22 January 2018

CEOs are optimistic about the global economy: PwC

Most CEOs are optimistic about the economic environment worldwide, at least in the short term. This is one of the key findings of PwC’s 21st survey* of almost 1,300 CEOs around the world, launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Fifty-seven percent of business leaders say they believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, almost twice the level of last year (29%) and the largest-ever increase since PwC began asking about global growth in 2012. This trend was seen even among less optimistic countries such as Japan (2018: 38% vs. 2017: 11%).

“In Singapore, we are also seeing more positive business sentiment. However, with the increasingly complex business landscape, Singapore business leaders will need to find a way to leverage the upturn in the global economy and expand internationally,” says Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman, PwC Singapore.

This optimism in the economy is feeding into CEOs’ confidence about their own companies’ outlook, even if the uptick is not so large. Forty-two percent of CEOs said they are “very confident” in their own organisation’s growth prospects over the next 12 months, up from 38% last year.

Looking at the results by country, it’s a mixed bag. CEOs’ outlook improved in several key markets including in Australia (up 4% to 46%) and China (up 4% to 40%), where the share of CEOs saying they are “very confident” in their own organisation’s 12-month growth prospects rose.

The top three most confident sectors for their own 12-month prospects this year are technology (48% “very confident”), business services (46%) and pharmaceutical and life sciences (46%) – all exceeding the global “very confident” level of 42%.

Strategies for growth remain largely unchanged on last year’s survey – CEOs will rely on organic growth (79%), cost reduction (62%), strategic alliances (49%) and mergers and acquisitions (42%). There was a small increase in interest in partnering with entrepreneurs and startups (33% vs 28% last year).

This year, the US reinforces its lead on China as the top market for growth (46% US vs 33% China, with the US lead over China up 2% compared with 2017). Germany (20%) remains in third place, followed by the UK (15%) in fourth place, while India bumps Japan as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.

“Even with high levels of global growth confidence, business leaders want and need safe harbours for investment to secure short-term growth,” comments Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC. “Access to consumers, skills, finance and a supportive regulatory environment are reinforcing leading markets’ positions, for business leaders to achieve their short-term growth targets.”

Confidence in short-term revenue growth is feeding into jobs growth, with 54% of CEOs planning to increase their headcount in 2018 (2017: 52%). Only 18% of CEOs expect to reduce their headcount.

Healthcare (71%), technology (70%), business services (67%) communications (60%) and hospitality and leisure (59%) are amongst the sectors with the highest demand for new recruits.

On digital skills specifically, over a quarter (28%) of CEOs are extremely concerned about their availability within the country they are based, rising to 51% in China. Key skills availability is also the top concern for CEOs in China (2018: 64% extremely concerned vs. 2017: 52%). Overall, 22% of CEOs are extremely concerned about the availability of key digital skills in the workforce, 27% in their industry and 23% at the leadership level.  

Investments in modern working environments, learning and development programmes and partnering with other providers are the top strategies to help them attract and develop the digital talent they need.

While recent research by PwC showed that workers were optimistic about technology improving their job prospects, CEOs admit that helping employees retrain, and increasing transparency on how automation and artificial intelligence (AI) could impact jobs is becoming a more important issue for them.

Two thirds of CEOs believe they have a responsibility to retrain employees whose roles are replaced by technology, chiefly amongst the engineering and construction (73%), technology (71%) and communications (77%) sectors. Sixty-one percent of CEOs build trust with their workforce by creating transparency, at least to some extent, on how automation and AI impact their employees.

Yeoh said, “Singapore’s workforce of today must recognise that disruption is not just a buzzword and that the way we operate and do business will change drastically. More companies are implementing technologies and adopting systems that pose a real threat to jobs.

“As the Singapore government pushes the workforce to upskill, individuals must also take responsibility for their own continuous learning to stay relevant in this technology-enabled job market.”

