Six lessons businesses can learn from Singapore

by Ashvini on April 9, 2012 · 11 comments

in Business

My last visit to Singapore was in 2008.  The only country I ever went to on vacation, was Singapore (others were always for work) . Singapore is a small country in terms geographical size. It is about 700 km squared which may be thought of as a place 35kSingaporem in length and 20km in width . However the small size of the country is of least consideration to this mighty country which has perfected the art of living and enjoying the life.

The country is a business paradise. One look at the skyline and you would see it dotted with buildings with business listings right from banks, top hotels and many other businesses.

For the lazy traveler, there are beautiful waterways. On the banks of these waterways, there are many restaurants which serve all kinds of cuisines. Singapore has one of the best transportation of all the places I have been too. Taxis, boats, buses, metro all work together cohesively and make traveling in Singapore a very pleasant activity .

While watching a program on Singapore recently on TV,  I was unable to recall the places I had been to because many things have changed so much in last three to four years. A lot of new places were developed in last four years and are still being developed as I write this post.

I would recommend Singapore to you as one of my favorite place.

Does Singapore provides any lessons for business? Singapore has been developing itself on a vision that really plays for the long term. Here is what she can teach us about business.

#1: Discipline and focus

If you visited Singapore in year 2008, you would have been surprised by the number of under construction projects. It seemed to me that whole Singapore was working for a goal with unmatched dedication and discipline. Does your business have that kind of discipline too ?

#2: Small can be beautiful

Businesses are often worried about the scale of expansion and how fast they can grow in the competitive environment? What if you turn the competition upside down by creating huge exclusiveness of your offering.  Singapore by its focus on travelers creates exclusiveness all the time

#3: Hard work pays in the long run

Building business takes time and is often frustrating. Like Singapore too, a business can only be built using hard work and persistence.

#4:  Treat your customers well

Right from the landing at the one of the most friendly airports in the world to sweet talking Taxi drivers, it seems that everything in Singapore is built for you, the traveler. How many businesses provide such an experience for their customers?

#5: Reinvent

Singapore has a race track that runs right in the city. It has auditoriums and floating stadium. Every time you think that she has nothing more to offer, she will surprise you with new additions. The country reinvents all the time and that is what makes the place so exciting.

#6: Think long term

It takes a business really long to create the best experience for its customers. Most of the businesses think of short term and thus spoil the principles of good business. Singapore has been able to create a country where rule of law exists but also a place where you can have unlimited fun. With long term vision they have been able to create a reputation which businesses can only dream of.

Do you think of any other lessons from Singapore ?

About The Author


Raj April 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

The best and only thing which I need to learn and adhere is to follow the discipline of the country..

Jens P. Berget April 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

I have always wanted to go to Singapore. Some of my friends have been there, and they loved it.

Your lessons from it are powerful. I remember the book by Seth Godin, Small is the new big, that reminds me of your “small can be beautiful”. I believe that we should keep working hard to remain small (not small in size), but using the benefits of being personal with our co-workers and customers.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Hey Jens,

It is good to know that you have visited Singapore. I believe now it has changed quite a bit, after seeing the program on TV. It is an ultimate example of how small can be great too.

Praveen Rajarao April 12, 2012 at 2:04 am

Ashvini – This was a good write-up about Singapore. I visited the country back in 2005 and I had one of my most memorable vacation there.

I should say that we also need to learn about how to promote tourism from them, you are never lost even being a stranger and there is easy access to every remote place in the city.

Nice to read about this.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Thanks Praveen. I feel that there are a lot of changes from 2005. It is time to visit Singapore again ;), I think. India has so many places to visit but then what is missing is Singapore like commitment to the travellers.

Adrienne April 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I’ve heard a lot of really great things about Singapore Ashvini. Of course starting with it being a beautiful place to visit and I’m sure live.

The people are so intelligent and I can see why the things you mentioned could be fabulous lessons for business. Hey, you’re the one who has been there and would definitely know.

Thanks for sharing these and I wish I had my own lessons to share but I’ve never been. Hope to some day though.

Have a great week Ashvini! Hope you’re doing well.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hi Adrienne,

I sincerely wish that you get a chance to go there. It is an awesome place. Just a stopover at the airport will tell you a lot about the country. But while you go there, do not forget to visit me. Bangalore is only four hours away from there ;)

Aswani April 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi Ashvini….excellent post. I wish I was in Singapore right now ;-)

Say it as my bad luck, I missed one great opportunity to be in this country. I had one job offer from here but the excitement was short-lived as I couldn’t migrate coz I was not having passport :(

Anyways, I will keep Singapore into my hotlist and if it gets possible, I will surely visit this magnificent county. The points you have shared above have added to my curiosity to know more about this county. Great points…thanks for sharing..!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hey Aswani,

Don’t worry. You will get more chances. It is only four hours from Bangalore and not very costly too( compared to other locations). Hope you get a chance to visit.

Andrew April 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

very interesting post I really enjoyed reading it, thank you for sharing this post with us I am sure it is going to help a lot of people.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Thank you Andrew. I really appreciate it

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