SGX Market Dialogues

Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 2:33 PM


Kopi-C With StarHub’s CEO: “There’s No Other Telco Like Ours”

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 2:33 PM

Kopi-C with StarHub’s CEO: “There’s no other telco like ours”

StarHub’s CEO Nikhil Eapen shares how reinvention and diversification can help firms to retain and attract more customers for long-term growth

When Nikhil Eapen joined StarHub as its chief executive officer at the start of 2021, his vision was simple: to help the firm continue its transformation from a telco to a digital behemoth that can do more for Singapore and the world.

Before he took on the role, he was deputy chief executive officer of ST Telemedia – one of StarHub’s major shareholders – and president and group chief executive officer of ST Telemedia’s Infrastructure Technology division.

“There, we built a big data centre business, a high-growth business that makes money from serving giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. We invested in cybersecurity, in cloud partners,” he recalls at the ‘Savour and Invest in Singapore’ seminar on 25th August. Jointly organised by the SGX Group, DBS and Nikko Asset Management, the event aims to highlight why Singapore remains an attractive market for global investors.

“So I knew how StarHub could harness the power of the cloud, technology and the digital realm to change society. That’s really our mission here at StarHub: to do things for the first time in the world here in Singapore, for our Singapore society.”

After nearly a year at the helm, Eapen launched StarHub’s new DARE+ initiative in late 2021, a visionary plan to offer new products and services to connect customers’ digital lives.

For consumers, this means an expanded menu of lifestyle, entertainment and connectivity options that they can access anytime, anywhere, on any device. For enterprises, StarHub plans to be a trusted single platform for their cybersecurity, cloud, info-communications technology (ICT) and network connectivity needs.

Eapen notes that such innovation is crucial for StarHub to renew itself, grow and fend off challengers in a fast-evolving digital age. He explains: “If you only focus on traditional consumer mobile products, you can only grow a little bit. But if you go into new products and new business streams, you can grow in many ways. When you do new things, you grow your top line.”

“We want to be a company that’s growing and growing by doing new things again and again, in a repeatable cycle.”

To infinity in entertainment

Take the increasingly crowded entertainment field. About two decades ago, StarHub broke new ground by being the first in the world to offer “quad play”, which comprises cellular, broadband, fixed line and pay-television services. The rise of streaming services and other technological advances, however, has threatened this model.

“We realised a few years ago that we needed to get rid of quad play. That’s why DARE+ will move us into ‘infinity play’ instead, which is an infinite continuum of connectivity, over-the-top streaming entertainment, cloud gaming and other digital solutions. This will tear down the boundaries between services to match customers’ diversity and needs,” Eapen says.

With this new approach, StarHub will not only survive but thrive in the long term. He shares: “Many people say, ‘oh, Netflix must be taking away business from you’. No. We slipstream these streaming services and make money from them too.”

“Our sense is that many households have three to four streaming subscriptions, but still want to watch things like live sports, the Premier League. If you want to have all these subscriptions and linear television, it is cheaper to get them as a package from us, rather than buying each and every one of them separately.”

“If you do it through us, you can also see all your services in one place when you turn on your television, and get combined billing.”

StarHub is innovating in other ways to boost convenience for customers. By the end of this year, it will integrate its different apps into the main StarHub app. “You will get a seamless customer journey that requires just a single sign-on, whether through biometric authentication or SingPass. Buying something new will take just seconds or minutes.”

There are other benefits to consolidating touchpoints with consumers, Eapen adds. “Digital engagement is an extraordinarily powerful thing. As we roll out more products, we want people to look at our app multiple times a day and engage with us continually. We want to do more things to retain customers’ loyalty.”

A telco like no others

Eapen acknowledges that business transformation can be difficult. “Doing new things is not easy, particularly when you are a 25-year-old company like us. Sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as you like. Sometimes you get it wrong.”

The key to success is perseverance and teamwork. He emphasises: “You have to learn from your mistakes, adjust and keep trying again and again and again. But all this can only be done with everyone pulling together, with teamwork.”

“No man or woman is an island. None of us know everything. We all have pockets of knowledge and pockets of specialisation. We must work together, as a team, whether we are building new products or trying new things, if we want to create something awesome.”

For StarHub, innovation will continue to be its differentiating factor. Eapen shares that while he occasionally worries about the growing array of competitors in the market, he has faith in the company’s offerings.

“You have operators out there with cheap plans, who compete on price, not quality. But even in the mobile market, which is the one with the most intense competition, we grew 12 per cent year on year, so there is clearly a significant segment of consumers who focus on quality, not just price. That is why we will keep innovating.”

His confidence in StarHub’s innovation stems from his extensive experience in the global ICT sector too. Before his tenure at ST Telemedia, he was an investment banker for over 18 years in Citigroup, including serving as its managing director and head of Asia-Pacific technology, media and telecommunications corporate and investment banking from 2008 to 2015.

He hopes that StarHub inspires other firms, even established ones, to reinvent themselves as needed to prosper in the long run. “We are 25 years old, but we are not all that cumbersome. In fact, we are quite nimble. Telcos typically do not do new things, but we are doing a whole lot of new things.”