While 18% of CEOs expect to reduce their headcount, CEOs estimate that four out of five (80%) of those jobs affected will have been impacted in some way by technology – 52% to some extent and 28% to a large extent.

The digital and automation transition is particularly acute in the financial services sector. Almost a quarter (24%) of banking and capital markets (BCM) and insurance CEOs plan workforce reductions, with 28% of BCM jobs likely to be lost to a large extent due to technology and automation.

Despite the optimism in the global economy, anxiety is rising on a much broader range of business, social and economic threats. CEOs are ‘extremely concerned’ about geopolitical uncertainty (40%), cyber threats (40%), terrorism (41%), availability of key skills (38%) and populism (35%). These threats outpace familiar concerns about business growth prospects such as exchange rate volatility (29%) and changing consumer behaviour (26%).

Underlining the shift, extreme concern about terrorism doubled (2018: 41% vs 2017: 20%) and terrorism enters the top 10 threats to growth. The threat of over-regulation remains the top concern for CEOs (42% extremely concerned), and over a third (36%) remain concerned about an increasing tax burden.
A year after the Paris Agreement was signed by over 190 nations, which saw countries commit to voluntary action on climate change and low carbon investment, CEOs’ concern about the threat of climate change and environmental damage to growth prospects has now doubled to 31% of CEOs (2017: 15%).

High-profile extreme weather events and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement have significantly raised the profile of business action on climate risk, regulation and resilience. In China, over half (54%) of business leaders are extremely concerned about climate change and environmental damage as a threat to business growth, equal with their levels of concern about geopolitical uncertainty and protectionism.

Climate change and environmental damage is reported in the top five threats for businesses in Asia Pacific, and recognised as a top-five threat for the growth prospects of companies in the energy and utilities, engineering and construction, transport and logistics sectors. 

“The higher level of concern is being driven by larger societal and geopolitical shifts rather than the dynamics of business leaders’ own markets,” comments Moritz. “It’s clear their mid- to long-term confidence in revenue growth is tempered by threats the business world is not used to tackling directly itself.” 
Source: PwC microsite. Terrorism and cyber threats are ranked higher in the list of top 10 threats to business growth in 2018.
Source: PwC microsite. Terrorism and cyber threats are ranked higher in the list of top 10 threats to business growth in 2018.

Echoing the theme of the World Economic Forum this year, CEOs acknowledge that we live in a fractured world. They are divided over whether future economic growth will benefit the many or the few. They see the world moving towards new, multifaceted metrics to measure future prosperity.

Yeoh said: “We can see that CEOs are navigating the fragmentation through the increased concerned for societal threats. This also holds true in Singapore as we enter an era of slower growth, shifting demographics and technological disruption.

“While financial performance is an essential element underpinning any market economy, it cannot be the only measure of success. Broader measures, reflecting targetted outcomes in societal terms, such as quality of life, must also be considered.”

Examining the key challenges to trust for businesses, CEOs admit that delivering results in shorter periods of time (60%) is the main challenge. However, following this, there is a significant shift with the majority reporting higher levels of pressure to hold individual leaders to account (59%), including for misconduct. Over a third report more pressure from employees and customers to take political and social stances (38%) in public.

In the BCM (65%), healthcare (65%) and technology sectors (59%), the profile of leadership accountability was higher than average. High-profile debates on diversity, immigration, social inclusion and pay equity have raised employees’ expectations of leadership to engage in political and social issues, including in China (41%).


Download the report

*PwC conducted 1,293 interviews with CEOs in 85 countries between August and November 2017. The sample is weighted by national GDP to ensure that CEOs’ views are fairly represented across all major countries. Eleven percent of the interviews were conducted by telephone, 77% online, and 12% by post or face-to-face. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis. Forty percent of companies had revenues of US$1 billion or more: 35% of companies had revenues between US$100 million and US$1 billion; 20% of companies had revenues of up to US$100 million; 56% of companies were privately owned.

