Singtel and IE Singapore give local SMEs a foothold in regional education markets
Singapore, 1 April 2012 – International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) will be embarking on a joint mission to the Philippines and Indonesia to help Singapore small and medium infocomm technology (ICT) companies penetrate the burgeoning education market in the two countries.
Mr Lee Kai Hock, Vice President, Business Marketing of Singtel said: “We are very excited by the potential of many innovative ideas and solutions that are developed by Singapore SMEs. Singtel is committed to helping these companies gain insights into the regional markets and facilitate business opportunities through our associates, government agencies and partners.”
Organised under the framework of the Singapore Innovation Exchange (SiX), the recently completed mission to Manila, Philippines from 25 to 27 March, 2012, afforded five Singapore ICT companies the opportunity to gain market insight and showcase their products to potential customers, government agencies and international organisations.
Testament to Philippines’ commitment to better its education standards, its Department of Education (DepEd) will continue receiving the most significant budget allocation out of all government departments for 2012. This figure is a 15.2 percent increase from its budget in 2011, the largest increment in the past decade (1). This aim to increase investments in basic education in the country presents tremendous opportunities for Singapore ICT companies.
IE Singapore was instrumental in arranging for the SMEs to showcase their capabilities to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Department of Education (DepEd) and conducted business-matching meetings with the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSiA). Through Singtel’s associate company, Globe Telecom, one of the largest mobile communications services providers in the Philippines, the SMEs were briefed on the opportunities and challenges in the local ICT landscape.
Mr Hemant Doshi, Director of Eduwealth Pte Ltd, a company providing financial literacy and education through serious games said: “This trip to Manila has been invaluable in providing us with insights into the educational landscape in the country. With support from Singtel and IE Singapore, the informative sharing about the overseas education industry and meetings with potential partners and customers, our learning curve to expand overseas will be considerably shortened.”
Following the mission to the Philippines, the second leg of the mission will see SiX head to Jakarta, Indonesia from 1 to 3 April 2012. The seven participating SMEs will meet representatives from Singtel’s associate company, Telkomsel, a leading cellular telecommunications operator in Indonesia and visit several ICT-equipped schools as part of the three-day mission.
Singapore ICTs are eyeing the potential of Indonesia's huge educational market, which is supported by its strong GDP growth of 6.5 per cent last year, its large domestic market and the growing affluence of its middle class. In its state budget announcement for 2012, Indonesia has earmarked 11 national priorities to accelerate and expand economic growth. The provision of affordable and high quality education to all its citizens is one of them. (2)
Mr Reginald Wee, Group Director for Technology Business, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said: “With technology lowering barriers to information access, ICT in education can bridge knowledge gaps and reach out to all groups of society in both developing and developed countries. Hence, these are opportunities for Singapore education and ICT companies to combine their strengths of a world-class education curriculum and innovative technology solutions, to provide an enriching learning experience for their users. The opportunity is also especially timely for Philippines and Indonesia where we are seeing proactive efforts from the government to raise education standards. Both governments have announced a 17 per cent (3) and 20 per cent (4) budget allocation respectively, targeting capacity building through education this year.”