“I don’t think there is any other telco like ours. Certainly not in Singapore, but not regionally and almost none globally.”

About Starhub

StarHub is a leading homegrown Singapore company that delivers world-class communications, entertainment and digital services. With its extensive fibre and wireless infrastructure and global partnerships, Starhub brings to people, homes and enterprises quality mobile and fixed services, a broad suite of premium content, and a diverse range of communication solutions. Starhub develops and delivers to corporate and government clients solutions incorporating artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics, Internet of Things and robotics. Starhub is committed to conducting its business in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. Listed on the Singapore Exchange mainboard, StarHub is a component stock of the SGX iEdge SG ESG Leaders and Transparency Indices and included in ESG-focused FTSE4Good Index Series. StarHub is ranked as the world’s most sustainable telco in the Corporate Knights Global 100 2023.

The company’s website is https://www.starhub.com

About kopi-C: the Company brew

kopi-C is a regular column by SGX Research in collaboration with Beansprout (https://growbeansprout.com), a MAS-licensed investment advisory platform, that features C-level executives of leading companies listed on SGX. These interviews are profiles of senior management aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations.
Written by Feng Zengkun

Enjoying this read?

  • Subscribe now to the weekly SGX My Gateway newsletter for a compilation of latest market news, sector performances, new product release updates, and research reports on SGX-listed companies.
  • Stay up-to-date with our SGX Invest Telegram channel. 
Labels: StarHub
  Be the first to like this.

10 in 10 With Pasture Holdings Meeting Demands of Global Healthcare System

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Tue, 19 Sep 2023, 9:27 AM

10 Questions for Pasture Holdings

Company Overview

Pasture Holdings is a pharmaceutical and medical supplies company based in Singapore. Established in 1996, the company has three subsidiaries – Pasture Pharma, Pacific Biosciences, and Pasture PharmaHub. The company is primarily a business-tobusiness and business-to-government goods and services provider, with its major customers being distributors of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies and devices, as well as governments and institutional customers such as hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare institutions.

1. Pasture Holdings is a pharmaceutical and medical supply company, could you elaborate on the products/services that you provide for customers?\

  • Under our medical supplies business, we have our range of proprietary products under the Pasture Masks brand, which includes Halal-certified masks catered for the Muslim communities.
  • We also distribute around 1,200 types of other medical supplies and devices such as syringes, lab gowns, and gloves.
  • As for pharmaceuticals, we supply over 1,000 third party products; primarily temperature-sensitive items such as vaccines, and products related to oncology and medical aesthetics.
  • We are also in the early stages of establishing a pet healthcare ecosystem which is materialising through furlife, a mobile application we launched this year. This ecosystem is complemented by our pet pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, which we have been supplying for many years.

2. What were some of your considerations before the initial public offering (IPO)?

  • Growing our business and brand was the primary motivation for the IPO exercise. We decided to list on the SGX as it offers the right platform for our objectives.
  • We are starting to see positive impacts on customer retention and to some extent, sales generation.
  • Given the industry and the profile of our current and potential clients, transparency and credibility are crucial factors in their respective due diligence processes. Being a listed entity is an advantage.
  • Furthermore, a stronger brand name also commands greater confidence among our stakeholders and can help us attract talent and staff retention to support this exciting growth journey.

3. Describe Pasture’s Recent Financial Performance.

  • We faced a temporary setback in FY2023 due to industry cyclicality and one-off expenses from the IPO.
  • The mask sector is undergoing an inventory digestion at the moment.
  • However, we are confident in turning things around in the near term given our newly enlarged product portfolio of 1,200 medical supplies and devices. This will increase the business’ resiliency as we are now more diversified across products and services.
  • Coincidentally, there are also signs of tailwinds with the Singapore Government announcing that it will be stockpiling medical supplies. This will benefit us as we can introduce our new products to potential buyers who are actively looking to stock up.

4. How has the IPO this year affected the company’s resources and financials?

  • Our balance sheet was boosted by the injection of US$3.7 million from the IPO.

  • This enables us to invest in the intended business verticals, which we are currently in the process of building.
  • On the flip side, the bottom-line for FY2023 has been dragged down due to one-time listing expenses amounting to US$1.1 million.

5. What are Pasture Holdings’ key considerations when expanding into a new market or business vertical?

  • We have a systematic approach when it comes to expansion. Over the years, this has proven to be a successful formula as evident in the expansion of our pharmaceutical product range and the building of our own brand of mask products.
  • The main factors we look for are the growth potential and the sustainability of the opportunity. We conduct extensive market research of the local healthcare landscape, including demand, competition and potential gaps or opportunities.
  • In healthcare, each market and business vertical has a unique set of regulations and requirements. Understanding regulatory compliance is a key component of ensuring the business is feasible and scalable. Beyond the monetary consideration, we also ask ourselves if our presence could improve the lives of humans or pets.

