2022 Managing Director New Year Message

I wish everyone good health, wealth and success in the New Year!

9 months have passed since I took over the reins from Mr. Masao Akamatsu. I am pleased to report that the Group has continued to deliver creditable financial results even under the current challenging environment. I express my sincere appreciation to the Management and all employees for your hard work, contribution and dedication to JEL.

2021 was a significant year for us as we celebrated JEL’s Golden Jubilee. We have grown steadily to become a reliable, superior and comprehensive engineering solutions provider, focusing on lifecycle efficiency, safety and delivering maximum value to our stakeholders, as I had set in our Mission statement last year. Our footprints can be found in over 30 countries and will continue to grow. I would like to express my gratitude to our clients and business partners for your continued trust and support which made this possible, as set in our Vision.

As the new Managing Director of JEL Group, my main focus on leading JEL forward will be on improving its profitability and ensure that safety of all staffs/workers at offices and jobsites will be up-kept, as it is the most fundamental reason why JEL exists and also an important reason why we work for JEL.

In recent years, our business environment has changed rapidly. With growing environmental awareness, there is a need to gradually transition our business focus from fossil fuels to green renewable sources. Governments globally have started making regulatory changes to encourage the development and adoption of decarbonized energy.

We must effectively respond to the changes and ensure that JEL will overcome the challenges and continue to grow in the right direction, as we could survive under this situation as mentioned in Darwin’s famous theory of evolution as “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

In order for us to do so together with increasing profitability, I will embark on a JEL 2030 Initiative, aiming to grow our client base in our traditional markets in the SEA region, plus focus on high growth areas, including Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Philippines. We have established satellite teams in these regions and will continue to expand our network further.

Moving forward, strategic collaboration between JEL- HQ and our subsidiaries, including regionalization, would be more important for us to be competitiveness and responding to local market conditions quickly and effectively.

Therefore our subsidiaries, EESB, JML, PTJEL and TJEL, will be expanded into regional business centers to enhance our regional project management capabilities and facilitate the flexible sharing of resources. Our Headquarters in Singapore will continue to be the heart of the entire Group and provide support and be responsible for the management of all business activities worldwide. We will make ourselves more competitive to seize all forthcoming opportunities.

There are key things to be introduced and improved for our growth. One is how each of us can increase our capability, through education and training, and leverage on new enabling technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things).

Our employees are our greatest asset. We have set up the JEL Study Award to support employees furthering their education. Employees will be given the opportunities to develop cross functional skills and take up more responsibilities. This creates greater flexibility to deploy them to different projects, tap on new IoT technologies and undertake new roles. We will also continue to engage our employees through open communication and build up a cooperative environment where all employees will strive as a team towards a shared goal.

We will embrace digitalization and, through development programs, employees will be equipped with the necessary skills to leverage IoT technologies to boost our productivity and increase our profitability. Imagine a project site where equipment, materials, and workers are all connected to a central server for better site monitoring, inventory and progress tracking, project management and better safety. The possibilities of IoT are endless and I am really excited about it and I do believe we can do it as we are Singapore based company – recognized as the most IoT integrated country in the world.

Together with the above, we have ventured into the green energy solutions market and will continue to diversify and expand our capabilities in life cycle business in line with the sustainable future. On the maintenance front, we will invest further in developing our capabilities and resources into life cycle and turnaround projects and break into pharmaceutical and semiconductor plant maintenance.

And we cannot forget work safety remains a top priority. We will continue to emphasize a Safety-First culture and spare no effort to remain accident free in our operations globally, for you and me and everybody to be happy in our lives.

Over the years, we have been a trusted partner to our business associates and clients. That trust is built on our effective project management skills and our ability to deliver quality projects, on time, on budget and to the customer’s satisfaction. We will continue to collaborate with reputable partners and build on the “JEL” brand name.

The outlook for 2022 remains uncertain with COVID-19 continuing to cast its shadow over all aspects of life. My sincere appreciation to the contributions of our employees and workers at our sites. It is due to their dedication that work at our sites can continue unabated through this difficult period. I am confident that we can continue to adapt to changes and overcome new challenges that may arise.

We must remain positive, for there is surely light at the end of the tunnel. Please take good care and let’s stand united to support each other. We will get through this together and emerge stronger.

Thank you and stay safe and well. Let’s Rise to the Challenge!

Koichi Watanabe
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
January 2022

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