Haskell's Greater KL hub ignites collaboration

KUALA LUMPUR: Leading engineering, design and architecture firm Haskell is keen to partner with Malaysian companies to encourage the transfer of knowledge and technology locally.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida in the United States, Haskell specialises in design-build, engineering, procurement and construction management, project management and engineering services. Its primary focus lies in serving industries such as food and beverage (F&B), consumer packaged goods, aviation and life sciences.

This multinational corporation (MNC) initiated its Asia Pacific journey in 2015 with a project alongside PepsiCo. In 2016, they officially established an Asia Pacific hub in Greater Kuala Lumpur (Greater KL).

Fast forward to 2023, Haskell Asia Pacific is celebrating its eighth year of operation in the region. Embracing the auspicious number "8", it has grown significantly in Greater KL.

Starting with a modest team of under 20 in 2016, it has expanded to a workforce of over 200. As it continually expands the team and bolster its capabilities, Haskell Asia Pacific is becoming deeply rooted in the region.

Its significant presence across Southeast Asia has translated into remarkable results last year with a global revenue of US$1.8 billion. This success is supported by a workforce of more than 2,200 and over 900 in-house design professionals worldwide.

Haskell International Planning and Development and Asia Pacific vice-president Jonathan Toke said in Malaysia, Haskell Asia Pacific had partnered with Halal Development Corporation (HDC) to boost the halal initiative in the country and penetrate the global platform.

"Haskell Asia Pacific's focus on the F&B market makes this an especially important partnership, with the company assisting clients in designing and constructing their facilities to meet halal manufacturing design requirements of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department.

"Haskell's partnership with HDC boosts the halal market in Malaysia by providing an easy way for local and international companies to penetrate the market while providing a high level of execution.

"Through this, the partnership aims to increase halal exports as the demand for halal products increases globally," he said.

Toke said Haskell used its global experience to best serve clients while complying with local standards and regulations.

"Haskell also works closely with organisations such as SIRIM Bhd and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)  to assist clients in meeting standards and regulations."

InvestKL chief executive officer Datuk Azmi Muhammad Zulkifli said Haskell Asia Pacific's journey demonstrated the collaborative and innovative spirit that thrived in Malaysia, a testament to the country and Greater Kuala Lumpur's attractiveness to businesses.

"We are excited to see Haskell Asia Pacific's remarkable growth in Malaysia, where it has truly embraced the essence of partnership and progress. Its journey, from its humble beginnings to becoming a regional hub, reflects the spirit of dynamic collaboration and innovation, qualities that make Malaysia an attractive destination for businesses. We are proud to have been a part of Haskell's expansion and remain committed to fostering an environment that nurtures such outstanding success stories," he said.

In Greater KL, Haskell harnesses digital tools to optimise operational efficiency, ensuring project timelines and budgets are met. Its commitment to enhancing project certainty is underpinned by advanced technologies.

This digital transformation also streamlines procurement, improves workforce planning and enhances machinery utilisation.

Technologies used include laser scanning, virtual reality, aerial mapping and model-based quantity take-off, enabling a comprehensive and efficient approach to construction and design.

Over the years, Toke said Haskell had assisted many large international companies to expand in the Asia Pacific.

"One of the reasons we have been successful is our approach that takes project evolution into consideration.

"The approach to each project is to work closely with clients and to view ourselves as partners.

"This perspective helps Haskell view the project from the sides of both the client and contractor to ultimately make the best decisions that cater to the client's short and long-term goals," he said.

One of the key factors driving Haskell's choice of Greater KL as its regional hub is the abundant pool of highly skilled talent.

Toke said Haskell planned to expand its engineering capabilities to be multi-discipline and be the first MNC to provide self-perform services.

With those plans, the company will build the capabilities of local talent through international collaboration to equip them with the necessary experience and skills to work on new innovations and technologies in the market.

"Growing local talent's capabilities allows Haskell to be ready to assist clients in emerging sub-markets that may possess new technologies while continuing to serve the clients that exist within our business vertical," said Toke.

He added that the company was also mulling over plans to initiate partnerships that assisted companies to create added-value solutions to reach new markets beyond Malaysia.

"For example, for F&B companies that are eager to export their products overseas, Haskell supports them by enhancing and developing their production facilities to meet international standards and requirements, such as Food and Drug Administration compliance, hazard analysis and critical control points, good manufacturing practice standards and international standards organisations."

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