Independent electronics design house Advinno Technologies explores new business offerings and reinforces its core strengths with industry veteran and IPI Innovation advisor CK Tan.


In the 1960s, Singapore became home to Southeast Asia’s only television assembly plant. Today, the country houses 2,900 electronics manufacturing and designing companies. The industry continues to be a major driving force to Singapore’s economy as the largest contributor to the country’s manufacturing output, generating over SGD34 billion in value in 2020 and employing 64,900 workers.

With the industry expected to grow to SGD50 billion by 2025, small electronics companies who are looking to tap into its momentum need all the help they can get to maximise the opportunities that come their way.

Incorporated in 2002, Advinno Technologies is an independent electronics design house that carved a place for itself in the industry. Looking to expand its business, Advinno partnered with IPI for a closer look at the challenges and opportunities that the electronics market has to offer.


Redirecting current capabilities

Advinno focuses on the design, engineering, manufacturing and logistics of semiconductors, electronic systems and turnkey products. According to Terry Teh, Company Director, Advinno, the goal was to bring solutions to integrated circuit design communities. However, as the company set its focus on expansion, Terry found that his small company needed the extra bandwidth to comprehensively explore and identify which opportunities Advinno should pursue.

At that time, I was very curious to explore the silicon photonics market opportunity but I lacked the time to evaluate the ‘nitty-gritty’ of getting into the arena,” recalled Terry.

This is where IPI Innovation Advisor and electronics industry veteran CK Tan comes in. With over 25 years of experience, CK Tan provided the expertise Advinno needed to develop two new core business offerings. Apart from entering the silicon photonics sector, Advinno also wanted to establish its own packaging and prototyping business.

According to Terry, the Advinno team was interested in providing design services for silicon photonics because of its potential to enable better performance in sensor, power and system applications. As such, IA Tan spent months identifying the relevant silicon photonics ecosystem as well as analysing potential companies and fellow SMEs Advinno could work with. However, IA Tan found that more in-depth analysis would be required to fully understand what each player in the ecosystem can offer.

“Since the technology is in its infancy stage, the available capabilities may not be enough for potential overseas customers who prefer a more comprehensive ecosystem,” shared Terry.

Advinno also wanted to expand its design services to include packaging and prototyping. However, while they have had customers in the past who requested such offerings, these requests have become less frequent over time.


Gaining trust

While the first project with IPI did not result in revenue or headcount increase, Terry still considers the engagement a success. For Terry, IA Tan’s wealth of experience and network in the semiconductor industry was invaluable to Advinno’s future.

“The moment I discovered that CK is part of the IPI-Innovation Advisors programme, I wanted to work with IPI in exploring various options that can benefit Advinno’s growth,” said Terry.

Terry admits he has become a fan of Tan’s ‘deeper and wider’ approach in business growth, which prioritises the strengthening of existing business relationships rather than endlessly looking for new ones. “CK has helped us develop a ‘follow-up’ mindset in pursuing business. He taught us to actively look into what other services we can offer to potential customers,” shared Terry.

IPI has since re-engaged with Advinno to establish a business expansion plan for Advinno’s design services. In this second project, which started earlier this year, Terry aims to create a service delivery playbook and expand its services to existing and new customers.

“I hope to have CK and IPI help us in defining the basis of our strength and in communicating that strength to our existing and new customers,” he explained.

Indeed, IPI’s facilitation combined with CK’s wealth of expertise and experience has proven to be a game-change for Advinno with more to come.