It’s 6.50am now. Recently I’d been having insomnia because there is too much on my mind + there are a lot of things to do. The speed in Singapore is X50 of Finland’s–Whether that’s positive or not is definitely up to debate; all I can say is that I am grateful for having interesting things to look forward to in Singapore. =)
So I thought I’d write something before I catch a few hours’ worth of sleep. On my way home yesterday, I finally found the time to read Olli Muurainen’s excellent article “Expanding Business Overseas: 5 Tips for service and IT companies”. Olli Muurainen is the founder of Management Events, and he recently moved to Singapore. I felt that his article was very honest and no-BS, and I concur strongly with his emphasis on the need for localisation + insistence on hiring the best local staffs during overseas expansion. And of course, justification of KPIs by numbers–very important!
In the same vein, just five days ago, our team came up with the idea of “Finngapore”.
Finngapore is the first bilateral online community bridging Finns and Singaporeans in terms of business and cultural understanding of both countries.
Finngapore is the proactive response to challenges of:
- [To Finland] Due to labour cost-uncompetitiveness and the relative weakness of public relations, the country faced, faces and will continue to face a prolonged period of lacklustre GDP if it continues in this direction. There is also sluggish capital market activities within Finland and massive Finnish capital [both hot money and FDI] outflow.
- [To Singapore] A need to import talented human capital+ good technologies for IoT, cleantech, fintech and healthcare due to aging population. It’s a need because Singapore requires all of the above for competitive advantage and survival.
Clearly, there are market gaps in both countries.
Need more evidence? Read this:
Is this not surprising? There are 10 countries in ASEAN, and the smallest of them all in population size (Singapore) gets the most trade with Finland. This suggests immense trade potential that Finland can do with South East Asia, using Singapore as a springboard.
Why is there a need to use Singapore as a springboard? It’s likely because the ASEAN region is too diverse in terms of politics, language, economics, culture and religion, and nobody–absolutely nobody–knows exactly how to deal with this vast region that exports USD1.3trillion yearly. 😀
Singapore therefore, is probably Finland’s best bet to reducing risks if ambitious Finnish companies want to try to increase trade with the rest of the ASEAN countries. For, Finnish companies can use Singapore as a springboard to the larger region of Asia and the subset of ASEAN. What this means in practice is the ability to get information in Singapore –as much as possible, about how things work in Southeast Asia especially.
Finland correspondingly can supply high-quality technology to help Singapore maintain the nation’s competitive advantage and bridge the ageing population problem. Don’t trust the reputation–test the IT products and see the quality of design, technology and innovation for yourself.
So, back to Finngapore—
The aim of this online community is to generate greater online and offline conversations between Finns and Singaporeans.
We hope to curate and encourage Finns and Singaporeans to share conversations, thoughts and stories via this platform, to promote better cultural and business understanding.
Currently I will be doing this with Kris to get the ball rolling, because we see a lot of potential. It is therefore on a “hobbies-basis”. Yet, even if the updates come once every month, we would still be inch-ing in the right direction and making some progress, which is obviously better than none. 😀
The way I see it, the direction for Finngapore is definitely positive, because the underlying economic interests of both countries are sound and aligned. Therefore, I say with confidence that there would be a lot of positive things happening via this portal which will complement activities the Finnish embassy in Singapore and teamFinland.
If you identify with the vision and mission of Finngapore, do join in the initiative as a guest blogger! ^^
Okay I’m going to zzzzzz. Appointment in 4 hours 🙂