Skarbek Associates Limited (Singapore Branch) have published the following article on strategy implementation in The Lawyer.


To download the PDF, please click here.


Skarbeck - Not Like Yesterday Screenshot


Cyber Warfare Comes to Your Yahoo Inboxes


“There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those who don’t know
they have been hacked”. John Chambers, former CEO of CISCO


Yesterday’s announcement that Yahoo was hacked in 2014, potentially by a nation state,
appears to have been a shock to the company that was looking to acquire them for
$4.83bn, Verizon, but will have been less of a surprise to those who attended a recent
Skarbek breakfast on Cyber “drone strikes”. Yahoo appears to have exhibited many of
the failings that Skarbek identified and may risk the drastic consequences that were
highlighted at the event.


Ed Butler cited John Chambers’ quote to highlight to the seminar attendees that the cyber
threat is all too real and relevant for every type of business and individual. In his role as
Head of Risk Analysis in Pool Re, Ed is looking at the threats posed by cyber terrorism
and how these perils can be modelled. Although the threat actors are different the
consequential losses could be very similar. The focus of the session was on increasing
understanding of where the threat could come from, the potentially catastrophic impact
of that threat and what organisations can do to mitigate these risks.


Where do threats come from – who is out to get you


The talk started with an exposé from Chip Chapman, former global head of counterterrorism
in the UK MOD, on the sheer scale of cyber-attacks – for example, there are now
7 trillion spam emails a year in the US alone. The multiplicity of people, organisations
and nations posing a cyber threat and the sophistication of their tools and resources
means that it is not a question of IF organisations will come under threat, but WHEN and


As the Yahoo story shows, cyber warfare is already a reality – cyber allows opposing sides
to obtain data on individuals’ whereabouts and activities, but also “meta data” –
information which can be used to infer even greater insights – for example, once a
person’s Facebook account has been hacked, attackers can learn about their pets’ or
children’s names and use this to guess the victim’s passwords. The many people who
use the same password for their Yahoo account and their banking or other site s become
easy targets for financial fraud. For the military, these insights allow them to target and
disable infrastructure or individuals. In a commercial setting, your life might not be on
the line, but the commercial consequences can be fatal to your organisation.


The UK Government has recently acknowledged the growing scale of the threat by
announcing that GCHQ intends to erect a national firewall to protect against malicious
hackers. Whilst this move is raising privacy concerns, the reality is that a threat on this
scale is going to warrant equally dramatic measures to contain it – and that individuals
and companies on their own will be seriously challenged to protect themselves in the new
cyber reality. In a further sign of just how seriously they are taking the threat, the UK has
also established the National Cyber Security Centre with the goal of ensuring that the
people, public and private sector organisations and critical national infrastructure are
safer online.


Whoever attacked Yahoo may only have been interested in accessing the details of a few people. However, this is a clear example that cyber warfare is already affecting every one of us and that this threat must be taken extremely seriously.


The catastrophic impact of cyber threats


A cyber-attack can destroy your business. It is important to understand the true cost of a breach. As well as the direct cost of downtime and lost revenues, changes in legislation mean that companies face potentially huge fines for data breaches. Yet even these pale into insignificance when compared to the potential reputational risk and impact on share price for publicly traded companies. Yahoo is experiencing this at first hand – there is talk that its $4.83bn deal with Verizon is at risk which could have a direct financial impact of $145m if the break clause is triggered with significant potential ramifications for Yahoo’s share price. The comments being made across social media starkly reveal the scale of the loss of trust in the company.


It isn’t just big organisations that are vulnerable. The UK Government estimated in 2015 that the average cost to a company of a cyber-attack of business disruption was up to £2m, but then identified multiple other financial consequences such as lost business, cash spent responding to incidents, fines and compensations payments, lost assets and damage to reputation which could add hundreds of thousands of pounds to the total cost.


