Go Back

High Standards

In Focus
NAME:Nur Fadhilah Muhammad
LOCATION:Selangor, Malaysia
With Industry 4.0 on the horizon, Malaysia’s SIRIM QAS International has become the ally of choice for world-class testing and certification. CEO Nur Fadhilah Muhammad is proud of its long journey to prosperity.

A wholly owned company of the Malaysian Government under the Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry (MITI), Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia, or SIRIM, undertakes a variety of work. Though it specializes in industrial research and technology, SIRIM has spent much of its four decades of existence working to improve the manufacturing and services sectors and to provide small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with technological growth solutions.

“At the end of the day, their product or system will be made world class by our processes.”

For a good portion of those 40 years, much of SIRIM’s core responsibility was also as a testing, inspection and certification body. In 1997, this expertise was spun off as a wholly owned subsidiary of SIRIM, as SIRIM QAS International. Across the spectrum of industry, SIRIM QAS International is known for delivering credible testing and certification services, all under one roof.

It is this positioning as a one-stop center for industry that really sets SIRIM QAS International apart, explains CEO Nur Fadhilah Muhammad. “Customers can ask about standards, they can get their product tested, and then after testing, they can get certified. At the end of the day, their product or system will be made world class by our processes,” she says. “We’re very proud of that.”

Taking Responsibility

Fadhilah started her career in SIRIM as a research officer almost 25 years ago in the Electrotechnical Testing Unit for the lamps and accessories laboratory. As Group Leader (Electrical), Product Certification Section, she developed a certification system for the electrical sector, moving into senior management in 2000 where she oversaw strategy, objectives, plans and systems. Her role in the organization has continued to evolve and, as Senior General Manager, Testing Services Department, she developed and oversaw new business both in Malaysia and overseas.

In 2021, the CEO position became vacant. Fadhilah’s experience made her one of the leading candidates, and later that year she was chosen for the top job.


“But when I first became CEO, the COVID-19 pandemic had hit us hard,” she recalls. “That’s when I was thankful for the digitalization process we’d started around the same time. All our systems and customer profiles were done online, as were any dealings with customers. Not being able to visit people face-to-face suddenly wasn’t an issue.”

The shift in gears also allowed SIRIM QAS International to focus on how it could improve its customer experience. “We realized that our main services had become quite siloed. The client had to contact different people for testing and then certification. It’s not really a wonderful experience,” Fadhilah says.

“We ultimately invested in a system whereby the client could do everything through a single point of contact, and that became a key change for us.”

Crossing Borders

Another key strategy she has driven is SIRIM QAS International’s first office overseas. “We realized we could no longer simply be present in Malaysia. It’s not a big country and the industry is already migrating. Many of our long-term clients were leaving to build factories in Jakarta or Bangkok,” she says.

In 2022, SIRIM QAS International formed its first international joint venture company in China to take advantage of China’s massive automotive industry. Success has quickly followed and has given SIRIM QAS International the confidence and experience to grow its international footprint further.

“Our partnership with SIRIM QAS International has been profoundly enriching for Webgeaz. We’re grateful for its unwavering commitment as a catalyst for industrial growth and excitedly anticipating a future marked by shared success and sustained collaboration.” – Encik Khalid Ibrahim, CEO, Webgeaz


“We want to focus on ASEAN countries this year, maybe setting up a testing facility, and to expand our expertise and work with partners who could benefit from a better structure for conformity assessment,” she says.

This move will no doubt add to Fadhilah’s achievements in the CEO role, but she says she’s already proud to have taken SIRIM QAS International overseas. “It’s my greatest achievement so far,” she says.

Valuable Partners

Fadhilah explains that the enhancement of SIRIM QAS International’s efficiency and the delivery surrounding the services it offers has been the biggest challenge of her CEOship.

“There’s an expectation within the industry that test results should be made available as soon as possible,” she says. “You have to meet that customer demand, and that’s a challenge. In the last 10 years or so, we’ve improved very much in that sense; we’ve enhanced our testing machinery and improved staff competency.”

The latter point proved particularly effective in meeting customer expectations. “We cannot go far without teamwork,” she says. “Innovation is important, technology is crucial, but teamwork means we can truly deliver excellence to our customers.”

“We cannot go far without teamwork.”

And that’s teamwork both within SIRIM QAS International’s walls and beyond, through partnerships with allies such as NDT Ventures, which designs and supplies components used in SIRIM’s hardware and its software engineer WebGeaz.

“We work very closely with our partners so that we understand each other. Our vendors are very important to us because they ensure there’s no delay in our service. During the pandemic we realized investing in a new IT system was important, and our partners knew that,” Fadhilah says. “The resulting system means that even now, we have people working from home. We learned to be agile, flexible and accommodating in the way we do things.”

A Clean Future

Looking forward, much of her focus is on helping the public and private sector reach their environmental goals.

In Malaysia in particular, the government has announced a swathe of targets surrounding clean energy. For Fadhilah, it’s a chance to play a part that SIRIM QAS International has long prepared for.

Beyond business, SIRIM QAS International is committed to advancing Malaysia’s clean aspirations with a focus on electric vehicle and solar testing and certification of ESG initiatives.

“We’re shaping a sustainable future.”

Back to top