Healthcare firm poised to help create higher value jobs

May 16, 2018 - 4 minutes read

Raman Singh MundipharmaSingapore’s role as an international hub is set to develop further, particularly in the pharmaceuticals industry as global companies increase their output and advance automation in their plants.

According to the Economic Development Board, the sector will see a “robust” 2018. One company well placed to benefit from this projected upswing is healthcare company Mundipharma, which operates in countries across the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and is headquartered in Singapore. “Singapore is not tied to any one country. It has positioned itself as an innovation hub,” saidMundipharma’s chief executive officer Raman Singh, 47.

ON CHOOSING SINGAPORE

It was a slam dunk because Singapore provided much more – great universities, talent and the push from the Government to embrace technology. ’’

Its facility, on a 7,900 sq m plot of land in Tuas, is scheduled to open in October. Mundipharma is investing US$100 million (S$133.5 million) in this project. Mr Singh, who was originally from the UnitedStates and now based in Singapore, said that in choosing where to locate the plant, it was down to between Hong Kong and Singapore.

“It was a slam dunk because Singapore provided much more – great universities, talent and the push from the Government to embrace technology,” he added. The Singapore facility will be the global research and development hub for Mundipharma’s consumer and over-the-counter products. Seventy per cent of the company’s regional volume will be made at this plant, which Mr Singh plans to transform into “the most automated plant in the world”. The fully integrated high-speed filling line will be capable of running at 300 bottles per minute, and will contain a smaller filling and packaging line for small-scale manufacture.

The plant also has supporting quality control laboratories and a 1,000 pallet high-bay warehouse. The facility will have advanced control and data processing systems, and its high-speed production lines will incorporate packaging robotics and advanced electronic vision systems, as well as automated goods vehicles. The company plans to hire 60 employees for the
plant, including for research and development, and 15 new staff for other roles. Mundipharma’s Singapore office has 149 employees, with 76 per cent of them Singaporeans.

Multinational corporations like Mundipharma continue to be drawn to Singapore’s open economy and pro-business environment, bringing with them new technology and competencies, and contributing to the creation of higher-value jobs for Singaporeans. Recent figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that Singaporeans and permanent residents made up a slightly bigger proportion of the workforce as of December last year, at 67.2 per cent, up from 66.4 per cent a year earlier. MOM expects employment to continue to grow this year, as the economy is projected to expand between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent. Mr Singh is confident that the Singapore workforce will become increasingly comfortable with artificial intelligence, data mining and Big Data. “Singapore is very future-looking and understands that technology is going to change the way we work in the future,” he said.

Mr Raman Singh is confident that Singapore’s workforce will become increasingly comfortable with AI and Big Data. PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

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