in Canada, Federally & Provincially (Ontario). He is dedicated to supporting the highest standards of business ethics, with his extensive experience of more than 15 years in the fields of intelligence, international security, and diplomacy as a trusted advisor at the highest governmental levels. He is an officer of the Most Venerable Order of St. George, and a member of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy and the Middle East Studies Association. Mr. Banayoti is also a distinguished member of the ICDT , an international non-profit organization based in Budapest, Hungary
“Defence Unlimited International is an expert in Government, Defence / Military, and Security Industries, as well as proven executive leaders in contracting, government procurement policies and practices.”