DIP director-general Pasu Loharnchun
DIP director-general Pasu Loharnchun

Summit Electronics taps start-up power

Corporate September 10, 2016 01:00



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SUMMIT Electronics Components (SEC), a subsidiary of Thai Summit Group, is collaborating with start-up ventures as part of its attempt to enhance its design and branding capability.

Managing director Somkurn Chycilaparun-groung said Summit was working with a dozen start-ups including Synergy, Sunny and MMT who would design new products for the company, which in turn would help them to bring their ideas into mass production.

“We’ve found that there are local start-ups in many places, including in Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok, which have problems in converting their ideas into a mass production. We consider it our responsibility to help start-ups reach their growth potential,” he said.

The Summit executive was speaking at a |factory visit organised by the Department of Industrial Promotion Department (DIP) of the Industry Ministry yesterday to show case its “SME 4.0” vision.

DIP director-general Pasu Loharnchun said that in order to achieve the “Thailand 4.0”, “Industry 4.0” and “SME 4.0” vision, enterprises would have to shift their business models to be driven by technology and creativity. Summit, he said, was involved with three of the 10 “S-Curve” industries that the government has aimed to promote – smart electronics, next-generation automobiles, and robotics.

Somkurn said Summit currently derives 65 per cent of its revenue from original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business, 25 per cent from labour-intensive jobs, and 10 per cent from original design manufacturing (ODM) business, which included finger scanner, and farm-control systems.

The company has set an ambitious target to boost ODM contribution to half of the total, which will help it to achieve Bt10-billion annual revenue in the next five years. Currently, its annual revenue is Bt1.5 billion.

Somkurn said Thai Summit Group, one of Thailand’s largest local auto-parts groups, was preparing itself to cope with the shift to electric vehicles which would be like a “tsunami” and make firms that don’t adjust “extinct”.

“Electric vehicles are coming; electronics parts will increasingly replace mechanical parts. Here we have a better chance to succeed than others because we are already supplying to many carmakers,” he said.

Pasu said one of the major areas of focus of DIP in 2017 would be the electrical and electronics sector that are involved with smart electronics, next-generation automobiles, and robotics industries. The department has a Bt100-million budget to help operators in the three industries, totalling about 2,000 enterprises, to enhance their productivity, product development, innovations, industrial standards, and networking.

Somkurn said the private sector would like the government to help build up communities, clusters, and networking for the Thai electronics industry as well as ensure a single person is in charge to take care of everything for the industry.

He said the key factor to enable the firm to achieve its ODM and OBM (original branding manufacturing) goal was to find capable Thais who have competencies in the fields.

Pasu said that exports of Thai electronics and electrical appliances would stay in the range of US$50 billion (Bt1.75 trillion) annually unless Thai producers could successfully shift to value-based enterprises or the so-called “Industry 4.0” era.

SEC mainly engages in printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) for various electronics and automotive products, especially air-conditioners which contribute 65 per cent of its revenue.

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