STREIT Group, one of the world’s leading armored vehicles manufacturers with 12 state-of-the-art production facilities and 25 Global offices worldwide, has since 2012 established a vast industrial base with 2000 employees in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, out of their conviction that UAE is an international hub for logistics. Al Jundi Journal met with Mr. GUERMAN GOUTOROV, Founder and Chairman of STREIT Group and discussed with him the company’s activities in the region and worldwide, their most important products, the importance of UAE market for them and some other relevant issues. Here is the dialogue:
Can you talk to us about the STREIT Group, its fields of work in general, the most prominent products that the group offers to its customers, and what is the extent of satisfaction and demand for them?
Established in 1992 – STREIT Group is a leading global manufacturer of privately- owned armored vehicles with state-of-the-art production facilities spanning 2 million sq ft. of built-up area and global offices worldwide. More than 30 years of operation in challenging environments have made STREIT Group one of the most trusted and reliable manufacturers of armored vehicles.
We produce a large variety of Armored Personnel Carriers, MRAPs, Cash-in-Transit, Luxury, Bespoke Luxury, armored boats, amphibious/all-terrain vehicles, tracked vehicles and security vehicles designed to provide effective protection in high-risk situations.
We are a leading provider of security solutions with a proven safety track record; Our vehicles are deployed by armed forces all over the world. We take no chances when it comes to saving lives. As a leading manufacturer of privately-owned armored vehicles with a production area of over 4 million sq ft, we operate state-of-the-art production facilities worldwide with the capacity to produce more than 500 vehicles per month.
Our main goal is to provide the latest technology and equipment to defense and security forces and organizations in peacekeeping. We usually explore our clients’ needs to provide them with systems that meet those needs to help them solve their problems in different regions. For example, we have Special Forces boats and Special Command patrol boats. We also have X-ray border control systems that help governments to secure their borders against smuggling etc. We also produce vehicles for civilian applications, such as civil defense vehicles. On the other hand, we manufacture systems that provide protection from mishaps for institutions and government and private buildings, such as banks and hospitals.
We started this facility in 2012 by completing the first phase which is the main assembly shed and R&D plant. The second phase was completed in 2015 which included the laser workshop, structure assembly, and distribution center. By the end of this year, we will expand further by adding 6 buildings that will be commercial sheds to manufacture water tanks, fire trucks and other things. We’ll do air defense, and we’re launching a marine line as well.
Above all, we will open our facilities to train our staff or technicians from other countries with which we have kept very good long-term relationships, so that they can maintain our products in different countries. So, the total cost of the project is about US$ 200 million plus equipment and other assets. By the end of the year, we will have about 2,000 employees.
Being in the Emirates, this will help us expand despite the Covid-19 pandemic. We are actually very supportive in the UAE.
All of our production facilities are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, 2008 certified with the latest shielding technology equipment, in-house engineering design and prototyping professionals. Including vehicle test tracks, specialized CNC laser cutting technology and automated and semi-automated production lines, we have the capabilities to meet the most demanding orders in consistent time frames.
How important is the UAE market to STREIT Group?
Although our company started in Canada, we moved to the UAE in 2006 and now STREIT is headquartered here in the UAE, one of the largest manufacturers of armored vehicles in the world, the UAE is a strategically important location to reach the world, the UAE has emerged as a logistics hub of the world. With the UAE’s world-class infrastructure and wise visionary leadership, we have no doubt that the goals will be achieved.
The market in the Gulf region is witnessing a lot of competition, what makes your products attractive to potential customers?
Competition is important to become the best and most successful in our journey, with the quality of our products and innovations, we always stand out from the crowd. Keeping 1000’s of ‘Ready for Delivery’ armored vehicles in our stock is one of the main attractions to our potential clients and unique to STREIT. Also, at STREIT we meet our clients with tailored requirements and provide solution based on research and case study.
In your opinion, what are the defensive solutions and technologies that the region needs at present?
We do not believe that this region is missing any defensive solution, but it is making every effort to be the first to own any modern technology and innovations. STREIT is contributing to this effort to be the most advanced armored vehicle manufacturer in the UAE.
How do you see AI that has become the beating heart of many sectors, and its uses in the military and defense domains? What are your most prominent projects in this field?
The world is changing very fast and AI is the future, we adapt to all the changes that are happening in technology and innovation we have an in-house R&D team working on future projects. We are also studying an AI solution for our Phase 3 production lines for next generation production capacity and accuracy.
What are your most prominent projects for the next phase?
Phase 3 of our facility is in the final stage of its completion, and this is our milestone to become the number one armored vehicle manufacturer in the world. We are planning our huge facilities to be able to produce future defense production in the near future.
How would you rate your recent experience and participation in IDEX 2021, and does it meet your aspirations and requirements of the defense sector in general?
IDEX is a very important exhibition for us to interact with decision makers and end users; We participated in IDEX a couple of years ago and increased our brand presence. Despite the pandemic, IDEX was great and we were happy to have many delegations from different countries there.
PROFILE: GUERMAN GOUTOROV, Founder and Chairman of STREIT Group
He immigrated to Canada from Russia in the early nineties where he paved the path for what is known today as the world’s largest armored vehicles manufacturer, STREIT Group.
In 1992, he started building armored vehicles in his small garage in Canada. Soon most of the Cash in Transit vehicles in Canada bore the name of his company, “STREIT Inc.”. The company now has branches in more than 25 countries across the globe and 12 production facilities
In 2012, inaugurated STREIT’s largest manufacturing plant in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates with a vision of creating safe, innovative and cost effective armored vehicles.
1966, Graduated from the university of business and economics 1992
1992: STREIT Group Established
2000: Expands Production ( up to 40 models )
2018: Started Streit Marine (Armored Boats) 2020 : Production facility expanded to almost double the size 2021
Interviewed by: Razi El Hadmi
Photography by: Mohammed Al Shaer