In April 2018, IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore merged to form Enterprise Singapore. This new organisation leverages on the networks of its predecessors to grow stronger enterprises by building business capabilities and expanding overseas. The key to success lies in Enterprise Singapore’s employees.
Developing Business-Savvy Skills
Qiuhan is on her second posting where she’s currently a Development Partner at the China desk. Enthusiastically, she explains how her role contributes to Enterprise Singapore’s objectives. “Our role as an economic agency is all-encompassing,” she says. “We support capability development of local companies both in Singapore and overseas, which in turn supports their internationalisation efforts. Through quality and standards, we also deepen trust in Singapore’s products and services and create demand for Singapore globally.”
She believes that to succeed in her role, she must go beyond mastering textbook knowledge, and develop an open mind and a good worldview. Personally, Qiuhan credits her scholarship for equipping her with these abilities. The scholarship enabled her to study in London and the USA, giving her many opportunities to understand different cultural and business norms, and to develop a network in the international community.
“I gained insights into what makes Singapore attractive to foreign companies and also began to understand the differences between the East and West. This bolstered my knowledge of how to position Singapore and transform local companies into one that is desirable to the global market,” Qiuhan details.
Travis, who is a Development Partner in the Enterprise Capabilities, Technology & Adoption division, also feels that his scholarship has been instrumental in helping him develop the skills needed to excel at Enterprise Singapore. This is because the scholarship allowed him to undergo two internships: one which gave him experience in engaging companies to discuss their growth plans and operational challenges, and another allowing him to delve into the field of open innovation research.
North & South China, China Division
Master’s in Statistics
University of California, Berkeley
Through his internship he was given a holistic understanding of the work the organisation does and the challenges Singapore companies face in order to provide meaningful assistance to them. “Coupled with the support of my mentors, who helped me understand what it would be like when I join full-time, I slowly managed to develop confidence to face any challenge,” he affirms.
Nurturing Diverse Enterprises
Travis enjoys the complexity and diverse challenges of his current role. He was the project lead for SME Technology and Innovation Day 2018, working with A*STAR and Trade Associations and Chambers to organise a technology conference which was held in May. He is also involved in administration of the Technology Adoption Programme (TAP), which aims to help local enterprises improve productivity with ready-to-go solutions. In addition, he plays a part in helping to enhance the Capability Development Grant to support the product development needs of local companies.
It is an important role, but one that is constantly challenging. He elaborates, “In order to provide meaningful assistance to Singapore companies, we need to understand the challenges they face. We also need to demonstrate confidence and domain knowledge in order to build rapport and conduct meaningful discussions with them.”
Qiuhan has also found interesting but meaningful challenges in her role at the China desk. She explains that she works with various industry clusters to identify and encourage value propositions that will make Singapore companies attractive to the Chinese market. “With the formation of Enterprise Singapore, we now serve both SMEs and large companies alike. The type of assistance they need differs – it could be general market intelligence, or government support for lobbying or sealing a deal.”
No matter what the company requires, she says, it is essential that she and her team remain updated and informed about market trends to provide necessary market intelligence on policies, and to support local companies.
Travis Ng Jian Wei
Enterprise Capabilities, Technology & Adoption
Bachelor of Business Management
Singapore Management University
Exciting and Engaging Future for Scholars
The most exciting and rewarding part of her job, Qiuhan declares, is the opportunity to meet decision makers of local and foreign companies, and high-level government officials from other countries. This, she believes, is something that fresh graduates will rarely encounter – unless they are in organisations like Enterprise Singapore.
Confidently, she says, “Being part of this organisation offers me an opportunity to learn from the brightest and boldest. You will be constantly challenged, but it will be a fulfilling journey and Singapore companies will be appreciative of what you do.”
Travis chimes in, “With so many industries and enterprises facing significant technology changes, there are many opportunities for Enterprise Singapore to get involved and help these companies.” He adds, “You can also count on the supportive culture in Enterprise Singapore. Your colleagues and management are always happy to provide you with guidance, and will be more than willing to walk with you and equip you with the skills you need to take Singapore businesses to the next level.”