21 January 2018

100 trends to watch in MENA for 2018

Source: JWT website. Cover for the MENA 100 trends report.
Source: JWT website. Cover for the report.
The J. Walter Thompson Middle East and Africa's Innovation Group has released its sixth annual consumer trends report, covering the MENA region for 2018. The Future 100 Trends and Change to Watch in MENA captures key themes accelerating the pace of change for consumers in the economies of Egypt, North Africa, Lebanon, Jordan, the Gulf and KSA.

Each trend in the Future 100 MENA Report is part of a growing phenomenon, that Middle Eastern consumers are increasingly identifying themselves as global citizens. With the universal nature of digital networks, the region is experiencing new spins on parenthood, money and lifestyle matters.

Authored by Mennah Ibrahim, MEA Director of the Innovation Group, the report has 10 main categories - culture, tech & innovation, travel & hospitality, brands & marketing, food & drink, beauty, retail, health, lifestyle, and luxury.

Mennah said: "Borders are collapsing at the touch of technology, causing much faster trend evolution and similarities with the West, as the Middle Eastern consumer increasingly identifies as a 'global citizen'. Last year, I wrote about the growing demand for brands and lifestyle products to offer Muslim-centric options of diverse identity, social justice and social impact. Interestingly, these recurring themes, along with other emerging trends, are now flowing faster in the opposite direction. This East to West exchange is making those trends' influences felt across consumer categories around the globe - even in space."

According to the report: 

Mingling with the machine: Trend No. 7

According to Accenture, 82% of UAE respondents cited the availability of artificial intelligence (AI) anytime as a key reason why they prefer it to human interaction. At the Future Investment Initiative in KSA, a humanoid robot demonstrated her capacity for human expression and interaction. At GITEX Dubai, robo-cops keeping the peace and robo-surgeons performing surgery over 5G were a major highlight.

Halal space food: Trend No. 44

KSA has invested US$1 billion in Virgin Galactic, and Egyptian Mohammed Sallam is set to fly to the Red Planet as part of mission Mars One. With more Muslim astronauts travelling to space, Texas A&M University System plans to conduct research on halal food as part of its NASA programme. "If there is a demand for halal food we will have research on it, to NASA requirements," said Mian Nadeem Riaz, NASA R&D director.

By women for women: Trend No. 10

Women are using social media, girl-focused platforms and messages of empowerment to create content and solutions for women, by women. In KSA, Google expects this content to rise by 75% over 2016's figures. Vlogger Njoud al Shammari said: "YouTube gives me the power to have a voice not only to express myself but to express what other women need, and what they feel needs to change in our society."

Rebranding KSA: Trend No. 4

With a target of attracting 1.5 million foreign visitors by 2020, KSA's cultural reforms and relaxed tourist visa laws are already attracting foreign investors, who find that the country's unexplored territories add to its mystique. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: "This is an incredibly exciting time in the country's history, and I've always felt that there's nothing like getting a firsthand impression."


18 January 2018

Preorders open in Singapore for new Microsoft Surface family members

Microsoft has made a number of products in its Surface family available for preorders.

Source: Challenger eDM. Preorder invitation for the Microsoft Surface Laptop.
Source: Challenger eDM. Preorder invitation for the Microsoft Surface Laptop.

The Surface Laptop will be available in Singapore starting 24 January, with preorders now available from the Microsoft Store as well as authorised retailers. The retailers include Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, LOL by Epicentre, Harvey Norman, and Newstead.

Starting from S$1,488, Surface Laptop balances performance and style. The Surface Laptop is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th generation Intel Core processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life*. At 1.25 kg** and under 14.5mm thick, the Surface Laptop is also engineered for portability.

“We are excited to be bringing Surface Laptop to Singapore for customers who are seeking a differentiated laptop experience,” said Veronica Chiu, Windows and Devices Group Lead, Microsoft Singapore earlier this month.

“Meticulously crafted to deliver a portable and performance packed experience, Surface Laptop empowers our customers to unleash their creative potential by bringing the best of Windows and Office together, while redefining its category.”

