From being in the red to a market cap of $1 billion: Singapore’s chip testing company is now world-class

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AEM has leveraged the program’s consulting expertise to focus on its instrumentation business unit in China which includes automated test equipment solutions and test and measurement solutions.

ESG was also on hand to introduce AEM to potential customers in China, such as wafer foundries and chip packaging companies, as well as help the company establish new offices or operations in the country.

AEM’s revenue from China grew 38.4% year-on-year to $69 million in 2020. In fact, China was the company’s fourth largest geographic segment that year.

The company is seeing steady growth in its portfolio in China, with relatively large contracts, such as the one in 2018 to provide cable testing solutions for Huawei’s 5G rollout.

AEM further entered the Chinese market in 2020 by winning new accounts with various products. He is optimistic for more orders of his latest magnetic sensor tester.

Its expansion into new markets is not limited to China alone. In the United States, AEM also continues to flex its muscle and consolidate its position through product improvement and innovation.

To advance

AEM’s participation in ESG’s Scale-up SG program has also given it the opportunity to interact with other local businesses.

What Mr Loke observed is encouraging for the future of Singaporean businesses on the global stage: on the whole, businesses have shifted from thinking only about productivity and cost management to focusing on growth.

“Singapore is one of the most expensive places in the world. You better have the best innovative products or services and it should be global,” he says.

At its Serangoon North headquarters, AEM leaders are reminded to align decisions with resilience, innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship (Rise).

The board, Mr. Loke notes, must continue to challenge the company’s market fit with the Rise principles to continue to achieve its goals.

Returning to the challenges AEM faced when it came on board in 2011, Mr Loke stresses the importance of looking after all stakeholders – not just shareholders – including employees, suppliers and customers.

“It’s something, at the board level, that every chairman should focus on, because if you focus too much on your share price and risk management in terms of not taking risks, you end up at a different destination.”

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