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On Innovation with the Zuhlke Group

Since its inception in Switzerland 50 years ago, Zuhlke Group has helped scores of companies develop and implement business models and digital products & services; these solutions are increasingly related to the possibilities of data analytics, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence.

Today, Zuhlke has a fleet of almost a thousand engineers on the job, both software and hardware, and is only looking for more. The latest stop? Asia.

Stefan Sarbach and Jonas Trindler (left to right above) are the pair chosen to lead the company’s entrance into the region. Stefan is Director & Partner, with experience in probably any industry you can name, from finance to tourism to management education; Jonas is Managing Director and no stranger to the task ahead, having been responsible for ramping up Zuhlke’s second Swiss location in Berne before this.

They’re building up the business from their office here at The Working Capitol, which they picked in what they describe as “an easy decision: The Working Capitol looks great, feels great, and is exactly what we need.”

We chatted briefly with them about innovation, inspiration, and a dash of personal insight.


Tell us more about Zuhlke.

In Europe, Zuhlke is a widely-known engineering company that delivers high-quality results. We are responsible for a number of innovative solutions and products you might recognise, although our involvement is often hidden, as we mostly handover all IP rights. The milk frother for Nespresso is an example. Other examples include the world’s lightest avalanche airbag and a new mobile platform for a global bank.


Zuhlke has completed over 8000 successful customer projects. Any favourites you can share?

One fascinating project a Zuhlke team worked on was with a railway company in Switzerland.

A common problem faced by railway companies involves train doors failing to close properly – even in a country like Switzerland where trains are known to run on time. Using explorative data analysis however, we were able to develop a dashboard to enable the maintenance team to proactively prevent such failures.

Maybe this would be of interest for SMRT… (-:


What you would say is needed to support innovation and to help it thrive?

If you want to be able to support others to accelerate innovation, you’ll need brilliant methodical and technical expertise, and be prepared to lead processes and teams.

Curiosity, reliability, and creativity are certainly values that help on both a personal and an organisational level.


And what inspires you?

We both love to cycle, and sweat a lot, especially here in Singapore. We recently joined the ANZA cycling club and regularly pedal around the island before work or on weekends.

We also share a passion for travel and exploring new cultures and destinations, which makes Singapore an ideal location.


Lastly, what is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned?

Be authentically yourself, as a person and as a company. Also, develop your strategy and persist with it – small adjustments are always possible and usually necessary.


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