Cyber-crime is growing at an incredibly fast rate – Grant Thornton estimated that the cost of cyber-crime in the EU was just over $62 billion in 2015 alone, with a further $81bn in Asia Pac and $61.3 billion in North America. John McFarlane, CEO of Barclays summarised the scale of the threat by likening it to the “Black Market on steroids.” As Ed Butler said, “Why go to all the trouble of a bank heist, when you can be really smart and access the money online?”


Where do threats come from?


Corporate and personal cyber-attacks come in all shapes and sizes, from the individual looking to gain access out of intellectual curiosity, to governments and non-state actors seeking to obtain commercially or personally sensitive information for destructive purposes and criminals looking to make money.


Whilst the nation state attacker may generate the big headlines, some of the greatest threats come from within your own organisation. It’s easy to think about the disgruntled employee out for revenge. There are also the sub-contractors – cleaners or repair people who come in with apparently legitimate reasons and then access sensitive information. They can knowingly wreak havoc on an organisation’s data and systems. However, one of the greatest challenges that organisations can do something about– are the “Pretty Dumb People” – the individuals working for your company or as sub-contractors who click on a spam email allowing an electronic intruder to download malware or ransomware, the people who write their passwords on a piece of paper and leave it taped to their computers, the staff who connect to unknown networks in cafes without adequate protection or forget their laptops when they leave.


What can you do about it?


The entire organisation needs to own and address the threat. Given the almost unassailable scale of risk and multiplicity of vulnerabilities within organisations, the speakers underscored the critical importance of having and effectively executing plans that not only minimise the risk of a breach but also acknowledge and prepare for the high likelihood of a system and data being compromised.


Traditionally, many organisations have seen this as an IT issue, but the event underlined that the threat targeted the very existence of an organisation and that all stakeholders had a role to play in both mitigating and dealing with the consequences of a data breach. As Chip put it, “Cyber security is an information and data assurance issue, not an IT issue.” Given its central importance, it was vital that cyber security risk be considered in the same way as any other existential threat to an organisation and be owned by all members of the Board, senior management team and ultimately the entire organisation.


The complexity of the challenge becomes clearer when it is analysed in a structured way – this grid highlights 45 potential domains along which an organisation can be attacked and hence the foci along which systems needed to be secure. This grid is further complicated by the fact that these domains are actually operating in 3 dimensions – every function within an organisation plays a role in addressing the issues and third party stakeholders such as suppliers and customers are also implicated.


Fig. 1 The Contestable Domain of Cyber Space


Skarbeck Figure 1


The other great challenge is mitigating cyber risk when it is a fast-moving target – technology changing at an ever increasing rate – the rise of the Internet of Things is dramatically increasing personal and organisational vulnerability – most of us have no idea that wearing a smart watch makes our data much more accessible by those with nefarious aims.


The Insurance sector hasn’t caught up with dealing with cyber risk


For those who think of the cyber threat as just another risk that can be insured against to protect a company, Ed explained that the business of cyber insurance was still at an early stage. In order to insure a risk, its nature and scale must be quantifiable. This is relatively easy to achieve for a natural disaster such as a typhoon. However, there is a lack of data on cyber breaches and the systemic losses that could arise as a result – not surprisingly, it is not something that people or companies tend to publicise – as demonstrated by Yahoo’s mega-breach only becoming public 2 years on. In his role as an advisor to the Cyber Re reinsurance business, Ed is playing a role in understanding how to manage and finance the insurance of cyber risk. Regardless of the solutions, the scale of exposure that companies face mean that they cannot look to insurance alone to rescue them.


The four elements of a Cyber Plan


The discussion at the seminar went on to identify ways to address cyber risk, starting with a careful evaluation of an organisation’s “data crown jewels” – what was most precious to it and therefore warranted the highest degree of protection. It was up to the Board to have a clear handle on what types of data breach could cripple their businesses and to prioritise investment in protecting their critical data and preparing for the consequences of a potential breach.


When it comes to addressing the threat, it isn’t sufficient to think like an “armadillo” – with a tough layer on the outside but a soft underbelly. An “onion model” of multiple layers of defence is required. This multi-faceted approach was another reason why attention was needed at every level from the board down to ensure adequate protection. Every organisation needs a plan which addresses the four key elements vital to minimise the risk and potential impact of a threat: Avoid – Detect – Survive – Recover.


