How Hotels Compete for the Business Traveller

Looking at a map of South East Asia you will find a plethora of 4 and 5-star hotels that are lobbying for your business. Location is where it starts. A central location makes for convenience. Less time and expense travelling to and from business meetings and the ability to step out of your hotel door and feel the city vibe around you is a good start when looking for the right hotel.

But with so many hotels competing for the business traveller what are the incentives they offer to entice you in through their doors?  We’ll open those doors for you to give you a glimpse into the world of Business Travel Programmes offered by 4 and 5-star hotels so that you’re packed with the information that’s going to help you bag the most out of your host.

First, let’s take a look at what incentives they have for your company.

Corporate Rates                                                                                                                                   

If you want rate-certainty and have a large enough budget then great rates can be negotiated for all of your company’s travellers. Discounted room prices and added extras such as free WiFi or parking are what you will be getting for all of your employees.                                                                                            

Dynamic Pricing                                                                                                                     

More and more hotels are now offering you the option of dynamic pricing. If you know your pattern of spending and volume of traffic then this might be the programme for you. It’s a corporate-specific discount that is applied to the hotel’s best available rates. This is particularly useful if you know that your company has a lot of off-peak travel arrangements which are generally cheaper anyway and so you might not be making savings with the usual corporate rates that are discounted according to peak time prices.

TMC Rates

If you are a company with a smaller accommodation spend, then hotels are still offering you incentives too. Through Travel Management Companies you can get discounted rates on rooms and other extras. The TMC can negotiate rates that you as a smaller business won’t be able to leverage for yourself.

Not solely about savings for the company, effective Business Travel Programmes are now about experiences too. They ensure individuals within the company’s travel scheme will see the advantages of booking the hotels in the programme.

So what incentives for you, the business traveller:

  • The best hotels will make it easy for you by sending you relevant information before you arrive. Mobile check-in and keyless room entry will be a couple of reasons you’ll be knocking at their door. And if they really know how to handle their guests, they will offer you a free meal and/or drink voucher on arrival.
  • Hoteliers will want to connect in other ways too. Your technology with their sockets and portals are going to make a match made in business heaven if there’s enough of them in your room. You want a room that is equipped with everything the business traveller needs and that includes fast WiFi, appropriate lighting and suitable furniture too. Not to mention courtesy toiletries and ironing facilities to help you look crisp and ready for business.
  • It goes without saying that efficiency is a powerful incentive when it comes to business travellers. Being smart, hotels will have created a mobile website that makes you city-smart. Maps, click-to-call phone numbers, recommended places to visit, eat, etc. are in-roads into making your business trip cruise along smoothly rather than a scramble to get from A to B.
  • Cross-promotions are a service that great hotels can provide to save you time and money. Booking your stay with hotels that have cross-promotions with car rental companies, airport pick up services, local restaurants and attractions means good business for them and for you.
  • With today’s health-focused lifestyle you don’t want to let your guard down and your waist-line grow while you are away from home, so the best 4 and 5 star hotels offer healthy options on their menu and a gym and/or pool to maintain fitness and well-being.
  • Some Business Travel Programmes allow you to use corporate rates or corporate benefits for personal travel too. Others will share benefits such as status match or increased loyalty points to you as an individual.
  • 4 and 5-star hotels are upping their game and providing stunning executive lounges to entice you through their doors. Designed to be a home from home where you can enjoy a buffet breakfast and dine on snacks and beverages all day, the best hotels go that little bit further and kit out their lounges in luxurious furniture for dining, working and relaxing. They often offer spectacular views of the city to give you that top of the world feeling while you do business. Boardroom use is also on the agenda in many of the top-class hotels. Comfort areas with plush settees and armchairs and large screen TVs ensure its not all work for you.

Just a Little Bit Longer…

Increasingly it’s becoming common practice to mix business with pleasure. Or rather pleasure with business. Extended stays of a couple of days before or after your business trip to include leisure activities are an increasing trend. It has given birth to a new term in the business world, ‘Bleisure’ travellers and their more spontaneous associates the  ‘Workventure’ travellers.

