Alhambra International is today an Executive Search company based in Europe (France, Benelux, Germany) and in the Middle East. Our activities outside France represent almost 40% of our general turnover and we will continue our international expansion which represents most of our growth.
Our clients are based in Europe, the Middle East but also in Asia especially with customers having ambition to develop their businesses in our continent.
We recently did several missions for customers located in East Asia and in North East Asia for their implementation in Europe. Our study trip to Singapore was therefore a logical step of our expansion in Asia after having studied an implementation in India in 2013.
Singapore is a city where the economic performance is unique in the world during the last 50 years with a GDP per capita increase from 500 US$ to more than 50.000 US$.
Singapore’s economic strength lays in its diversity, notably in the manufacturing and the construction sectors (22% of the GDP), the commercial, logistical and communication sectors (27%) and the finance and company services sectors (27%). Even if the growth rate has slowed down, from an average of 5 to 10% in the last decade to a moderate 2.5% this year, its economy is still increasing.
Today, with the aim to perpetuate this economic miracle, the economy of Singapore turns more and more to biotechnology, robotics and the internet sectors, with the aim to make this city state a « High Tech » Hub with a strong international dimension. This new orientation allows Singapore today to climb to the 10th place in the Compass ranking of best ecosystems for start-ups, whereas three years ago it only held the 17th place. For comparison, Paris holds the 11th place behind London (6th place) and Berlin (9th place). Silicon Valley stays at the head of this ranking.
The key success factors in order to be among the Top 10 of the best start up ecosystems are well known:
– High performing universities. The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technology University (NTU) are among the best in Asia in the worldwide rankings (Shanghai/Economist/Times Higher Education), with a particular strength in Engineering, IT and Management.
– More and more venture capital investors (from Asia but also from the Silicon Valley).
– Research departments of big companies (for the most part installed in Singapore
– A government which plays a key role in the emergence and the development of start-ups. The authorities have well understood the importance of the digital industry and strive to attract, to connect and to finance the actors of this innovation. The investments are considerable from the local government (several Billion Euros) in order to create a powerful ecosystem for start-ups in this city state.
With this successful entry into the digital economy, Singapore is evolving from the classical economy to the d!conomy, by integrating the information technologies into all sectors of the economy and the society. The diversification of its economy and investments into the IT/Biotechnology and Robotics sectors are key success factors for this new economic revolution the world has known since 30 years and which is steered by new Hard and Software developments. The interesting research work for the medical and energy transition sector, and for installing new forms of mobility done by students and researchers of the NTU which we had a chance to see meet are good examples of numerical technology progress and impact on traditional economy. Among the most interesting examples we saw was an electrical car “manufactured” by a 3D printer developed by a group of students who have worked on this project for one year. The FinTech sector will also be the source of promising start ups, thanks also to a financial culture of the city state and its universities.
It’s not a surprise to mention that unemployment does almost not exist in the state of Singapore; it represents ~2% of the active population. This is the consequence of a diversified economy, based on the same time on industry, services and the new technology sectors and with a government which is facilitating the life of the companies with low taxation and few administrative obstacles. It is a society with full employment!
The city state deserves therefor its first place in the Wold Banc ranking for facilitating commerce and the second place regarding competition according to the World Economic Forum.
Singapore had in its recent history a strong government, even sometimes authoritarian, a long term vision, a high performing and not corrupted public service and an efficient economy.
The results of the last elections which took place in September 2015 have reinforced the weight of the dominating public party (the PAP) and have confirmed that the population is still very attached to the decisions made since many years by the authorities of Singapore in order to strengthen its economic performance and the quality of life.
Still many challenges lay ahead, notably the demography (25% rise of the population in the last decades) and the environment (the rise of the sea level represents many risks) on a territory which is small and very concentrated. Let’s bet that the city state will answer well to these stakes in order to preserve and to enhance its business model!