How to reach out to foreigners working in Singapore

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How to reach out to foreigners working in Singapore

Post by Wu » Sun, 17 Apr 2005 10:58 pm

Dear All,

I need your advice as how to reach out to those Foreigners who is now working in Singapore. I have just set up a new course specially targeted to foreigners staying in Singapore. But not sure how to go about to reach out to them. Can someone please advice me. Many thank.
Last edited by Wu on Mon, 18 Apr 2005 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Strong Eagle
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Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 17 Apr 2005 11:28 pm


It's not that your idea doesn't have merit, but as as minority of one, I will tell you why I think it won't go very far.

What is culture? You would have me believe that you can teach me Singapore culture. I say to you that the best you can do is teach me your view.

Before I came over, I read a lot. From one perspective, I can tell you all about Singapore... its history, people, languages. And yet, this really doesn't tell me anything about Singapore.

You know what tells me about Singapore? It is sitting in my favorite Chinese restaurtant, located in an HDB complex off Bukit Timah and talking to both the expats and waitresses that are there. Or playing with the children that infest the place... every kind of child.

Or, I've eaten dinner and drunk $200 bottles of wine with a man that is richer than God... another view of Singapore.

I eat in the eating houses... if this isn't culture, I don't know what is. And. I've walked down the mall in turf city, listening to American oldies music, surrounded by Chinese (and every other kind of people). Kind of a jarring juxtapositon for an old Texan like me.

I've eaten great Italian served by Chinese. I've ridden the MRT at all times of day... is this part of hte culture of Singapore? I dare say it is. Haslsing with the hawkers at Lucky Plaza... catching the ferry at Tanah Merah... eating dinner outside at Newton Circus... catching carolers singing "White Christmas" when they have never seen snow... all of this... and much more... is the culture of Singapore.

And so, while you are no doubt well intended, I believe the only way to learn about culture is to experience it. It is sterile to teach... it is life enrichening to go do.

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Post by dan5oh » Mon, 18 Apr 2005 8:47 am

I'd disagree. There is a niche market that is very competitive and mostly filled.

I work for a large company and as part of the relo we had two days of "cultural" training. Most of it was pretty generic but they called in the outside speakers who were actively engaged in in either business or education fields.

I have lived in Asia 25 years and told my company I didn't need the training but it came with the package. I didn't learn anything culturally but I did learn a few new things from the outside speakers.

One of them was specifically targeted from my industry and he and I had a great chat about the business here.

Breaking into this field will be very tough. I doubt any expat will pay for this on their own nickel. You will likely have to find the landing companies connecting with large MNC.

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Post by Oriental » Sat, 23 Apr 2005 6:18 pm

Hi Wu,

It is a basic rule in business that where there is money to be made there will be competition, except in the case of monopoly, but that's another story.

Don't let the fact that there is competition scare you off. In fact, knowing that you will face fierce competition should ignite you innovative drive.

Now, you know from dan5oh that the service you want to provide is already being marketed to MNC as part of an expat-package.

You know from Strong Eagle that he as an expat would never, out of his own pocket, pay for the service you want to provide.

Lets say that this represents a general picture. What are your options then?

Well, with my knowledge of expat life and business innovation, being a former expat and current entrepreneur, I suggest you look at the market you want to target in a different way.

Statistics show that more than 40% of all expats will return to their home country before their contract period is up. This is a huge problem for MNC and SME, who send personel abroad. Not only will a failed expatriation be associated with substantial costs (S$ 300,000+), but the international operations could be compromised due to lack of a competent manager, technical expert etc.
Now, research shows that of the 40% failed expatriations the majority is in fact due to the spouses. If the spouse of an expatriate does not settle in in their new home country he or she will make daily life a real trial for the partner. This will eventually result in a premature termination of the expats contract.

Knowing this, you should investigate the possibility of targeting MNC and SME with expats in Singapore and sell them a service that enables their expats spouses to feel at home in their new home country. As the spouse will directly affect the success of the expatriate your service should prove to be a very good investment in "family resources" for MNC and SME. Say, you will charge S$ 9,500 for a "family resources" package that will minimise the risk of the MNC or SME of loosing S$ 300,000 and furthermore make them benefit from high productivity of the expatriate, then if you are a good salesman you should be able to generate a good turnover and profit.

Good luck with whatever business you choose to venture.

Best regards,

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