Leaders of Transformation
EACH night, after the coffeeshop where he worked closed for the day, floor manager Zhao Chun Yu, 34, used to spend an hour carefully counting the cash takings from each stall.
FROM freshly-brewed drinks to its wide range of stalls, the humble coffeeshop is a quintessentially Singaporean icon. But even traditional sectors have to move with the times.
ALMOST three decades ago, JEP Precision Engineering started out with a modest 10,000 sq ft production floor, where it produced small parts for the aerospace industry.
TWO years ago, Bryan Mok ran machines on JEP Precision Engineering's factory floor. Now, the 25-year-old engineer has a bird's-eye view of production operations.
A TYPICAL furniture showroom has space for about 200 to 300 products. Yet imagine one which can house thousands or even tens of thousands of items.
WHEN Fadzly Othman joined FortyTwo as a web developer in 2012, he was looking forward to being part of a dynamic startup, not a traditional office environment.
YOU might expect a start-up that rides on the e-commerce wave to be run by tech-savvy, code-fluent computer wizards with obscure engineering backgrounds.
WHEN Mohammed Nizzaar Abdul Nazzeer joined blu as a driver about a year ago, he knew there would be more to the job than simply getting from point A to point B.
FINANCE manager Victor Leong, 47, has been with Binter for almost a decade. But his insight into its transformation goes back another half-a-dozen years - when he was previously one of Binter's auditors.
FAMILY businesses have a reputation - deserved or not - for being slow to change. And Singapore's entire tyre industry is, in a sense, a "family business".
OVER the last four decades, Ademco Security Group has been a pioneer in Singapore's security sector in many ways.
WHEN Maung Maung Ye Htut started working for Ademco in 2007, it was much more of an "analog" world.
WHEN Lucas Fong joined Lingjack Engineering Works in 2010, the firm's engineering department was undergoing a modest change: switching from 2D drawing software for product designs to digital 3D modelling.
IN AN industrial building in Woodlands, powerful arms work tirelessly: feeding sheet metal into machines, lifting heavy cylinders, welding and spray-painting.
JEWELLERY collections and designer handbags fill the shop window. Indoors, friendly staff wait behind glittering display counters.
JENNIFER Tan, 60, would never have considered working in traditional pawnshops, with their "jail-like" bars and intimidating feel.
SHORTLY after Yeo Kain Thiong joined Hope Technik, he went from controlling shopfloor tools to building flying machines. Now, years later, he helps their new products take flight.
TRANSFORMATION is often seen - if erroneously - as an exercise meant for traditional firms which have not yet made the leap from old methods to future-ready approaches.
IN Louken Group's early years, its clients pushed the firm to go abroad and acquire new capabilities. Today, the branding and communication company leads clients overseas and on digital journeys of their own.
ESTABLISHING a brand was a very different task seven years ago, when Noah Lee joined Louken Group's brand agency A S Louken.
WITH its latest redevelopment, Grand Park City Hall has not just transformed physically, but gained a digital edge too.
GRAND Park City Hall's mobile application provides a better experience not just for guests, but also for the hotel's frontline staff as well.
WHEN Lawrence Tan joined OrangeTee back in 2004 - before it became OrangeTee & Tie - the agency was already ahead of the curve.
FOR property agency OrangeTee & Tie, "going digital" is not just some recent initiative. Instead, that has been its modus operandi since day one.
THE mission remains the same: delivering flavours customised to clients' needs. But KH Roberts has grown better and more efficient in doing so - as new product development manager Derrick Heng, 33, has seen since joining the firm in 2009.
BEHIND the familiar tastes of many beloved food and beverage products, both local and regional, lies the hidden hand of KH Roberts.
OVER two decades in CBM, Mohamad Yazid bin Jasnay, 39, has seen workloads lighten in many ways.
SOME transformations are gradual and tentative. Facilities management provider CBM's journey was quite the opposite.
VISIT online video platform Viddsee, and one thing that might strike you - in contrast to other video hosting sites - is the utter lack of ads.
WHEN filmmaker Kenny Tan was approached to join Viddsee in April last year, he was nonplussed. His response, he recalls, was: "I'm not really the curator type, I do creation!"
GROWING cold-weather crops such as strawberries and kale in Singapore might seem impossible to many, but that is exactly what Sustenir Agriculture is doing.
BEFORE Jaslin Koh joined Sustenir in 2015, she had no knowledge of agriculture. But after working with the firm's crops and learning more about vertical farming, she developed a passion for plants.
WITH the rapid development of technology, once-complicated techniques are no longer flights of fancy for smaller filmmakers.
FOR Sora Media, producing virtual reality (VR) films is a very real business today.
TRANSPORT software startup Swat's chief executive officer Jarrold Ong is used to being on the move.
SWAT's data team includes engineers from research backgrounds and from big software companies; PhDs, working alongside an intern from the National University of Singapore; and citizens of Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, and Russia.
PROFESSIONAL services firm Precursor started out offering conventional audit, accounting and tax services. Now it also serves clients in areas such as human resources (HR) - and even aims to help industry peers.
AS part of Precursor's client services team, Teo Yian Quan does not only use the firm's new software suite in the course of his work, he also sells it to clients.
PACKAGING roti prata was a numbing task when Chen Zhang Lin joined Tee Yih Jia in 2009, and not just because of the repetition involved.
RED BEAN pancakes, seaweed crackers, banana fritters, nacho-esque chips - these and more can be made using the humble spring roll skin, as Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing's cheerful recipe videos demonstrate.
ONE episode from Lim Jo Hann's earliest days with Chye Thiam Maintenance still stays with him today.
CHYE Thiam Maintenance has come a long way from its first modest grass-cutting and cleaning contract in 1979, with its projects today more likely to feature ozone water and robotic scrubbers.
A GLIMMERING bench, speckled with light, was among the highlights of August's Singapore Night Festival. Illuminated from within, it was made from translucent concrete - one of Pan-United Corporation's creations.
CONCRETE has a shelf life of just two hours. Each day, Pan-United's trucks ply the roads between batching plants - where concrete is produced - and construction worksites, delivering the material just in time.
FROM his seat in the truck's cabin, Balbant Singh, 61, pays careful attention to the digital screens and camera feeds beside him. Outside, a large metal claw lowers from the side of the truck, prongs adjusting to grip the nearby recycling bin.
GREEN energy, laundry, and plastic bag production may not seem the most obvious activities for a waste management company. Behind these moves by 800 Super Holdings, however, is the core idea of not letting things go to waste - as these new areas are fed by the firm's existing businesses.
A MOLECULAR biologist by training, Yukti Choudhury spent five years of her PhD investigating the function of just 21 DNA base pairs - the building blocks of DNA - in relation to a specific type of cancer.
SOME firms undertake research and development to develop new products for the market. Others, like genomic medicine company Lucence Diagnostics, originate from the lab themselves.
WHETHER onboard ships or in the office, Executive Ship Management has seen dramatic changes in the last decade as more processes go digital.
WHETHER the need was for a comprehensive software system or better-trained crew members, Executive Ship Management's approach was the same: in-house development.