Search

联合早报 (Lianhe Zaobao)

Updated: Apr 22


不忍两代人努力付诸东流第三代毅然涉足传统土木工程业



Not willing to let two generations of hard work go to waste, third generation family member takes up the reins of the civil engineering family business.


起初没有打算继承家业也不获家人的支持,但因不忍心看到两代人的努力付诸东流,第三代掌托人毅然涉足不熟悉的土木工程业,并积极推动转型和扩大业务。


Chua Yuan Shen initially had no intentions of join


ing the family business. His family was also not supportive of the idea. However, Chua Yuan Shen was not willing to let two generations of hard work go to waste and decided to venture into the technical field of civil engineering, in which he had no training of, to take up the reins of the business by pushing for change.


34岁的蔡元森2012年接管由祖父蔡漳福(已故)和父亲蔡振毓(67岁)于1988年创办的福林建筑工程(Hocklim Engineering)公司。这原本是一家小型的传统土木工程承包商,主要为政府部门建造基础设施如步行道和排水渠等,员工数目在他加入时不到10人。


Hocklim Engineering Pte Ltd was founded in 1988 by his grandfather, Chua Chiang Hock, and father, Chua Chen Yok. The company began as a small main contractor, which had less than 10 employees in 2012, when Chua Yuan Shen joined. The company’s main business came from Government external works projects such as roads, footpath and drainage etc.


大学时报读相关单元课程加深对家族企业继任认识


Taking the Family Business Module in University sparked the interest to join the family business


这名年轻总裁接受《联合早报》访问时坦言,他看到父亲在这行业打拼如此艰辛,让他原本打消继承衣钵的念头,选择在新加坡国立大学修读工业与系统工程系。这个科系与家业毫无关联,属于资讯科技的技能。不过也许是对守业还抱有微弱的好奇心,他在大学时期报读关于家族企业的单元课程, 从中加深对企业继任计划的认识。


When interviewed by ‘Lianhe Zaobao’, Shen openly expressed that he saw how difficult his father had to work to make ends meet while he was growing up, and dismissed the thought of joining the family business. During the university admission period, he decided to study Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) in National University of Singapore instead, a discipline that is unrelated to the family business. Perhaps, there was still a lingering curiosity in the family business, he got inspired to take up an elective module in Family Business in his 3rd year of university. After the course, he became more open to the idea of joining the family business.


他说:“父亲当时要结束营业,但我觉得很可惜,毕竟这是他和祖父多年来的心血。我从小到大一直听他们谈论工作的事情,这样就关闭真的很浪费。我想这是一家小型公司,父亲反正也不打算做下去了,这或许是接管的好机会,可以根据自己的想法去经营,没有什么压力。”


He went on to explain: “My father was prepared to close the business after a few more years. I, on the other hand, felt that this would be very ‘sayang’. After all, the business was a culmination of two generations of hardship and sacrifice, and I grew up listening to them talking about it. I thought to myself, “Since my father was going to close the business, this could be an opportunity for me to explore new ideas and implement them with less pressure”.”


蔡元森是家中老三,还有两个姐姐和一个弟弟,但他们都没有兴趣继承家业。他们的父亲其实没有很鼓励儿子接手生意,主要是认为这个行业比较吃力,不太适合大学毕业生。


Chua Yuan Shen is the third child in the family and he has two older sisters and a younger brother, neither of whom had any interest in joining the business. His father had never actively encouraged any of his children to join the business, mainly because the industry is very demanding and he felt that a university graduate would have better prospects elsewhere.

蔡元森加入公司后接到的第一个任务是为一名南洋理工大学博士研究生建造一套加固土壤墙的系统,防止斜坡泥土流失。“我刚从大学毕业,根本不知道这是什么概念。我和这名博士研究生花费数小时进行研究,并根据所需的要求建造一套小型的系统作为测试用途。这个项目后来非常成功。”


In 2012, Chua Yuan Shen joined the company. His first assignment was to collaborate with a PhD student from the Nanyang Technological University in developing a reinforced soil wall system that can reduce soil erosion and slope failure. He conceded: “I had just graduated and could not grasp the concept of the system. I ended up spending countless hours with the PhD student to develop a small-scale mock up for testing purposes. This system eventually turned out to be a huge success.”.


