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A safe flight and a great start into the onsite seminar 2016-2017

Dr. Remo Burkhard shows the exploreASEAN delegation the density of the population in Southeast Asia

The onsite seminar started with the first company visit at Leica Geosystems Technologies Pte Ltd which is part of the Hexagon group, accounting for 3,1 billion in turnover with approximately 17’000 employees. HR Director Ms Gek Hoon, Director Geospatial Solutions Mr. Rolf Schaeppi and several senior managers welcomed the delegation warmly.  

During a first part, Leica Geosystems was introduced to us and we could learn that they provide measurement instruments and a range of solutions for fields such as Agriculture, Archology and Spatial measuring. Furthermore, Leica Geosystems perceives it as more and more important to get closer to the end-user. Therefore, and due to the strong growth in Indonesia, they aim on expanding in this large market.

After the presentation of Leica Geosystem, our very active delegation followed up by asking a number of interesting questions relating to their products, their strategy and about the Singaporean business culture in general.

The delegation member Soner Aydin made use of this opportunity and asked Mr Rolf Schaeppi how to close a deal during the negotiation phase of a product. Mr Schaeppi replied that many sales persons never ask for the offer and keep stretching the negotiations until the product is not required anymore. Thus, Mr Schaeppi recommends all future sales persons to be brave and to actually ask for the offer upon a certain point in the negotiation process.

After this first part, we moved to the production facilities and distribution center of Leica Geosystems. We were lead through a well-organized production where the “temperature chamber” could be found. It is here where they  test the functionality of their fabricated products under conditions between -20° and +50° degree! Overall, the company excursion offered a number of impressions on how similar a production and distribution facility in Asia can look like compared to one in Switzerland.

At the end of the tour, we were kindly offered refreshments. Surprisingly, refreshments in Singaporean culture appears to be equal to lunch, which was confirmed by Teresa Freiburghaus. There, we had the opportunity to network with the executive managers as well as with some Swiss expats that are currently working at Leica Geosystems in Singapore.

We left with the first impressions of how business is done in Singapore and moved on to the second company visit that took place at the premise of the National University of Singapore. There, Dr. Remo Burkhard, Managing Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC) invited the exploreASEAN project to explore the “Future City Laboratory”. In the spacious office buildings, Dr. Remo Burkhard and other 160 researchers aim to develop solutions to tackle the challenges of metropolis in Southeast Asia in the field of infrastructure and sustainability. In the same building, several other top-universities are represented, such as MIT, TUM and Berkeley, creating a hub within the campus of the National University of Singapore. Why is the ETH in Singapore? Dr. Remo Burkhard is convinced that you need to be in the heart of Southeast Asia to understand the challenges of Southeast Asia in regards of environmental sustainability. If the ETH is eager to know how to build a city for 10 million people for example, then they observe the situation in Southeast Asia in order to acquire the relevant knowledge about the key issues.

One major issue is the traffic in the cities and the mobility in general. In the opinion of Dr. Remo Burkhard, the quality of life can be augmented drastically by reducing the time spent in traffic jams. Stefan Dreyfus then asked, what other, big cities in the world could learn from cities in Southeast Asia to which Dr. Remo Burkhard responded that the availability of wireless connections in public places must be improved. He took Switzerland as an example, where even in some coffee shops the wireless connection was not available to clients. In Southeast Asia however, this is very common and increases the opportunity to work outside of one’s home. Dr. Remo Burkhard then proceeded to end the presentation by emphasizing on the importance of working together with the local people and how crucial it is to speak the local language. Then, it will be easier to address the needs that the local population has. 

After the two impressive company visits, the delegation received some time to experience Singapore culturally. The Merlion, for example, is the mascot of Singapore and is a mythical creature combining the Lion, symbolizing strength and fearlessness, and the Fish, representing the origin of Singapore as fishing village.

Yesterday, we flew to Jakarta and thus experienced Indonesia for the first time in the history of the project. We are excited to learn more about the most populated country in Southeast Asia in the following days. Stay tuned for more information on Jakarta and Bandung. Discover what our delegation has learned and experienced with our onsite blog and don`t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn to learn more about exploreASEAN!

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