Explore Issue 40 of APAC Outlook Magazine, the B2B magazine for the APAC region.

Latest 40 Corporate Stories

Volvo Cars Thailand

The Nordic Touch  Volvo Cars Thailand continues to present the best of Swedish design and safety to Thai consumers, its network of franchise partners creating a second-home experience in their showrooms     Writer: Tom Wadlow  |   Project Manager: Callam Waller    Sweden is synonymous with innovation, design and trust.    Labelled the most reputable country in the world by the Reputation Institute, it is home to a number of enduring global brands which carry a progressive set of values.    Volvo is one of them. Renowned for building reliable and safe vehicles, this cornerstone of its identity has enabled the automaker to penetrate markets all over the world, the combination of safety and Swedish style truly standing the test of time.    Thailand and Chris Wailes are a case in point.    “The reason why I only had an interest in joining the company was down to the fact that I grew up with a Volvo car from a young age,” Wailes, now Managing Director of Volvo Cars Thailand, explains. “My mum had both 240 and 340 models, so I already knew quite a bit about the cars… a good start as a fresh and eager young salesperson!    “I have continued throughout my career with Volvo because I truly believe in the values the company has in terms of protecting people both inside and outside of the car, together with bringing premium mobility solutions for consumers regardless of which country you live in.”      Having worn the plastic tyres off of his red

Callam Waller By Callam Waller

The Coffee Emporium

The Coffee Custodian Coffee aficionado John Ayoub tells the story of The Coffee Emporium, a premium brand on the rise across Australia and the UAE  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh coffee in the morning.  Be it the rich aromas, artistic ritual of brewing the perfect cup, or the delicately complex story that each and every granule tells, there’s a reason coffee is an eclectic, artisan experience.  For John Ayoub, such undertones have motivated a lifelong love for the beverage.  “I’ve always enjoyed coffee,” he affirms. “Even looking back to my early teenage years, I can remember having an appetite for stronger, bitter tasting coffee. If I had to put my finger on it, I’d say it’s the aftertaste that’s always got me.”  Having allowed this passion to blossom, it’s no surprise that Ayoub took an entrepreneurial chance in 2002, acquiring a small, rustic coffee shop in Bankstown – a southwestern suburb of Sydney.  “Coffee culture is pretty big here, so the opportunity was evident,” Ayoub reveals.   “The café I took on was pre-existing, albeit slightly run down. Upon purchasing it from the former owner, I introduced my own unique coffee blend and The Coffee Emporium brand which proved to be a hit, boosting our reputation, earning us referrals and garnering repeat business.”  Owed to this premium blend, derived from some of the best quality flavours and influences from Central and South America, Africa and Asia, The Coffee Emporium quickly rose to pre-eminence, its sales soaring from just a number of kilos a week to much larger volumes.  As a result,

Staff Writer By Staff Writer

SIMEC Energy Australia

Renewed Optimism SIMEC Energy is delivering clean energy across South Australia and Victoria, proving itself as a leading light in the country’s transition towards renewable power    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton  Australia’s energy market is transforming.   A national electricity output traditionally dominated by coal supplied by a long-established mining industry, the sector is steadily shifting towards cleaner sources of power.    Indeed, according to the latest numbers from the national Department of the Environment and Energy, 2018 saw 19 percent of Australian electricity generated by renewable sources, an increase of 25 percent on 2017.   In terms of volumes, 19 percent equates to 49,339 gigawatt hours of electricity generation, with a roughly even split between hydro, wind and solar.   For companies such as SIMEC Energy, this transition phase represents a period of tremendous opportunity to make a difference.   “This is a once in a generation movement that is now occurring in the energy sector,” states Marc Barrington, the company’s CEO.   “I am a big believer in a strategic mix of all forms of power sources for the country which will include wind, all types of solar, storage and upgrades and improvements to transmission assets and transmission technologies.  “However, a full-scale harnessing of our country’s renewable energy potential will take time, as both the supply and demand side need to build resilience and technologies need to be proven and bankable.”   Barrington joined SIMEC in 2018, the latest chapter in a career which has seen him work in the energy sector for nearly two decades.   From trading and wholesale risk management to M&A, and from energy productivity offerings to renewable energy project

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Royal Group

As Cambodia’s economy continues to grow at one of the fastest rates in the world, organisations such as The Royal Group deepen their investments and commitments to this vibrant Asian nation.

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McDonald’s Pakistan

Taking Fast Food Further Empowering equal opportunities, industry localisation and social investment, McDonald’s Pakistan is embodying the country’s strategic strides   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  Pakistan is nothing less than a nation on the rise.  Described by the World Bank as a region with a demographic dividend and significant development potential, the country is already capitalising on such abundant prospects, its economy having grown almost six percent in fiscal year 2018 (FY18).  Resultantly, national poverty rates are also falling. According to current estimates, this is forecast to decrease to 3.1 percent (in accordance with the international poverty line) at the conclusion of FY19, down from the four percent recorded in 2015.  Indeed, the government continues to take the reins in facilitating these outcomes, readily addressing economic, social and fiscal imbalances. Yet enterprises similarly have begun to play a greater role in enabling socioeconomic progression – a role that McDonald’s Pakistan is proactively embracing.  “Pakistan’s potential is tremendous,” states Jamil Mughal, Chief Operations, Marketing, Development and Supply Chain Officer at McDonald’s Pakistan.  “Home to a population of 200 million people, there’s clearly room for the economy to grow, but only if it continues to stabilise – a requirement that we’re attempting to assist.”   It is this underlying ambition that ultimately drew Mughal to joining McDonald’s back in 1998, the company’s meteoric expansion in the two decades since having been underpinned by strives for grassroots development.  “I’ve loved every minute of working here,” he affirms. “It’s an amazing company, every day is a new day with a new challenge. McDonald’s is innovation, it’s evolving, and