6. Explain What Some of Pasture Holdings’ Growth Strategies Are.

  • In October 2022, we signed a private label supply agreement with McKesson Medical Surgical Inc., resulting in the increase of our medical supplies portfolio to over 1,200 products.
  • Given our extensive network of customers through our masks and pharmaceuticals businesses, we have a ready target market to cross-sell our new range of products to as well as opportunities to penetrate new markets.
  • Additionally, we are building a pet healthcare ecosystem via our newly launched mobile application, furlife.
  • We have some exciting plans in the pipeline and are confident in tapping into the current trends of increased pet ownership and pet humanisation in Singapore.

7. How are you improving your existing productions and what strategies have you implemented to ensure you retain your consumers?

  • As we mainly operate as a distributor, we are consistently investing time and effort to improve our internal due diligence process with the goal of strengthening our product portfolio. This ensures that we are taking on products that are of quality, meet regulatory requirements, offer good margins, and are accepted by our customer base.
  • For products that we have manufacturing control over, such as Pasture Masks, we will remain focused on product innovation to stay in line with the latest industry trends and even be pioneers in certain aspects.
  • On customer retention, we will continue to do what we do best – focusing on personalised services and ensuring that each customer continues to receive the same level of support and care as we grow. At the same time, we are also being proactive in coming up with value-added services based on individual needs.

8. What are some ongoing market opportunities/trends and how is Pasture Holdings leveraging them to strengthen your businesses?

  • Some of the megatrends like the ageing population in developed nations and growing global healthcare expenditure will benefit Pasture.
  • Given our extensive product range for both pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, along with the broad distribution network in over 50 countries, we are in a good position to capitalise on this sustainable long-term growth trajectory.
  • In addition, the increase in pet ownership is an area we are leveraging via the furlife mobile application, which is centered around pet healthcare

9. What extent is the Group capitalising on new norms and trends that could be game-changers for it in the future?

  • Pets as family is the new norm. We plan to capitalise on this trend through the furlife mobile application. We are constantly looking to improve the existing user interface and explore new features. The goal is to attract more pet owners to use the app and growing the user base. We are extremely excited about the potential of this space.
  • With the growth of biologics and specialty medications, the demand for temperature-controlled logistics is increasing. We invest in cold chain solutions to ensure the integrity of temperature-sensitive products throughout the distribution process.

10.What is Pasture’s value proposition to its shareholders and potential investors? What do you think investors have overlooked?

  • People tend to associate Pasture with masks but we are much more than that.
  • Today, we have a comprehensive suite of products and services including pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, as well as our pet healthcare business.
  • With all these under one roof, we are on a better footing to scale the business. Most of our customers require a wide selection of items that we have to offer. Given the possibility of cross-selling, the new products could have huge growth implications.

10 in 10 – 10 Questions in 10 Minutes With SGX-listed Companies

Designed to be a short read, 10 in 10 provides insights into SGX-listed companies through a series of 10 Q&As with management. Through these Q&As, management will discuss current business objectives, key revenue drivers as well as the industry landscape. Expect to find wide-ranging topics that go beyond usual company financials.

This report contains factual commentary from the company’s management and is based on publicly announced information from the company.

For More, Visit Sgx.com/research.

For more company information, visit http://www.pasturegroup.com/

Click here for Pasture Holding’s FY2023 Financial Results.


  Be the first to like this.

5 in 5 With LHN Group - Creating Sustainable Spaces

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Tue, 12 Sep 2023, 5:02 PM

Company Overview

LHN Limited (or LHN Group) is a real estate management services group with a longstanding history dating back to 1991, distinguished by its ability to generate value through its space optimisation expertise. The Group also provides a suite of services in the property development, facilities management, and energy resources which complements the space optimisation business. The Group currently has operations spread strategically across Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Cambodia

1. Can you share about the Group’s sustainability approach and how it has integrated into the business operations?  

  • At LHN Group, we champion sustainability’s pivotal role in safeguarding the viability of the environment, society, business, and individuals alike. Our endeavours focus on striking a balance between the elements of the environment, humanity, and profitability. Hence, instead of relying on one-off, short-term initiatives, we promote a long-term sustainability strategy that integrates sustainable practices into our daily operations. This approach yields a lasting, cumulative positive impact on our workforce, stakeholders, local community, and the environment.  
  • Our sustainability approach is governed by a comprehensive ESG framework, with actions developed by dedicated committees. To amplify the impacts of our ESG initiatives, we establish long-term partnerships with social and environmental agencies/enterprises, fortified by the support and collaboration of our business associates.
  • We adhere to three overarching pillars: (i) Protect Our Environment; (ii) Create Positive Social Impacts for Our Employees, Stakeholders and Communities; and (iii) Maintain Good Corporate Governance Practices.  
  • We categorise our material topics within these three pillars to allow for clear and coherent dissemination of information to our stakeholders.
  • Dedicated Committees to Tackle Multiple Aspects of Sustainability: Our three internal committees – the Welfare Committee, the CSR Committee, and the Sustainability Innovation Committee – are responsible for monitoring and managing the key elements while maintaining a balance between our internal and external sustainability objectives.
  • Partnerships with Business Associates and Clients: As collaboration is critical to achieving ESG objectives, we actively engage our clients and business associates in our initiatives. These partnerships allow us to pool our collective resources and leverage diverse skill sets. In addition, our Supplier Code of Conduct outlines and communicates our expectations of our suppliers and business partners in the ESG area. The mutual commitment to this code will determine the quality and longevity of our business relationship.

