Issue 101


Grassroots with passion



A business consultant sheds light on how to remain positive and stay employable, in the wake of the economic downturn that could – or might already have – hit Singapore. Despite being a prosperous nation, Singapore is not immune to the prevailing ups and downs of the economic cycle. An economic downturn is in sight, and economists themselves are unable to put an exact figure on the extent of the financial damage that the downturn would cause.

“I do not have a good read on how the economy will develop this year. I suspect nobody does. The world has not seen this level of uncertainty since the world financial crisis of 2007-08,” said Chan Kok Hoe, lecturer at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Economics. Even though this is hardly the first time that Singapore has experienced such a situation, the ability to handle this crisis varies among businesses and people. Struggling companies might resort to pay cuts or worse, retrenchments, to stay afloat. The majority of the workforce, be it employers or employees, find themselves bracing for a period of uncertainty and are unsure of what to do should things turn sour. Although the government has cut its growth forecast, it strongly advocates the SkillsFuture initiative in a bid to encourage citizens to stay employable and at the top of their game. But is there more than can be done to tide through the tough times? Noel Capel (Chartered FCIPD), Executive Director of Tiptop Consultants, weighs in on the situation and offers tips on how to weather this storm, whether you are a business owner or a worker. As a veteran business consultant, what are some of the common mistakes that businesses make during a weak economy? The most common error is to offer – especially if indiscriminately – steep discounts followed by copying

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