Industry Sharing Series: Firmenich Asia Pte Ltd


On 14 March, the Faculty organised an industry sharing session featuring speakers from Firmenich on the topic “Innovative Craftsmanship in Fragrances and Flavours.”  Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1895, Firmenich is a leading Swiss company in the perfume and flavour business.


Originally a fragrance company, Firmenich branched into the flavour business by creating a raspberry substitute in 1938, followed by creations of citrus and strawberry flavours. Other synthetic flavours followed for use in processed and preserved foods.For over 100 years, Firmenich has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavours that billions of consumers enjoy.


The speakers included Mr Bhavesh SHAH, Corporate Vice President, Chief Purchasing Officer; Dr NG Khim Hui, Analytical Lab & Fragrance Analysis Manager, Perfumery; and Dr Imad FARHAT, Vice President (Technical and Business Development), Asia Pacific, Flavour. 


The speakers shared their insights on how Firmenich has differentiated itself competitively by actively investing more than 10% of its annual turnover in research and development (R&D). With facilities in 63 countries, 2,000 patents in force and R&D centres in Geneva, New York, Shanghai and Gujarat, Firmenich is renowned for its top-notch research and creativity, thought leadership in sustainability and understanding of consumer trends.


The speakers also spoke on the technologies and science behind Firmenich’s innovative products. The company continually broadens its palette with new flavour and fragrance ingredients and taps on the cross-functional expertise of scientists, perfumers, flavourists and application specialists. This blend of science optimises its production of ingredients and ensures its products have the desired sensory properties to create positive consumer experiences.


To strengthen its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich announced its Environmental Goals for 2020, where it will invest $15 million in renewable energy to realise its vision of becoming a carbon neutral company. Through cutting-edge science, for instance by utilising green chemistry, the company strives to create differentiating flavours and perfumes which minimise impact on the environment.   


The presentations were followed by a Q&A session with the speakers and a dinner networking reception. The session was well-attended by about 130 participants. 



Mr Bhavesh Shah, Corporate Vice President, Chief Purchasing Officer gave the attendees an overview of Firmenich 



Dr Ng Khim Hui, Analytical Lab & Fragrance Analysis Manager, Perfumery shared about Firmenich’s Perfumery Division



Dr Imad Farhat, Vice President (Technical and Business Development), Asia Pacific, Flavour shared about the company’s work in creating flavours and ingredients



Attendees listened attentively to the various speakers from Firmenich



Students networked with Science faculty members and the guest speakers during the dinner reception
(Foreground: Prof ZHOU Weibiao, Director of the NUS Food Science & Technology Programme;
Background: Dr Ng Khim Hui, Analytical Lab & Fragrance Analysis Manager, Perfumery, Firmenich)