Available in Platinum, the signature keyboard on the Surface Laptop is covered in Alcantara material and features a quiet, responsive keyset, large precision trackpad, and soft palm rest for typing comfort.

The 13.5" PixelSense Display is optimised for touch and inking while the optically-bonded Corning Gorilla Glass 3 adds durability. The Surface Laptop will also support the new Surface Pen***.
Shipping with Windows 10 S, a new Windows experience streamlined for security and superior performance, Surface Laptop starts up and runs faster with InstantOn and an operating system optimised for sustained performance.

With Windows 10 S, applications that are downloaded from the Windows Store are first verified for security, and then locally run in a “container” that is isolated from other containers for safety. In addition, Surface Laptop is fully integrated with OneDrive to keep  content safe in the cloud.
Preorders for the Microsoft Surface Studio, along with Surface Dial are also available now.

Source: Microsoft. The Surface Studio.
Source: Microsoft. The Surface Studio.
The Surface Studio is an entirely new device designed for the creative process. With a 28" PixelSense Display that is adjustable, the Surface Studio provides a canvas for users to sketch, paint and edit photos, or even to lay things flat as with a drafting table.

It can be paired with the Surface Dial which provides easy access to shortcuts, controls and drawing tools.

In addition, the Surface Book 2 (13” and 15”) will be coming to Singapore in March 2018. Billed as Microsoft's most powerful Surface ever, the Surface Book 2 features the latest quad-core Intel processors and the best graphics performance yet with the latest NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.

It is also able to support varying work styles, including studio mode, laptop mode, view mode, and tablet mode by simply detaching the screen. Studio mode refers to using the Surface Book 2 as a tablet but with the keyboard still attached.

Microsoft also announced in a blog post that preorders for Surface Book 2 15” have begun in Australia, New and Zealand among other countries.

Source: Microsoft blog. The Surface 2, with the Surface Dial on the left and the Surface pen third from left.
Source: Microsoft blog. The Surface Book 2, with the Surface Dial on the left and the Surface Pen third from left. The Surface Book 2 on the left is in laptop mode while the Surface Book 2 on the right is in view mode.

February through April will see Surface Book 2 13” and 15” roll out to Bahrain, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, KSA, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the UAE within Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions.


Pricing is as follows:

Suggested retail price (including GST)
Surface Studio - 2TB / Intel Core i7
Surface Dial
Surface Book 2
Availability and pricing information for Singapore will be shared at a later date. 

The Surface Studio and Surface Dial can now be preordered from the Microsoft Store and authorised retailers Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, LOL by Epicentre, Harvey Norman, and Newstead.

Surface Laptop and Surface Studio will also be available for preorders for commercial customers via authorised device resellers including AsiaPac Distribution, JK Technology, and UIC Asian Computer Services.


Watch the video introducing the Surface 2
*Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using preproduction Intel Core processor, 256GB storage, 8GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors.

**Weight is based on the i5 configuration.

***Sold separately.

17 January 2018

Rolls-Royce shares Bespoke models from 2017

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has shared the finest examples of bespoke design and craftsmanship to be completed by the luxury house over the past 12 months. The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke department is a collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople who bring patrons’ most ambitious and personal visions to reality. Today, almost every motor car made by Rolls-Royce is bespoke.

According to the company, 2017 was the year that Rolls-Royce elevated its Bespoke initiative to unprecedented new levels, resulting in one of the most significant years for the Bespoke department in the 114-year history of the brand.


Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The Sweptail.

Rolls-Royce Sweptail premiered in 2017, draws on the lineage of 1920s and 1930s Rolls-Royce motor cars. The client’s vision was for a coach-built two seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

The grille, milled from solid aluminium, presents a distinct formality. The side profile of Sweptail defines its stately character, whilst the rear taper of the motor car pays homage to the world of racing yachts. The rear culminates in the registration number 08, milled from ingots of aluminium and hand-polished to a mirror finish.

