Names of Recipients:
Mr. Ng Yim Kie
Mr. Pong Sit Yong
With more than thirty years of experience in their line of work, SBL Engineering Pte Ltd is an industry leader in the marine engineering industry. Founded by Mr. Ng Yim Kie and Mr. Pong Sit Yong in the 1980’s, the SBL group of companies advanced into a private limited company in 1991, and has subsequently established a strong presence in Singapore and other countries such as Kazakhstan and, Indonesia.
For SBL Engineering, the company mainly specializes in shipbuilding, ship repair, as well as conversion works involving electrical, piping, and steel works. After many years of servicing the Marine, Offshore, as well as the Oil and Gas industries, the company is recognized as a reliable service provider in the field. In their history, SBL has serviced clients such as Keppel Fels Limited, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Drydocks World Dubai, Baker Hughes, and Parker Drilling.
For the founders, the marine engineering industry was not something that was new to them. Before SBL was established, Mr. Ng and Mr. Pong were in a partnership with others, working in a similar company in the marine engineering industry. Unfortunately, the partnership dissolved in 1984, which led Mr. Ng and Mr. Pong to establish SBL instead. Mr. Ng said, “We established SBL Trading Enterprise in the 1980’s, but during that time, there was a slump in the ship building industry. However, one of our contacts gave us the opportunity to do small projects, and that is the beginning…. together we set up everything.”
However, the initial years were not easy ones for SBL. Mr. Pong elaborated, “During that time, situations was very different to the way it is now. We did not have much finances, and the economy at that time was not very good. Also, we were new, and had no credibility, and people had to be convinced to give us jobs.”
To overcome these initial challenges, the founders had to turn to other sources of finances, by borrowing money from others. “Our friends also introduced us to other people who would give us jobs. To be honest, at that time, there was not really a long-term plan for how SBL would develop and grow. If there were jobs, we would just take them. That’s how we were able to survive till today.”
“Survive” might be a modest assessment of SBL, given what they have achieved over the years. Obtaining long-term jobs such as the resident contractor of Keppel Fels and the in-house contractor of Drydocks World Dubai, SBL has managed to amass a solid reputation for themselves since their establishment almost thirty years ago. Committed to providing good quality and reliable services to their clients, SBL has since received many written commendations on their efficiency and their quality of work. To further augment their acclaimed status within their industry, SBL received a Twenty Years Partnership Award from Keppel Fels in 2009, and they are also a ISO 9001, OHSAS 19001, as well as a BizSafe Star accredited company.
With their emphasis on building long-term relationships with their clients through reliable and experienced service, this is an aspect that the founders feel differentiates SBL from their competitors. Mr. Pong said, “If the Captain trusts you, they will give you the contract. This is based on your experience and the quality of the work you produce before.” With many relationships forged over the years, the founders foresee that referrals and repeated business will continue to keep the business strong and running for the coming years.
Now with many years of experience as entrepreneurs, the founders have learnt many things during their entrepreneurial journey. For Mr. Ng, learning from your mistakes is a lesson he feels every entrepreneur should learn. “We learnt how to lose our money. But really, if you don’t learn your lesson, the next time you will go back down the same route and fail.”
On the other hand, Mr. Pong feels that the personal attitude of an entrepreneur is very important. “They need to be able to persevere through difficult times, and put in the hard work necessary to achieve the success they want. Also, they need to build their reserves and plan accordingly, otherwise there would be nothing left.”
Exciting times are ahead for SBL Engineering. With the Keppel Fels partnership, SBL is establishing an office in China in 2015, with their new branch already registered. They are also looking to do the same for Philippines and Indonesia in the future as well. Mr. Ng said, “With the changes in government policies, such as the foreign worker’s levy and quota, it’s becoming more challenging to hire manpower in Singapore. What we are doing is to install offices and commission work out from Singapore.”
With their success assured and concrete plans in place for the future, SBL Engineering looks to cement their stronghold in the industry for the years to come. With the experience and expertise of the two founders, along with the support of a dedicated team, there is no doubt that even more success awaits ahead for SBL Engineering.
3791 Jalan Bukit Merah
T| 6743 0394
F| 6743 7140