By Luke Partridge, Managing Director (Southeast Asia) of Xpand Group
Having moved to the tropical city-state 2 years ago to experience living and working in a new continent the last 24 months have passed by in a blur. An exuberant, fact-paced, sultry, food/career-enriching and busy blur!
With the global economy on a perceived slide as countries do everything they can to balance their nation’s ledger with various austerity policies and belt tightening measures let’s just say I’d prefer my current local dish to be Chilli Crab rather than Spaghetti Bolognese, Souvlaki or even Fish and Chips (and as a Brit that is hard for me to say!) right now.
Singapore is booming and certainly has a recent energy that is dispelling the antiquated stereotype of “you can not chew gum” to “It’s really a huge shopping mall with an airport attached” or my personal favourite..”Marmiteland (a brown savoury spread to those that are unaware of this delicacy)..you’ll either love it or hate it!”
For those with a geographical or athletic bias, let me give you some dimensions of this thriving island. Singapore is approximately a Marathon (42km) east to west and Half-marathon (21km) north to south. With the annual Singapore Grand Prix (the only night GP in the calendar),The World Gourmet Summit when Michelin-starred chefs come to town for a gastronomic two week festival, new casino and entertainment complexes, Singapore has reinvented itself as a standalone destination rather than simply a stopover to break a long journey.
Commercially, Singapore continues to build his global reputation as a key business hub with an increased flow of both large multinationals and exciting new start-ups deciding to based their regional or global HQ here. As such, business remains robust and whilst conscious and inextricably linked to global financial markets Singapore has a very well managed economy that bounced back strongly from the Global Financial Crisis and continues to provide challenging and exciting career opportunities….which is good for us!
Given Xpand’s focus in Technology, Media & Communications and Digital markets, and Singapore’s attractiveness for a range of these types of business, there is a good synergy here. We are seeing a consistent level of work across both our practices not just in Singapore, but across South East Asia and other parts of Asia-Pacific. As businesses look to grow their reach into previously untapped ‘emerging markets’ with huge potential, such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, recruitment businesses like ours must build networks and a strategy that continues to broaden our reach.
So the Singapore Lion continues to roar. As a recruiter and workplace destination, we remain optimistic about the outlook. Certainly there is more to this small island than shopping and chewing gum…much more! Come and see for yourself…