Dyson looking to hire ‘substantially’ more electronic engineers, digital marketers in Singapore

SINGAPORE: British technology firm Dyson is looking to hire “substantially” more workers in Singapore, its CEO Jim Rowan said as the company continues to ramp up production and capabilities in facilities across the country.

Dyson currently employs about 1,100 people at a manufacturing facility in Jurong, a technology centre at Science Park and a commercial office in one-north.

“That (number) will grow quite substantially over the course of the next few years,” Mr Rowan told reporters on Tuesday (Jul 9).

“We’ll continue to add capability and production at the digital motor facility in Jurong. And we continue to expand the Singapore Technology Centre in the Science Park … to facilitate growth and engineering.”

Dyson makes its patented digital motor – which powers its cord-free vacuum cleaners and personal care machines – at the Jurong facility and develops future technologies like artificial intelligence at the Science Park centre.

Last October, the company also announced that it would build its electric car in Singapore and in January said it would move its corporate head office to the country.

While Mr Rowan declined to reveal how many more workers Dyson would hire in Singapore, he said the figure would be “significant”, especially as the company shifts from mechanical engineering to software and electronics.

“We’ve been having so much software and electronics in our products, and so much intelligence that that’s the skillset that we need,” he said.

Dyson is also looking for skills like digital marketing, Mr Rowan said, pointing out that digital retailing has become more important with a decline in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

This means building more websites and sales channels through platforms like WeChat to “reach the social media shopper”.

“All of that has been some of the skills that we’ve had to go after,” he added. “But of course, those are the skills that many companies are looking for.”

Nevertheless, Mr Rowan said he is confident of getting the right people with the right skills “if we put (in) enough effort”, stating that competing for labour in Singapore is not tougher than, say, in the United Kingdom.

“We can actually get the skills we need partly because the education levels in Singapore are so high,” he said. “We can get very high-quality graduates that we can then probably train up.

“So, they come to Dyson with all the ingredients that we need: Cognitive intelligence, a degree in engineering disciplines that we need.”

Mr Rowan said Dyson could also tap on the fact that Singapore is a hub for the disk drive and semiconductor industries.

“That’s driven a capability of precision engineering and mechatronics,” he explained. “In the digital motor facility, we have a lot of ex-disk drive people. They’ve joined us and we’ve managed to use those skills that they’ve honed in different industries.”

Source: To read the full article, read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dyson-hire-substantial-engineers-digital-marketers-11704320


Why Singapore? – The Economic Development Board

An island nation located in the heart of Asia, Singapore’s robust economy, highly educated workforce, excellent connectivity, and high standard of living offer businesses the ideal landscape to invest with confidence. Below, find out more about how our key strengths can help you grow your business.

Singapore’s pro-business climate is anchored by our commitment to nurturing innovation and pursuing responsible growth. With a strong track record across various facets of economic performance, we provide companies the infrastructure, talent and regulatory support necessary to grow their businesses in a competitive world.

Our business-friendly environment is why you should consider Singapore for your next business opportunity.


Most competitive economy in the world

The IMD World Competitiveness rankings is compiled using 260 indicators, which include national employment and trade statistics, as well as results from an expert opinion survey.


in the world for ease of doing business

The World Bank’s Doing Business survey looks at measures such as trading across borders, enforcing contracts, getting credit and paying taxes.


in Asia for intellectual property protection

Singapore ranks 4th globally and 1st in the region for institutional protection of intellectual property in The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.


in Asia for sustainability

The Sustainable Cities Index by Arcadis ranks 100 global cities according to three facets of sustainability: social, environmental and economic.

Explore how you can leverage on our connectivity. There are 3 key areas that we know will give your business an advantage.

Transport – Strategically located at the tip of the Malayan peninsula, Singapore has a long history as a trade and transport hub connecting all corners of the world.

Trade – We are also connected to the world through a strong network of international trade agreements, which include 20 implemented Free Trade Agreements with 31 trading partners.

Infrastructure – Moving and doing business within Singapore is easy and seamless with our well-developed transport and digital networks.

To find out more on how the Economic Development Board can help you with your business needs and help you business opportunities in Singapore, then check out our website at https://www.edb.gov.sg/


Start-ups get a new network to drive innovation and boost ecosystem

Attendees and start-ups at Active Community for Entrepreneurship and JTC’s Experience the Power of Innovation and Collaboration event on Aug 16, 2019.ST PHOTO: CHOO YUN TING

SINGAPORE – Sports technology start-up Elxr’s proposition is to customise a training programme based on genetic analysis to optimise fitness regimes, but outside of the industry, few have heard of the firm in Singapore.