Phantom and The Gallery

Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The Thorsten Franck Bespoke Phantom Gallery.

This new Rolls-Royce Phantom has at the heart of its design aesthetic The Gallery, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel.

An application of glass runs uninterrupted across the fascia, providing an unprecedented opportunity to present artwork within a car.

Dawn and Wraith at Porto Cervo

Two motor cars were created in honour of the 2017 Rolls-Royce Summer Studio, Porto Cervo, Sardinia in Italy. A bespoke Dawn drophead coupé and a Wraith Black Badge were commissioned to encapsulate the essence of the island.

Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The Porto Cervo motif in sapphires and mother of pearl, in the Dawn.

Dawn adopted a nautical theme, evoking emotions of a Mediterranean sojourn. The Porto Cervo motif, encrusted with genuine sapphires and mother of pearl, is embedded into the front fascia of the motor car. Navy blue and arctic white hues complement an expanse of teak, including the decking and floor.

The Porto Cervo Wraith emulates Sardinia’s night time ambience. A two-tone Diamond Black exterior is contrasted with gloss and matte paint applications, while black woven leather door panniers infer Wraith Black Badge’s dark and complex character.

Spirit of Calligraphy Ghost

A special one-off commission unveiled in Dubai, UAE in 2017, the Bespoke Spirit of Calligraphy Ghost draws its design inspiration from the art of Arabic calligraphy. Words are harmoniously moulded into shapes called calligrams, creating a unique effect where text and image become one.

Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Detail of calligraphy motif, Spirit of Calligraphy Ghost.

Sir Henry Royce’s words “Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, in their Arabic form are shaped into Rolls-Royce’s flying mascot, the Spirit of Ecstasy. The calligram, created by artist Khaled Al Saaei, features as a silver inlay on the centre panel and as embroidery on the rear centre seat, amidst an array of Turchese, Black and Arctic White leathers.

Ghost Elegance

Commissioned for an individual collector, the Ghost Elegance is the first motor car to be finished in a paint infused with diamonds. Named Diamond Stardust, the unique paint incorporates 1,000 diamonds crushed to form a very fine powder, giving the finished panels unmatched lustre and sparkle.
Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. The Ghost Elegance.
The flanks of the car are highlighted with Mugello Red and Black twin coachlines, reflected inside with black leather seats and accents in Mugello Red, carried through stitching on the doors and piping on the seats. The detailed fascia of smooth open-pore Tudor Oak veneer is also complemented with a Mugello Red single stitch along the top of the dashboard, and finished with a Bespoke clock.

Source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Dawn in Fuxia.

Dawn in Fuxia
In 2017, US collector Michael Fux was presented with his 10th Bespoke model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Following a visit to Pebble Beach, US in 2016, where he collected a cluster of fuchsia petals, he challenged the Bespoke team at Goodwood - the home of Rolls-Royce - with a commission to bring a new colour to Dawn.

Dawn in Fuxia represents a unique hue to the Rolls-Royce Colour Collection, and is reserved exclusively for Fux. His most recent commission is his second Dawn, having collected the first – in one-off Fux Blue – in 2016. Reminiscent of that car, the interior of Dawn in Fuxia is trimmed in Arctic White leather.

Dawn B50 for Hotel Byblos

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez, France in 2017, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed the Dawn B50, a Bespoke car inspired by the warmth and vibrancy of the Côte d'Azur.

Commissioned by the Hotel Byblos as the automotive Jewel of Saint-Tropez, the Dawn B50 has two dominant exterior colours. The combination was developed exclusively to celebrate the hotel’s anniversary, along with bespoke door treadplates and a unique hand-painted coachline on each side bearing the B50 logo. The sophisticated interior takes inspiration from the Mediterranean sun, with tangerine tones that accentuate the dashboard and echo the stitching across the seat upholstery and floor mats.