2. With the growing focus on sustainability in the property industry, how does LHN Group intend to adapt to this growing trend?  

  • Buildings have traditionally been viewed as energy consumers within the energy system. However, with current technologies such as solar panels, smart energy management systems, and built-in energy storage facilities, we can transform buildings into energy prosumers. These buildings can consume and produce energy simultaneously, making it more self-sufficient and less reliant on fuel energy.  
  • To ensure the sustainability of our offerings, we enhance the energy efficiency of properties we manage by adopting energy-saving technologies. For example, previously unused spaces such as rooftops have been deployed for photovoltaic (PV) systems like solar panels, while our car park areas have been equipped with electric vehicle (EV) chargers. We continuously improve our offerings and make them affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises who want to take part in this transition.  
  • Retaining and grooming individuals is also critical to ensuring the sustainability of our business. We provide training and reskilling opportunities for current staff members who wish to expand their skills in the sustainability sector.

3. What is LHN Group’s strategy to ensure that the portfolio properties minimise their environmental impact? Any recent initiatives to share?  

  • In our pursuit of long-term zero-emission targets, we have adopted a comprehensive strategy to manage our resource consumption and mitigate negative impacts on the environment we operate in. Our operation is guided by 3 key strategies under the “Protect our Environment” pillar in our ESG framework:  
  • Low Carbon Future:  
    o Green Energy Adoption: We are transitioning to green energy by installing solar panels on the rooftops of our properties. This is complemented by the installation of EV charging points within our facilities.  
    o Solar Panel Expansion: The capacity of our solar panel systems has significantly increased, from 608 kWp in FY2021 to 2,468 kWp in FY2022. We are continuing to allocate resources to further grow the energy production capacity of our solar panel systems.
    o Deployment of Equipment and reducing digital carbon footprint: Any new computers or equipment purchased must meet more stringent environmental criteria, while sets that are no longer productive are sent to recycling facilities for certified data destruction and securely refurbishing. We also went paperless by digitalising all forms and contracts as well as encourage vendors to send us invoices in soft-copy formats.
    o Boosting Green Coverage: We endeavour to increase green coverage by cultivating existing green areas and planting more trees at properties we manage. In every new project, we maximise green coverage by incorporating natural elements such as plants, flowers, or gardens into the design.
  • Responsible Consumption  
    o Energy Efficiency Initiatives: We have introduced energy-saving measures, including the installation of energy-efficient LED light fittings across our owned and managed properties. We have also implemented motion sensors and timers in common areas to automatically power off electrical outlets and appliances when not in use.  
    o Water Management: Water-saving taps equipped with sensor nodes have been installed in newly acquired properties. They monitor real-time water consumption data and promptly detect leaks, effectively reducing water wastage.
    o Reduced Intensity: The electrical intensity and emissions intensity for our space optimisation properties is 0.13MWh/m2 and 0.05 TCO2e/m2 for FY2022 respectively. These represent a decrease of 7.2% and 13% respectively, as compared to FY2021.
  • Sustainable Communities
    o Urban Farming at Coliwoo: Since FY2021, the Coliwoo Community (Space Optimisation Residential) has leveraged the rooftop space in our properties and kick-started an Urban Farming initiative. The program allowed members of the community to plant herbs and care for plants within the facility.  
    o Upcycling: LHN Group puts effort into introducing and familiarising employees with the upcycling concept, which repurposes discarded objects into a product with a different or higher value than the original. We have partnered with environmental instructors such as TerraSG to provide hands-on upcycling workshops and eco-education programmes.

4. What are some of LHN Group’s sustainability commitments and how does the Group ensure progress in accordance with these commitments?  

  • Improve Property Efficiency Through Thoughtful Design: Our space optimisation core business focuses on recycling old and underutilised spaces and enhancing them to maximise the leasable areas. By doing so, we upgrade the building's internal facilities and usability without tearing them down, reducing noise and air pollution.  
  • Improve Energy Efficiency and Water Efficiency: The deployment of a remote meter monitoring system in our industrial and commercial properties enables us to monitor energy consumption, energy efficiency and detect system or equipment anomalies. The data would be then conveyed to an on-site LHN staff via a chatbot, who can swiftly deal with any unexpected electricity leakage issues.  
  • Transition to Green Energy and Long-Term Zero Emissions: We have committed to shift to green energy by installing solar panels and facilitating the use of EVs. To strengthen our commitment, we have recently become a partner of Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) Singapore, the decarbonisation arm of the United Nations Global Compact Singapore (GCNS).  
  • Improve Employee Awareness and Commitment to Our ESG Strategy: To ensure accessibility to employees at all levels, we strive to present our ESG concepts in the most straightforward way possible through our ESG communication deck. This deck also includes practical suggestions on integrating sustainability into daily operations and personal lives.  
  • Establish Long-Term Partnerships with Social Agencies/Enterprises for Sustainable and Meaningful CSR Initiatives: Since 2021, we have worked on a regular basis with Food From The Heart through golf charity sponsoring, food pack donations and volunteering at their warehouse.

