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HSL has secured jobs in Myanmar, which is just beginning to open up to greater degrees of foreign investment and has rich untapped foreign oil and gas reserves. It also sees potential in Malaysia, as the Johor State Government is seeking to develop Pengerang, Tanjung Langsat and Tanjung Bin as refining and storage hubs.
HSL has rapidly established itself as a regional leader in its field; it runs a number of foreshore and ground engineering projects through its offices across the region including Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei. In March 2014, HSL received a $15 million investment from Dymon Asia Private Equity to support the former’s regional expansion.
Advice [by Mr Charles Quek, chief executive officer of HSL]
- You need a good finance person to navigate the regional money minefield.
- Setting up an overseas office is a potentially lengthy process in some of these countries, involving more than just straightforward paperwork. Tap on people with experience and expertise.
- Build up the financial capability and stamina to ride out the learning period.
- Build up your core competencies in Singapore, from branding to knowing what it is you are actually selling. “Capability enhancement and branding is very important,” said Mr Quek. “If your branding is clear it is much easier to steer the company. Once your house is in order, then you step out.”
- Find a good local partner, one with complementary capabilities and a clear understanding of their value add. “You also have to invest time to build up a relationship of trust. Spelling things out in black-and-white is not good enough. You want a sincere, honest, comfortable relationship with a reliable partner.
Read more from Enterprise Singapore’s Success Stories.
Credit: Enterprise Singapore