Activities include the more usual sightseeing excursions, but also experiencing art and culture and enjoying local cuisines and customs. It’s a growing trend that goes along with a growing  budget. Bleisure and Workventure travellers tend to spend double than their ‘Business-only’ colleagues, and they also tend to take family or friends along with them to enjoy the experience.

The savvy hoteliers are making sure that they help you to be a savvy bleisure or workventure business traveller. To compete for your business they will keep you up-to-date with local information and events so that you can effortlessly slip out of your suit into your slacks.

It’s clear to see that business travellers are sought after by the best hotels in the world. 4 and 5-star hotels are offering amazing incentives to gain your loyalty. So next time you’re looking for a hotel in a busy city like Kuala Lumpur or Singapore be sure to check out what they’re offering you to keep you coming through their doors.

How Serviced Offices Can Help You Transform Your Business

Now, more than ever freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads are job descriptions that highlight our ever-changing workforce. Along with the shift in what people do, is a shift in where they do it. Over the years in places like Southeast Asia free-thinkers have moved their location as well as their vision to serviced offices and have become coworkers with other like-minded people.

These are spaces you can occupy quickly and easily. You can generally have 24/7 access so you can accommodate time zones and working patterns from anywhere in the world. They come with a team of friendly management staff, with internet, phone lines, printers, copiers, scanners, refreshment hubs, reception areas offering admin support and much more. What grabs you at first though is the space. The best ones come with modern, classy ergonomic space that epitomizes success, elegance and comfort.

The traditional route for a growing business is to expand into rented offices. They differ to serviced offices in that it often involves lengthy fixed contracts, sourcing all your own furniture, utilities, equipment, cleaning services, etc. It means time and money spent on getting your business running rather than running your business.

With coworking comes core values of community, collaboration and with that, it has statistically been found that productivity increases too.

Why does it work so well? Maybe it’s because it’s a formula we are used to? As youngsters we shared our learning and experiences in schools. Later, universities connected like-minded people to realise their dreams in a shared environment similar to coworking. So, it’s a formula that has worked in other settings for generations.

Well established in many parts of the world as a viable option for freelancers and entrepreneurs, small and large enterprises too are opting for coworking to grow their business.

Co-sharing workspace can even increase your business networking opportunities. Imagine what happens when you are co-sharing with others from various fields of expertise …. you take a break… have a coffee… and start to chat and voila! networking becomes an integral part of your working day. It’s a natural process that is happening throughout the coworking world.

Locations for shared offices are well-considered. Thriving neighbourhoods in exciting cities that have an established infrastructure of quality shops, restaurants, hotels and leisure amenities. Prime city spots that consider logistics too. Public transport links and parking are all considered so even your commute becomes part of the experience.

The benefits of coworking are even more apparent when you step into the space that transforms the concept into the reality.

Walk into The Great Room for example, with offices in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. The space oozes sumptuousness. It was heralded in 2016 as ‘…born to change the way people work, meet and socialize.’ Woven into its very fabric is the ethos of hospitality which stems from the traditions inspired by the architectural design of ancient buildings. Great rooms of old were the hub of the house in which people socialized, shared food, drink and ideas. And so, it is with the Great Rooms of our Modern Age which too, are inspired by hospitality.

Each site is created by a hospitality designer and evokes feelings of being in one of the best hotel lobbies in the world. They are designed to be the heart of where people meet, greet and exchange and where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s more than a business meeting over a cup of coffee, it speaks of people who want to get on with achieving their goals and get along with others as they do it.

Singapore’s The Great Room offers a range of options for this modern way of ensuring ‘It’s all work… It’s all play’.

Dedicated offices start from 2500 sgd a month. Fully equipped for two people or up to whole floors that accommodate companies of twenty or more, allowing your business and employees to flourish, in a professional, warm environment where you will be proud to invite your clients.

Then there’s the Hot Desk, from 750 sgd a month. Designed in dynamic lounge and work-hall areas, there’s a vibe that speaks of ambition and accomplishment based on sharing.

