Collaborate, not compete with global competitors

Collaborate, not compete with global competitors

Precision engineering company Armstrong Industrial reckons forming partnerships with its international rivals is a better strategy than going head to head.

The approach has certainly paid dividends - with the home-grown business, which started in 1974, evolving into a global multimillion-dollar operation by forming joint ventures with overseas partners.

All of its overseas ventures - in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia - were initiated through cooperation with at least one other company.

Deputy chief executive and executive director Steven Koh said partnerships can create "win-win situations", even if both parties are in the same industry and would usually be competitors.

Having a local partner helps offset some of the challenges a Singaporean firm faces when venturing abroad, including financial risks, adapting to cultural differences and hiring competent employees.

"Partners can provide market access, technical knowledge and local knowledge," said Mr Koh.

"We want partners that are related to our business, who are competing with or completing our business... They must know the business and understand the industry."

Armstrong Industrial specialises in making noise, vibration and heat management components for automobiles and hard-disk drives.

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