MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: A pioneer in ultra-low power wireless and global market leader in low energy solutions
2 November 2022
Please meet Bob Brandal from Nordic Semiconductor ASA, a Norwegian fabless semiconductor company. Recently, he moved from Hong Kong to Singapore and is now one of the newest members of Csuites.
1. We’re very excited to have Nordic Semiconductors as part of Csuites community. Could you please share a bit about what you do and what your main products are?
At Nordic Semiconductor, we design radio chips that enable all the battery powered, wireless products we use every day to connect and communicate with each other. For over 20 years, Nordic has been focused on giving battery operated applications the best possible performance while preserving battery life.
Our customers use our low-power chips to build wireless connectivity into everything from mainstream consumer PC peripherals, sports & fitness devices, toys, and RF remote controls through to the most advanced and innovative wireless devices such as beacons, health monitors, home automation, asset tracking and other IoT applications.
Nordic provides the complete solution (software, protocols, and hardware) for the world´s most popular wireless standards, from Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to Wi-Fi and cellular IoT and is the leader in BLE with an unprecedented market share of 40% of all new end products certified for the BLE standard.
We are a public company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (NOD) and with a growth set to bring us to 1B$ revenue by end of next year we have become one of the key players in the global Internet of Things (IoT) market, with more than 1300 employees worldwide and still growing rapidly both in Asia and globally.
2. Can you give some insight into why the company made the move to Singapore and chose to set up an office at Csuites?
The main reason for our move is that we are setting up a new APAC headquarters in Singapore. We have had our APAC HQ in Hong Kong since our early days in Asia 18 years ago, and like most technology companies, we chose HK due to its proximity to Shenzhen, the world’s number one electronics manufacturing hub.
But with the benefits Singapore offers to companies establishing here, its strive to (and success in) becoming a leading technology hub in Asia, and the recent political changes in Hong Kong, Singapore has become a very attractive alternative. And now, with Hong Kong’s prevailing strict Covid restrictions and travel restrictions still kept in place while the rest of the world is moving on, we found this to be a good time to set up a new HQ in Singapore. We have ten sales office locations across Asia, and in my role, it is crucial to travel around freely to meet with both customers and our teams and partners Asia-wide. We are not moving any of our staff from Hong Kong, and we still need a team there as well, but will add new staff here in Singapore as we are growing rapidly and need all the best talent we can get to further grow the organisation according to our plans.
As we are starting with a small team but have big plans for our growth here in Singapore (and APAC-wide/Globally), we wanted to find a place with some flexibility in terms of office size and opportunities to get more space. We also need to host customer visits, run seminars etc., so having a great selection of on-site meeting rooms, event space etc. is perfect for our needs. And some similar places we looked at had a bit too much "startup-vibe", while we really like the corporate look and feel of Csuites. We just had one of our executives from the HQ in Norway visiting this week and his reaction was "this place is bl**dy great"!
3. Could you also tell us a bit about yourself? For example, your role within the company and some of your favorite things to do in Singapore.
I am the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Asia Pacific, and responsible for the sales and marketing organisation and activities here in the Asia Pacific region. I am also responsible for the regions P&L and tasked with building a bigger and stronger organisation scaled to support our accelerated growth. We are today close to 70 people in the Asia sales organisation and expect to double that over the next few years.
My main passion outside work the last few years has been wakeboarding, and one of the things that really excited me about moving to Singapore is that we have our own little cable wakeboarding park down at East Coast park. So, I am now at a place where I can pursue both my passions: work and wakeboarding.
4. Please feel free to share any other interesting facts about you or NordicSemi.
I am Norwegian and grew up in the cold windy west-coast of Norway. But I have lived in Asia the last 8,5 years and really gotten acclimatized to the warm climate, to such degree that I no longer can stand cold temperatures and easily start freezing. This to certain amusement for my Norwegian colleagues, friends and family who would walk around in shorts and T-shirt during the summer back home while I would wear jackets and beanies, and even gloves, as the temperature usually don’t go much above 15-20°C in the region where I come from.
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