Few countries in the world have been able to match the achievements of Singapore. Starting as a developing country gaining independence in 1965 to become one of the world’s developed countries driven by innovation on the frontier of technology in the present day, Singapore has developed at an unprecedented pace in the last five decades. Building on efficient port logistics taking advantage of its strategic location for international trade, Singapore has carved out a distinct identity as a financial and logistics hub in the region. As a country, Singapore has a lot to offer in terms of management lessons for budding entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future.
IIM Nagpur’s International immersion programme in Singapore was aimed at developing a cross-cultural understanding among the students. Pre-visit foundation classes in the institute give students a brief idea about the country and its economic success story and are thus instrumental in setting up a theoretical foundation with regards to Singapore before physically visiting it.
In the present edition, the site/country visit was kicked off with a visit to the water recycling plant dubbed as “NEWater” & the Marina Barrage providing an exposure of technological advancements done by a country which has absolutely no natural resources and yet it is able to satisfy the needs of the growing population. Interacting with professors of globally acclaimed educational institutes in Singapore gave students deeper insights into the business environment of the country and the value drivers behind its success. It also provided an overview of the education system of Singapore and gave a first-hand experience of the budding entrepreneurial ecosystem which thrives in such institutes of repute. Besides this, visits to leading think tanks facilitated an in-depth understanding of the macro environment of Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. It also enlightened students about the economic and political dynamics about the South Asian region as a whole and the scope for India to contribute meaningfully in this larger canvas. Sessions with government officials helped in understanding governance and administration angle of the country and its perfection and consistency in urban planning. Students realized how government intervention at all levels have made Singapore what it is today. It also showcased how government can act as a facilitating agent in the development of businesses in the country through prudent policy interventions and by providing stable political and pragmatic legal environment.
Students also had the chance to listen to corporate heads and business professionals to understand the nuances of doing business in Singapore. Interaction with Pan IIM Alumni was like an icing on the cake and enriched the student experience as the Alumni reflected on their professional experience in Singapore and comparison of business environments in Singapore and India. It was not only the scheduled meets in which students participated but also self-exploration of the city that played an instrumental role in understanding the socio-cultural nuances of the country. Use of public transport facilities like SMRT provided an exposure to Singapore’s public infrastructure and its efficiency. To sum it up, the immersion program helped students in understanding market conditions, regulations, competitive and locational advantages of a foreign country and various other aspects of business management in a foreign country. Such immersions enable students to appreciate, accept and adapt to diverse business and cultural environments and help them in leveraging cultural diversity in their professional careers ahead.