Hydraulic Action: Poclain pursues growth in Asia: Interview

ISSUE #66 – Thomas Liput, General Manager ASEAN Pacific, Poclain Hydraulics (pictured below) shares with us how Singapore factors in its regional business development strategy.


Can you tell us about Poclain Hydraulics and your activities?

The story of Poclain, ever since its creation and the invention of its hydraulic excavators, is one of a family-run company that has revolutionised the world of agricultural, construction, mining and many other machines for more than nine decades. Poclain Hydraulics is now an internationally-renowned specialist in hydrostatic transmissions, having become an independent company in 1985.

The Poclain Group returned to its original name in 2014 and boasts subsidiaries in more than 20 countries, plus 11 production sites and 2,200 employees worldwide. We are, and intend to remain, a world leader with a local touch – going that extra mile to provide all our clients with local, first-class professional and technical support at every level including logistics, quality, technical performance, market penetration, and new product development.

Our vision is built on our respect for four key values:

  • Independence, because the company is and will remain a family-run company that is firmly committed to the future, dedicated to operational performance and steered with ambition and deliberation.
  • Innovation, because this is the essence of Poclain through its commitment to being the world’s leading expert in hydrostatic transmissions by providing customers with unique, value-added solutions.
  • Internationality, because from the very outset – at the creation of Poclain in 1926 – the company has had an international and global culture.
  • And last but not least, people, because the company has always been aware of the importance for all employees to feel as fulfilled as possible through skill-sharing, and it is committed to being a benchmark employer. Poclain fosters a relationship of trust and loyalty with its employees, through shared values and objectives that relate to an overall long-term vision.



What role does Singapore play in your regional business development strategy?

Back in 2011, the strategy of Poclain Hydraulics was to set up in Asia to develop our activities and we incorporated a company and factory in China, a company in Korea and a company in Singapore. Singapore was an obvious choice due to its location which allows us to manage South East Asia and Oceania. Furthermore, Singapore being business-friendly, the incorporation of the subsidiary is much easier compared to other countries in the region.

After 7 years in Singapore, we accumulated knowledge on this area and we are convinced of the interest to continue our development in the region.

Singapore will act as a headquarters to set up in other countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.

Lastly, as an innovative company (around 7% of our profits are invested in R&D every year), Singapore could become the centre for our IOT development for Asia.


Are there challenges in conducting business across borders and how do you overcome it?

Yes many challenges… The first one is to work in a multicultural environment with different nationalities and cultures. You need to understand and adjust to the codes of each culture and each country. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia are close geographically but are very different at many levels.

The second challenge is the language. Each country has its own language and even if most of the people are able to speak English, hiring local employees is definitely a key to succeed as Poclain is dealing with small to mid-sized local companies. Another challenge is the distance. Auckland is at 10 hours flight with a time difference of +5h during winter. But proximity is definitely a winning factor to build long-term lasting relationships with customers and distributors and it is a key component for companies looking for a sustainable growth in the region.



Interview with Thomas Liput, General Manager ASEAN Pacific, Poclain Hydraulics

Published in FOCUS Magazine — Issue #2 2018 “Connecting to the Region”