This extract is reproduced with permission:
When we are building our industrial parks, we do engage Singaporean companies to provide us with the services, in terms of master planning, construction work,” said Ascendas chief customer solutions officer Aylwin Tan. “But of course, they must be competitive, and if they are, we will of course award them a contract.”
Some advantages when it comes to working with Singaporean companies, Mr Tan noted, are a shared culture and emphasis on transparency.
Ascendas’ journey overseas coincided with the start of the Government’s regionalisation push among enterprises in the 1990s, under then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
“I guess at that point in time, the economic space of Singapore was getting too crowded,” said Mr Tan, and local companies began expanding their presence abroad. “We were one of the earliest to respond to the regionalisation programme.”
As for Singapore companies looking to venture overseas like Ascendas, Mr Tan has this advice: “The first is that you need to understand the market very well, not by reading or talking to a few people. The idea is to collect extensive data to have a good view of the market as far as possible.”
Companies must also not just focus on the low-cost advantage overseas and should instead build their capacity and competence, he added.
“You must also think about what your operations will be like five to 10 years down the road… because the low-cost environment won’t last forever.”
Read more from Enterprise Singapore’s Success Stories.
Credit: Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Press Holdings (first published on The Straits Times)