So far, Yahoo does not appear to be delivering on these four elements. In terms of “Avoiding”, Yahoo’s password protection mechanisms were in place but used outdated and inadequate methodology. A process as simple as mandating frequent password changes may not have prevented the breach, but potentially limited the damage considerably. When it comes to “Detecting,” it’s taken 2 years for the attack to be made public. In terms of “Surviving,” there appear to be gaps in its plans to mitigate the impact – for example, Yahoo customers in the Skarbek team still haven’t received any communication from the company alerting them to the issue and giving them advice as to what to do about it and the announcements from the company have been limited. Only time will tell if they are able to recover…


Why effective strategy implementation is critical to addressing cyber threats


Having a Cyber Plan is a key starting point, but it is insufficient. Even in the best firms, 70% of strategies do not get fully implemented. A Cyber Plan must address ways in which to protect itself from attack and ways to respond to one, focusing on the four elements identified above. These plans must all involve all the key stakeholders including HR or Facilities who can help mitigate the cyber risk that staff and contractors pose as well as suppliers.


Even once a plan is in place and fully implemented, it needs to be maintained and updated – cyber threats are continually evolving and companies’ strategies need to keep pace with this.


Final thoughts


In summary, cyber threats are growing exponentially and evolving rapidly. The threat is very serious as business can be the target of the spotty faced teenager, state and non-state actors, criminals and terrorists. Your plans to defend and plans to respond must be revisited and adapted on a regular basis. It is vital that organisations intensify their response including integrated risk management, crisis management and continuity plans. Every organisation’s cyber strategy needs to be challenged and tested on a routine basis. Most importantly the initiatives, projects and day job responsibilities must be fully understood and fully implemented. It may sound like paranoia, but this talk highlighted the reality that cyber is a very persistent, present and increasing threat that we ignore at our peril. But, before we sink under the weight of the challenge, the speakers also offered the message that many of the counter measures are common sense and low cost; as ever effective strategy implementation can make a difference.


About Skarbek Associates


Effective strategy implementation lies at the heart of Skarbek Associates work. When it comes to Cyber Security, the company specialises in providing an integrated approach to solving clients’ problems in developing and implementing an effective cyber strategy. Across both the plan to defend and the plan to respond they are able to ensure effective implementation coordinating the multi-disciplinary parts of the jigsaw necessary for a complete cyber strategy. Skarbek also provide ‘red-team’ events for boards and management teams together with capability building to increase readiness and resilience.

ORC logo


A Global Investigation into Employee Engagement Trends 2016


An organization’s people create its success. And whilst very few would say they wake up in the morning and decide, “I want to do a terrible job today”, most unfortunately don’t wake up thinking “fantastic, I can’t wait to get to work!”


It’s challenging to create a truly engaging workplace and one of the reasons for this is that what creates and prevents employee engagement changes over time and varies depending on who your employees are. Engagement is influenced by cultural, economic, societal, and organizational factors. In today’s world, aggressive global and technological change and shifting demographics make matters more challenging. But it is possible to define the key principles for any organization to follow if they want to be engaging. And the statistics show a strong and ever strengthening argument for engagement. Organizations who ignore the engagement of their people will, at best, fail to reach their potential and, at worst, fail to survive.


With a view to discovering what constitutes a winning workplace, ORC International undertook their 7th annual Global Perspectives Survey. They surveyed over 8,000 employees from across the globe to understand how they feel about their employee experience and what really engages them.


Their research highlighted 10 key themes that we need to be aware of to create a winning workplace. These are themes that drive engagement and differentiate the companies whose employees are able to perform at their best, and get results personally and collectively.


Whatever your model of engagement, wherever you are in the world, fine tuning your focus on the ten themes will help shift organizations in the direction of the winning workplace we are all after.


