Grand Venture Technology (GVT) is a Malaysian and Chinese company that provides engineering, assembly, testing, and product life cycle management services for the manufacture of complex precision machining and sheet metal components, modular assembly with testing services, and full system integration to some of the world’s largest original equipment manufacturers.
GVT is one of the few organisations in Singapore that offers superior precision ceramic and quartz machining services, which enable amazing accuracy.
“If you imagine a strand of your hair is about 30 microns, we can machine parts up to accuracy of one micron,” Julian explains.
“We’re probably getting towards 0.5 of a micron and below, a precision moving beyond the competition.” Julian’s career has been dominated by business development responsibilities despite having a mechanical engineering background.
When he co-founded GVT with his former boss and mentor, Ricky Lee, in 2012, he had been with Frencken for eight years and was the Global Director of Sales and Marketing.
Both had worked in the precise engineering sector for over 20 years and had long wished to establish a world-class local manufacturing company that would eliminate the “pain” of troublesome international supply chains.
“Most world-class manufacturers were foreign, or at least foreign owned, and we were never able to solve supply problems outside of Asia,” he explains.
“We want to keep abreast of the latest technology, constantly upgrade our capabilities to provide world-class manufacturing. That way we can attract global customers who believe we can be better than other brands. That was always our inspiration.
“Every few years we refresh our technology road map, sharing it with our local customers who know they can be served well by us. They then share their experience with their peers in the US, Europe and Japan who have also been very impressed with what we are doing.”
GTV is a significant contributor to the developing mass spectrometer business, which offers the potential to analyse food and its origins, as part of its resolve to focus more on analytical life sciences.
The company is working relentlessly to develop precision parts and modules for the analytical equipment that are tiny enough to be utilised in supermarkets and allow customers to test the authenticity of organic food they are purchasing on the spot.
“An organic vegetable can cost up to four times the amount of a regular one, but do you trust it? How organic is organic?” Julian asks.
“Our customers are trying to miniaturize the technology for mass spectrometers to enable you to choose your organic vegetable and validate whether the claims on its labels are true. You can immediately test it to see exactly how it was grown and which soil or preservatives were used.”
By the middle of this year, the company will have transformed into a smart factory, utilising Industry 4.0 and modern technology such as automation, artificial intelligence, robots, and virtual reality to boost business and operational efficiency. It’s cutting-edge technology created by carefully chosen employees with cutting-edge talent.
“We have a culture where we never stop learning,” Julian reveals. “Every year we source the polytechnics and local universities to offer internships. Of course, the challenge then is to keep them on.
“In Singapore, it’s not easy to retain university and poly grads because they usually want to go on and work for a multinational. But we find that after spending three months with us, they often want to continue working with us. It’s because we have a culture where experimentation is allowed, a winning formula we use to guide our employees out of their comfort zone. We wanted to change the perception that precision engineering is a very traditional business, so we started straight off using digital tools to attract excellent young talent.”
Julian’s lively speaking talents are undoubtedly a source of inspiration for others. Recognizing that engineers aren’t always right. “the best at communicating”, He claims that his many years of company growth and networking have improved his ability to participate more successfully.
He now describes himself as a “very hands-on” CEO who appreciates collaborating with his team and taking pride in the fact that they are creating something that would enhance people’s lives.
“Whether it’s mass spec, whether it’s life sciences, it’s a very down-to-earth job,” Julian reflects. “I’ve been in this trade for many years and I still love the fact that we are part of a supply chain that ultimately produces a product that brings joy to a lot of people.”