Byron Fuller: Redefining Prop-Tech Leadership In The Asia-Pacific Region With Vision & Impact

Byron Fuller: Redefining Prop-Tech Leadership In The Asia-Pacific Region With Vision & Impact

Byron Fuller , COO & MD Singapore

Byron Fuller

COO & MD Singapore

In the ever-changing corporate environment, Chief Operating Officers (COOs) assume a crucial role in propelling profound shifts. They stand out due to their resolute dedication to shaping the destiny of their sectors, driven by inventive thought and flexibility. Keeping abreast of emerging trends and technologies, COOs act as agents of progress, enhancing productivity, sustainability, and expansion. Their skill in navigating intricacies, embracing change, and leveraging innovation distinguishes them as visionaries propelling industry advancement. Byron Fuller embodies the essence of such a COO perfectly.

Today, Byron Fuller serves as the global COO and MD Singapore of WeMaintain, where he spearheads the company's mission to seamlessly blend human expertise with cutting-edge technology. As the Managing Director for Singapore, he also leads WeMaintain's expansion efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. With a focus on delivering exceptional quality in commercial building maintenance and championing data-driven business models, WeMaintain has transformed the prop-tech landscape, revolutionizing lift and escalator maintenance and making substantial contributions to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.

Below is an excerpt of Byron Fuller’s exclusive interaction with CEO Insights ASIA magazine.

How has your professional journey been so far?

I grew up between the US and Germany, pursued academics, and ventured into entrepreneurship importing wine. After selling that business, I explored algorithmic finance. However, I realized my passion lay in scalable endeavours at the intersection of digital and physical realms. This led me to Vistaprint, where I worked in strategy, Asian and European M&A, and CMO & COO operating partner roles. My fascination with the confluence of technology and the physical world led to founding a company tapping offshore AI talent. In 2019, I joined WeMaintain, launching our Asian operations in Singapore, leveraging the city-state's technological prowess to optimize elevators and escalators and foster regional expansion.

Our steadfast commitment to technological advancement drives industry efficiency, sustainability & transparency

How would you define WeMaintain as an organization & its current position in the market?

WeMaintain is a transformative force in the building and infrastructure operations sector, particularly specializing in field operations management. Our primary focus revolves around lift and escalator maintenance, a sector often resistant to change, marked by historically cartel-like behaviour. We strongly contend that this industry has yet to witness meaningful digitization, maintaining a customer-centric approach. With industry-wide gross margins exceeding 60 percent and a steady +7 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in an $85 billion annual market, WeMaintain sees a substantial opportunity.

Our 200-strong team operates across three key regions - France, the UK, and Singapore, with a fourth expansion soon to be unveiled. Diverging from traditional software-centric startups, WeMaintain straddles the digital and physical domains, introducing complex organizational dynamics and elevated uncertainty. This entails aligning different definitions of "done," cultivating a cohesive company culture, ensuring Health and safety compliance, and streamlining internal processes. Furthermore, we invest heavily in upskilling and hiring as our company doubles in size annually.

WeMaintain takes immense pride in its alignment with the B Corp movement, emphasizing the societal and governance aspects of ESG alongside environmental sustainability. We aim to be a hub for mechanical and electrical engineers, offering a tech-driven environment that recognizes their vital contributions to modern built environments.

Elaborate about the technology framework built within the company’s solutions and which are the latest technology trends that the company is planning to adopt.

IoT and machine learning are central to our value proposition, granting our field teams access to data-driven insights and enabling innovative business models beyond traditional maintenance. An illustrative case is the Paris airport operator, which substantially reduced OPEX through lift data-powered usage insights. Also, we're actively experimenting with AI for knowledge management among our field and customer-care teams, yielding promising outcomes.

Furthermore, we identify opportunities in technologies like blockchain to enhance transparency in operating asset history and elevate ESG reporting. This proves invaluable to asset owners dealing with stringent ESG regulations that could impact their portfolio assets. Our steadfast commitment to technological advancement drives industry efficiency, sustainability, and transparency.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

In today's private capital markets, we're navigating unprecedented challenges. The VC/PE landscape is currently one of the most demanding in over a decade, bridging the gap between startups and established companies in exciting ways.

Authenticity is our bedrock principle; it's not just about what we say but how we embody it within our teams. Astute employees can discern authenticity from pretense. My American-German heritage brings a natural directness, tempered for different audiences, always valuing mistakes as invaluable lessons.

Data remains our guiding light; we empower frontline managers with data-driven insights while ensuring senior management maintains essential control. We're on a path to profitability, focusing on France, the UK, and Singapore. We plan to replicate our success, expanding into new geographies, enhancing our in-house training and knowledge management, and harnessing the synergy between the digital and physical worlds for unparalleled value creation.

Byron Fuller, COO & MD Singapore, WeMaintain

Byron Fuller, COO & MD Singapore at WeMaintain, is a dynamic leader with a global perspective. With a background spanning the US, Germany, and the UK, he holds degrees from leading institutions and spent over a decade at Cimpress/Vistaprint before leading WeMaintain's APAC expansion. Byron is dedicated to driving innovation and sustainability in the prop-tech sector.

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