Name of Recipient:
Dr. Suresh Balan PhD
As Singapore progresses further in the 21st century, urban traffic congestion and industrial growth in the past years have all contributed to the deterioration of the air quality here. However, clean air is something that is essential to not only the people here, but also to many industries where cleanrooms are crucial in their productions. For Camfil Singapore Pte Ltd, cleaning and filtering air has been their business for decades, their status as an industry leaders unchallenged since Camfil’s establishment in 1963.
Since 1990, the demand for clean air solutions in Asia is at an all time high. Recognizing the potential, Camfil proceeded to establish several branches over the next two decades, with offices in India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, as well as the Singapore branch, which was established in 2001. Now with 26 production units and R&D centres all over the world, Camfil, whose headquarters is located in Stockholm, are renowned as a world leader in the development of filters and solutions for clean indoor air quality.
Committed to provide their clients with sustainable and superior air filtration products and services, Camfil’s business focuses on air filtration, removing particles, regulating indoor air quality, emission control, cleanrooms, as well as system installations. With these services, Camfil Singapore has serviced a wide variety of industries, which includes the Automotive, Microelectronics, Hospitals, Life Science, Food & Beverage, Museums and many more.
Dr. Suresh Balan, the current Executive Vice President of Camfil, Asia Pacific & Middle East based in Singapore, introduces us to Camfil’s ideology towards their industry. He said, “We believe that clean air is a human right just like clean water. Everyday, we inhale around ten kilos of air. Imagine the impact it has on human health if the air we breathe in everyday is either polluted or of very poor quality.” Dr. Balan also added that Camfil’s strong stance about sustainability is also a very big factor of why they decided to go into the clean air industry.
As such, Camfil’s focus and priority has always been on research and development (R&D), and as a result, Camfil has established themselves firmly at the forefront on the industry in terms of innovation, technical expertise, and sustainability in comparison to their competitors. With three R&D Tech Centres around the world, in Sweden, Malaysia, and the United States, Camfil has far outstripped their competitors, with no other company invested and committed on R&D as much as them.
In addition, with their focus on sustainability, Camfil has been designing and developing filters that prioritize environmental aspects since they were established. Their goal, to help their clients and end-users achieve the highest processes standard while at the same time reducing energy consumption, has extensive economic and environmental benefits for both the clients and Camfil.
With Camfil’s status as the frontrunner in the clean air industry, the company has been recognized with various accolades. In 2011, Camfil’s production unit in Malaysia were awarded the Rising Star of the Year Award by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, and the Singapore office was awarded both the BEI Asia Awards (2013) and the Singapore Sustainability Awards (2014). These various recognitions are a further testament to Camfil’s status and contribution to the industries around the world.
For Dr. Balan, who has been at the helm of Camfil for the past year, he outlined for us what the entrepreneurship spirit means to both him and Camfil. “There are two main things, production innovation and the talent. We have invested much in employee training. Our initiatives include leadership programmes, as well as the Camfil Academy where our employees can undergo management training. We also have a training centre in Ipoh where we train our new staff. This is because, we believe that the people who work for the company will be the ones to take the company to the future.”
He continued, “For an entrepreneur to be successful, they have to have a broad understanding of their industry works, and to know how the market, the competition, cost structure, as well as opportunities and risks work. They definitely need to be setting a roadmap for the company for the next 3-5 years, to see which areas are profitable for the company, and whether there are opportunities for organic growth or acquisition.”
Being the industry leader, Camfil has no intent to relinquish their market position, and they intend to strive for continued growth. According to Dr. Balan, Camfil Singapore’s business plan for the next five years will be focused on growing, which they believe is needed and vital in order to stay ahead of the competition. As per the norm with Camfil, the company has already put in place a business plan with initiative that will drive their growth in terms of net sales, margins, efficiency, employees, and value.
In addition, Camfil is also looking into further expansion in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region, while at the same time expanding their production lines in China, Malaysia, and India as demand continues to grow in the region. However, there is still much to explore for Camfil Singapore, as according to Dr. Balan, the market in Singapore is vibrant and competitive, and contains plenty of untapped potential and opportunities as they continue to improve their product offerings.
With their strong commitment on R&D and sustainability, coupled with their superior technology and expertise, it is clear to see how Camfil has achieved the success they enjoy today. Under the leadership of Dr. Balan, and with the Singapore office continuing their impressive track record in Singapore, there is no doubt that Camfil Singapore will see sustained achievements and success for many years to come.
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