Meet the man behind Singapore's only automobile manufacturer.

ALIFE Air Automobiles is a young, energetic business, founded on a new concept and acting as the foundation stone for a new industry. Courageous and cavalier, the fledgling organisation is the brainchild, and is driven by the great ambitions, of its founder, Singaporean entrepreneur, Devan Nair.

Founded last year, ALIFE is billed as Singapore's only automobile manufacturer. The company’s primary focus is on the design and development of clean air and sustainable automobile solutions and products.

ALIFE’s mandate is a true paradigm shift, “We are not positioned as a competitor to other motorcycle makers or brands,” says Devan. “We don’t have the luxury or the vast experience to compete. Our strategy is to introduce a lifestyle product that can reduce carbon emissions – a motorbike with an alternative style of engine that will reduce fuel consumption and give the consumer more drive and power. This is very critical for us.”

Devan’s strategy in a world recently forced to re-consider the ills of capitalism gone wild, is to collaborate rather than compete. It’s an example of a new millennium business model, which takes into account not only a business’ stakeholders, but all those who have an interest in or are affected by a business’ fallout.

Traditionally considered the antithesis of an environmentally considerate industry, theautomobile sector is beginning to plan its future in a way that is attractive rather than repugnant to Gen-Y and Millennials.

Devan is a champion of a new wave of auto executives. Having left home at 16 to find his way in the world, Devan’s background rather uniquely merges design and technology. “Our agenda is to support the auto industry. We have found partners worldwide who can supply us with competent components.”

ALIFE’s story is the quintessential Singapore story. Singaporean society, describes Devan, is very conscientious with a government that promotes quality. “All products that carry the Singapore brand needs to qualify for the high standards of quality and reliability - this is our selling point across the region and around the globe,” he adds. “In our industry that includes environmental innovations; reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption and ultimately even introducing alternative fuels.”

ALIFE’s products are not inexpensive particularly in a region that is flooded with super-cheap, often micro-financed, motorbikes. It is not an understatement to say that South-East Asian small business is built on the back of the motorbike. ALIFE is not, and has no intention of fighting for space in this convoluted market sector. “We don’t intend to pretend that we can sell out our products cheaper to consumer, we don’t think that there’s a possibility. We think that we can bring the price to an affordable level that consumers can reach out to and adopt our technology. And this is the key principle behind our corporate governance strategy.”

Blending quality, fashion, lifestyle appeal and environmental responsibility considerations, and at the same time founding a new industry and keeping pricing under control, is a monumental plan for any businessperson to set. It takes skill, experience, passion and, of course, luck. Devan’s unique background added to an environmentally-involved society that craves choice, might just spawn a generation of stylish “made in Singapore” motorbikes threading the lane markers of the Island Republic’s vast motorway network.

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Devan Nair, ALIFE Air Automobiles Founder