Engineering graduate now owner of multimillion-dollar enterprise


Joel Lim (Class of 2013 DASE alumnus) is the managing director of a multi-million dollar water filtration company Ruhens, selling water purifiers, air purifiers and tap filters, with two showrooms; as well as a bar and bistro. After graduating with the Diploma in Aerospace Electronics (DASE) from Singapore Polytechnic (SP), he started work as an aircraft technician. Soon after, he decided to start his own business. With a start-up capital of $100k, he has grown his company to a size of 40 strong employees with an annual turnover of around $3 million to $6 million in a brief span of six years. Forging ahead, there are plans to have at least five showrooms in Singapore, with expansion into the Malaysian market also on the cards.

Engineering and business might seem incongruous at first glance. However it was precisely the framework of Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate (CDIO) pedagogy in Joel’s engineering education at SP which had developed him to be a solution-minded engineer with a strong foundation in innovation and creativity. This stood him in good stead to overcome the challenges wrought by the pandemic. With the pandemic preventing customers from visiting the showrooms to view his products and see how they work, Joel came up with the concept of a mobile showroom. It is basically a converted van that brought his products to customers where they were able to safely view the products on a one-to-one basis. Joel also introduced virtual viewing sessions on Facebook where customers’ queries could be addressed in real time. These innovative solutions ensured no compromise in his business amid the pandemic.

In addition to providing a comprehensive engineering curriculum, Joel was able to have a holistic education at SP by taking part in its various CCAs. He was very active in his CCAs, and joined the SP Students’ Union, SP Students’ Sports Club and SP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Club (EEEC). Through these activities, he cultivated his leadership and interpersonal skills that played a key role in effectively managing his employees and interacting with customers. Joel’s all-rounded education at SP has prepared him to be World Ready, Work Ready, Life Ready and also Business Ready.

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