Names of Recipients:
Mr. Tay San Yi
Mr. Ethan Tang
Mr. Damien Tan
We often never question about the quality of the houses that we live in or the buildings that we work in. However, it is important to mention that there are occasions that the delivery of completed premises and developments may not be of satisfactory condition and finishes. Building surveyors, as they are known, undertake the independent quality checks to provide their professional opinion for resolution, we are able to enjoy a safe home and work environment to the fullest.
Established in 2007 by friends Tay San Yi, Damien Tan, and Ethan Tang, Apex Building Surveyors Pte Ltd has been gaining traction in the building surveying industry in Singapore. Ethan mentioned that there is a huge demand in the building and construction industry for building pathology and forensic investigations, however this cannot be met because local academic institutions do not offer specific courses to cater to such requirements, and as such, there is a lack of professionals in this field. “We recognise this to be a niche market, where it is largely the domain of foreigner-owned companies, so we decided to start a proudly Singaporean brand,” said Damien.
Their area of specialisation lies in providing independent building consultancy, such as building inspections, investigations for defects, and building repair and maintenance works. The trio decided to start their own firm after gaining significant experience as building surveyors. They felt that it was the time to imprint their own vision into this unique industry.
Despite their dreams, they had to go through the entrepreneurial journey the hard way. San Yi says that the business was difficult to sustain in the beginning and the three of them were “trying to make ends meet”. In addition, they also had to deal with typical challenges such as procuring a suitable office space, administrative work, and most importantly, finding clients. The trio had to put in the extra hours at work in order to convince potential customers that they are able to undertake and execute the job well. After taking on the project, they would also have to put in more dedication and hard work in order to deliver their customers’ expectations.
This hard work and dedication, from finding clients to executing the project, is what makes Apex Building Surveyors stand out. It is not long before clients started to take notice of them after hearing positive appraisals.
APEX’s first big break came in 2010, when multinational banking and financial services holding company, Wells Fargo, contacted the trio when they were looking for local based surveyors. This marked a big break for them as it showed that their hard work did not go unnoticed. Their clients today include Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), institutional bodies, real estate developers, main contractors and management corporations.
“Being local sets up apart in this market,” said Damien. Adding on to that point, San Yi mentioned that this also means that APEX will be able to provide services to their clients more effectively because they are based in Singapore and have a better understanding of local culture and industry. Moreover, they also mentioned that while most companies have one or two trained building surveyors on hand; APEX has three, and this means that they are able to provide services more efficiently to their clients.
When asked about their ambitions, the trio all say in unison that they hope to see more home-grown building surveyors in the coming years. Ethan says that it is an interesting industry where you can get exposed to various aspects of local building works and technologies, and one can also acquire a lot of technical and soft skills in the process.
Statistically speaking, APEX is on the rise. They are reported to have tripled their revenue since 2007. San Yi explained that this is the result of the hard work put in by the team, and more importantly, this signifies that APEX is on the right path as clients are satisfied with their work.
As the namesake suggests, the three founders’ main desire is to see their building surveying firm ascend to the apex of their industry on our local shores. The ambition to be the best they can be is something that clearly underpins the trios’ dream to excel in their chosen field of expertise.
Moving on to talk about the subject of entrepreneurship, Ethan spoke about stepping out of one’s comfort zone, he said: “I think you must take a leap of faith when you are an entrepreneur.” Adding on to that point, Damien said that not only must an entrepreneur be ambitious; the entrepreneur must also be resourceful in terms of management of pragmatic matters such as cash flow and costing.
Fuelling their work is the motivation from their respective families. San Yi said that they are all devoted to their families and aim to provide for their families. In addition to that, the three of them all agree that taking on the tasks of entrepreneurship is an adventure in itself, and it is this adventure that keeps them going.
All in all, Apex Building Surveyors’ success underscores the power of hard work and proves that one is able to achieve anything one wants by combining ideals with practical know-hows. It is beyond doubt that APEX will continue to excel and continue to be the trailblazers in the industry that many will aspire to become.
2 Bukit Batok Street 24
#09-03 Skytech Building S(659480)
T| 6520 0521
F| 6569 1339