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Masan Resources

Resourceful Responsible As Masan Resources continues to develop the world’s largest tungsten mine at Nui Phao in Vietnam, its role as a community custodian is also growing, the company involved in a number of socially driven projects  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith  Tungsten – known by the chemical symbol W and with a melting point of more than 3,400 degrees Celsius, it is one of the hardest metals in the world.   It is believed to have been discovered in the 16th century in the German province of Saxony, the name Tungsten being coined by the Swede Axel Frederik Cronstedt in 1757, the literal translation into English being heavy (tung) stone (sten).   Today, the mineral is highly sought after – its hardness is close to diamond, while it is denser than steel and titanium, twice as hard as any steel grade, and has extremely high wear resistance.  Such properties translate into an estimated market value of $3.5 billion in 2017, according to statistics published by Global Market Insights.   Further, demand for tungsten carbide, the most common application segment, is forecast to grow solidly by 3.5 percent a year between 2019 and 2024. This is partly because the scrap can be recycled, which makes it an extremely valuable alloy for all sorts of applications.   Asia Pacific represented the largest regional market for the global tungsten carbide market in 2018, a result of the growing demand for automotive, construction and metalworking industries in countries like China, India and Japan.  Indeed, Tungsten is utilised across a wide variety of

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Echo Marine Group

Having proven itself and Australia as a viable alternative to the traditional European establishment, Echo Marine Group is poised to serve the growing demand across Asia Pacific for superyachts.

Joshua Mann By Joshua Mann

ECG Engineering

Consulting Across Continents From its bases in Perth, Brisbane and Manila, ECG Engineering is imparting reputed Australian expertise on multifaceted projects both at home and abroad, especially in West Africa   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Tom Cullum    West Africa’s mining industry is picking up some momentum.   According to Research and Markets’ Mining in West Africa 2019 report, West African nations exported $16.1 billion of minerals in 2017, up some 26 percent on the previous year.   Gold is a particularly promising subsector. The region was accountable for 9.4 percent of global supply in 2016, while almost three quarters of all exploration projects here are focused on this precious metal.   Foreign direct investment is vital to this ongoing development of West Africa’s mining sector.   Several large multinational corporations are committed to large projects, while foreign expertise is also being utilised effectively to ensure developments are executed to the highest international standards.   Enter Australia’s ECG Engineering.   Provider of a wide range of services to the mining, utilities and materials handling industries around the globe, its expertise covers the likes of feasibility studies, system studies and audits, design, project management, procurement, construction management and site support.   It is a relatively new enterprise and, for Principle Consultant and Director Geoff Bailey, represented another opportunity to build up an enterprise from scratch.   “I am an electrical engineer and have been involved in the mining industry for 40 years,” he says.    “After owning and running BEC Engineering for 18 years and being bought out by a larger company (Cardno), it was time to set up again with other partners in 2015, once more as an

Staff Writer By Staff Writer

Classic Fine Foods Asia

Food Made Personal Partnering with artisanal producers all over the world, Classic Fine Foods prides itself on helping food industry operators to connect with their customers and tell their stories    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  “An important trend that we are seeing is the need to tell a story.   “Consumers are increasingly conscious of where their food comes from. How long ago was the fish caught? How was the fish caught? How far away from the restaurant does it come from? These are all questions we as suppliers and chefs need to answer.”  For Christophe Barret and food sourcing specialist Classic Fine Foods (CFF), provenance is everything.   More than ever consumers are scrutinising the story behind their food and drink purchases, so much so that the journey a product takes before reaching them can carry equal weight to the substance of the item itself.   “Sustainability, for example, is therefore a major requirement for our chefs in today’s restaurant industry as their customers will choose dishes that are produced responsibly,” adds Barret, who is approaching one year as CFF’s Chief Executive Officer.   “I’m French and I love food – two things that often go hand in hand,” he adds. “I started my career in the retail industry 25 years ago and joined Classic Fine Foods in October 2018 after 14 years working in five different markets.”  Personal touch   Although now owned by a leading international wholesale company, Classic Fine Foods has been able to operate with a strong degree of independence which has enabled it to maintain what Barret believes is an organisational hallmark and

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CBRE Malaysia

Redefining Real Estate Leveraging the global reach of CBRE and the local nous of its Malaysian employees, Bala Vijayasingam and his team are empowering property development across the country  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Tom Cullum   “In spite of less certain macroeconomic factors, Malaysia remains competitive.  “The country offers the fourth most competitive leasing costs and second most competitive fit out costs in Asia Pacific, not to mention being the eighth most competitive nation from a facility management cost perspective.  “Couple this with a well educated yet relatively medium wage population and Malaysia offers attractive incentives to potential investors when it comes to setting up operations or manufacturing hubs.”  A Malaysian national born and bred, Bala Vijayasingam is a firm believer that the region’s real estate has become a flagship for economic potential and prosperity.  “Indeed, the market in Malaysia has softened this year,” he continues. “However, we have seen an increased appetite to locate manufacturing facilities in Malaysia – perhaps a silver lining as a result of the prolonged China US trade war.”  Heading up the country operations of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, Bala has witnessed first-hand this changing albeit relatively optimistic climate, noting that the office market in particular remains especially active.  “The market as a whole is a tenants’ market,” he affirms. “The Klang Valley area in the west, for example, home to Kuala Lumpur, has seen two consecutive years of circa 10 percent increase in the available supply.  “Occupancy rates were previously hovering at 80 percent, while this increased supply places the onus on developers to boost the attractiveness of their offerings to prospective tenants.”  It is here where

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