这套系统主要利用体积不一的粒状物来控制土壤墙的吸水情况。他们会按照工程要求调整沙子,石头和土壤的比率,之后根据比率把材料装入不同尺寸的土工袋,接着以互锁方式砌成一堵墙。这堵墙上也能种植花草,不仅让墙面更为美观,还可以防止墙面坍塌和水土流失。


This system (GeoBarrier System) utilizes the different grain size in soil aggregates to activate matric suction and capillary effect, to control the flow of water in the layers below. According to these advanced unsaturated soil mechanics principles, by varying the ratio of fine, coarse aggregates and Approved Soil Mixtures (ASM) in a slope, we can prevent rainfall-induced slope failure due to heavier rainfall. By filling these materials into custom-made Geotextile bags, and installing them in an interlocking manner, we can create a stable and aesthetic earth retaining wall. A wide variety of plants can be planted in the Geotextile bags to complete the GeoBarrier System.


采纳这样的技术建造墙面不但达到可持续发展的目标,也能取代钢或洋灰等高成本材料。这项技术收到建屋发展局的青睐(lài),公司将在比达达利(Bidadari)的住宅区实行这套系统。其他潜能客户包括了私人发展商以及有地住宅屋主。


This technology is sustainable and replaces more expensive construction materials such as steel and cement with recycled aggregates. The Housing Development Board (HDB) co-patented this technology with Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The company will be implementing this technology at an upcoming Build-to-Order project in the Bidadari estate. Other potential clients include private developers and landed property owners.


凭改造组屋生活创新概念获建屋发展局“企业版酷电子”奖


公司也在2018年凭着改善组屋生活的创新概念,获得建屋发展局颁发的“企业版酷点子”(Cool Ideas Enterprise)奖项。


In 2018, Hocklim Engineering Pte Ltd was also awarded the Cool Ideas Enterprise award.

蔡元森看好可持续工程技术的潜能,决心沿着这个方向把公司转型成提供创新方案的现代化企业。在他的管理下,这家传统公司在短时间内蜕变并取得好成绩,过去三年取得18%的复合年均增长率(CAGR),接下来三年内也预计维持这个增长速度。


Chua Yuan Shen has identified the emerging construction technology sector as fast growing and is actively pivoting the business to capture market share in sustainable urban infrastructure technologies such as GeoBarrier System, Automated Flood Barrier solutions and Instrumentation work. Under his stewardship, the once-traditional business has propelled itself forward to achieve 18% CAGR over the last three years.


公司的营业额蒸蒸日上,从2017年的200万元增至去年的800万元;员工团队扩大至50人,其中不少是专业技术人员。


In 2017, the company had a revenue of 2 million dollars. This increased to 8 million dollars in 2020. The staff strength of the company increased to approximately 50, of which a large proportion of them are skilled and trained PMETs.


创业难,守业更难。蔡元森因此很感激父亲愿意放手,让他有机会按照自己的想法去发展业务。这个过程不无挑战,他曾因为遇到瓶颈,不知如何发展下去,而到一家海事于填海企业打工。他趁这段期间汲取外界的经验,过后带着新的思维重回家业。


Chua Yuan Shen is grateful that his father was willing to accept this succession gracefully, to gradually transform the company in his own style and methodology. However, the process is fraught with challenges. At some point, he faced many bottlenecks and left the company to experience working in a large construction company. With the greater understanding of the construction industry, he eventually returned to the business with a fresh approach to tackle the challenges ahead.


公司即将搬迁至武吉巴督工业区的一座1万3000平方英尺的新工厂,希望在此推动更多研发工作。公司目前只承包本地项目,但不排除未来把新颖的技术引进东南亚市场。


Hocklim is scheduled to move into a new 13,000-sqft factory space situated in Bukit Batok Industrial Park by end 2021. Chua Yuan Shen hopes to use this factory to incorporate more research activity to further develop the company.

Presently, Hocklim is based in Singapore, and has plans to go regional in the future.





16 views0 comments