New office in Bangsar to further attract and develop the best talent to drive its broad software-industrial offerings across Asean
By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
US-based Honeywell International Inc has chosen Kuala Lumpur as its Asean headquarters as part of its bid to expand its reach in the region.
Honeywell Asean president Briand Greer said the headquarters is expected to further attract and develop the best talent to drive its broad software-industrial offerings across the region.
The new office, located in Bangsar, will support Honeywell’s businesses in the region by providing leadership, local and timely decision-making, and the capability to deliver innovative solutions to customers in its various business divisions.
“The timing for the establishment of our Asean headquarters couldn’t happen soon enough. We are very excited to be here and are fully committed to contributing further towards advancing Asean’s economic and social growth,” Greer said at the launch of the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Honeywell’s portfolio in the region include aerospace, home and building technologies, performance materials and technologies, and safety and productivity solutions.
Greer said the revenue from the region alone is currently hovering around US$800 million (RM3.39 billion) and the company is targeting to boost it to the US$1 billion mark within the next couple of years.
“I think a 15% growth annually in this region is a realistic number for us given the gross domestic product (GDP) across Asean countries is pretty much averaging around 5%.
“Our goal here is to grow two to three times the GDP across many of our business segments,” Greer said.
Honeywell has been in the region for more than 30 years, and Greer said it offers tremendous growth potential due to its demographics, growing middle class, urbanisation, green and efficient energy, safety, security and digitisation.
Asean is expected to be the world’s fourth-largest economy by the year 2050, on the back of a rising tech-savvy population of 650 million people and a fast-growing middle-income segment.
Honeywell’s Asean headquarters in Kuala Lumpur is currently home to over 400 staff, with more than 50 regional leaders and experts having been transitioned into the country since last year.
Apart from the new office, the company has three other footprints in Malaysia including an aerospace avionics and a membranes manufacturing plants, both are in Penang, and one electrical plant in Shah Alam.
The US$39 billion global software solutions provider employs 1,500 personnel in Malaysia, and more than 4,000 employees across the region including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Also present at the launch event were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir and Malaysia Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud.
“The setting up of Honeywell regional headquarters here in Malaysia reflects the growing relationship between US and Malaysia.
“The regional hub is one of the success stories under the Economic Transformation Programme to make Malaysia the preferred investment destination,” Mustapa said.
In January 2016, Honeywell became the first multinational company (MNC) to join the Principal Hub initiative that was introduced by the Mida a year earlier.
Mustapa said Mida has so far approved 27 Principal Hub projects to-date including major companies in the oil and gas, electric and electronics, food and beverage, aerospace, as well as the commodities sectors.
Last week, another US-based company Oracle Corp set up its new digital hub in Kuala Lumpur, targeting to provide cloud-solution system solutions to small and medium enterprises.
According to US foreign trade statistics, the trade in goods between the two countries stood at deficit of US$24.8 billion for the US, with Malaysia exporting goods and services amounted to US$36.6 billion last year.
Mida, via InvestKL, has been man- dated to attract 100 MNCs to Malaysia by 2020. To date, it has secured 64 MNCs with approved and committed investments of RM8.9 billion since 2011, with 27 Principal Hubs such as IKEA’s Asean distribution and supply chain centre and Japan-based Daikin hub adding to the list together with Honeywell. InvestKL CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah also attended the launch ceremony.
Honeywell is evolving itself into a software-industrial MNC with greater emphasis given on Industry 4.0 and the opportunities that lie in the connected world, especially the good prospects posed by the Asean region collectively.