Name of Recipients:
Mr. Tong Hwi Hong & Mr. Lim Hong Lee
Founded in 2014, Unicom Engineering Pte Ltd is a rising name in the fibre optics industry. Their name, ‘Unicom’ is a combination of the words, ‘universal’ and ‘communication’. Hence, it displays the company’s dream to grow into a universal company that links all forms of communication together.
Unicom Engineering offers a diversity of services, primarily focusing on fibre-optic cabling works. This includes pipe laying activities, mounting of fibre optic boxes, splicing and termination works, structure cabling in data centres, manhole surveys, among many others.
After years of experience in the communications cabling line, Mr. Tong saw the surge in demand for fibre optics. Recognizing the need and the industry’s potential to grow, he ventured out to start a new business in the same field. Together with Mr. Lim, the duo worked hand in hand to establish Unicom Engineering Pte Ltd.
Despite being armed with more than 10 years of experience in the fibre optics scene, both Mr. Tong and Mr. Lim faced numerous challenges when the company first started. As Unicom Engineering was still a young company at that point of time, some banks even declined to offer a loan to facilitate machinery costs. On top of that, it was difficult to recruit and retain talented individuals, as not many were comfortable with working at an unlisted company that required employees to work for long hours.
Therefore, the workforce in Unicom Engineering consisted mostly foreign workers. For the fibre optics sector, it is important to have enough manpower as many manual workers are needed to handle the daily routine of works. With more foreign employees, this would result in high costs for employment due to the rise of foreign worker levy and some other factors that will lead to low returns because of low profit contracts.
Thankfully, with the help of IRAS’s Productivity & Innovation Credit fund, Unicom Engineering managed to receive some subsidy for factory equipment costs. By applying for financial help from financial institutions, they were then able to overcome the financial difficulties and slow down the cash flow.
Mr. Tong and Mr. Lim also came up with their own appraisal system to monitor and review their employee’s performance. Rewards and incentives will then be given to workers with good conduct. By doing so, they hope that it would increase the company’s team spirit effectively and enhance productivity levels.
Over the years, the founders have worked hard to carve out the success that Unicom Engineering has today. Mr. Tong shared that he would have never expected to see himself as a boss of his own in his teenage days, “When I first entered the industry, I had to learn everything from scratch. It was tedious but I have come a long way and I am proud to say that the time and effort I have put in has paid off.”
Recently, Unicom Engineering was fortunate to have signed a major project, which will provide great profits for the company. With more activities going on, the company is bound to grow. The directors mentioned that the manpower size saw an increase of 50%. More partnerships would also have to be formed in order to support the business.
Although it has only been over a year since the company was born, the people at Unicom Engineering strive hard to achieve greater heights for the company. With Mr. Tong and Mr. Lim’s experience in this industry, they believe that being a relatively new company does not make them inferior to other competitors whom have been in the market for years. While other companies may deliver similar services, they aim to attain higher quality, productivity and safety standards.
Mr. Lim also shared with us his thoughts on being an entrepreneur, “To me, being an entrepreneur is all about having the creativity and innovation. No matter how insignificant some things may be, it can always be developed to become a source of income. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs before I achieved what I have achieved today.”
In the years to come, Mr. Tong and Mr. Lim hopes to see Unicom Engineering become one of the most reliable contractors that is trusted by clients in Singapore. They also seek to receive more recognition from the authorities, clients and even competitors. Besides that, they also wish that the company would continue to do well and create a good working environment where employees look forward to everyday.
It is amazing that Unicom Engineering has achieved so much despite a short span of time. Being a recipient of this year’s Singapore’s Outstanding Enterprise goes to show that the company has what it takes to achieve more in the future.
12Q Enterprise Road,
Enterprise 10, (S) 627695