While many of us recoil in horror at the thought of having our mouths poked and prodded by a dentist, Q&M Dental Group (SGX: QC7) shareholders may have a happier view of the dental profession.
Founded in Bukit Batok in 1996, by Dr Ng Chin Siau and his wife Foo Siew Juan, the competitively-priced services at Dr Ng’s Q&M Dental Surgery soon proved a popular choice for nearby residents.
With more work than he could handle, Dr Ng decided he needed some help. Fellow dentist Dr Ng Jet Wei joined the practice in 1998, and in 1999, the two dentists, together with Dr Chong Kai Guan opened four more clinics.
Expansion continued – by 2000, they were operating 10 clinics with 20 dentists, 95 dental surgery staff members and one administrative assistant.
The company continued to expand, opening three to five new clinics each year, focusing on dental healthcare. The firm also set up its own dental laboratory, enabling the in-house fabrication of crowns, dentures, bridges and retainers.
The group continued to expand, opening 4-5 surgeries each year in areas such as Toa Payoh, Tiong Bahru, Boon Lay, Tampines and Gombak, where additional practices often had to be quickly opened to meet the increasing demand.
In 2008, Q&M was incorporated as a private company limited by shares and underwent a re-structuring exercise whereby its dental clinics and support units became wholly owned subsidiaries of the company (the group owns 76% of the Q&M Laboratory).
The following year, Q&M Dental Group (Singapore) Limited was converted to a public company and listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange.
But did you know…
- Q&M is the largest dental group in Singapore with over 50 clinics
- Q&M’s flagship surgery in City Square Mall occupies a floor area of 12,000 square feet – roughly equivalent to the size of 16 standard dental practices.
- Q&M shareholders can rest assured that the group’s board fully understands the profession it’s in – its four executive directors are practising dentists.
- Dr Ng Chin Siau was presented with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Award (Healthcare Services).
- Only 46% of adults in Singapore visit the dentist at least once a year.
Today, Q&M is the biggest dental group in Singapore, with clinics conveniently located in shopping centres, bus and MRT stations throughout the island, as well as five Dental Centres and one mobile dental clinic.
The group provides a range of dental healthcare services, including aesthetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, as well as orthodontics and CEREC one-day crowns.
Malaysia & China
The Q&M Dental Group also has five dental clinics in Malaysia, 11 clinics in China and is a subsidiary of Quan Min Holdings Pte Ltd.
The Q&M group recently announced it will buy the Foo & Associates dental clinic in Paragon Medical Centre on Singapore’s premier shopping belt Orchard Road for S$5.5m.
The clinic’s owner Dr Foo, an expert in computer-aided design, will be paid in Q&M shares and stay on to spearhead the Q&M Dental Group’s expansion into this field, as well as run the clinic for a further 10 years.
As the Group’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ng Jet Wei points out, the dental healthcare business is fortunate enough to be “fairly resilient” even during hard times. With its own dental laboratories the company can make many cost savings as well as benefit from economies of scale.
The group even has its own Q&M Dental Institute, where it trains its dentists and nurses in the latest techniques – and can boast of being the dental practice of choice for 17% of the population that do go to the dentist at least once a year.
Indeed, with Singapore having a ratio of one dentist to every 3,400 people as compared to one dentist per 1,200 people on average in the USA and Europe, there is certainly seems to be plenty of room for expansion for the Q&M Dental Group.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Alison Hunt doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.