It was at Pasir Panjang Vocational Institute that Chai Meng Meng first proved his mettle, when he graduated in 1977 with a NTC-3 in Metal Machining and served as an apprentice at LeBlond Singapore. Meng’s 3 years of hard work gained recognition where he was upgraded to the position of technician while still at LeBlond.

In 1982, he acquired a NTC-2 Tool and Die qualification and was subsequently promoted to Senior Technician. He made further strides academically by taking up a full-time Diploma programme in Production Engineering with a specialisation in Industrial Automation at the German Singapore Institute (GSI).

His five-year stint as an engineering manager at Poly Micro Pte Ltd placed him in good stead when he was offered an exciting opportunity - a stake at Pheng Tat Engineering as a director.

Even though he possessed excellent technical qualifications, Meng still felt he was hampered by his lack of administration skills; so he decided to equip himself, and in due course graduated from the University of Leicester with a MBA degree.

Pheng Tat’s clients include those providing turnkey solutions in precision engineering industry for various technological companies. Meng’s winning philosophy is “business is always about customers.“ You may have fantastic products but if you do not deliver products or services of significant
value to the customers, they are useless in the market.”


When one of his customers, Kulite and Soffa, had a problem sourcing for certain materials, Meng quickly intercepted by directing the customer’s R & D department to design and source for materials globally. He feels that if his customers are happy working with him, there will always be continuous business.

It is this business philosophy that has brought him a large customer base made up of top multinationals such as Seagate, Flextronics and the Motorola Singapore Technology group.

Meng attributes Pheng Tat’s success to three factors - the integration of integrity, commitment and vision. He feels that integrity, which is crucial in the business, must be complemented by commitment, as he believes that once you have committed to a project or endeavour of the customers, you have to see it through and thirdly, vision - to help customers to transcend successfully in a changing economic landscape. Meng’s training in precision and automation processes has also helped hone his ability to strategise - a requirement in his niche business.

How do Meng and his team keep the chemistry going with his customers? Their secret - open communication. “We take the initiative to disclose everything that we do, so that when one takes the initiative to be open, the other will reciprocate with the same amount of openness. With this level of openness and integrity, you are on the way to grooming a fruitful partnership.” This is crucial, as Pheng Tat is closely involved in