In conversation with: Dr. Christian Fischer, Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of SMARTRAC N.V.

In conversation with: Dr. Christian Fischer, Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of SMARTRAC N.V. 2011 was an eventful year for many companies in Asia and that includes SMARTRAC N.V, one of the Silvers Sponsors at NFC World Asia and exhibition at RFID World Asia 2012. From celebrating the 10th anniversary of the company to several acquisitions to further establishing its foothold in Asia, SMARTRAC N.V. is proving itself to be a dominant player in both NFC and RFID. Recently, we had an exclusive interview with Dr. Christian Fischer, Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of SMARTRAC N.V and he shared with us some very interesting insights on Asia's smart technologies landscape. Enjoy your read!

It has been a very busy year for SMARTRAC in 2011! So, what are the key plans for the company this year?

Yes, 2011 was one of the most challenging and exciting years of our company history so far. In the year of our tenth company anniversary, we had to cope with the most severe flood in Thailand since 70 years and conducted several acquisitions. Each individual factor poses challenges to organizations and employees. Successfully managing the coincidence of all of them is a clear sign of the strength of this company and the dedication and commitment of our global team.

We started into 2012 with the clear focus on the integration of the companies which we acquired at the end of last year into the SMARTRAC Group. The current integration processes follow the guiding principle "Combining the Best". This main idea is not only expression of our mindset on how we are realizing the integration process. It is also expression of the value we aim to generate for our joint customer base, business partners, employees, and further stakeholders of our company.

"Combining the Best" means that some of the best-known companies in their respective fields are united in the SMARTRAC Group. SMARTRAC will use the integration processes to combine the best elements to shape an even more successful, strong company with the industry-wide renowned brand.

As a result of the integration, it is our defined goal to support the growth and success of our customers with the best R&D team in the industry, the broadest technology base, the largest production capacity over all frequencies, the best production technologies, the best team in the global RFID-industry and the best product portfolio, within our proven and dedicated business model as a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of RFID transponders and inlays. In addition, the combined business activities aim at delivering customers the best service, highest quality, innovation, and best value.

Much has been said about the development of smart technologies in Asia. But where / how does SMARTRAC see itself as an important stakeholder in Asia?

Firstly, we have two large production locations in Thailand and Malaysia and a sales team in Asia which means that we are an important employer in the region. Approximately 80% of our 3.600 employees work in Asia. Secondly, we generate close to 20% of our total sales in Asia. Thirdly, we maintain close partnerships with customers and business partners in the region. And last but not least, we have continuously invested into the enlargement of our Asian manufacturing sites over the past years and we have a strong commitment to the region as a manufacturing location. Whereas some companies which were hit by the flood disaster in Thailand decided not to re-start production in Ayutthaya, we have a strong commitment to the region in which our company was founded in the year 2000. Through the acquisition of UPM RFID which is expected to close end of March 2012, we will also have a production location in Guangzhou, China, with focus on the manufacture of label and ticket inlays.

How will smart technologies influence the way we live, work, and play over the next 5 years?

Smart technologies will continue to add convenience and simplicity to our life. RFID and NFC connect the physical world with digital information. RFID based products have already conquered numerous areas of our daily life. A significant portion of the world's population uses an RFID-based car immobilizer to unlock their car in the morning or get access to the public transport system via an RFID-based card or ticket. An RFID card or key fob is then used to open the office door, log in at the attendance recorder or pay for lunch. After work, RFID technology is then used to log in at the gym, borrow books or purchase goods that are being transported through RFID optimized supply chains. Some people already have NFC functionality in their mobile phone or an RFID transponder as an identification tool implemented into other electronic media devices. On a business or vacation trip, personal identification at the airport is done fast and efficiently using an electronic passport equipped with RFID technology that numerous countries have introduced over the past years.

As you can see, RFID technology adds security, convenience and simplicity to our life and will continue to do so in the future as well.

Objective for participating at NFC World Asia and RFID World Asia 2012

We have participating as an exhibitor at RFID World Asia for several years now. It is a great show and a good opportunity to showcase our latest product developments to the expert audience in Asia. As NFC will play and even more important role in our product and technology range, we have decided to sponsor NFC World Asia 2012 to let people know what we are already doing in this area and what we plan to realize together with our partners in the future.

Complete the following sentence: When customers think of SMARTRAC technology Group, they will…

…think of the global market leader for RFID transponders and inlays with the best team in the industry, the best product portfolio, the broadest technology range, and the best customer service in the industry.

SMARTRAC N.V and its team of experts will be at Booth 4J03 to share their expertise with you! Drop by their booth to find out how you and your business can benefit from their latest technologies and solutions. To visit NFC World Asia and RFID World Asia 2012 exhibitions, pre-register online before 13 April 2012.

About Dr. Christian Fischer, Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of SMARTRAC N.V.

Effective July 1, 2007, Dr. Christian Fischer took over responsibility as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SMARTRAC. Dr. Fischer joined SMARTRAC as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the end of 2005 and became a member of the Management Board upon the incorporation of the company in January 2006. Dr. Christian Fischer has a degree in business administration and a doctorate in financial economics from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.

Note: No information herein should be reproduced without the prior written permission of Terrapinn Pte Ltd. Please contact Ms. Christine Lee at +65 6322 2301 or christine.lee@terrapinn.com if you wish to use part or full contents of this interview.

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