And if you just want that postcode, there’s the Virtual Office from 75 sgd a month. It’s sure to impress with its prime corporate address and mail-handling service.

Another option with no commitment needed is instant access to your shared office via a Day Pass, coming in at 70 sgd a day, it’s great for when you need a temporary base while staying in the city.

Business Club from 380 sgd a month is on offer too where you can become part of the Great Room community, networking and enjoying other perks even if you aren’t in need of office space.

But they’re not the only ones to brand the concept of communal working. Another giant in the arena is Common Ground, a fruitful enterprise of serviced offices and coworking space with roots, to date, in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, attracting business leaders, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, developers and designers to name but a few.

In Malaysia, their success story is exemplified in Common Ground Kuala Lumpur which has spread out over the city in no less than ten locations. In a city where business is booming there is a hive of activity at Common Ground. They are thriving on the motto of ‘Ambition lives here’, offering an elegant space to convene and work, so supporting fast-growing companies to take their business to the next level without all the overheads the conventional route might entail.

Prices vary by location, but contact the team at Common Ground for prices on Hot and Fixed Desks. Private offices are designed for small to medium-sized companies and satellite teams who want a bit more privacy and prices can be given on request and tailored to your needs.

So, when we were taught as children that it was good to share maybe we should have followed through in our adult work-life and become an ambassador for sharing. After all, it has its advantages!

Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Collaborates with La Memoria to Welcome a Magical Christmas with a North Pole Wonderland Themed Afternoon Tea Party for the Family

Kuala Lumpur, 11 December 2019 – On 1 December 2019, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur collaborated with La Memoria to create a magical North Pole Wonderland experience for families with a specially curated kids Afternoon Tea menu at the Lemon Garden Terrace. The event took place from 3- 6pm, officially kick starting the Festive Season at the hotel.

Executive Pastry Chef, Mr. Roberto Hernandez and his team have planned the special kids Afternoon Tea menu with items presented on an edible chocolate afternoon tea stand. Treats served include Polar Bear Macaron, Burrrrberry Lemon Tart, White Chocolate Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman, Hot Chocolate Candy Christmas Ball, Fresh Fruit Skewer, Tiny Gingerbread Men and Rudolph while on the savory side, PBJ Sandwich, Cucumber Cream Cheese Yule Log and Mrs. Clauses Egg Sandwiches were offered to satisfy all taste buds.

La Memoria, an events organizer established in 2011 is an award winning integrated Event Management Company known to deliver innovative events and creative booths. To date they have worked with clients such as Shell, Lazada and Frieslandcampina.

Lemon Garden Terrace at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur was transformed into a North Pole Wonderland with a fun baby blue and white backdrop filled with cute characters like penguins, a giant polar bear and gingerbread men. There were games for the family to participate. Aiming skills were tested with the ring toss game and a snow ball “fight” with 2
Polar bears and penguins characters. Children also tried their luck at the claw machine to win themselves adorable plush toys.

After the Afternoon Tea was served, families participated in face painting, cookies workshop led by Chef Roberto and his team for an interactive decorating session and a mirror art workshop organized by the La Memoria team.

Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur also offered an educational gardening session to help the children build a Herb Garden at the hotel. The session took place by the Koi Pond and the participants were briefed before they start planting their own herbs in recyclable milk cartons. The children were encouraged to revisit the hotel to check on their herb plants’ growth as the milk cartons will be labelled with their names. The goal of this activity is to encourage learning among children and give them a sense of pride when the chefs use the herbs grown by them in the hotel menu.

There were plenty of beautiful photo taking spots throughout the hotel. Guests were encouraged to share their magical North Pole Wonderland moments on Facebook with the hashtag #SLKLNorthPoleWonderland #shangrilakl to be in the running to receive a complimentary voucher for Seafood Dinner Buffet at Lemon Garden for 2 persons (blackout dates apply).

