How long have you been working for Rotarex? Can you say a few more words about your career path?
I started at Rotarex Headquarters in April 2010. I first worked in the Equipment team, for 2 years. Then, I joined the Firetec division, for 3 years. In both Business Units, I held a position of Sales and Product manager, with direct sales management in Europe, and a support role towards the Front offices worldwide.
In 2015, I moved to Singapore with the mission to develop the sales. Today, I am responsible for the operations of our different offices in South East Asia, Australia and Taiwan.
Since when is Rotarex doing business in Southeast Asia, Australia and Taiwan?
Rotarex Fareast exists since 1995. At first, it was a 2-person office with a strong focus on UHP and Industrial cylinder valves, mostly in Singapore. When we decided to rework our regional approach, we strengthen the role and mission of Rotarex Fareast, by defining clear targets by country, improving the logistics and investing in people.
Today our organization is made of 5 legal entities covering the sales and business development in 13 territories. We have about 40 employees, and we are planning to develop further for the years to come.
What are the specificities of the region you cover (culture/business wise)?
We are working on a wide area of industrial applications in countries being in different economic development phases and having very different cultures. If there are already huge differences between ASEAN countries, we are also working closely with Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the same day, we can be discussing about engine fire protection on the mature Australian mining market, the impact of the huge investment plan in the Taiwanese semiconductors, the energy grid development in Vietnam or the need of medical regulators in Bangladesh!
Our team is composed of people from 9 different countries, structured by Business units and/or territories. Our scope of services is growing along the business requirements. We learn and adapt to our environment; a pragmatic approach.
Which Rotarex products are certified in the region you are responsible for?
Almost all the Rotarex Business Units are active on our markets. I like to present South East Asia as a market place, where you can find products from all over the world. Each ASEAN country has its own standards being a mix of national choices, influenced by either American, European or Japanese codes.
For the Industrial gas markets, this is quite a challenge to match the expectations of all the customers. Also, all APAC markets are not always demanding the same level of high specifications, requiring some specific fast product adaptation. But, as a leader with such a strong global knowledge and organisation, Rotarex is one of the best to do so. For Fire equipment, the US influence is predominant and NFPA standards are the main benchmark. For a European manufacturer, it requires time, investments and some cultural adaptation, but we are eventually ready.
What is/are the fastest-growing market segment(s) in the countries you are responsible for?
I would say that all markets segments are growing in the region. Industrial gas grade applications are growing at a steady pace linked to the general Industrial development of the countries. We are also very active in the Semiconductors markets. The demand for Medical equipment is growing everywhere, linked to the rising welfare of the growing middle class. Fire Protection is another stable market with constant growth since fire safety is mandatory in most public and private facilities.
In your opinion, what are Rotarex products strengths on the markets?
For some markets, Rotarex is an undisputed leader, while it is a challenger on others. If I focus on what is common to all our business units and products: I would say Quality & Innovation! Quality & Innovation are at the core of our value proposition. When customers choose Rotarex, they choose the highest standards. Quality is part of the company culture.
Nevertheless, my understanding is that such a global brand recognition is not only linked to the quality of the products we are selling, but also to our level of service from the tailor-made product definition to the after-sales: Rotarex always provide the technical and commercial support adapted to a given situation. Our overall performance and passion at work are rightfully recognised.
If we were to give one recent example: In 2021, Rotarex delivered a fire suppression system in a major geothermal power plant in the Philippines, 70 cylinders 300 bar to protect several critical rooms. A complex pilot project for the end-user. The main constraint was the adaptation of all the components to the presence of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S corrosion). Both Luxembourgish and Singaporean teams worked together over 6 months to get the solution!
How are you coping with the current pandemic situation?
In the region, each country is facing the pandemic differently, with different measures. Some country successfully managed the situation in 2020, but are now facing a very difficult period. Sadly, several of our business partners and colleagues faced directly the worst consequences of the disease.
In terms of organisation, this period is a real stress test for our regional team and business grounds. We cannot travel at all. Luckily, we can maintain our quality of service thanks to our staff deployed in the region. We also have the benefits of the group IT tools, maximising home office and video calls.