More for Singapore
Givaudan Singapore is a critical hub for our ASEAN and Asia Pacific operations. In November of this year, our main site in the North of Singapore welcomed a multi-million Swiss franc investment in the Flavour Innovation Centre, which aligns with our 2020 strategy commitment to invest in high growth markets. Here we take a look at Givaudan’s history in Singapore, together with some of our key operations.
The evolution to this brave new world began in the 1960s, with a branch office in Hong Kong. Over time, Singapore was identified as a logical centre for servicing local markets, both in terms of production and innovation.
Today, Givaudan Singapore services the business in the ASEAN region primarily, but also supports critical operations and houses regional management functions that serve the Asia Pacific region.
Sa Hean, Company Manager, gives a brief overview of milestone developments:
“The Singapore office was established in 1992, with a modest workforce of just 15 people. Three years later, in 1995, our Woodlands operation commenced, with both flavour and fragrances production.”
“Since then we have expanded the Woodlands facility, in 2004, and in 2015 we opened a new Fragrance Creative Centre and Compounding Facility in Pioneer, West of Singapore. Currently, we have close to 600 employees in Singapore. In 2015, flavour and fragrances production achieved 20,000 tonnes – an increment by five times since we began in 1995.”
Innovation, education and culture
At the heart of our Singapore operation is the Flavour Innovation Centre (FIC), established in the 90s. Today, the FIC is home to the Asia Pacific campus of the Givaudan Flavour School, which is training the next generation of flavourists in the region, and the APAC Academy, which supports continuous learning. The FIC enhances Givaudan’s innovation capabilities in Asia Pacific, facilitating a regional focus on applied innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing, to complement its global network. Within the FIC, Givaudan flavourists will leverage the latest ingredients and technologies to develop holistic customer solutions that can go straight to market.
Bernhard, Technical Head of APAC, provides an insight into the APAC Flavour School’s history, role and importance:
“The Flavour School in Singapore was first established in 1999 in order to develop local talents to become flavourists. The school has since evolved to become a regional centre with students from across Asia Pacific. We currently have ten students in a three-year training curriculum where 50% of the training is conducted in Singapore and the other 50% in their home country. Trainees come from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China, India and Australia.”
Givaudan Singapore offers employees a dynamic workplace and flourishing culture, as long-time employee Cher Hoon, Business Planning & Analysis Manager explains: “Our leaders always walk-the-talk and we feel that we are working as one big family to grow our company. This is very important as we have had many good years of growth, and some challenging times too, particularly during the financial crisis. The newly introduced ‘open office’, ‘flexi-hour’ schemes, together with new employee facilities (gym, cafeteria, collaboration spaces, pantries on every floors) show just how much we cherish and take care of our employees, creating a business-efficient and pro-employee working environment that nurtures creativity.”
Significant investment in the future
Givaudan has invested CHF 5 million in expanding the Flavour Innovation Centre. The Singapore centre now includes a new fully integrated culinary space for concept development, as well as new or expanded savoury, bakery, confectionery, beverage and dairy facilities to serve all market sectors.
The new additions will allow Givaudan to further address regional trends such as the needs of a middle class concerned with health and wellness but without wanting to compromise on taste. Expanded capacity in Singapore will also enable greater collaboration and innovation with customers to meet their needs, and those of a growing mass market with a desire for quality products with natural ingredients.
The inauguration of the newly enhanced facilities took place on 25 November 2016, officiated by Mauricio Graber, Givaudan’s President Flavour Division. Singapore and Swiss government dignitaries were in attendance, as well as key ASEAN customers, and innovation research partners. A tour of the premises highlighted the FIC’s new capacity, and included demonstrations, which brought the event to life, by showcasing current technologies and programmes.
Givaudan Chief Executive Officer, Gilles Andrier: “The expansion of the Singapore Flavour Innovation Centre supports our 2020 strategy of investment in high growth markets, and builds on our recent developments in Nantong, China; Karachi, Pakistan; and Pune in India. It demonstrates our continuing commitment to growing with our customers and providing them with differentiated flavour solutions for consumer preferred products that meet local market needs.”