Our Group's history can be traced back to 1989 when it was founded as a sole proprietorship called Natural Cool Airconditioning Services by Mr Neo Chuan Tiong mainly to provide labour for the servicing of air-conditioning systems for residential households. In 1990, Messrs Chen Choon Khee, Tsng Joo Peng and Tan Teck Du joined the business. The sole proprietorship was converted to a partnership named Natural Cool Airconditioning & Engineering where, in addition to the servicing of air-conditioning systems, our business was expanded to include the provision of labour for the installation of airconditioning systems for main contractors and contractors. In the early and mid-1990s, there was an increase in public housing projects by the HDB and we were able to ride on the growth and expand our business through our business contacts with contractors and interior designers. Subsequently, in the following years, we were awarded dealerships for various brands of air-conditioning systems.
On 3 December 1993, we incorporated Natural Cool Airconditioning & Engineering Pte Ltd to take over the business of the partnership and our main office was then located in Geylang East, Singapore. In addition to our main office, we subsequently set up our first air-conditioning systems showroom at Tampines, Singapore in December 1993.
In 1994, we expanded our services to include the sale of air-conditioning systems, spare parts and components to contractors, interior designers and small companies and set-ups in the air-conditioning business. We added a new operations site situated in Ubi Avenue, Singapore, in May 1994 for our air-conditioning Trading operations.
Our business further strengthened in 1995 with the setting up of our second air-conditioning systems showroom in Woodlands, Singapore. In 1995, we commenced our Commercial Installation business segment which relates to the installation of air-conditioning systems for commercial projects such as private residential condominiums, public housing and public schools, hospitals as well as religious premises.
We undertook our first milestone project for the Singapore Buddhist Lodge at Kim Yam Road which was completed in May 1995. We were also approved by the former Construction Industry Development Board ("CIDB") (now merged with the Building Control Division of the Public Works Department to form the BCA) and awarded the grading of ME01 (L2) and SY08 (L1). Our ME01 (L2) was subsequently upgraded to ME01 (L3) in 1997 and fi nally to ME01 (L4) on 3 May 2000.
As part of our business consolidation strategy, we moved our headquarters to Tagore Lane, Singapore, in 1996 and we subsequently rented an additional warehouse at Tagore Drive, Singapore to meet the additional space requirements of our expanding business in December 2000.
On 14 April 1998, our air-conditioning business obtained ISO9001:1994 certification for our quality management system. This was upgraded to ISO9001:2000 on 30 July 2001.
On 12 June 2002, our switchgear business was founded when S-Team, based at Tagore Lane, was incorporated by Messrs Yap Geok Kim and Cheong Kim Hock.
On 1 July 2002, Messrs Tan Aik Kwong, Tan Hock Seng, Lee Kin Soon and Yeo Siew Leng, who together have many years of relevant experience in the switchgear industry, joined S-Team. Messrs Ang Choon Beng and Yip Chee Seng subsequently joined S-Team in August 2002.
In December 2002, we set up a new air-conditioning systems display showroom at Balestier Road, Singapore, to cater for the increased demand from the retail air-conditioning sector.
In January 2003, we created Commercial Servicing as a formal business unit specialising in the servicing of air-conditioning systems for commercial projects.
In September 2003, we obtained ISO9001:2000 certification for our quality management system in the manufacturing of switchgears.
VNS Singapore was formed in October 2003 with Mr Ang Choon Beng and Ms Yap Geok Khim as directors via a joint venture with our Indian partners. VNS Singapore served as a channelling arm to overseas switchgear markets in India, Sri Lanka and Middle East countries. VNS Singapore is also involved in trading in electrical components and accessories.
In March 2004, to consolidate our various business units under our air-conditioning business, we relocated to our current headquarters at 81 Defu Lane 10, Singapore 539217, Singapore which has a total built-up area of approximately 2,934 sq m. In June 2004, our switchgear business division relocated to premises at Admiralty Street, Singapore, occupying a total of approximately 1,650 sq m.
In May 2004, as a branding strategy, we commenced the trading of our stainless steel brackets, copper pipes, PVC trunking and insulation materials.
In June 2004, Messrs Yap Geok Khim and Ang Choon Cheng set up a joint venture called VNS India with our business partner in India, intended for use as a manufacturing base. At the same time, it is our directors' intention to leverage on VNS India's presence to penetrate local regional markets as well as the Middle East.
On 22 October 2004, our managing director, Mr Chen Choon Khee was awarded the Entrepreneur of Year by The Rotary Club of Singapore and Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. In January 2005, we commenced the manufacture of air-conditioning ducts for commercial projects. This further enhanced the range of products and services that our air-conditioning business division offers.
On 11 January 2005, as part of our business expansion plans as well as to lower our production costs, our subsidiary Natural Cool (Shanghai) was incorporated in the PRC as a wholly foreign-owned enterprise.
In April 2005, our switchgears were tested and certified by ASTA, representing a major milestone in our pursuit of the achievement of international standards. We were also awarded the SQC accreditation by SPRING Singapore in June 2005.
In June 2005, Mr Ang Choon Beng and Ms Yap Geok Khim transferred their 51% shareholding in VNS Singapore to S-Team.
As at 30 June 2005, our Group has over 300 employees engaged in our Retail, Commercial and Trading business segments.
On 19 July 2005, Natural Cool Holdings was incorporated as the holding company of Natural Cool and S-Team.
In 5 September 2005, Mr Ang Choon Cheng and Ms Yap Geok Khim transferred their shareholdings in VNS India to S-Team.