5. With a wide diversification of portfolio, how does LHN Group ensure that it meets the regulatory requirements for ESG reporting?  

  • Comprehensive ESG Framework Aligned with National Targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): We have developed an all-encompassing ESG framework that not only addresses regulatory mandates but also aligns with relevant national targets and SDGs. By identifying goals that resonate with each portfolio segment, the company can ensure its ESG efforts contribute to broader global sustainability objectives.  
  • Expertise and Training: We provide quality training on sustainability-related topics (e.g. LowCarbonSG Programme conducted by UN Global Compact Network Singapore etc.) to relevant personnel within the organisation to ensure they are well-versed in ESG and timely informed about changing regulations.  
  • Identifying Areas Where Sustainability Initiatives can be Applied: Our Sustainability Innovations Committee consists of Heads of Department and members of the Board of Directors, who, on a regular basis, exchange ideas and identify areas in daily operations where sustainability strategies can be effectively integrated.

5 in 5 – 5 Questions in 5 Minutes with SGX-listed companies with a focus on Sustainability  

Designed to be a short read, 5 in 5 provides insights into SGX-listed companies’ sustainability efforts through a series of 5 Q&As with management. Through these Q&As, management will discuss the company’s sustainability journey, governance structure & commitments, material ESG topics and many more.  

This report contains factual commentary from the company’s management and is based on publicly announced information from the company.  

For More, Visit Sgx.com/research.  

For more company information, visit www.lhngroup.com  

Click here for LHN Limited’s latest sustainability report.

Labels: LHN
  Be the first to like this.

Kopi-C With Japfa’s CEO: “To Succeed, We Cannot be Complacent”

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Wed, 6 Sep 2023, 11:04 AM

kopi-C with Japfa’s CEO: “To succeed, we cannot be complacent”

Japfa’s CEO Tan Yong Nang says that investing in efficiency, staff development and long-term partnerships is key to endurance and growth

For Japfa chief executive officer and executive director Tan Yong Nang, helming a firm is a lot like steering a ship. “Even in a turbulent sea, you don’t focus on the water around you in your immediate vision. You keep your eyes on a beacon far away that gives you your direction, and try your best to get there,” he says.

In practical terms, this means always trying to be as efficient as possible, which will be a lifeline in tough times, investing in employees, who are the heart of the business, and building long-term relationships with partners and stakeholders, to weather the ups and downs that come in any industry, he explains.

Such farsightedness is how he turned Japfa into a regional agribusiness with more than 38,000 employees in an integrated network of modern farming, processing and distribution facilities, in Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Japfa was also in China until last year before the spin-off of its dairy business. Its headquarters is in Singapore.

The company specialises in producing protein staples, namely poultry, swine, aquaculture and beef, as well as packaged food that nourishes millions of people. Today, it is the second largest integrated industrialised poultry firm in Indonesia, among other market-leading positions.

“When you focus on building capabilities, you become stronger and last longer,” Tan says. “To me, the biggest risk to any firm is complacency. We try to improve ourselves every day, to find better ways of doing the same jobs and to continually upgrade ourselves.”

A mission to feed emerging Asia

When Tan joined Japfa as assistant to the chief executive officer and chief operating officer of corporate services in 2007, he already had growth in mind, both for himself and the company.

He began his career in 1985 in the public sector, as a statistician in the Department of Statistics and then a research economist in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

After that, he spent nearly two decades in Prudential, the PAMA Group, Delifrance, where he was chief executive officer from 2003 to 2005, and the Li & Fung Group, where he took on the roles of project director and chief operating officer.

While his experience in private equity allowed him to be exposed to many types of industries, the experiences eventually left him wanting to be more involved in operations. He explains: “At the very senior level, my involvement was becoming more advisory-focused”.

“It felt as though my professional life was still incomplete. I needed to do something different, to build something up. I had this vision of laying a foundation and adding to it every month, every year, until I had a business that was contributing a lot to society.”

With its breadth, Japfa gave him that opportunity. He says: “Our mission is to feed billions of people in Asia, and to do that in a sustainable manner. We support food security by providing food sources locally. Not many companies can say these things about themselves.”

Since he became Japfa’s executive director in 2009, as well as its chief operating officer in 2011 and then chief executive officer in 2014, he has spearheaded the expansion of its operations regionally, including in the swine and dairy business segments.

“When I came to Japfa, it was very Indonesian-centric, very poultry-centric. We grew it into a more regional business with a strong base in Indonesia, and diversified into other proteins, to give Japfa more pillars of growth.”

“We’ve been around for about 50 years, since 1971, but some people still think of us as a small farmer. What they don’t understand is that we are a big organisation, and that we have put in the work to become even bigger in the future.”

Nurturing people and partners

He points to the firm’s investment in its staff. “We put a lot of emphasis on our people, in their development. One of our key principles is to push our people in the right direction every day, to be a bit better than they were yesterday.”

The company works with the leading business schools and has training programmes for senior, middle and junior management. It also set up The Learning Centre (TLC) in Bogor, an hour’s drive from Jakarta, Indonesia, as a dedicated space for employees to meet, train and share knowledge, and to be a hub for recreation and networking.