A special Silver Dawn

Prominently displayed at the Home of Rolls-Royce is a very rare 1952 Silver Dawn. It was sold new to a customer in Canada, and in 2017 a commission for a new Dawn from the same country led to a homage to this particular car in its 65th anniversary year.

Finished in two-tone Midnight Sapphire and Jubilee Silver, the new Dawn closely emulates the original finishes of the 1952 motor car, with a Bespoke painted coachline, broken for the first time on a Rolls-Royce. Inside, Selby Grey and Navy leather are combined with Crossbanded Walnut Burr veneer, closely matched to the original. The finishing touches include a Bespoke clock with 1952 lettering and a Spirit of Ecstasy veneer inlay.

Inspiration from South Korea

The Bespoke Collection for Korea embraces the aesthetic heritage of South Korea with contemporary flair. The Ghost Seoul Edition reflects colours that grace the country’s Taegukgi national flag, finished in bright Andalusian White with a twin coachline in Cobalto Blue and Mugello Red – along with a handpainted Bespoke motif that captures the silhouette of the iconic Namsan Seoul Tower. Inside, the black leather upholstery is complemented by contrasting bands in Arctic White, as well as blue and red highlights for stitching and piping.

The Wraith Busan Edition is inspired by the hues of the coastal city of the same name, with a two-tone exterior in Royal Blue and Jubilee Silver that conjures up the shimmering sea. The rear pillar motif echoes the delicate latticework of traditional Korean hanok screen doors, and is also carried inside the car across the dashboard. Emulating the dusk sky across nearby mountains, a single coachline in Blushing Pink draws attention to the shoulder line. The colour is also applied to the seat stitching, instrument panel and RR headrest monograms inside, as a flourish to the Selby Grey and Cobalto Blue upholstery.

16 January 2018

ARTWALK Little India mixes something old, and something new

Source: ARTWALK Little India. Izzad Radzali Shah, Festival, ARTWALK Little India 2018, LASALLE College of the Arts, 2018. Photo: Ng Wu Gang.
Source: ARTWALK Little India. Izzad Radzali Shah, Festival, ARTWALK Little India 2018, LASALLE College of the Arts, 2018. Photo: Ng Wu Gang.

Multidisciplinary arts festival ARTWALK Little India, jointly organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the support of Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, returns for its fourth edition in January 2018 as part of Singapore Art Week

Themed Urban Mythology, the event marks the first of a renewed three-year partnership between STB and LASALLE, following a successful first three years between 2015 and 2017. Visitorship grew from 74,000 in 2015 to 140,000 visitors in 2017. 

In total, there are seven new murals, one visual art installation, and three performing artists at ARTWALK 2018, in addition to fringe activities. The programme spans 10 days and features new hands-on activities such as dress-a-puppet workshops and aura photography readings. 

This edition of ARTWALK sees several artists return to resurrect tales of Little India. Master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, a participant since 2016, will be telling stories of the supernatural variety. Eunice Lim, artist of ARTWALK Little India murals Cattleland and Cattleland 2, is also back to honour Singapore’s longest-running Tamil bookstore, Siyamala Bookstore, which imports publications directly from India. Leow Wei Li, a student volunteer on Lim's mural in 2017, has decided to take part in this year’s ARTWALK together with Dominic Khoo to form art duo sobandwine. Their mural is an homage to the marigold flower in Indian culture.
To further draw out the collaborative nature of the festival, business owners within Little India have been invited to play a more engaged role in ARTWALK 2018. For the first time, corporate sponsors who have businesses within the area have jumped on board. These include main sponsor Corwin Holding, a joint venture between Lum Chang Holdings and a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management Asia and developer of the new mixed development project at the former The Verge; plus co-sponsors Nippon Paint and Wanderlust Hotel. Four organisations also came on board as programme partners: Monster Day Tours, Indian Heritage Centre, Artgrain, and Audace Bar & Restaurant.

