Team K&S is in Singapore helping their client, Kulicke and Soffa Inc., a semiconductor manufacturing equipment company, evaluate non-traditional growth opportunities.
The Kulicke and Soffa Singapore team consisting of Chaitan Kanungo, Erinc Ipek, Sung Lim, and Brandon Doll arrived in country on Sunday, May 19th from various corners of the earth. Chaitan arrived following a short visit to New York. Erinc was previously visiting Bali and the Philippines with his wife, while Sung came from sunny Southern California before landing in Singapore. The final member, Brandon Doll, was seen wandering the Seoul nightlife scene in true Gangnam style and the Mongolian steppe on horseback with his roommate and fellow Haasie Jonathan Lim before touching down late Sunday night.
Our team is staying near downtown Singapore in a spacious 3-bedroom hotel room, so we have been able to spend a lot of quality time together. On our first day, we left the hotel early Monday morning and took a 15-minute taxi ride to Kulicke and Soffa’s office to be greeting by Churn Poh Ning, a member of the business development team at Kulicke and Soffa and our project supervisor. We were given a tour of the facilities, introduced to key members of the K&S team, and shown to a vacant office out of which we would be working during our time at K&S.
The K&S Singapore team faced its first test just a couple hours into our visit, as we met with Deepak Sood, the VP of Global Engineering, to discuss our project ideas. Mr. Sood had some great insights to add to our research, and we had a very productive meeting. With a great deal of work to do, we hunkered down in our office for the next two days delving deeper into our project and preparing for our next meeting on Wednesday with the K&S business development team.
The Wednesday meeting went extremely well with Cheam Tong Liang, Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, and his team in attendance. Cheam was very pleased with our ideas and requested that we push on with them and continue deeper into our research.
During our second week, we spent the majority of the week preparing for a follow-up meeting with K&S’ Chief Financial Officer, Jonathan Chou, and several members of the K&S business development team. Again, we met with great success, as Jonathan was very impressed with our work and asked us to continue our research, to include presenting an action plan to K&S for next steps to be taken following our departure.
Our third week consisted of early mornings and even later nights spent working both at the office and in our hotel room, as we prepared for our final presentation. All of our hard work over the past five months paid off on our last Friday morning at the K&S office, when we again met with Jonathan, Deepak, Cheam, and several other members of the K&S team. Our presentation went off without a hitch, and, by the end of the meeting, Jonathan was already talking with his team about what resources they could dedicate from within their organization to keep the momentum from our work going. It was a very rewarding experience for our team to know that our work had been impactful and had made an impression on the organization’s executive leadership.
In our free time outside work, we have been enjoying Singapore’s amazing cuisine, with dining excursions in downtown Singapore and Little India. We have also had some interesting experiences with Singapore’s nightlife scene, to include some off-the-beaten-path bars and Singapore’s world famous Night Safari.
Our first weekend, Chaitan, Erinc, and Sung took advantage of a public holiday and 3-day weekend and headed to Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, while Brandon met fellow Haasie Alex Justice in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. During our second weekend, a couple of us decided to get out of town, while the other two members wanted to explore Singapore a bit more. Brandon headed to Langkawi, Malaysia (surviving a minor scooter crash), Erinc met his wife in Phuket, Thailand, and Chaitan and Sung spent the weekend experiencing the sights and sounds of Singapore.
With the client interaction now behind us and our bellies full of Indian food after a “victory lunch” following this morning’s successful final presentation, we are sitting in our hotel room finishing up some of the deliverables for our IBD class before we kick it into full celebration mode tonight, starting with a stop at Marina Bay Sands rooftop bar, Ku De Ta. Three of us are heading back to reality in the States tomorrow, while Brandon is avoiding it for a few more days with a trip to New Zealand’s South Island “on his way back” to the States.
We have had an amazing experience here in Singapore! We have also learned a great deal about the semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry through our interaction with Kulicke and Soffa as well as a variety of other industries through our own research. We look forward to following K&S in the news and monitoring the direction this exciting company takes into the future!
We hope all is well with all the Haasies in the Bay Area and around the world! Cheers from Singapore and Southeast Asia!
– Team Office Space