24 Hours in Singapore…

On a recent return trip to New Zealand I spent 24 hours in Singapore just in time to catch the last race of the Formula 1 on the local TV (so close but so far!) and saw Lewis Hamilton take top honors on the podium. Lewis admitted that “It was a very, very tough race,” which I have no doubt given the 32 degree celsius humid heat and the nature of the race which is held at night under artificial lighting. “It’s corner after corner after corner and there is never a real break and you need to be focused.” Sounds a lot like doing business these days. It was also great to also see Timo Glock and the Toyota team finish in a surprise second position and I loved the simple but poignant statement Glock gave: “A driver can make a difference here”.

With this in mind I met the next morning with John Davidson from Marketing TV and answered a couple of his questions about Winning Ugly in the recession and how it is important to react positively to the challenge of the recession (see video above).

Next it was a lively meeting with the local agency staff and clients including Procter and Gamble’s energetic marketing team. We discussed creating loyalty beyond the recession and how to create priceless value. The agency is reinventing its approach, generating exciting new ideas, and moving with consumers who have sprinted ahead.

Singapore has been typically resilient in the face of the recession, with a determination to turn the economy forward after the worst battering in 40 years. With its strategic regional location, strong technology industries, arguably the world’s best airport, and a gastronomy scene to blow your taste buds, Singapore is well placed to continue turning up in top ten lists. Check out Monocle’s special Singapore survey, which highlights creative industries but also the mainstays – healthcare (400,000 overseas patients a year), tourism (10 million visitors), investment banking, and aviation. Singapore is also hosting APEC in November. I’ve been travelling through Singapore for many years, and despite my heart having fallen to Dubai for the Europe-Downunder stopover, I’ll no doubt be seeing more of Singapore in the future (in a few weeks even!).

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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