Read the full report on how the 10 ingredients will help inspire success within your organization or join ORC International for a complimentary webinar on September 8 where they will take a deep dive in these practices, with tips on how to incorporate them in your workplace.


Leadership theories of the past are not cutting it in today’s fast paced world.


Today we see a culture driven by technology and the freedom and work-any-time mentality that can bring. With a workforce which is more diverse and widely dispersed, leaders have the task of navigating cultural and geographical lines.


In this whitepaper we look back at leadership styles throughout the ages, from traditionalists to baby boomers, generation X to millennials, and look to the future with generation Z.


Through investigating the influences and disruptors changing the face of business and examining how this impacts leadership, we’ve identified what we believe are future leaders’ fundamental characteristics. We show the journey we have been on to develop our point of view on why we need something new.


We also show the impact that leadership has on employee engagement and give advice on how to measure and shape leadership in your business. Ultimately we explain how to future-proof your strategy and achieve your goals today and in the future, through using new approaches to leadership.


To learn more, read the full paper here.


Most organizations invest time and effort measuring the customer experience from an external perspective, yet many neglect the critical internal processes. In ORC International’s recent global HR Reflections survey, 91% of organizations said they see customer centricity as an important focus (above the likes of innovation, talent attraction and well-being) and 86% claimed to be focusing on it currently. But research from their recent Customer-Centric Culture survey showed that organizations have some way to go before they achieve their goal inside and out: less than two thirds of employees believe they work in an organisation where people processes facilitate customer centricity, where management behaviors support it or where they receive customer-centric communications.


This paper looks at what ORC International actually means by customer centricity from an internal perspective. It examines the people processes and ways of working that are preventing organisations from achieving their customer-centric goals and identifies practical tips for building a customer-centric culture from the inside, out.


To learn more, read the full paper here.

Employment outlook for Q3 2016 dips 4 percentage points year-on-year


Singapore, 14 June 2016 — Job seekers will face a marginally tougher employment environment in the July to September time frame.


Hiring intentions for the next three months are at best moderate, according to the Q3 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS).


Of the 647 employers surveyed, 11% expect to increase staffing levels while 1% anticipate a decrease. Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, Singapore’s Net Employment Outlook stands at a modest +9%, which is the weakest forecast reported since Q3 2009. However, 78% of the employers surveyed said they expect to keep current payrolls intact through the July-September time frame.


Overall, hiring prospects decline by 4 percentage points year-on-year.


Ms. Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore says: “Even though we may not be in a recessionary mode, the employment sentiment certainly isn’t as positive as it has been in the past. In fact, the third-quarter results are the weakest reported since we started to emerge from the last global financial crisis. However, more than three-quarters of the employers we surveyed told us they planned to keep their current workforces intact during the July-September time frame. Employers are clearly sensing more uncertainty in the business environment, but most of them appear to be waiting for clearer signs in the market place before they engage in further personnel decisions.”


She adds: “Our numbers confirm what MAS had indicated about a protracted period of modest growth in the quarters ahead.”


Ms. Teo was referring to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s twice-yearly Macroeconomic Review report published in April. The report said that the nation will face slower economic growth given that its trade-related industries are impacted by sluggish economies of its trading partners such as the United States and Japan.


MEOS is a predictive quarterly survey published by global talent experts, US-based ManpowerGroup. Employers are asked if they plan to increase or decrease headcount in the following quarter or keep to status quo.


Domestic hiring sentiments by sectors
MEOS covers seven industries: Finance, Insurance & Real Estate; Manufacturing; Mining & Construction; Public Administration & Education; Services; Transportation & Utilities; and Wholesale & Retail Trade.


● Net Employment Outlooks
Though employers in all the seven industry sectors expect to hire in Q3 2016, such plans differ vastly in different sectors. The strongest hiring pace is anticipated in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, with an Outlook of +16%. The weakest forecast is reported in the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector, with an Outlook of +3%.


Employers in the Public Administration & Education sector and the Transportation & Utilities sector, report Outlooks of +14% and +13%, respectively.


The Outlook stands at +10% for the Services; +9% for Mining & Construction; and 7%+ for the Manufacturing sectors.