Tan highlights: “TLC means many things to us. It refers to The Learning Centre, and also to the tender loving care that is part of our corporate culture. To these, we have added another TLC: the idea that we should Think, Learn and Contribute.”

“Think, meaning we should think things through before we do them, and always look for ways to advance. Learn, because the world is changing so quickly that we cannot stick to the same old practices, and must embrace lifelong learning. Contribute, not just to Japfa, but society too.”

At the same time, Japfa has cultivated close ties with top-flight genetics companies to breed high performance parent livestock, as another way to set itself apart from rivals. Tan explains: “Strategically, it’s so important for us to find the right partners in genetics.”

“To put it simply, if your gene pool allows you to grow to five-feet-tall, you’re not going to get taller than five feet. But if you can increase the ceiling to six feet via genetics, you suddenly have a lot more potential. It’s the same in farming. To be good at what we do, we collaborate with partners to understand and harness science to boost our business.”

He adds: “I think it’s a testament to how we have built relationships, that most of the partners we work with have been with us for a long time.”

Many opportunities for growth

Looking ahead, Tan sees room for Japfa to grow further in the region. “Take Indonesia. While we have done well in the poultry sector, our aquaculture business there is still small in terms of revenue and profit and offers great potential for growth. Our business in Vietnam is growing very quickly too. Beyond that, we have China, through our sister company AustAsia, India and Bangladesh, which all have big populations.”

The company is also innovating in different ways. Tan shares: “Not many people know that we are the only animal farming group in Asia with a vaccine business, Vaksindo, to support our poultry operations. Vaksindo has expanded overseas with a presence in India and more recently Vietnam, to support our swine operations as well.”

“The way we have organised ourselves, each division grows on its own, financed by its own and banking support. This enables us to grow organically in each area. We have many horses in the race, and don’t have to pick between them. At this point, we are competing against the leading players in our industry. We are all in the top division.”

About Japfa Ltd

Headquartered in Singapore, Japfa Ltd is a leading vertically integrated agri-food company listed on the SGX Mainboard since 2014. Established in 1971, the Group has grown into one of Asia’s leading low-cost producers of protein staples including poultry, swine and aquaculture as well as protein-based consumer products across fast-growing emerging Asian economies such as Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Japfa embraces an integrated industrial approach to livestock and food production across the value chain. Its operations span from Feed & Breeding (upstream), Fattening (midstream) and Processing and Distribution (downstream).

The company’s website is https://www.japfa.com

About kopi-C: the Company brew

kopi-C is a regular column that features C-level executives of companies listed on SGX. The series is curated by SGX Research in partnership with Beansprout, a MAS-licensed investment advisory platform, and is aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations. Written by Feng Zengkun.

Enjoying this read?

  • Subscribe now to the weekly SGX My Gateway newsletter for a compilation of latest market news, sector performances, new product release updates, and research reports on SGX-listed companies.
  • Stay up-to-date with our SGX Invest Telegram channel. 
Labels: Japfa
  Be the first to like this.

5 in 5 With Trendlines - Refining Narratives for Investors

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Tue, 5 Sep 2023, 11:09 AM

Company Overview

The Trendlines Group (Trendlines) invests in innovations in agrifood and healthcare, leveraging the Group’s experience, partnerships network, and resources to go from seed to market. The Group invents, incubates and invests in medtech and agrifood technology companies in Israel and Singapore and provides portfolio companies with support including technology development, business development, marketing, commercialization, investment and financial strategies. The Trendlines Group’s shares are traded on the SGX and in the US as an American Depository Receipt on the OTCQX International.

1. How does Trendlines integrate ESG considerations into your investing philosophy or business strategy?

  • Trendlines integrates ESG considerations into our investment life cycle, using a 3-step process:

i. ESG issues within sectors in our mandate We look at the macro ESG issues for medtech and agrifood technologies, which are the primary sectors in our investment mandate. For example, overfishing has depleted the ability to keep up with food demand from the ocean and with diminishing fresh water supplies, there is an urgent need to provide technologies that enable growing fish on land sustainably.

ii. How portfolio companies are impacted by ESG risks and opportunities As part of our due diligence when we engage and evaluate specific companies, we need to understand how they are impacted by ESGrelated risks and opportunities. As active investors, we can influence portfolio companies and support them with their longer-term ESG plans. This way, we can prepare them for long-term growth.

iii. Review governance policies & processes We pay close attention to governance policies and processes in the way we interact with and manage our portfolio companies. We set an example in our governance, and portfolio companies are required to have clear accountability, control and reporting policies and mechanisms in place for both financial and nonfinancial matters.

