What new initiatives is Siemens Malaysia involved in?
CHANDRAN: One of the main new initiative in which we are involved is with regards to our own people and to this extent, Siemens is aiming at becoming the employer of choice in Malaysia, in all the four sectors in which we are operating. We have come with a lot of initiatives, which are in total form called PRIDE@Siemens. PRIDE is meant to improve the quality of the working environment, the team-work, the interaction between individuals, and so on.
In terms of the four sectors that you are involved in, what is the mix and what is the general performance?
CHANDRAN: We have a good presence in all of the four sectors in Malaysia. Of course, the energy sector is among the largest ones, with a lot of work with respect to energy service, fossil power, not to forget power transmission. We are into healthcare too and we enjoy a little bit more than 30% market share. We are also present in the infrastructure and cities and in the industry sector. All of the 4 sectors are doing reasonably well.
What is Siemens main focus within the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs)?
CHANDRAN: Well, I think that the government’s Economic Transformation Programme gives more or less an idea to whoever the Government wants to come here, on what the needs of the country are, and its areas of development. So, in a way, it serves to explain as to which areas one must be focused on. As a technology provider present in Malaysia, Siemens is focusing on providing the skills that are necessary for developing those areas. We have strategically developed such skills, and as we are near to the customer, we are available whenever such skills are needed. This has been a reasonably good success for us.
In terms of infrastructure and transportation projects, what are you involved in?
CHANDRAN: Well, with respect to the Klang Valley MRT, we have been participating in a few packages and we have now been offered the official draft LOI of the first two packages, which is basically the rolling stock and of the depot. We look forward to more projects of this kind, such as the possibility to participate in the high-speed train to Singapore, as these are all technologies that we have.
What is your market position in Malaysia and how would you identify competition?
CHANDRAN: Well, we have a high spread in all of the four sectors we operate in. When it comes to competition, I cannot say that X is my competitor or Y is my competitor, because depending on the sector and on the kind of market, the competition will differ. But we are basically projecting out. That is, we are a technology company that can give the full spectrum of services. Therefore, whoever wants to buy the whole spectrum of services can get it in a full package, and whoever wants to buy bits and pieces, they can be satisfied too. Essentially, the customer decides what to buy from us.
In what ways is Siemens working with the Malaysian government with regards to resource scarcity and the rising population of Malaysia?
CHANDRAN: With respect to resource scarcity, one of our key areas is to improve the skills available in Malaysia. So we are focusing on a lot of training programs and bringing in a lot of regional sections of competence to create the necessary skills set, as well as to train individuals on the job. We are also talking to government agencies, for example the Talent Corporation, to look into how this kind of interactive training and amalgamated approach can work. We are also introducing some technology in the polytechnics, where some kind of hands-on training and skills set are provided once people complete their education. This is a kind of certification that Siemens provides as part of the polytechnic education. We have already embedded such a program into five polytechnics and we look forward to develop this further.
I think that the government’s Economic Transformation Programme gives more or less an idea to whoever the Government wants to come here, on what the needs of the country are, and its areas of development. So, in a way, it serves to explain as to which areas one must be focused on.
What is your future outlook for Malaysia’s energy sector? Which indicators are showing the most positive trends and which remain challenges?
CHANDRAN: With regards to the Malaysian energy sector, I think that the situation today is OK, but we have to focus on developing the right energy mix. This is the objective that I think the Energy Commission has also embarked on. For example, at the moment, we are talking about five power plants, after that we will look at coal and so on. Probably more stress will come from the renewables segment. Yes, it’s difficult to achieve clean energy in a short period of time. But with the focus that is set today, I am sure this segment will move in the right direction and a proper energy mix will be achieved.
Within Southeast Asia, where is Siemens most active? What are your biggest markets in the region?
CHANDRAN: Well, we are present in all of the Asian countries and of course there is no good answer to that, because depending on the year and on the large projects, the “best country” position changes year by year. However, I must say, at least five or six of these countries have reasonable business volume and reasonably established Siemens presence, thus we are focusing on all of these countries.