“We wanted to ensure that everyone involved felt like they have a stake within the neighbourhood and festival. Our end goal is all about celebrating the rich diversity and history of Little India, and with the personal investment of these individuals, many of whom came up with very creative ways to amplify the theme of this year’s ARTWALK; we believe 2018’s edition adds new layers to an already exciting and on-going dialogue of Little India,” said Hazelina Oh, a BA(Hons) Arts Management student of LASALLE. ARTWALK is managed by a team of seven BA(Hons) Arts Management students from LASALLE, with guidance from artist and LASALLE Senior Fellow, Milenko Prvacki. 

ARTWALK Little India has played a key role in injecting vibrancy into the precinct and making Little India and its rich heritage relevant to a younger generation. It has also made the tourist experience in Little India more immersive,” said Kenneth Lim, Director, Cultural Precincts Development, STB.


ARTWALK Little India 2018 runs from 18–27 January 2018, with programmes and activities happening on Thursdays to Saturdays, 6pm – 9pm. 

The festival guide is available for download and can also be picked up at the Indian Heritage Centre or Clive Street POLI site.

Sign up for guided tours by Monster Day Tours

Self-guided tours can be accessed via the Locomole app on mobile devices, downloaded on both the App Store and Google Play store.

Flightleaders.com to enrich programmes in 2018

Source: Flightleaders.com website. An aircraft cockpit.
Source: Flightleaders.com website. An aircraft cockpit.
Aviation-themed leadership training and facilitation programme provider Flightleaders.com, a division of the McGallen & Bolden Group, plans to beef up its offerings over the course of 2018.

"Corporate training will be a huge thing given the gap between the generations at the workplace, and this will transcend tech and other so-called 'disruptive' evolutions through tech. People and management will always be the breaking points," said Dr Seamus Phan, Flightleaders.com Leadership Trainer, whose specialty is corporate leadership and philosophy approaches.

"The best tech will always fail if you cannot have the right people in place, and manage all the diverse and often opinionated talents cohesively."
Flightleaders is best known for What’s Next Leadership - lessons from the ancient East. In this programme, Dr Phan and fellow Leadership Trainer Captain Michael Caston, an expert in crew resource management (CRM) as well as human factors - bring time-tested CRM and Flightleaders' proprietary trademarked benevolence, rectitude, and mindfulness (BRM) philosophy to corporate leadership and business transformation. 

"Unlike what many executives may have previously learned from Sun Tzu's Art of War (孙子兵法), we take our learners through learning points from the ethics classic Analects (論語, wisdom from Chinese sages such as Confucius, Mencius), wisdom from the Three Kingdoms (in power from the year 184 to 220), Hagakure (葉隠聞書) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, and Gorinosho (五輪書, also known as The Book of Five Rings) by Miyamoto Musashi, both 17th century samurai classics. Our programmes are highly engaging and immersive, with role play, interactive videos, and realistic flight simulator sessions if needed, guided by commercial pilots," said Dr Phan.

Dr Phan, who is  responsible for digital and interactive training programme development at Flightleaders.com, also shared that the curriculum will become richer over the year. "For classroom settings, we will bring in more classics, including the other Chinese military classics - there are seven, which the Art of War is just one. I have already started working on two of the others, which are very fascinating," said Dr Phan.

Dr Phan pointed out that many training programmes today are based on Western thought, which spans just 200 years if US history is considered. "There is lots more wisdom to glean from thousands of years of history from this side of the world. I may include more Eastern history, including Korea, and maybe India," he said.
Flightleaders.com will also create more interactive video content for tech and engineering audiences this year, said Dr Phan. "Going forward, we intend to spend more time in 2018 to create interactive video segments, which will be useful for resource-strapped companies which cannot dedicate a whole class at a fixed timing," he explained.


Flightleaders.com offers training programmes for critical infrastructures such as those found in aviation and healthcare; corporate training including Leadership Secrets at 30,000 Feet and IntrinSelling, a sales leadership programme, as well as custom programmes.

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog post about the origins of Flightleaders

Hashtags: #leadership, #management, #humancapital, #aviation, #training