The company, set up 18 months ago, has partnerships in place with the Singapore Sports Hub and several Japanese conglomerates but wants to grow further.

With the announcement that an Innovation Enablers Network has been launched in the Republic, founder and chief executive Steffan Fung is hoping the firm can gain more exposure.

“It’s a good opportunity to show organisations that there are sports technology companies like ourselves in Singapore, especially since this industry is considered quite niche here and in Asia,” the 39-year-old said.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon on Friday (Aug 16) announced the launch of the network, as well as the inaugural Experience the Power of Innovation and Collaboration networking event.

The network is under the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and supported by Enterprise SG.

ACE is a national private sector-led organisation to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. It was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In his speech, Dr Koh said a start-up ecosystem needs the involvement of other organisations, such as corporates and institutes of higher learning, to grow.

The network complements the Startup SG Network, which provides an online listing of deep tech start-ups, investors, incubators and accelerators.

Dr Koh said the Innovation Enablers Network will boost the trend towards open co-innovation in JTC’s Launchpad and one-north.

“Besides benefiting start-ups in their strategic partnerships with corporates, the network will also support the value proposition of Singapore as a global innovation and start-up hub,” he added.

Corporates are encouraged to tap ACE’s network of start-ups and leverage the Innovation Enablers Network to share their problem statements, said ACE chief executive Edmas Neo. ACE is looking to share 100 innovation opportunities through the network within the next 12 months, he added.

Friday’s event at Launchpad @ one-north, which also involved a career fair, drew around 800 attendees and 40 exhibiting start-ups.

Rewards platform start-up Galaxies Studios’ managing director Yappy Yap said the networking event on Friday allowed the company to gain greater exposure.

He also had the opportunity to communicate with other companies, understand some of the trends in the start-up space and look for interns for his 10-month-old company at the career fair.

In conjunction with the launch of the networking event, ACE marked its fifth anniversary since it was restructured as a private entity.

Over the five years, the organisation has supported more than 2,000 start-ups and facilitated over 200 mentorships.

It has established a network across 16 cities which connects some 25,000 start-ups.

Source: Choo Yung Ting, The Straits Times – 16th August 2019 – www.straitstimes.com

The Great Room opens at the iconic Raffles Hotel, eyes opportunistic expansion

Over the years, the iconic Raffles Hotel on Beach Road has hosted notable guests such as Queen Elizabeth II, Michael Jackson, Karl Lagerfeld, Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling. Having closed since December 2017 for refurbishment, the property reopened on Aug 1 with co-working operator, The Great Room, taking up 15,000 sq ft in one wing of Raffles Arcade at Raffles Hotel.

This is The Great Room’s fourth location in Singapore and is the first co-working space in a six-star hotel. From a design perspective, Jaelle Ang, CEO and co-founder of The Great Room, wanted to conceive a space that reflected the hotel’s legacy as well as incorporated the needs of its co-working members.

“Imagine if the walls could speak. You’ve had all these famous guests that have lived here before,” says Ang. “You think you start with a blank slate [for this new space] but you don’t, because you are in the company of these guests and the stories [of the hotel] are greater than yourself; and we wanted to work with that narrative.”

Data-driven design

The Great Room’s pièce de résistance is its grand glass atrium or Drawing Room where its members can socialise, drink and dine. Apart from its signature shell chair, the space incorporates custom-made cane and wicker furniture that is emblematic of Raffles Hotel.

With sustainability in mind, the floor is paved with small pieces of stone, marble and granite. “We used smaller pieces because these are usually discarded and we wanted to be sustainable. The smaller pieces also help us to create an interesting [floor] design,” she explains.


Apart from the Drawing Room, The Great Room also has a studio where meetings and events can be hosted for up to 40 people. Art pieces by local artist Tay Bak Chiang and portraits by Yian Huang, Ang’s husband and co-founder of The Great Room, adorn the walls. Huang was previously a conflict photographer.

Based on user data from its other locations that showed members preferred small meeting rooms for frequent meetings, The Great Room is offering two ateliers that can each fit a group of eight. “We’ve now collected sufficient data across our locations and this has started driving our design more,” she says. Elsewhere, members can find hot

desks and hot office spaces at the workhall. Here, the space is also designed based on data and features private phone booths.

Delivering value

Prior to its opening on Aug 1, The Great Room had achieved 75% occupancy for this location. Rates for hot offices start at $900 a month and dedicated offices start at $10,800 a month. “We know we command the highest rates in the city right now,” reveals Ang. “We [have achieved] breakeven well before the moment we open. From a business performance point of view, this works really well.”

