Name of Recipient:
Mr. Tay Kee Hock
In the industrial, pharmaceutical, healthcare and several other industries, the presence of a controlled environment is integral to ensure progress and advancement. Without such, many products or medical advancements that we have come to enjoy today would not have been invented. One company in Singapore that specializes in designing and constructing such management systems in Sauter Singapore Pte Ltd, a company that has distinguished itself with its critical environment systems.
Established in 2001 with four directors, Sauter Singapore mainly lends their services to two industry sectors; namely the Industrial/Biomedical Building Controls, and Commercial Building Controls. Sauter Singapore’s system provides complete control of the environment in the building, allowing the monitoring of temperature, humidity, and pressure in the room of choosing. The services they offer includes supplying of building management system, controls system design, project management, maintenance, calibration and system validation. To help facilitate the effectiveness of their system, Sauter Singapore also provides equipment for Isolation Rooms, laboratory controls and Fume-Hoods, along with a complete range of electronic and pneumatic controls for the VAV Air Terminal and Venturi Valve.
Mr. Tay Kee Hock, one of the founding directors of Sauter Singapore, reminisced on the origins of the company. “In our previous company, which was in the same industry, their sales strategy was very aggressive. For example, they were determined to double the sales revenue every 3 years. There was so much more focus on the end result, but in the process, the people, the team was overlooked. It disillusioned some of us. Hence, as someone who knows what it is like to be an employee, we hope to start the company as a ‘family business’. We believe that the people are our asset, and we wish to share our rewards with all of them.”
With this goal in mind, the four directors decided to leave and seek new pastures. Their thoughts then turned to Sauter Company, a Swiss company based in Basel that had been represented by a local distributor in the 1970’s, with several installations along Shenton Way, but has since lost their foothold locally. However, the four directors believed that there is potential for Sauter to make their presence in Singapore again. Hence, they approached Sauter for their permission and licensing, and Sauter Singapore is born.
For the four directors, they know that the hard work is just the beginning. The stigma of being a local company meant that not only do they have to compete with bigger and more establish multinational companies; they also commanded lesser faith and trust from their clients. In response, they know they had to work extra hard for their customers, letting them know that they are just as well-prepared and equipped as the others. Mr Tay had this to say, “We were quite fortunate. Our team is unique that we complement each other. The synergy is there. We all played our own roles, and we were able to be a company that provides complete and comprehensive service to our clients. It took some time to gain recognition, but with hard work and sincerity to our clients, we made it.”
Today, Sauter Singapore is known to be a specialist in the area of critical environment control. By not competing directly and simply clamoring to get market share, Sauter Singapore has carved out a niche area for themselves. Some of the projects that stood out most prominently for them include managing the critical environment for the 43 storey SingTel Pickering centre, the Novartis institute for tropical disease, and. Singapore Procter & Gamble innovation centre. They also help establish the Beijing division of Sauter, a joint venture which now sees them holding a certain percentage of shares. Mr. Tay mused, “We are now a recognized leader in the laboratory market, where our system is actually the preferred model. I believe we are the only company that install and maintain such systems, and that only helps to distinguish us from our other competitors.” Now boosting their experienced in- house personnel and specialization, Sauter Singapore has plans to further augment their status in their industry. Mr. Tay explained, “We would like to expand our expertise overseas. A few years back, we were given the opportunity to support Southeast Asian countries, and enquiries were made. It hasn’t really materialized yet but something similar will happen sometime soon.”
As people who have had courage to go against the norm, Mr. Tay has the following advice for young entrepreneurs who are looking to stand on their own. “Never say die. You must have the passion first, and that will help you persevere till the end. I also believe you have to be flexible and adapt to changes; the willingness to learn new things.” On the other hand, Mr. Tay also believes bravery and courage will go a long way to achieving entrepreneur success. “Go where others dare not venture. You have to take risks definitely, but never at the expense of others. Don’t just look at the monetary value; you have to look at the people, and be sincere and honest to others.”
With the vision and wisdom of the directors, combined with the expertise and experience of his other partners, Sauter Singapore are definitely on the path to continue growing and accumulating prestige. One can only foresee good and better things on the horizon for them.
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