2. What are some key material ESG factors for Trendlines and how are these factors identified?

  • Each year, we do a comprehensive scan to identify sustainability issues that are relevant to our business. We prioritize the issues based on their relative importance to Trendlines and how they impact the assessment and decisions of our stakeholders. The shortlisted material issues are presented to the Board for validation and approval. Management tracks and reviews the ongoing progress in managing the material issues.
  • Trendlines’ four-step process in its Materiality Assessment:
    i. We do a broad scan to identify sustainability issues that are relevant to our business.
    ii. We prioritize the issues based on their relative importance to Trendlines and how they impact the assessment and decisions of our stakeholders.
    iii. The shortlisted material issues are presented to the Board for validation and approval.
    iv. Management tracks and reviews the ongoing progress in managing the material issues.
  • Some key material ESG factors for Trendlines include the management of portfolio companies, business ethics and governance, and regulatory compliance.
  • Trendlines promotes responsible and ethical operations among all its portfolio companies. We help companies establish strong governance pillars using comprehensive risk management. We have a director on all of our portfolio companies’ boards and take the responsibility of their management very seriously. Our governance policies can be read here.

3. How is the Board of Trendlines involved in ensuring sustainability goals are met?

  • All board members undergo sustainability training. Additionally, two of the current board members have management backgrounds in both governmental and business environmental initiatives in Israel. In 2023, the board was presented with the ESG goals and framework of the Group at a special meeting and discussed and confirmed policies moving forward.

4. What are some of Trendlines’ sustainability commitments and how does the Group ensure progress in accordance with these commitments?

  • The Group has a number of policies in place in our Corporate Governance standards which we adhere to and monitor on an ongoing basis. Examples of our policies include:
    o Code of Business Conduct and Ethics Policy
    o Whistle-blower Policy
    o Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
    o Board Diversity Policy
    o Non-discrimination Policy
  • All policies are clearly communicated to our employees, Board members, and relevant third parties who have business dealings with the Company. During the year, we conduct our mandatory annual training on these policies for our employees.
  • Our corporate governance processes, internal control practices, and risk management guidelines are scrutinized by internal and external audit frameworks to ensure adequacy and effectiveness.
  • Additionally, we conduct an external audit once a year on a chosen aspect of our business and publish the results of the audit.

5. With a wide diversification of portfolio across countries and sectors, how does Trendlines ensure that it meets the regulatory requirements for ESG reporting?

  • We recognize that most of our portfolio companies are at the very early stages of development and do not have the resources to do deep ESG reporting.
  • Accountability to investors is of utmost importance to us. Our due diligence process facilitates responsible portfolio management and promotes prudent investment decision-making. Following our investment in a company, we see it as our responsibility to mentor the companies in the matters of ESG, as appropriate to each one.
  • As corporate advisors and shareholders, we strive to build a culture of open communication and engagement with our portfolio companies to help them grow to their true potential. Towards this goal, we track the following targets. 
    o Valuation process applied to portfolio companies.
    o Updates received from portfolio companies.
    o Updates from portfolio companies to their boards and shareholders.

5 in 5 – 5 Questions in 5 Minutes with SGX-listed companies with a focus on Sustainability

Designed to be a short read, 5 in 5 provides insights into SGX-listed companies’ sustainability efforts through a series of 5 Q&As with management. Through these Q&As, management will discuss the company’s sustainability journey, governance structure & commitments, material ESG topics and many more.

This report contains factual commentary from the company’s management and is based on publicly announced information from the company.

For More, Visit Sgx.com/research.

For more company information, visit https://www.trendlines.com/

Click here for Trendlines’ latest sustainability report.

Labels: Trendlines
  Be the first to like this.

Kopi-C With OUE C-REIT’s CEO: “Diversity Is Our Strength”

Author: SGX   |  Publish date: Wed, 23 Aug 2023, 4:45 PM

kopi-C with OUE C-REIT’s CEO: “Diversity is our strength”

OUE Commercial REIT’s CEO Han Khim Siew believes that team diversity is essential to delivering on the REIT’s targets.

In real estate, adversity can be an opportunity. When Han Khim Siew joined OUE Commercial REIT (OUE C-REIT) in February 2022 as its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the board of the manager, it was a trial by fire.

Soon after his appointment, Russia invaded Ukraine. “Around the world, central banks were talking about or already raising interest rates, and the market was very volatile,” he recalls.

“Adding to that, we also experienced a reshuffle of the team post COVID-19, where some senior management members chose to explore other opportunities. Likewise, catalysed by the Great Resignation, several employees from different levels decided to embark on new journeys.”

Undeterred, he took the chance to revitalise the REIT, bringing in more diverse employees to support his vision to grow the firm, improving its capital structure and attracting higher-yielding corporate guests to its refurbished Hilton Singapore Orchard hotel.

Formerly the Mandarin Orchard Singapore, the hotel reopened in stages from February 2022 after a $150 million renovation and rebranding to the Hilton Singapore Orchard. Part of the project involved adding more meeting facilities and offerings for global MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) events.

Han explains: “When corporate travellers come, they eat their meals and have their meetings in our restaurants. When they have calls at night with Europe or the United States, they order room service. So on a per guest basis, they bring in more revenue.”

More recently, OUE C-REIT commenced a S$22 million asset enhancement at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, revitalising its hospitality offerings at the landmark asset which has been crowned the World’s Best Airport Hotel for eight consecutive years by Skytrax. 

At the same time, he focused on increasing the occupancy of the REIT’s Singapore office portfolio. OUE C-REIT has three Grade A office properties in Singapore as well as one in China, in addition to its two hotels and one retail property in Singapore.

