October 20, 2022
R. Sakthi, CEO of Lintec & Linnhoff Concrete, knows more than most about the concrete industry, having dedicated decades of his career to it. He says spotting the potential for high-quality manufacturing in Asia, as well as harnessing the benefits of automation have helped establish the Eurotec brand in the global market.
How long have you been working with Lintec & Linnhoff?
I have been working in the concrete batching plant industry for over 30 years now and I joined Lintec & Linnhoff back in 1995 when it was still known as IPS-Eurotec Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
What was your first role in the company?
I joined the company as a Site Engineer and my first project was to automate the concrete batching plant that was used for the construction of the famous Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This project really emphasised how important automation was going to be to our company, and I carried that experience forward with me.
I was in that job role for about 3–4 years before the company put me in charge of technical and after-sales duties for the whole of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. I switched between technical and sales roles for about two years before I was made the Area Sales Manager in 1996 and there was no looking back after that! Having both technical and sales experience made it really beneficial in my current role as CEO of Lintec & Linnhoff Concrete Pte Ltd.
What do customers like the most about Eurotec Plants?
In essence, Eurotec marries European design and technology with cost-effective high-quality manufacturing in Asia. The design, conceptualisation and key components are European while the rest of the plants are manufactured in Malaysia. As manufacturers, we know that downtime is the biggest concern for a client, so Eurotec plants are always built with superior, quality materials.
Why do customers like doing business with Lintec & Linnhoff? What makes the company different from its competitors?
We actually listen to our customers, and in particular take a three-prong approach: looking at project requirements, the company’s overall business goals and the budget. No matter what size, or what needs our customers have, we will always have a solution that’s right for them. We don’t expect anyone to have to fit in with our offerings, but instead we make sure we have offerings that fit all customer needs. And that’s what our customers really appreciate.
What has been the most interesting change you’ve observed in the industry over your time in the business?
When I joined the industry back in 1992, automation was just starting. Before that, all the modules had a lever attached to them, and only by moving the lever would you be able to dispense the concrete, but we have come a long way since then. Most plants now are completely automated and increasingly focused on more sustainable operations.
We recognised these trends early on, so we’ve been able to create product lines that appeal to customers. Also, our Lintec containerised designs have been a real advancement for the industry. Ever since the early designs, it’s been something that is popular with clients. The new plants are sleek, powerful, and eco-friendly.
What is the outlook like for Eurotec? What is your vision for the brand?
The cost of importing plants to Asia from Europe has always been high. There was a gap in the market for high-quality plants that could be sourced at economical prices. That’s when we launched the Eurotec brand to fill that gap. Keeping the European design, we manufactured the plants in Asia and achieved high-level cost efficiencies without compromising on quality. We launched Eurotec in 2003 and have sold over 400 plants across Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
I believe we’ll see some interesting innovations for the sector over the next 5 years. Large concrete batching plants will only be seen on megaprojects, which need high-level concrete production at the job site. For other applications, we’ll see plants become increasingly mobile and shift to fully electric-powered. This will help the industry boost its sustainability and efficiency. We’re excited to share further details on these trends with our customers in future.
What do you believe is the most important lesson in leadership?
It is important that people believe in you and trust you. You invest in your team and then when they have developed the right capabilities you have to trust them to do the job. Trust is a two-way street, and I’ve always found that people respond positively when given responsibility.
Secondly, focus on listening. Listen to your employees and let them know that the company trusts them. Listen to your customers to understand their needs and their business and really get to know them.
What was one of the most memorable events/sales/projects during your time with the company?
Wow, there have been so many! One of my favourite memories is from when we started to build our business in Latin America, many years ago. One of our first orders was for a dam project in Honduras for a Japanese contractor. I went there in person to ensure everything went well and the customer was happy. It was so important to me that it was a success, and I was so proud of our brand.
My second fondest memory is of a sale to Fiji. Our technician who was originally scheduled to commission the plant had to pull out at the last minute. Of course, there was no way we were going to let down the customer, so I travelled to Fiji myself to oversee the commissioning. And I am so glad I did. It really is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the local community are so welcoming and humble. I’d recommend anyone to visit Fiji.
More recently there have been other projects that I’ve been especially proud to be involved with. One is the Chan Sow Lin project in Malaysia. What makes this plant different is it is built in a special enclosed shelter to reduce noise and dust pollution for nearby residential areas. It provides good environmental protection to the surrounding living areas. Our MZP200 concrete batching plant has been such a success and is still working there today!
Another noteworthy one is the Malolos Clark Railway project in the Philippines. Four of our ECO120 concrete batching plants, plus two chilled water plants with insulated storage tanks, and two flake ice plants are currently supporting the construction of this railway. Stay tuned to find out more details about this project soon!
Senior Marketing Manager
Lintec & Linnhoff Holdings Pte Ltd