“Working in Asia: Understanding the Business Culture and Practices” Presented by Violet Chan and Joy Tan.
i. Crazy Rich Asian. The novel and movie have sparked conversations on diversity, multiculturalism and social inclusion. From opinionated movie critiques to cool-headed sociologists, much have been written about the representation of Asian culture and values set amidst the predominantly all-white Hollywood backdrop. But, what exactly are Asian cultures and values? And more importantly, how does it impact business?
ii. Ever since the US-China trade war ensued, geopolitical uncertainties and tensions have been in the highlight. Financial markets are expecting China’s pace of growth to slow down; manufacturers are switching production and imports away from US and China to avoid tariffs. For ASEAN countries, this global risk comes with a new set of opportunities. The tension between the super powers has shifted the spotlight to ASEAN countries, and significant growth in the region’s GDP, trade and FDI is projected.
iii. Singapore, where the movie is set, and part of ASEAN, is the perfect amalgamate of a highly globalized workforce, with multiple nationalities, and inter-cultural influences. A report by Cushman & Wakefield in 2016 says Singapore remains the most attractive destination for multi- national companies (MNCs) to set up their Asia Pacific headquarters. Visit Singapore’s Central Business District and you’ll find the regional headquarters of many multinational companies, from networking and social media firms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to pharmaceutical giants such as GlaxoSmithKline. The latest to hop on the Asian wave is Dyson British technology firm. Dyson announced on 22 Jan 2019 that it will move its corporate head office to Singapore to "reflect the increasing importance of Asia" to its business.
iv. Therefore, for anyone seeking to leverage on the new opportunities arising from ASEAN countries, it is pertinent to first understand the predominant business cultures and practices.
Forums presented by:
Violet Chan holds a Master of Education from the University of Western Australia, and Bachelor of Arts (Merit) from the National University of Singapore, majoring in the English language. AtTheStyleAtelier, she has worked with beauty brands like CHANEL, Laneige, Anna Sui, Max Factor, Mamonde, Su:m37, Gatsby and Lucido-L to develop presentations and workshops for consumers, industry partners and the media. Prior to that, she lectured in the Singapore Institute of Technology, coaching undergraduate students in effective communication for the workplace, training them in Master of Education (UWA, Australia) Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Merit (National University of Singapore, Singapore) Problem-based Learning Certification (Republic Polytechnic, Singapore) Etiquette Consultant Certification (First Impressions, UK) Excellent Service Star Award (EXSA, SPRING Singapore, 2013) WSQ Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA.) inter-cultural communications, interview skills and business etiquette. She has also lectured in Singapore Polytechnic, at the School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences, in the areas of effective communication skills. She was a qualified facilitator using the Problem-based Learning approach and has spent four years training academic staff in Republic Polytechnic using effective andragogy. She has trained private educators in the Specialist Diploma for Adult Learning and Teaching. She was the chief production editor of the PBL newsletter published by Republic Polytechnic and was Chairperson of the 3rd International PBL Symposium in 2012. In 2013, she was awarded the Excellent Service Star Award. Violet also has extensive professional experiences from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, managing the flagship Senior Management Program. She marketed the executive education courses to both government bodies and private companies, collaborating closely with the professors at the school to craft customized programs that meet the unique training needs of clients. The range of clients for whom she was account manager includes the Asian Development Bank, the Dubai School of Government, Japan Ministry of Finance, Brunei Ministry of Defense, the Internal Security Department of Singapore and the Singapore Home Team Academy. She learnt to be adaptive and sensitive to the training needs of clients due to the extensive range of specializations of the clients, from internal security to geopolitics to effective governance. Proficient in business communication and personal corporate branding, Violet the first seven years of her career was in a non-profit organization that counsels youths and she has been both trainer and event organizer of events for hundreds of tertiary students. Being a Birkman-certified consultant in 2005-2007, she has used the motivational and behavioral evaluation method to coach individuals in their professional development as well as team building and leadership development. Being a firm believer that the way we carry ourselves – how we talk, walk, stand and eat – speaks volumes about who we are professionally and socially, she brings her expertise and passion in education into the training of personal and corporate etiquette, deportment and communication skills. She received her certification as an etiquette consultant from First Impressions, UK.
Joy Tan holds Bachelor of Communication Studies, Honors, with a Minor in Drama (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and a PGDE, Distinction (National Institute of Education, Singapore.) Joy Tan is a professional trainer for communication skills, styling and makeup and hair. Before setting up The Style Atelier, she lectured in Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences, specializing in areas related to effective written, oral and interpersonal communication for work as well as professional grooming. Under the Professional & Adult Continuing Education (PACE) Academy in Singapore Polytechnic, she also coached adult learners in business communications (for skills related to email writing, interview skills, resume and cover letter writing, interpersonal communication at the workplace, etc.) Joy has taught English as a second/foreign language to Japanese students from National College of Technology of Japan for their Intensive English Immersion Program in Singapore for several years. She also co-designed and customized the curriculum for this program. As a professional trainer in makeup and hairstyling, she has worked with established beauty brands such as L’oreal, Laura Mercier, Biore, KATE, Lunasol, Gatsby, Heroine Make, Lucido-L in presentations to reach out to consumers, media, staff and influencers. As a stylist for makeup, hair and wardrobe, Joy’s works have been featured in magazines, TV, newspapers, events, online media, cinemas, etc. The brands she has styled for include: Prudential, Hewlett Packard, SKII, Ecco, Diva Universal Channel, World Tennis Association (WTA), Lux (Philippines), Secom, Robinsons, Sovil Et Titus, etc. She holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies with Honors, with a Minor in Drama from Nanyang Technological University. A 20 mins video drama which she directed as a graduating student in 2004 won the Media Development Authority (MDA) Book Prize as well as the Broadcaster Educators Association (BEA- USA) 1st Prize for Student Narrative Category. She also has a Post-graduate Diploma in Education (with Distinction) from National Institute of Education, Singapore.