ebm‑papst, a leading manufacturer of fans and motors headquartered in Mulfingen, Germany, is investing approximately one million EUR in the expansion and conversion of its Singapore location. The original headquarters of the Southeast Asia region will assume greater importance within the ebm‑papst Group and manage the entire Asia-Pacific and Middle East Asia region.
On November 28, ebm‑papst held a grand opening to unveil its modernized office and warehouse building in Singapore. With the renovation project in Singapore, the fan manufacturer is creating a new and attractive workspace for the APAC management team, modernizing existing work areas and the warehouse building, and building a future-oriented test and application laboratory as well as a customer experience centre. In this interview, Group CEO Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer and CSO / CEO Air Technology APAC & MEA, Thomas Nürnberger, share more about the plans and explain why Singapore was chosen as the APAC hub.
Q: Congratulations on the grand opening of your APAC Hub in Singapore. How much planning did ebm‑papst make for this huge expansion?
A: Over a year of planning until we finalised the new office. Several departments and persons were included. Departments involved are mainly the Admin, Marketing, Logistics and Application. This is also a great example of our approach to working more closely together in international teams. Admin department does the overall project management, managing the internal stakeholders and space planning. Marketing supports the project with inputs on the brand identity and brand guidelines, products showcase selection, CX design and conceptualization of the customer experience centre. Logistics department coordinates the space planning and Group CEO Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer enhancement of a more efficient warehouse. Application team supports the product showcase selection, ensuring that they function well, putting them out on display in the Customer Experience Centre and planning the new application lab (phase 2).
Q: You mentioned that the Singapore office, being the original headquarters of the Southeast Asia region, will now assume greater importance within the ebm‑papst Group and manage the entire Asia-Pacific and Middle East Asia region. Can you elaborate a bit more on how the role of the Singapore office will change now?
A: Together with our Indian location, ‘where we are currently’ expanding the production capacity, Singapore will manage our APAC & MEA region. In Singapore, our APAC management team is located and steers the further development of the region. With this strategy, we are even closer to our customers and can serve them faster.
Q: What factors did you consider when establishing the Singapore office as the future Asia headquarters for ebmpapst?
A: As a technology leader, we want to make even better use of our market potential in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of our glocalization strategy “local for local,” we are continuously and independently expanding our Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions. Within the context of the “Decoupling China Strategy,” we are strengthening our global presence in Asia and increasing the resilience of our supply chains. To implement this strategy, we want to strengthen our existing locations in the rest of Asia. Singapore already assumed great importance in our Southeast Asia region and market, therefore it was a logical next step to strengthen this subsidiary and expand here. The location itself was a reason for our consideration – Singapore as a country has great economical potential and business relations within Asia. The country is a pioneer in the areas of digitalization and sustainability, as well as the hub of the Asia region – a perfect combination for us. Moreover, the existing subsidiary and the great competence of our colleagues at ebm‑papst Singapore was the key point for our decision to invest here.
In combination with our production facilities in India, that will serve the whole Asian market in future, this will be a perfect match.
Q: You shared that Singapore is a pioneer in the areas of digitalization and sustainability as well as the hub of the Asia region. How does ebm‑papst plan to leverage on these strengths to grow in this region?
A: Digitalization and sustainability are the key part of our corporate strategy. To reach both – make sustainable and intelligent solutions for a better climate – it is necessary to work together, within our company, but also with our customers and the public. So, we need good relations to associations and pioneers and Singapore is a role model for innovative ideas here. Therefore, we want to use this inspiring environment to make even more efficient solutions for our market.
Q: I understand that ebm‑papst is building a future-oriented test and application laboratory as well as a customer experience centre. Can you share more about these plans for our readers?
A: In the application lab, our application team runs product tests and builds up projects for new customer applications. This is also to ensure the long-term reliable operation of our solutions in our customers’ applications [-> Sustainability due to Quality + Customer centricity]. For example, we built applications for vertical farms in the past to try out the different possibilities in combination with our products. This helps us to provide the best possible solution and service to our customers. The customer experience centre displays our world of air technology and shows the visitors who we are. We will lead the air technology in the next generation and the investment in our local subsidiaries is one important step here and the strength of our local subsidiaries is an important piece of the puzzle.
The above interview is cross-posted in Southeast Asia Building (SEAB) Jan-Feb 2024 Magazine Edition.