Surbana Jurong’s new frontier : Pushing local architecture to scale greater heights
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Published: July 23, 2018

Surbana Jurong Group CEO, Mr Wong Heang Fine. Image © Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd

Juliet Huang | Interviews | 23 July, 2018

    Surbana Jurong’s new frontier – Pushing local architecture to scale greater heights.

    Surbana Jurong has grown from strength to strength in the recent years, and with its recent acquisitions focused on various engineering and consultancy firms around the region, it seems to be channeling its portfolio growth towards a new frontier. To date, Australia-based Robert Bird Group, an engineering consultancy firm for high-end urban projects was acquired late last year, and Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO of Surbana Jurong has announced its plans in March of this year to acquire 2 mid-sized and large architectural firms. The group has been on a buying spree since the merger of Surbana and Jurong International Holdings in 2015. We talked to Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO to find out more about Surbana Jurong’s plans in the future.

     

     Q. In light of the recent acquisitions, what are Surbana Jurong’s future plans?

    Surbana Jurong has transformed itself rapidly in the last 2.5 years from a home-grown company to a global one-stop, multi-disciplinary consultancy that offers end-to-end services in urban, infrastructure and management services. Our global workforce has grown from 3,200 to more than 14,000 employees. We are the largest engineering firm in Singapore and ranked number 35th on the list of international design firms by Engineering News-Record.

     

    Amaravati, Capital City of Andhra Pradesh. Image © Surbana Jurong.

    Amaravati, Capital City of Andhra Pradesh. Image © Surbana Jurong.

     

    As a Group, we can now compete for bigger, global integrated projects, offer end-to-end services and tap on niche, higher-end markets. Going forward, we will continue to grow our business and aim to achieve our target of S$3.8b in Group revenue and 20,000 employees globally in the next 3-5 years. Our growth journey, which will be driven by acquisitions, organic growth and strategic partnerships with industry leaders, will be anchored in three key pillars – urban, infrastructure and management services.

     

    Q. What is Surbana Jurong hoping to achieve with its current portfolio?

    Surbana Jurong aims to become Asia’s powerhouse and a global leader in urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure projects. Our growth strategy is centred on deepening and broadening our core capabilities and talent pool, and extending our market reach globally. As a Group, we can offer full suite, end-to-end capabilities across the entire value chain. We will leverage the strengths of our brands to provide complete solutions to our clients according to their needs. Collectively, our member companies also provide an extended geographic footprint to better serve our clients.

     

    My Waterway @ Punggol, Singapore. Image © Surbana Jurong.

    My Waterway @ Punggol, Singapore. Image © Surbana Jurong.

     

    Q. What is the direction of growth from here on?

     

    Surbana Jurong has over 50 years of track record in master planning, coastal reclamation and township and industrial development. Each of our member companies brings complementary capabilities. SMEC (an Australian based-firm that provides consulting services on major infrastructure projects around the world) has strong experience in major infrastructure projects in the urban transport, energy and water sectors. RBG (Robert Bird Group)’s advanced engineering skill sets and deep construction engineering know-how have strengthened our advantage in competing for and securing sophisticated and complex urban developments. Through RBG, we will expand our services, pursue opportunities and grow our business in Europe, USA and the middle east. Technology will play a key role in our growth as we continue to adopt new technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Virtual Reality (VR) to add value to our clients and improve productivity.

     

    Sydney Metro Northwest, Australia. Image © Surbana Jurong.

    Sydney Metro Northwest, Australia. Image © Surbana Jurong.

     

    Q. Surbana Jurong is one of the pioneers of BIM adoption in the region. What are Surbana Jurong future plans to further sharpen its BIM Capacity?

    Surbana Jurong is a pioneer in designing and implementing precast technology in Singapore’s public housing programme. We are also one of the first multidisciplinary consultancies to harness the Building Information Modelling (BIM) system in planning and design. Our use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis in Smart City solutions has allowed us to provide predictive solutions for our clients. Going forward, we will continue to integrate technology into our processes and as part of our solution offerings. We are also working with research and technology partners to ensure we stay at the forefront of the industry. Some initiatives we are rolling out include customised BIM solutions in the facilities management space, audit compliance apps for site supervision and enhanced smart city solutions.

     

    MediaCorp Campus, Singapore. Image © Surbana Jurong.

    MediaCorp Campus, Singapore. Image © Surbana Jurong.

     

    Q. The use of digital technologies is transforming the global construction industry. But are Singapore and the rest of the Asean countries ready for this digital transformation?

    The construction industry is undergoing transformation, driven by the digitisation of the industry. Technology will bring more efficiencies into the construction process, improve productivity, bring about long-term cost savings and alleviate manpower crunch. Surbana Jurong sees technology as an enabler and embarked on our digitisation journey years ago. We leverage technology to enhance performance within the company and to provide better solutions for our clients.

     

    ICD Brookfield Place, UAE. Image © Surbana Jurong.

    ICD Brookfield Place, UAE. Image © Surbana Jurong.

     

    More on Surbana Jurong :

     

    Surbana Jurong is one of the largest Asia-based urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firms. Leveraging technology and creativity, Surbana Jurong provides one-stop consultancy solutions across the entire value chain of the urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure domains. Headquartered in Singapore, the Surbana Jurong Group has a global workforce of over 14,000 employees in more than 120 offices across over 40 countries in Asia, Australia, UK, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and an annual turnover of around S$1.5 billion. Surbana Jurong has a track record of over 50 years and has built more than a million homes in Singapore, crafted master plans for more than 30 countries and planned over 100 industrial parks globally.

    The Group’s motto ‘Building Cities, Shaping Lives’ reflects its belief that development is more than just steel and concrete. Surbana Jurong creates spaces and designs infrastructure where people live, work and play, shaping cities into homes with sustainable jobs where communities and businesses can flourish.

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