Eye on Asia

The Human Library Collection: Opportunities Beyond Singapore

Eye on Asia turned one in February 2019!

In celebration of this milestone, a human library programme was organised on 2 March 2019 in collaboration with Business China Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Youth Corps Singapore (Part of National Youth Council Singapore). Set up within the library, the audience interacted with the “human library books” who shared the opportunities and key considerations of living and working in the Philippines, Vietnam, China and India.

Ms Michelle Leong, CEO, 1010 Life Training Consultancy at Iloilo, the Philippines gave an engaging session about her corporate experiences. She added that having a “heart” for the business coupled with patience to develop her local team were some of the key factors which enabled her to persevere. With many of the locals speaking the English language, Ms Leong encouraged Singaporeans to venture into the Philippines as the country offers many potential opportunities to explore.

On opportunities in Vietnam, Mr Selvaraj Ramakrishnan, Project Engineer and Product Engineer, Cost Estimation Lead, secured the buy-in of the locals to be part of his social enterprise as he set up his production base in the country. He also discussed tips on their working culture and appreciated the support from the Singapore Business Group in Vietnam who provided the right and reliable connections for his business.

According to Mr Koh Chaik Ming, Managing Director & CEO, Forchn International and Forchn Real Estate Fund Management, Singaporeans have the advantage to link China to the rest of Southeast Asia given our understanding of China and its business culture as well as familiarity with the Southeast Asia region. He urged young Singaporeans to think and look at what the Chinese are doing rather than our natural inclination towards the West. With China’s growing ageing population, one of its emerging key sectors will be services that support the needs of this population such as elderly care services. Other growing industries include children’s education and food safety. Mr Koh’s advice for young Singaporeans who intend to venture into China is to be flexible, adaptable and interact with the locals.

The booming growth in India, particularly the service sector is suitable for Singaporeans to consider since both countries are service-oriented economies and place emphasis on this industry.  This was an insight presented by Mr Prasoon Mukherjee, Vice- Chairman, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and South Asia Business Group, Singapore Business Federation. He added that one would need to be a big company with sufficient capital to do business in India as while India has resources, the country lacks capital.  The spirit of entrepreneurship, good research on where the opportunities are plus the readiness to take risks were several elements to consider when venturing into India.

This is one of the talks under the Eye on Asia programme series for everyone, including young Singaporeans what want to explore opportunities in the region and beyond.

Eye on Asia presents the Human Library Collection where participants are able to connect and interact with human “books” over various topics. In this session, tap on the experiences of these living resources and find out more about the opportunities, challenges and key considerations of living and working in ASEAN countries, China and India.

Group A:

Michelle Leong
CEO, 1010Life Training Consultancy

Selvaraj Ramakrishnan
Project Engineer, Product Engineer
Cost Estimation Lead

Group B:

Koh Chaik Ming
Managing Director & CEO, Forchn International, Forchn Real Estate Fund Management

Prasoon Mukherjee
Vice Chairman
Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and South Asia Business Group, Singapore Business Federation


To ensure that this event can accommodate as many participants as possible, please select either Group A or B of the Human Library.

Saturday, 2 March 2019
10.00 am – 11.00 am
Level 7, National Library Building

Free admission. Register now via https://bit.ly/2G2p9aF