Many businesses, including family offices, were being set up in Singapore due to its safe haven status. “We worked on boosting our occupancy and raised it from 91% to 96%,” Han shares.

Staying the course     

Throughout this unprecedented journey, Han is committed to delivering on his vision and promises, a principle he learned early on from his grandmother.

After growing up and schooling in Brunei, his birthplace, and Britain, where his father worked for years, he won a scholarship from the Brunei government for his undergraduate studies in the London School of Economics and Political Science.

When he graduated, he received a job offer from a bank in London, and considered accepting it despite his bond to the Brunei government. “All my friends were in London, so I asked my grandmother if we could pay back the government for the bond. She told me that I knew what I signed up for when I took the scholarship, so I should stick to my word.”

“That was when I absorbed the lesson that, whatever you say you will do, you have to commit to doing it. Sticking to your word, trust and commitment – these are critical,” he says.

After seven years as a finance officer in the Brunei Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister’s Office, he switched to the private sector. He specialised in real estate in the WIG Group, then became director and head of investment in Jones Lang LaSalle Indonesia, and subsequently managing director and co-head of BNP Paribas Real Estate Asia Pacific.

As a real estate veteran, the move to OUE C-REIT, his first post in a listed firm, still required some adjustment on his part. He explains: “There’s a lot more public scrutiny. It took me a while to get used to the fact that whatever I say to the media, investors and analysts will be published.”

The responsibilities of building a better OUE C-REIT caused many sleepless nights, but he remembered a chat with an older golf buddy which changed his outlook. “He told me that there is no point in losing sleep over something. If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t, set it aside, get a good night’s sleep and look at it with fresh eyes in the morning.”

“I’ve adopted that philosophy as much as I can. As I get older, I sleep earlier and earlier and find myself performing better.”

Stronger through diversity

Moving forward, he aims to further diversify OUE C-REIT’s ranks. He says: “I value passion in employees because you must be a determined person to get through the ups and downs. But we also need diversity, not in just in terms of gender but experience, in different markets, skill sets and more, so that we can have robust discussions.”

He gave the example of OUE C-REIT’s completion of a $978 million unsecured sustainability-linked loan in August 2022 to refinance its existing secured borrowings. It was the largest sustainability-linked loan extended to a Singapore REIT.

“There was robust discussion on our capital structure. $978 million was a really big target, and there was a lot of discussion about what would happen if we pushed for it and didn’t get there as we only needed to refinance $163 million for 2022 and $272 million for 2023 with the balance due in 2024,” Han says.

“In the end, we decided that we needed to try. If we could move from secured to unsecured even during the volatile market period, it would signal to the market that we have the banks’ support. It would send the right message to other banks and our investors.”

He is also proud of the REIT manager’s pro-women workforce. Over 70% of its staff, including the property managers, are women. It has also pledged that women will make up at least 25% of its board by 2030, up from 14% currently.

Moreover, in an era of growing eco-consciousness, 96% of the REIT’s portfolio by asset value is green-rated. Its properties in Singapore are certified Green Mark Gold by the Building and Construction Authority, and its Lippo Plaza in Shanghai is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified.

In the next two to three years, he plans to increase the REIT’s net property income, among other goals. “Ideally, we would have demonstrated to the market that we are growing in the right direction, via accretive acquisitions and proper repositioning of the assets through asset enhancement initiatives.”

Han concludes: “We want to get everyone on board and show that when we say we will do something, we will do it and deliver on it.”

About OUE Commercial Trust

OUE C-REIT is one of the largest diversified Singapore REITs with total assets of S$6.0 billion as at 31 December 2022. With seven properties across the commercial and hospitality segments in Singapore and Shanghai, OUE C-REIT’s portfolio comprises approximately 2.2 million sq ft of prime office and retail space, and 1,643 upper upscale hotel rooms. OUE C-REIT invests in income-producing real estate used primarily for commercial purposes (including real estate used primarily for office and/or retail purposes) in financial and business hubs, and/or hospitality and/or hospitality-related purposes, as well as real estate-related assets.

The company’s website is https://www.ouect.com/

About kopi-C: the Company brew

kopi-C is a regular column by SGX Research in collaboration with Beansprout, a MAS-licensed investment advisory platform, that features C-level executives of leading companies listed on SGX. These interviews are profiles of senior management aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations.

Photo: Company file

Writer: Feng Zengkun

Labels: OUE Com Reit
  Be the first to like this.

I3 Messenger
Individual or Group chat with anyone on I3investor

232  171  208  780 

Top 10 Active Counters
 Seatrium 0.132+0.001 
 HSI 19000MBeC.. 0.072+0.021 
 NikkoAM-STC A.. 0.811+0.011 
 HSI 16600MBeP.. 0.06-0.023 
 CapAllianz 0.003+0.001 
 HSI 15600MBeP.. 0.079-0.018 
 Rex Intl 0.198+0.002 
 YZJ Shipbldg SGD 1.66-0.01 
 HSI 16400MBeP.. 0.024-0.016 
 Annica 0.0010.00