With the "who's who" of the global aviation community in town, The Straits Times caught up with some of the high-fliers to gain an insight into issues affecting the industry. The last of four people featured is Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) president and CEO (designate) Vincent Chong, 46.
Q: What are your takeaways from Singapore Airshow 2016, the first in your current job?
A: This air show provides a unique platform for us to showcase and solidify our position as a world-class total solutions provider. We are heartened by the level of interest shown in our new products. The Terrex Armoured Fighting Vehicle attracted some potential customers that we ordinarily wouldn't expect.
Q: There has been talk that this year's Singapore Airshow has been quieter than previous editions. Do you agree?
A: We see a lot of action behind the scenes in the discussion rooms and conferences. The level of seriousness (in the discussions) and collaboration opportunities that we are pursuing is really encouraging.
Q: Do you think ST Engineering has punched above its weight and is going beyond Singapore as a core customer to attract global customers like the heavyweights Lockheed Martin, Airbus and Boeing?
A: We are present in 24 countries around the world, in 46 cities. So we are a truly global company. We (also) have partnerships with world-class companies, like a joint venture with Airbus. We have also been shortlisted by the United States Marine Corps for the Terrex.Our business partnerships with various other world-class companies speak volumes of how we are perceived on the world stage.
Q: How important a customer is the Singapore Defence Ministry and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)?
A: The SAF is a very important customer for us. We have to continue to invest in technology and engineering solutions to meet (their) increasing expectations.
Q: What are the advantages of having many retired SAF officers and generals fill senior positions within ST Engineering?
A: The strength of this company is the diversity of our talent. We are in defence and engineering and we need talent for various facets of our business. These are highly capable people, always looking for new opportunities to break new ground.