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Thinking globally, right from the start

Article - April 3, 2012
Established only six years ago, Strand is pitching its hi-tech designs to a huge international market
Already considered a strong manufacturing country, Malaysia is stepping up and gaining a reputation as an engineering services hub too, thanks to companies like Strand Aerospace Malaysia (SAM). A member of the Strand Group of Companies, SAM is considered a ‘pure play’ engineering services provider, meaning that it employs people and computers for design and analysis rather than for labor-intensive manufacturing.

“We focused on delivering European standards of work from day one,” says COO of SAM Naguib Bin Mohd Nor, who worked in the U.K. prior to returning to Malaysia. “What differentiates SAM is its ability to design complex primary structures for companies like Airbus, using only purely Malaysian engineers working from Malaysia.”

Initially created in 2006 by the COO and four hand-selected local engineers, SAM now has 48 employees and expects to employ 160 by the end of 2012, capitalizing on the country’s vast pool of unutilized engineers. Around 20,000 engineering students graduate every year from Malaysian universities, in addition to another 2,000 Malaysians sent to study abroad.

As part of the government’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP), a total of RM177 million ($59 million) in private investment in training and development will help turn the country into a center for high-value engineering services.

“Invest in Malaysia and you’ll get the whole of Asia. It is really is as simple as that,” says Zainal Amanshah, CEO of InvestKL, a one-stop liaison helping promote SMEs’ export capabilities and multinational corporations identify business opportunities, especially in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area. “We can offer investors various customizable incentives, talent availability and upskilling of graduates, easy and cost-effective business, and a very pro-business government.”