● Quarter-on-quarter sector comparisons
Compared with the previous quarter, job prospects pick up in four of the seven industry sectors, notably by 6 percentage points in Public Administration & Education.


Hiring intentions are 4 and 3 percentage points stronger in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Transportation & Utilities sectors, respectively.


However, Outlooks weaken in the other sectors, including the Mining & Construction, where employers report a decline of 4 percentage points.


● Year-on-year sector comparisons
Job prospects decline in three of the seven industry sectors year-on-year.


The biggest decrease of 14 percentage points is reported in the Services sector.


The Outlooks are 5 and 3 percentage points weaker in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Manufacturing sectors, respectively.


However, hiring plans improve in the other sectors, including an increase of 3 percentage points for the Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade sector.


Asia Pacific hiring outlook
Employers in India and Japan report the strongest third-quarter hiring plans, while those in China and Australia report the weakest.


Though hiring prospects in India decline slightly in both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year comparisons, jobs are still a-plenty: more than a third of employers say they will add to payrolls in the July-September time frame.


Conversely, China’s hiring plans weaken in all industry sectors both quarterly and yearly. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector employers report the biggest decline, with that sector’s Outlook sinking to negative levels for the first time since Q3 2006.




Notes to Editors
Net Employment Outlook: the figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter.
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 13 September 2016 and will detail expected labor market activity for the fourth quarter of 2016. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. To receive an e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, please complete an online subscription form at:


About ManpowerGroup Singapore
Established in 1996 in Singapore, ManpowerGroup works with a range of manufacturing, resources, mining, transport and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers and infrastructure, utilities and engineering services companies. In Singapore, the ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™, and Right Management®. More information on ManpowerGroup Singapore is available


About ManpowerGroup™
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN) is the world’s workforce expert, creating innovative workforce solutions for nearly 70 years. As workforce experts, we connect more than 600,000 people to meaningful work across a wide range of skills and industries every day. Through our ManpowerGroup family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management ® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – we help more than 400,000 clients in 80 countries and territories address their critical talent needs, providing comprehensive solutions to resource, manage and develop talent. In 2016, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the sixth consecutive year and one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible:



Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2016
(00.01 Local time)

Josh Goh
Marketing Director
ManpowerGroup Singapore
D: +65 6551 5321

Given the nature of Kelly business, there are many contracts, critical documents and agreements that need to be signed by both candidates and clients as part of our business processes. Traditional method of tracking the hardcopy of such documents for required signatories is not only time consuming but awfully manual.

Kelly explored to adopt digital signatories through the implementation of DTM, which is a cloud based software to digitally manage a wide range of documentation that involves people, documents, data and transactions both inside and outside of an organization.


DouSign has been implemented in Kelly this year for all candidates working at key clients.  Benefits include;

  1. Real-time transactions that eliminates time to courier the hardcopy documents between various parties
  2. Cost savings from eliminating the use of large amount of paper
  • Business acceleration with secured and speedy electronic workflow
  1. 24*7 access to critical documents not constrained by office operating hours

With the resounding success achieved with DocuSign, Kelly will definitely be introducing it to other offices beyond Singapore.


Onboarding Candidates Anytime Anywhere

Kelly being one of the largest temporary and contract staffing company in Singapore, regularly meet and brief appointed candidates on the necessary company policies, guidelines and processes as part of onboarding requirement. Significant effort and time is needed from the Kelly administration team to arrange such candidates’ briefings.


Kelly started using Doodle video to onboard candidates and provide them with all the necessary information they need to start their new job. The video is available online 24 by 7 and for refresher if needed. The consistency and accuracy of the information shared to all candidates is also assured. With increasing labour mobility, this tool is especially useful for overseas candidates who sometimes only arrive in Singapore a day prior to their assignment date.


This inexpensive and innovative solution has definitely brought much benefits to both candidates and the business alike.

