Read about the different hidden champions amongst our tenants in our series.
Mr Fritz Maier, Managing Director, Erbe Singapore
Could you tell us more about your trade, what kind of products, services or solutions does Erbe offer as well as the type of customer you serve.
As a family-owned and operated business, Erbe develops, manufactures and markets surgical systems for professional use in various medical disciplines all over the world. Erbe technology leads the market in many countries and is therefore an inherent part of the working processes in the OR. The products are thus helping to provide the best possible treatment for patients. The portfolio comprises devices and instruments for electrosurgery, thermofusion, plasmasurgery, cryosurgery and hydrosurgery. By combining these technologies, innovative applications become possible, particularly in general surgery, gastroenterology, gynecology, pulmonology and urology. Erbe employs more than 1000 people worldwide, over 650 of them in Germany. Approx. 170 employees work in research and development. The intensive collaboration with renowned users from medical schools and hospitals is the key to success with which Erbe successfully furthers developments in medicine.
Why was it important for you as a company to have a ‘footprint’ in Singapore?
Singapore has always been seen as a strategic ‘gateway’ to the ASEAN market, with good international flight connectivity and logistic support. Singapore provides ideal policies for companies setting up new subsidiaries. Besides also being an interesting market with many opportunities for our products, Singapore proves useful as a ‘testbed’ for new products and services. After successful implementation in our reference centers, we can deploy them in the regional markets.
Where else does your company have ‘footprints’ in ASEAN?
Erbe Singapore runs distributor businesses in the South East Asian market, and also in Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. We have started a new subsidiary in Korea about 3 years ago.
How do you see the future for your business (i.e. opportunities, challenges)?
The future of our business lies in new minimally invasive surgical treatments with devices making use of artificial intelligence, robots and navigation systems, but also within services that will develop due to the digitalization of healthcare. New business models, predictive maintenance and the use of intra-operative data are some of the buzzwords of the future in our industry.
Tell us more about your development in Singapore (and in the German Centre) and contacts were the most helpful during the set-up phase?
During the setup phase, contacts to German legal, tax and audit consultancies were very helpful and important. As we grow and develop, the German Center team was always on hand to advise us on flexible solutions to cater to our growth. Also, local contacts to EDB and Enterprise Singapore are helpful, as you reinforce your team and look for government grants to support the education of your staff. Finally, links to higher education institutions like ITE, Polytechnic etc. prove useful for the longterm development of talent via apprenticeships, internships and other on-the-job training schemes
What do think are the advantages of being in German Centre?
The biggest advantages are that the German Center provides a ‘mixed use’ building that has office space as well as warehousing/loading ramp facilities and yet has a pleasant lobby and common areas that does not give visitors an industrial feel. The high flexibility for growth with additional storage units and easy in-between contract moves to bigger spaces without major reinstatement and installation costs are also unheard of in Singapore’s commercial real estate world. Seminar facilities, B2B events and networking opportunities are additional benefits.
What advice would you give to other companies who would like to set up their business in the German Centre Singapore?
It’s a great place if you are new to Singapore and would like to start small but stay flexible for future growth. Invest time in building personal relationships with other tenants and the GC management team, as it will prove useful overtime.
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