Green tech advocate makes good

Green tech advocate makes good

CHANGI Airport Terminal 1 & 3, Marina Bay Sands, the Dubai Mall Hotel in the United Arab Emirates and Kuala Lumpur International Airport are landmarks that share something common - products of Singapore-based Rigel Technology.

It is likely that most homes have used Rigel's products before, since it commands the lion's share of Singapore's commercial sanitation market.

Among the accolades the firm has received are the 2011 Singapore Prestige Brand Award for Established Brands and Regional Brands double awards, as well as the Enterprise 50 award, for which it was a first-time winner last year. It has also been awarded the L5 certificate by BCA, making it the first in its field to receive such certification.

This allows Rigel to be eligible to tender up to $10 million in supply contracts. PSB Corporation has also classified Rigel under PSB Product Listing Scheme Class 1A - a premium quality testing standard to provide sanitary ware for government projects. More recently, Rigel was the winner of the Singapore Sustainable Business Award for 2011.

From revolutionising the sanitary market with its flagship sensor equipment to becoming the industry leader, Rigel has captured more than 50 per cent of the local commercial market.

Reaping the fruits of two decades of intensive research and development, Rigel's product range includes integrated sensor flush valves, manual flush valves, water closet suites, urinals, hydro-powered taps and sensor soap dispensers.

Founded in 1991, Rigel had very humble beginnings. Starting out in an office space half the size of its present-day conference room, Christopher Ng and his team assembled prototypes, which were then marketed to potential buyers on a cold-calling basis.

What prompted Mr Ng to give up a stable career in an MNC for the highly unpredictable life of an entrepreneur? "I wanted to challenge myself to do something more than just the normal stereotype. I wanted to start a company," he says.

There were many obstacles along the way but a winning combination of business acumen, excellent management and innovative products helped him to overcome such challenges.

An advocate of green technology, Mr Ng's passion for environmental sustainability is reflected in the company's core values. "Every drop makes an ocean and every litre of water saved is a gift to the planet," he says. Given Singapore's water-supply situation, Mr Ng wanted to contribute to water conservation efforts by offering green restroom solutions.

An example of the cutting-edge green technology employed by the company is hydropower technology that uses energy from water flow to drive its faucets and Light Emitting Diode (LED) Series.

Without compromising hygiene standards, Rigel's sensor tap is able to achieve up to a 54 per cent reduction in water usage and 30 per cent less water discharge frequency upon detection of high traffic flow.

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