Singapore (April 13, 2016) BI WORLDWIDE (BIW), a global engagement agency and a leader in employee rewards, sales/channel effectiveness and event management announced a formal realignment in Asia Pacific. BIW will be blending its local teams in Australia, China and Singapore into an integrated regional structure to better serve both our clients’ local and regional interests.


Beginning July 1 2016, David Litteken will assume leadership as Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, with the regional offices reporting directly to him. This new structure also includes oversight of the Australian-based Veritas Group, an internationally recognized production company, in which BIW holds controlling interest. This realignment will optimize BIW’s ability to best serve its clients throughout the region.


Expressing confidence in this decision, Jeff Beegle, Vice President of BIW’s International Group, said, “Under David’s leadership, we plan to develop and coordinate our strengths in technology, events and production. Asia Pacific will continue to be a huge growth opportunity for BI WORLDWIDE over the next five to ten years. We are thrilled we can take a market leader position in this region.”


Litteken has been with BIW for more than 22 years, serving on the company’s leadership team at its U.S. headquarters prior to being appointed as Managing Director for the China and Singapore markets in September 2012.




BI WORLDWIDE is a global engagement agency that uses the principles of behavioral economics to produce measurable results for its clients by driving and sustaining engagement with their employees, channel partners and customers. Supporting 140 countries through seven global headquarters and operating in17 languages, BIW continues to bring best in class solutions to its global, regional and local customers. For more information, please visit

If you were asked to develop a culture of customer service at your company – a culture where employees at all levels were encouraged to take initiative, serve customers with a smile, and take actions that helped build the company’s bottom line, what would you do?  You might develop an employee handbook outlining company policies. You might share statistics on how important customer service is to the company’s success.  You might conduct training programs and role plays to help employees understand how to interact with customers most effectively.


However, if you really want to develop a service culture and change employee behavior, perhaps the most important thing you could do is to tell stories.  What do you think communicates customer service most effectively – a company mission statement and customer service “guidelines” or a story of an employee who personally delivered a pair of replacement shoes to a customer who’s original purchase was left out in the rain by the delivery company?  How about the story of the employee who cheerfully refunded the price of two returned snow tires even though the store doesn’t sell tires?  (These are two of the many stories highlighting the Nordstrom department store’s exceptional service to the customer).


Story telling is a powerful communications tool and one that needs to be in your leadership arsenal.  Effective story telling can be as important as financial acumen, decisive decision making and innovative thinking when it comes to creating an organizational culture, communicating a vision and executing a strategy.


What makes stories so powerful?


  • Stories are remembered. As human beings, we remember stories much better than we recall facts and figures. Stories have plots. They give us context and color. They relate to our everyday lives and experiences.  They connect with our memories on multiple levels.  As a result we can usually recall a story much more readily than the hard facts.  I don’t know many details about Federal Express, but I’ll never forget the story that the idea was first proposed in a college term paper (and received a “C” grade).


  • Stories are personal and evoke emotion and connection. Stories allow us to see ourselves in a situation and either empathize with or disagree with the protagonists.  In either case we begin to internalize the lesson of the story.


  • Stories are easily shared. Because they are easily remembered, and because everyone likes stories, they are easy to communicate. Stories will travel throughout your organization infinitely faster than your latest annual report.  Given the breadth of today’s social media, they’ll also travel across your markets and customers.


  • Stories sell. Stories are key sales tool whether you are selling your vision to your employees or trying to land a multi-million dollar order from a new customer.  Describing the benefits of your product or service through a story is extremely powerful.  Stories help your customers make an emotional connection to your company and really “see” the benefits of your product.  Most large NGOs who rely on donations for their funding know this well.  Their fund raising efforts typically include a selection of stories about how your donations have helped meet the needs of a specific child/family/animal/people group. These stories are always much more powerful than simply talking about the benefits in the abstract.


  • Stories humanize. Too often large companies (and their leaders) can appear to be estranged from their customers and employees.  Stories can help provide a more humane and relatable face to the organization, helping to build trust and connection with both markets and employees.  If the stories are about the company’s leaders, so much the better.


