|For Jeremy Mun, an electronics industry veteran of over two decades, building a culture of inclusion, acceptance and support among employees in his organisation has always been the bedrock of his management philosophy.
“The one important value I caught from my father is treating employees as part of the family,” said the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of SGX-listed technology group Aztech Global Ltd. His father, Michael Mun, is Aztech Global’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Putting this philosophy into practice, Mun believes in the principle of empowerment - building accountability and trust by giving employees a degree of autonomy and responsibility in their daily decision-making.
“This helps cultivate a sense of ownership and pride in their achievements. In short, I want everyone to experience a colourful and enriching career journey with the Aztech family,” he added.
Mun, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management degree from the University of London in 2000, has been with the Aztech Group since 2002. Before he was appointed to the Board and his current role in 2017, Mun was involved in product development and sales of the Group’s LED lighting business. He was stationed in the Group’s Hong Kong and China offices for more than 10 years to oversee the operations in China.
“Watching first-hand how the company has transformed and evolved over all these years has been my highest privilege. The most exciting part is often witnessing the development of new products, and their increasing adoption and acceptance, leading to the creation of new markets,” he recalled.
“Being an early adopter of technology myself, I am thrilled whenever presented with new manufacturing technologies that we can leverage to unlock new growth opportunities and propel the Group forward.”
Aztech Global is the technology arm of Singapore-based conglomerate Aztech Group, which was established in 1986 and delisted from SGX in 2017. In March this year, Aztech Global made its debut on SGX Mainboard.
The Group is a key technology enabler for the connected world of tomorrow, with a focus on providing one-stop design and manufacturing services. Supported by its core strengths in research and development (R&D), design, engineering and manufacturing, its key products are Internet of Things (IoT) devices, data communication products and LED lighting products.
Leveraging on its expertise, it also provides one-stop design and manufacturing services to clients that include blue-chip customers and technology start-ups.
Aztech Global has four R&D centres in Singapore, Hong Kong and China, as well as three manufacturing facilities in Dongguan, China, and Johor, Malaysia. To-date, the Group has close to 3,000 employees worldwide.
“Our Mainboard listing in March is just the beginning of our transformed growth story,” Mun pointed out.
“Reimagining possibilities in the growing IoT and data communications space, as well as smart LED lighting where our core strengths lie, are focus areas that will take the Group to the next stage of growth.”
In particular, the Group’s Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) and Joint Development Manufacturing (JDM) businesses are expanding its smart devices for home and office applications, while its R&D division has embarked on collaborative efforts with customers to tap on growth opportunities offered by the proliferation of IoT in the healthtech industry.
With the global shortage of components unlikely to abate in the foreseeable future, Aztech Global continues to work closely with its customers, suppliers, and relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth production and timely delivery of orders.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the IoT industry is expected to continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% to reach US$425.2 billion by 2023 from 2019, while the data communication industry is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2019 to US$59.0 billion in 2023.
Another important step in the Group’s future development is harnessing the power of data analytics, Mun added.
“I’m looking to automate the data collection process for the Group to achieve optimal decision-making prowess. With greater demand from customers for transparent and live information on their order processes, we're working with them to develop the platform that will allow for greater synergies and collaboration.”
Despite the disruptions and turbulence created by COVID-19, the pandemic has taught the Group a number of invaluable lessons.
“COVID-19 has shown us that we need to be always prepared for the worst-case scenario - it’s crucial to have procedures and policies in place even before a crisis strikes,” Mun noted.
“The pandemic is also one example where our empowered staff members are being put to the test to run operations independently.”
Nonetheless, the fluidity of the situation remains a concern for Mun. “With the new COVID-19 variants transmitting more quickly, my concern remains for our staff. We have put in place safety measures to protect them, and will continue our best to do so,” he said.
Other challenges that the Group grapples with include talent acquisition and retention. “Talent is always an issue in any fast-moving industry,” Mun acknowledged.
“Engineering skillsets are in high demand, not only in the electronics industry, but also in other sectors such as fintech. Creating the right environment for our staff to grow and contribute, as well as remodelling our HR practices, are some ways to recruit and retain key personnel.”
|At the same time, Aztech Global remains focused on fine-tuning its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy.
“ESG is one area we’re constantly working on. Right now, we are producing our first sustainability report. With the data collected, we’ll be able to set objectives with a view to achieving lower or carbon neutral targets and quality employment for our members in the Aztech family,” Mun said.
“As we are working with some of the biggest companies in the world, we do have policies and audits in place to ensure compliance with international standards.”
While work can be all-consuming for this 45-year-old, there’s never a dull moment. “What gets me going every day is the vision of a successful launch of our customer’s product - one that has been designed and manufactured by Aztech,” he said with a smile.
Nurturing the values of trust and integrity among employees and clients is also another priority. “These values are the cornerstone to building long and lasting relationships with colleagues and customers,” Mun added.
“I always tell my staff that there’s no right or wrong decision. I encourage them to make and take ownership of their decisions, so that together, we learn from our experiences to grow and do better each time.”
Aztech Global Ltd
Aztech Global is a key technology enabler for the connected world of tomorrow, with a focus on providing one-stop design and manufacturing services. Supported by its core strengths in R&D, design, engineering and manufacturing, its key products are IoT devices, data-communication products and LED lighting products. Leveraging on this expertise, the Group also provides one-stop design and manufacturing services to blue-chip customers and technology start-ups. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group has four R&D centres in Singapore, Hong Kong and China, namely in Shenzhen and Dongguan, and three manufacturing facilities in Dongguan, China and Johor, Malaysia. To-date, the Group has close to 3,000 employees worldwide.
The company website is: www.aztechglobal.com
Click here for the company's StockFacts page.
For the three months ended 30 June 2021 financial results, click here.
About kopi-C: the Company brew
Text: Jennifer Tan-Stanisic
Photo: Company file
This article was originally published in kopi-C, a regular column on the SGX Research website that features C-level executives of leading companies listed on Singapore Exchange. These interviews are profiles of senior management aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations.
For previous editions of kopi-C: the Company brew, please click here.