La Memoria, in collaboration with Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur is offering six themed packages ideal for birthday celebrations. The themes include Woodland, Kingdom –Prince, Under The Sea, Big Shots, Sports and Special. The two packages on offer are:

Junior Deluxe Package

30- 40 kids RM12, 888 40 -60 kids RM18, 888
Decoration
x1 3D Backdrop
x1 Entrance Arch
Registration Station Design
Thematic E-invite
Cake cutting stand
Food
Cold Snacks:
Vegetables Guacamole Bite
Pulled Beef/ Pumpkin Bun
Turkey/Cheddar Cheese Sandwich
Tuna Confit Sandwich

Hot Snacks:
Baked Mac and Cheese
Salmon Teriyaki Skewer
Turkey/ Tomato Pizza Wheels
Beef Burger/ Smoked Beef
Mini Hot Dog/ Ketchup Mayo
Chicken Lollipop/ Barbeque Sauce
Fish Finger/ Tartar Sauce
French Fries

Cakes & Candies
3D Birthday Cake
Assorted Cupcakes
Lollipop
Fruits Jelly Cups
Mixed Candy Jars
Carrot Cake/ Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Fountain with Marshmallow
Ice Cream with Condiments
Fruits
Door Gift thematic cookie bag

Junior Premier Package

30- 40 kids RM20, 888 40 -60 kids RM29, 988
Decoration
x1 3D Backdrop
x1 Entrance Arch
Registration Station Design
Thematic E-invite
Cake cutting stand
Thematic Kids & Parents Table Deco
Thematic Dessert Table Deco
Thematic Dummy Cake 2/3 Tiers Display
Food
Cold Snacks:
Vegetables Guacamole Bite
Pulled Beef/ Pumpkin Bun
Turkey/Cheddar Cheese Sandwich
Tuna Confit Sandwich

Hot Snacks:
Baked Mac and Cheese
Salmon Teriyaki Skewer
Turkey/ Tomato Pizza Wheels
Beef Burger/ Smoked Beef
Mini Hot Dog/ Ketchup Mayo
Chicken Lollipop/ Barbeque Sauce
Fish Finger/ Tartar Sauce
French Fries

Cakes & Candies
3D Birthday Cake
Assorted Cupcakes
Lollipop
Fruits Jelly Cups
Mixed Candy Jars
Carrot Cake/ Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Fountain with Marshmallow
Ice Cream with Condiments
Fruits
Door Gift thematic cookie bag

Add ons:
– Thematic Game Booth (RM1,500)
– Claw Machine (RM1, 800)
– Magician/ Balloonist/ Clown (RM750)
– Face Painting (RM1, 000)
– Art & Craft / Mirror Art/ Messy Play @ Outdoor Area (RM1, 200)

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, an iconic flagship brand of the Shangri-La Group, currently operates over 80 deluxe hotels and resorts with a room inventory of over 35,000. Renowned for its distinctive Asian hospitality, the Company has properties in destinations of Australia, Canada, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sultanate of Oman, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group’s award-winning Golden Circle loyalty programme extends to all properties of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts worldwide. For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com.

PRESS CONTACT:
Neena Dewi
Director of Communications
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (60 3) 2032 2388
Fax: (60 3) 2031 4927
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR LIGHTS UP “THE MAGICAL BELLS OF HOPE” CHARITY CHRISTMAS TREE TO KICKSTART “EMBRACE THE GIFT OF LIFE” CAMPAIGN

Kuala Lumpur, 3 December 2019 – Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur officially launched its annual charity project Embrace The Gift of Life to support children with severe heart ailments and other serious medical conditions. To date, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur has raised over RM4 million and support hundreds of critically ill children through this charity project.

This year, the hotel followed Shangri-La Group’s chosen theme – A North Pole Wonderland. Ten variations of Magical Bells of Hope ornaments are arranged on ten tiers of rotating conical steel structure seen on the giant Christmas Tree, with baby blue and silver as main theme colours. These glittery handmade ornaments reflect the colours of happiness and wonders of life, symbolising the hope we bring to children with serious ailments as well as the chance to live a fulfilling life post-surgery. Each ornament is artfully designed by our Pastry team, led by our newly appointed Executive Pastry Chef, Mr. Roberto Hernandez.

