With the inaugural Board meeting held on 2 October 2017, United Engineers Limited (the “Group”) celebrates a new chapter in history. The date (2017.10.2) is a palindrome and reading forward or backward, it begins and ends with the same digit ‘2’ (the first of all prime numbers) – signifying perpetual continuity. Therefore, it marks a memorable and auspicious new beginning for the Group and on this note, I am deeply honoured to be appointed by the Board as Executive Chairman of this centennial institution to pave way for its success into another glorious century.
The Group has been established for more than a century, with WBL being incorporated in 1906 and United Engineers in 1912. By virtue of its enduring history, the Group has witnessed the fall of the colonial system as well as the rise of a new world order, and more importantly, played an active role in the meteoric development of Singapore post-independence. As such, the Group’s history can be said to be a symbolic reflection of Singapore’s growth and struggles through the decades. The hard work of our forebears has paid off not just in the form of a solid company foundation, but also invaluable spiritual wealth which continues to be cherished to this day. With these, I strive to unite the Group in forging a better tomorrow for all.
The key to successful enterprise management is in moving with times through innovation. Looking back at the Group’s 100-year history, it is definitely not foreign to changes and in fact, had made good from them on numerous occasions. As such, the recent change in major shareholders to Yanlord and Perennial is yet another milestone that will usher the Group into its next growth phase. Leveraging on the new shareholders’ wealth of experience in property development and asset management, the Group will embark on new property development projects and expansion of other businesses with a bolder vision and enhanced resources.
As we all know, the recent wave of developments in globalisation and digitisation has affected the geography and management of all industries. To keep business going and growing, we have to constantly reinvent strategies and integrate resources to create new value propositions. Staying still only leads to erosion of one’s edge in the marketplace.
The Group’s greatest asset is its human capital. The Board will empower the Group to develop its strengths in this area with the objective of achieving higher standards of professionalism for all staff.
In closing, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to management and staff for your dedication; business partners, shareholders and other stakeholders for your kind support. I firmly believe that with our illustrious heritage, combined strengths and a unified vision, we will be able to bring “United Engineers” to greater heights.
Mr Zhong Sheng Jian