Written on 19 April 2013.
More than thirty-five participants —students in the EDHEC Global MBA, managers, family members or senior executives of companies of all kinds (Soparind Bongrain, GFP, IBM, Euro Disney, Airbus, Nautilus, and others) —left to meet local representatives of McKinsey, BIC, Google and UBS. The aim was to take a closer look at the workings of the Asian economy, the challenges and opportunities Western companies encounter in Asia, philanthropy in family firms and the differences in company cultures.
On the agenda, a day devoted to family firms that kicked off with a talk by Serge Besanger, Affiliate Professor at EDHEC Business School (Singapore Campus), on the specificities of Asian family firms and on the cultural and historical differences to keep in mind when bringing business to Asia. The participants were then received at the French Embassy along with representatives of FBN Asia (the Asian branch of the Family Business Network). The day finished with a gala dinner at the Raffles Hotel, attended by families from Singapore, representatives of the French Embassy, members of the board of FBN Asia (the Aswani family of the Tolaram Group) and the Chief Executive of UBS’s Singapore office.
The week in Singapore also provided an opportunity for the group to tour such sites as the Hyflux desalination plant or the construction site for the new Singapore National Stadium.
‘This first family business trip to Singapore made it possible to discover the secrets of a city-state where family firms play a major role in the local economy and in the capital markets.’—Pierre d’Huy, Global Business Trips Director