with K.G. Remesh, Swiber India
You joined the company three years ago. Looking back, what mission did you see as yours at the time of your appointment and what are the main projects and achievements you are most proud of?
Swiber’s operations in India had started in 2008 with a sizeable Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation (EPCI) contract with a major international oil and gas (O&G) player for Mumbai offshore. When I joined the company three years back, I leveraged on my areas of expertise which include EPCI projects involving jackets or decks and subsea flexible and rigid pipe lines, to drive Swiber’s EPCI work in India. Our initial EPCI projects consisted of primarily the installation of platforms and pipelines for this major international oil and gas (O&G) player.
I am proud to say that since Swiber’s early days in India, we have worked on 9 jackets, 9 decks, and 20 pipelines amounting to over 130+ kilometers. Swiber India has established joint ventures and partnerships since 2006.
The group announced a 46.4% increase in net profit to USD 11.9 million for the first quarter of the financial year of 2011. What has been India’s contribution to this growth?
The Group’s increase in net profit was boosted by higher other operating income and share of profit of associates and joint ventures, as well as recognition of contributions arising from contracts mainly concentrated in the South Asian region awarded to the Group since the first quarter of 2010. Our India office has contributed significantly to the group’s performance in the first quarter of FY2011.
Our track record in India includes a contract to do Exploration, Production, Construction, Installation, Commissioning (EPCIC), transportation and installation work for 5 new wellhead platforms, a contract for the engineering, procurement, transportation and installation of several pipelines and platform modifications, a contract for EPCIC work on new wellhead platforms and connected pipeline to existing process, a contract for the design, engineering, procurement, fabrication transportation, installation and commissioning of major platforms and a contract for EPCI of seven segments of pipelines over a total length of 116.5km.
Swiber is ascending among Singaporean top brands list; how is the company perceived in the Indian market?
In September 2008, Swiber was featured on Forbes Asia’s “Best under a Billion” list, an honour given to the top 200 Asia-Pacific companies with consistent growth in both sales and profits over three years. Swiber continues to ascend the ranks of the nation’s “Top 100 Brands” in the Brand Finance’s Annual Report of “Singapore’s Intangible Assets and Brands 2010”, receiving an AA- Brand Rating. This has reaffirms Swiber’s rapid growth as an EPIC player well-positioned to capitalise on the booming offshore industry.
Internationally and in India, Swiber is synonymous with Excellence, Safety and Value with a steady commitment to the core values of Trust, Respect, Affirmation, Determination and Excellence.
For our readers, it is difficult to understand the challenge/opportunity equation of working in India and for India. What has been Swiber’s approach to the Indian O&G market?
India is a strategic location to establish operations. We believe India to be one of the most dynamic and fastest growing markets for offshore oil and gas activities, with a big and growing demand for offshore marine support services in India. Through partnerships and alliances, Swiber gets the proximity necessary to swiftly service our international clientele and this allows us to capitalise on high-growth markets such as India and beyond the region.
How does Swiber India’s order book look like? To what percentage of capacity are you operating?
At the Group level, Swiber has a strong order book of US$720 million, as at May 13 2011. We also have a strong fleet of vessels comprising of 40 offshore support services and 12 construction vessels, with approximately 80% of our fleet younger than 4 years old, and we are planning to expand our fleet of vessels to 55 by the end of 2012. With solid growth strategies in place, Swiber is well positioned and confident of taking on more oil and gas capex spending to deliver long term growth, achieving new milestones.
The group has demonstrated a strong commitment in terms of safety with the ‘Cause no Harm’ as part of the corporate principles. How much of a competitive advantage is this in India?
Swiber, led by an experienced and competent senior management, is differentiated by our people, who are committed, technically capable and have intrinsic Cause No Harm values as well as an Emotional Excellence mindset.
What would you say are Swiber India’s other comparative advantages to differentiate itself within the industry?
In addition, Swiber is also differentiated by our geographical presence, capabilities and assets. We have regional offices across the Asia Pacific and Middle East that we can tap on to grow our business. We also form strategic alliances with local partners in key markets. With an extensive and growing young fleet of 52 vessels as well as a solid track record of offshore projects, Swiber is proud to provide quality vertically integrated in-house services with efficiency and cost effectiveness. Swiber delivers outstanding operational and corporate performance.
When we interviewed Mr. Dhir of Cairn India, he told us the industry is historically very conservative in terms of giving responsibilities to young professionals. The fact that you focus on the recruitment of an experienced workforce seems to confirm this.
Swiber is led by an experienced and competent senior management team, and is supported by a committed and technically capable workforce.
We value our employees, encourage their contributions and develop them to their fullest potential. At Swiber, we practice the 101% principle in affirmation, finding the 1% that we can affirm and giving it 100% of our attention.
We truly believe that people are our greatest assets, hence our continual investment in our people through our comprehensive training and development programmes that will enhance our employees’ knowledge and skills, empowering every individual to go beyond their respective roles.
The group has offices in India, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Middle East, but constantly explores strategic alliances throughout the Asia Pacific, the Middle Eastern and South American regions. What are Swiber’s next potential projects for Offshore Constructions services and to what extent does India serve a pool for engineers and a strong basis for exporting Swiber’s services, also considering the interesting geographical position and the potential partnerships?
For Offshore Constructions services, Swiber will continue with our key strategies of maintaining a sizeable fleet in tandem with our geographical expansion, remain focused on providing fully integrated offshore EPIC services, strengthen market presence through partnerships and alliances in the Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East. India has a significant pool for engineers and is strategic location for market expansion.
Where will you take Swiber in the next five years?
Swiber’s vision is to become an integrated niche energy company by 2015. We will continue with our key strategies of maintaining a sizeable fleet in tandem with our geographical expansion. The Group will remain focused on providing fully integrated offshore EPCI services. We have established a strong presence in Southeast Asia and South Asia and we will further strengthen our presence in these two regions while expanding into the Middle East region, tapping on our strategic alliances with our partners and leveraging on the strengths of their local networks.
What would you say today to an international service supplier looking at establishing operations in India?
India is a strategic location to establish operations. We believe India to be one of the most dynamic and fastest growing markets for offshore oil and gas activities, with a big and growing demand for offshore marine support services in India.