At Raffles Hotel, The Great Room’s “founding members” include Danish fintech company Go-Bear, private equity firm Vulcan Capital, venture capital firm Reapra and a British football club. These companies take up 50% of the available space. “We still have some [companies] in stealth because it is their first time opening in Singapore. They are quite high-profile in the US, so they will announce their opening when they are ready,” Ang says.

She observes that The Great Room’s members are usually a mix of finance, technology and lifestyle companies. A “good proportion” of them are also new to co-working. She highlights: “This tells us that we are not competing in the same market as a lot of co-working operators. We are actually an option and alternative for people who, before this, didn’t think they were the co-working type.”

Ang says that with rising office rents, more companies are considering The Great Room’s offerings. According to Colliers International, Grade-A office rents in the CBD rose for the eighth straight quarter to hit a 10-year high of $9.93 psf per month in the second quarter of 2019.

“Our members are not price-sensitive, but they are value-sensitive. It is still a business expense so they will compare this with what they used to get,” she says. “When you get the membership, it’s not just rental but the stacking up of many layers of things, whether it is service, amenities, common spaces, utilities, wifi, all those things they had to pay for. So, when they compare, this is actually better value.”

Targeting key financial centres

Despite demand for The Great Room’s space, Ang is not aggressive in her approach to expansion. Apart from its Raffles Arcade location, The Great Room can be found at Centennial Tower, One George Street and Ngee Ann City. Outside Singapore, it has spaces in Gaysom Tower in Bangkok and One Taikoo Place in Hong Kong.

Next year, The Great Room plans to expand its overseas presence to include Shanghai. This is in line with its strategy to grow the brand in key financial centres. “If we win the key financial centres, then we will get to pick the rest of Asia. It doesn’t mean we won’t do the rest, but it means that we can do those more opportunistically,” she explains.

At the same time, Ang wants to deepen the brand’s presence in Hong Kong. Even with the ongoing political unrest, she believes Hong Kong remains the right environment for businesses. “People will not pull out of Hong Kong so quickly, but there is definitely that certain wait-and-see attitude,” she reckons. “The way I look at it, for the foreseeable future, key decision-makers [of companies] still sit in Singapore and Hong Kong and you want to be where these decision-makers are.”

This view is echoed by some of The Great Room’s members who maintain business presence in the cities the co-working operator is in. This bodes well for The Great Room’s expansion plans. Ang shares that when the brand first announced plans to open in new markets, its members at these locations were mostly companies that were already members in Singapore. “They were the ones who were keen to get a membership without seeing the final product because they know what we are about,” she says. “It is harder for new companies to sign up because they want to see and touch before committing.”

Members that have been with The Great Room through its regional expansion include international business accelerator Plug and Play, mobile advertising company Mobkoi, and plant-based meat substitute product Impossible Meats. Plug and Play has offices in The Great Room in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong, while Mobkoi and Impossible Meats are working out of The Great Room in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Convergence of co-working and hospitality

The Great Room’s latest location at Raffles Arcade addresses what Ang foresees as the way forward for the co-working sector. She expects to see more convergence between hospitality and co-working in the near term as both sectors are aligned in the way that their services are focused on creating experiences and being hospitable to their guests and members. Ang’s belief is not without merit.

On May 6, the Accor hospitality group announced an ambitious plan to implement 1,200 spaces in under three years under the co-working brand WOJO. These spaces will be rolled out across Europe by 2022. “With the launch of WOJO, Accor continues to execute its augmented hospitality strategy, expanding into new verticals and becoming relevant in the daily lives of consumers,” said Accor in a press release.

The way Ang sees it, this is one of “the boldest move for a hotel [brand] and will drive a lot of action and deals in that direction”.

Raffles Hotel is owned by Qatari hotel developer Katara Hospitality. However, since 2015, the hotel has been managed by AccorHotels after the latter signed a US$2.9 billion takeover deal with FRHI Holdings, the owner of the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel hotel chains.

According to Ang, The Great Room has been approached by several hotel groups in the last two years. In fact, its launch party at Raffles Arcade on July 20 was attended by hotel groups. “We don’t usually get hotel groups coming but a lot of them came to see if this is the new narrative for hotels,” she says. “Sometimes when [hotel groups] come to you, it may not be the right space, or it may not be a city we want to expand into.”

The Great Room found the perfect fit in Raffles Hotel as their goals were aligned. “They established very early on that we were the ones they want to work with, and we worked very closely to build a product that is very fitting for this space,” Ang shares. “We discussed for nine months to make it work and we are talking about more deals in the long run as well.”

Expansion aside, Ang is focused on running The Great Room’s latest addition well. “This is home. We know we would do it well. We know we would do it justice. Raffles Hotel is an iconic national monument. You’ve got to do it justice, otherwise many Singaporeans will scold us,” she quips.