The end of the preparatory seminar

exploreASEAN delegation 2017
Photography @2017 by


After two instructive company visits to two partners of exploreASEAN on day three, the delegation got to learn more about the ASEAN community members on day 4 and 5, when speakers shared their knowledge and success stories through presentations and roundtable discussions. Amongst the invited guest talkers which were welcomed by exploreASEAN, were Mr. Tuck Seng Low and Mr. Niklaus Glatthard from Swiss- Asian Chamber of Commerce SACC and the Co-founder of Magnolia CMS Mr. Boris Kraft .

Olten 15th of February 2017. Villeret not only is the place of birth of many Swiss Watch producers, home town of many craftsmen in the watch Industry, but also is the municipality which houses the production of Straumann AG since the year 2000. Straumann AG, with its core business in the fabrication of dental implants and instruments, was one of the two partners, who the exploreASEAN delegation paid a visit to on day 3 of the preparatory seminar. To the delegation`s surprise, the two Straumann representatives warmly welcomed the delegation with breakfast prior to going over to an interesting presentation about the background, operations, and global performance of Straumann. Thereafter, the delegation had the chance to get a teaser of what the production processes look like. Before leaving for the next company visit to Blaser Swisslube, Straumann was so generous to provide the delegation with a lunch box for the travel to Blaser Swisslube.

At Blaser Swisslube AG in Hasle-Rüegsau, the joint partner of all the international students project, the project manager Mr Christoph Fankhauser received the delegation warmly introducing Blaser Swisslube. During the introduction by Mr Christoph Fankhauser touched on information about the background, its main product the coolant and what lies behind the company’s passion of ballooning. After the introduction of and by the company, the delegation had the chance to have a guided tour through various departments including the laboratories of microbiology, R&D, Logistics and TechCenter. After the tour, the delegation was invited to have coffee and cake in one of the numerous buildings on the Blaser Campus. 

On Day 4 of the Preparatory Seminar, the explorers had the chance to take advantage of the round table discussions which were led by three experts of the three countries in focus within the ASEAN Community, namely Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. It was when the delegation was rotating from one discussion talk with Mr. Tuck Seng Low, Co-Chairman of the SACC’s Singapore Committee, to conversations with Prof. Dr. Dato Zainai, expert for Indonesia, and Prof. Dr. Thu Thuy Nguyen, Vice President of Foreign Trade University Hanoi, who was representing Vietnam.

Before lunch break the opportunity opened up to meet Niklaus Glatthard- the chairman of Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) for Young Professionals. The SACC Young Professionals has the goal to become the forum for young professionals and entrepreneurs who express interest in the relation of Switzerland and Asia in regard of economics and business. Mr. Glatthard did not only share his knowledge and experience concerning the emerging markets of ASEAN, but also strongly encouraged the delegation of exploreASEAN to be proactive when approaching these markets. Thinking outside of the box and constantly building one’s own network were highlighted throughout his speech.

The day ended with the success story of Magnolia CMS in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. The story was brought to us by Mr. Boris Kraft- its Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer. The growth, culture and the fact that Vietnam is an Asian country were the main reasons for Magnolia’s determination of operating in this country. Unlike the approach of many companies to Southeast Asia, Magnolia looked at Vietnam with the focus on the availability of skilled developers for its digital business platform. “Vietnam is much more about the community and society than Switzerland”, added Mr. Kraft, who claimed that the supporting and investing in people was of great importance for Magnolia. To close his speech, Mr. Kraft drew the conclusion that Vietnam was a “culture fit” for Magnolia. By sharing similar quality standards with Switzerland, this market promises to offer a strategic potential growth for the company in Asia.

Day 5, the so called joint-Friday, was considered the highlight of the week, when the four international projects ensembled in the aula of the FHNW Campus Olten to learn from guest speakers like Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Professor at IMD and founder of the Evian Group, Dr. Jan Atteslander from economiesuisse, Dr. Rudolf  Strahm, former price supervisor and Prof.  Dr. Kristyna Ters, a Professor at FHNW. The input session was opened by Luisa Pilla (exploreASEAN management team) and Noel Meschi (ConnectUs management team), who eventually gave over the word to Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Lehmann, who shared his knowledge about globalization- prospects, transformation and challenges with the student audience. Thereafter, Professor Michael Jeive moderated a panel talk which was conducted with the aforementioned guests. In the second half of the day, the school`s atrium turned into a career fair, where the students had the opportunity to expand their personal network, get advice from professionals and have their CV checked.

Go back