So, if you want to communicate more effectively with your team, your organization or your customers, think about how to improve your story telling.  Collect stories and examples as they happen. Practice telling them to yourself.  Create a collection of anecdotes that highlight key features of your product or focus on important values of your company.  Tell them regularly.  Of course, you’ll want to base your decisions on facts and analysis, but you’ll be more effective if you communicate those decisions in a story.


Effective leadership is often the result of effective story telling. Stories communicate emotion, are easily shared and are remembered more readily than facts and figures. Story telling is a critical component to effective organizational communication and should be an important part of your leadership toolbox.

MSD opens $8 million integrated state-of-the-art Global IT Innovation Hub in Fusionopolis

  •  MSD Global Innovation Hub is the first by a healthcare company to dedicate a facility to harness digital innovation for better healthcare outcomes.
  • MSD Global Innovation Hub will develop the talent pool in Singapore





On 27 October 2015, MSD officially opened its Global Innovation Hub, an S$8 million integrated state-of-the-art hub in Galaxis Building, Fusionopolis. It is the first integrated innovation hub by a healthcare company in Singapore, and is MSD’s eighth site here. The new MSD Global Innovation Hub will focus on data science and cyber security to harness digital innovation for better healthcare outcomes.


MSD has two other global innovation hubs that opened this year, one for the Americas in Branchburg, N.J., USA, and the other for Europe and the Middle East in Prague, Czech Republic. The Singapore-based Asia Pacific hub is part of a three-hub, global network that people can use to share ideas and best practices around the world in real time.


The Hub will enable the company to use analytics and mathematical modelling to guide its research focus and choices, for instance determining the appropriate time to stop collecting and start analyzing data in a clinical trial; predicting how vaccinations can reduce outbreaks; and forecasting which diseases may develop into significant problems 20 years from now.


In the area of cyber and digital security, the Hub will have a Risk and Compliance Centre of excellence with a dedicated team that can facilitate “follow-the-sun” services 24/7 around the world to protect its businesses against both cyber and physical intrusions. Through a special forensic lab within the Hub, MSD can leverage advanced technology to enhance investigative and defensive capabilities for intellectual property protection. Greater collaboration among IT and other functional units will also improve regulatory and operational readiness.


MSD is also partnering with EDB and local universities to develop the field of data science in Singapore. Through the MSD Global Innovation Hub, the company aims to train up to 20 professionals in this field over the next two years and co-develop a curriculum on data science in a local university. MSD also plans to collaborate with other government bodies and start-ups based in Singapore to lead hospitals here to leverage data science to develop innovative healthcare solutions.


Singapore was selected as the location for the MSD Global Innovation Hub  because of the country’s excellent business infrastructure, world-class research institutions, leading centers of learning, technological readiness, and the government’s vision of transforming Singapore into a “Smart Nation.”


MSD Global Innovation Hub will develop talent pool in Singapore


MSD has initiated an “Emerging Talent Rotation” program where fresh graduates are selected from local universities for management training programs at the MSD Global Innovation Hub. Ten graduates with diverse degrees from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design have commenced work at MSD Global Innovation Hub.


The company will also offer up to 20 internships over the next four years to students from these universities. They will have the opportunity to work on 20 innovative healthcare projects over that timeframe. It is expected that the Hub will employ about 160 persons within the next two years.


This April 2016, MSD hosted the inaugural “Singapore Grand Challenge”, a competition for local students from five universities to showcase their ideas on information technology and how it can influence and transform global healthcare, creating value for the world. Taking home the Grand Prize, were second-year students from the National University of Singapore, who made a remarkable proposal offering real world solutions for devising a self-administered insulin dispenser, collection of diabetic patient data through IoT devices, and collaboration with a start-up on platform marketing. For this, they walked home with the grand prize of S$20,000. The second prize of S$10,000 and third prize of S$5,000 went to the SUTD and SMU teams.

MSD Singapore Grand Challenge Winning Team (1)




Tabitha Ang 
Policy & Communications
MSD Pharma (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. 
: +65 6508 8442 | M: +65 98798777



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