August 5, 2021

8 thoughts on “Is Singapore Economy In Danger for Long Term Decline (Part 2)? – The Need for “Penetration Model”

  1. As usual, good read for a rainy day at home. It is never too late for us (as individuals and as a country) to recognise our shortcomings and do the right thing! One thing for sure, it is better than not knowing and not trying!


    1. Hi Kev,

      Thanks for the rainy read! Hope it dun add more chills.

      Yes, it’s ok to err, but it’s not ok not to acknowledge it, and not trying at all is a sin especially as a leader who carries huge responsibility on behalf of other people.

      Honestly speaking, the people also need to take a lot of responsibility! We, the citizens of Singapore also need to learn to be forgiving!

  2. Hi Rolf,

    My take is, Singapore has been trying to move to penetration model for years. It seems that we are only focus on seduction because we seems to do well in that model, in fact so we'll compared to penetration.

    Govt led trade talks/ agreements and GLC leading the way into China, etc. However, how do we have a global footprint? Or at least region footprint with mass and not selected few?

    I have not travelled widely but when I read biographies, it seems network and trust could be a barrier. Not just knowing someone, but having done business and trusted someone and going elsewhere with a JV first.

    Many seems to take that path. Govt lead trade talks are a starter.

    But even with a good partner, the odds of failure seem high, esp for SMEs and if there is a demand gap to be filled or created, why would the natives want to JV with us ?

    I am also a concerned Singaporean as I worried that seduction might not be working well when we cannot get our workers out of dorm and everyday I read about percentage of Singapore core.

    1. Hi SI,

      Yes, we tried but not successful, because our focus of economy is on financial services and real estate. Science and tech companies provide more nicheness to penetrate, while service industry is more attraction in nature.

      Actually I am into various Engineering companies both local and foreign, the treatment of local clients big to smaller SMEs is not correct. They squeeze so hard. In the past, I love working with foreign companies more although revenue volume is lesser, but margin better. If I sell to local companies squeeze like hell, and make us lose money.

      In overseas, they have local-support-local, here, local-squeeze-local. To penetrate other region, our core in SG must be built first.

      Also, while our Engineers studied one of the hardest in the world with so many modules and hours in uni (I am one of them), the recognition given to them in work is rather shitty! In some overseas countries, where Science/technology are the focus, there is enormous respect for Engineers. The Engineer pay can be substantially higher than the Manager.

      Singtel failed in India and barely ok in Australia. China so far, we have nothing there except CapitaLand and Keppel Land.

      The SG mindset need to change, that is first step. However I doubt we can because this culture of Top down squeezing will never be able to change! The spirit trend of any SG leaders, are also top-down squeezing. Unless we are China, India with big population, this can work. But being small, we cannot do that. By contrast, in many overseas EU countries I mentioned, everyone has total respect with everyone regardless of where you are in the supply chain. There is equal respect to suppliers as well as clients.

      The mindset is, we need to let our suppliers earn also, then they can survive and support us! Here…..typically, let us squeeze them dry, because the top also squeeze us! In my work, I always have a chat with our purchaser and ask her/him treat suppliers with respect and both of us need to earn money.

  3. I think it has something to do with the way with the same education system. The government tends to restrict creativity as it wants everyone to "obey and listen" basicaly they want to control the minds of the population. This stops people from thinking outside the box.

    1. Hi Snake, I agree with you that we are more obeying than thinking and creating. Asking questions also helps creativity. But sometimes we are not allow to ask.

      My next post answer to the education system that I think is not perfect and too high volume of homework and hours, rather than stimulate thinking and shaping mindsets. However, I think this is not core reason. Instead it is the environment created.

  4. G'day Brolf. another-rainy-noon-monday!

    food for thought: would Anthony be willing to be such a risk taker, if his grandfather is not who he is?
    same for Tan min Liang. he comes from a very wealthy family.
    dont get me wrong, i'm not doubting their capabilities (being accepted into harvard is no easy feat!and so is managing a coy with thousands of people); but i am referring to that first step mentality, when they decide after graduation, that they can venture out.

    they have what we dont have: a safety net aka backup plan if they fail. there is nothing much to lose, except that few 100Ks of chump change.

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