Nov 2015 New Member Spotlight

Fred Birnbaum

Photo 1

Occupation:

Senior Vice President – Asia, Super Dry International

Industry:
Manufacturing & Packaging

Member since:
September 2015

Why did you and Super Dry International join AmCham Hong Kong?

I’ve been a member of AmCham Hong Kong and Shanghai on-and-off over the past 15 years and found it to be a great channel for meeting professionals from many different industries. Also, it provides opportunities for sharing of industry and company best practices, great exposure to US Government commerce officials, and overall networking opportunities with like-minded business executives.

Can you tell us a bit about Super Dry International?

Super Dry is a leading global supplier of non-toxic desiccants and moisture damage prevention solutions. Our desiccants are used during ocean transport for all the world’s major manufacturing industries, for example, the retail sector which includes textiles and footwear, as well as the commodities sector which includes raw commodities such as cocoa. We manufacture our product at four factories in the Asia region, specifically in China, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. In addition, Super Dry operates an R&D testing facility at the Shenzhen factory which has advanced laboratories that can simulate a container transportation environment and is used by many third-party testing companies.

How is business so far?

Business is booming; we’re growing quickly. We’re doubling our production and possibly opening another factory. Super Dry has grown to over 40 offices worldwide since establishing our headquarters in Singapore in 2000.

What advantages does Kong provide as a hub for a global business like Super Dry?

The ease of doing business into the mainland is a clear advantage. It is a strategic location for international sourcing and buying offices for many MNCs with decision-makers and senior executive management located in Hong Kong.

Does Hong Kong’s extreme humidity provide any interesting opportunities for the business?

Not necessarily just Hong Kong; China, Southeast Asia and the India subcontinent have experienced record rainfall these past few years. This means increased exposure of an exporter’s cargo to moisture. Factory conditions, packing of cartons, container loading, container dwell time at relay ports and in container yards all contribute to the likelihood of costly cargo losses due to water damage. This provides opportunities to assist customers’ manufacturers in learning how to prevent moisture. We provide factory inspections on request to teach manufacturers best practices in preventing moisture damage and ultimately costly chargebacks.

What’s your favorite thing about Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a convenient city to live and work in. It is a global city, with international banking, shopping outlets, restaurants, etc. One side of Hong Kong Island is a busy, fast-paced business hub, and just a 15 minute drive to the south side, or 20 minutes out to the New Territories, gets you to a relaxing, seaside tropical environment.

From a business perspective, it is easy to network. Hong Kong is small enough that when you’re walking down the street or on the MTR, chances are that you will bump into people that you know.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Power Down, a novel by Ben Coes. I like his writing, action thrillers [which are] fiction based in reality.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be a good listener. My dad taught me something called “Ethics of our Fathers,” which are ancient proverbs on how to live your life. “The wise man is the one who learns from his fellow man” is another maxim I have always remembered.

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