The lighting up of the Christmas Charity Tree ceremony officially took place at the hotel’s main lobby on Thursday 28 November 2019, 6pm. Organizations and individuals are welcomed to support this annual fund-raising charity by sponsoring one or more ornaments with a minimum donation of RM1,000 per set. Donations can be made via the forms available at the Front Office desk or online at www.shangri-la-specials.com and the donor’s name or company logo will be displayed below each set of ornaments. Proceeds will be collected for the children who are in urgent need of immediate surgery and medical care.

Past recipients of the charity fund and underprivileged children from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) and Taman Megah Homes for Disabled Children were invited to have a high-tea session at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur’s all day dining outlet Lemon Garden.

This year, “Embrace the Gift of Life” funds four children but we are looking to support more.

One-year-old Shah Jahan Bin Mohammad Shah Alam is diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect (Hole in the Heart) and needs to undergo VSD closure. His father works at wholesale market in Selayang and mother is a housewife. The estimated cost for this surgery will be RM 50,000.

One-year-old Muhammad Izz Mahdi Bin Rizman was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect needs to undergo VSD closure. Muhammad was admitted to Ampang Hospital for an urgent surgery in August 2019. His father works as a System Engineer and mother is a housewife. The estimated cost for this surgery is RM60,0000.

One-month-old Muhammad Syaqif Bin Mohamad Jefry is diagnosed with Double outlet right ventricle, Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Coarctation of the Aorta, Large Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) and he requires an urgent surgery to repair the Coarctation and Ligation of PDA. The estimated cost for this surgery is RM80, 000.00.

One-year-old Yama Wazin is a refugee from Afghanistan who is diagnosed with Mitral Atresia, Single Functioning Ventricle and Patent Ductus Arteriosus ligation. He requires a second stage of surgery called Cardiac Catheterization and Glen Shunt. The estimated cost for this surgery is RM90,000.00. His father work as a Marketing Officer and his mother is a housewife.

For donation or further enquiries, kindly call 03-2074 3586 or email [email protected]

Shangri-La Group is committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders.  We strive to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development and our CSR initiatives are focused on five key areas namely environment & biodiversity, community engagement, sustainable supply chain, employee development and health & safety.

The two CSR programmes at the hotel levels – Embrace & Sanctuary – are aimed at promoting education and the environment. Embrace, Shangri-La’s Care for People project, looks at the highest level of education and health support needed in under-privileged communities. Sanctuary, Shangri-La’s Care for Nature project, promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

For more information, please visit the group’s CSR section on www.shangri-la.com.

香格里拉集团坚持对经济、社会和环境带来可持续影响的经营方式,并兼顾各权益相关者的利益平衡。我们致力于成为有责任感的企业公民和可持续发展的领导者。我们的企业社会责任聚焦于五个重点,包括环境与生物多样性保护、社区帮助、可持续供应链建设、员工发展、以及健康与安全保障。

集团旗下酒店的“香格里拉人文关怀”和“香格里拉关爱自然”两大项目分别针对教育和环保而设立。“人文关怀”项目专注于帮助社会弱势群体获得更好的教育及健康服务;“关爱自然”项目着重于推广生物多样性的生态保护与恢复。

更多详情,请登录香格里拉集团网站http://www.shangri-la.com“企业社会责任”页面进行查询。

PRESS CONTACT:
Neena Dewi
Director of Communications
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (60 3) 2032 2388
Fax: (60 3) 2031 4927
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur

For digitised pictures of the group’s hotels, please go to http://www.shangri-la.com/imagelibrary.

Singapore fund Temasek aims to lift ‘aspiring unicorns’

Singaporean state-backed fund Temasek Holdings is looking to boost its investment in “aspiring unicorns,” grabbing stakes in promising digital companies to secure high returns once they debut on the stock market.

“I would expect even in the next six to 12 months, we’ll be doing a few more” investments in such companies in Southeast Asia, Rohit Sipahimalani, who leads Temasek’s startup focus as a joint head of the investment group, told Nikkei recently in an exclusive interview.

“It’s not going to make a material difference in the portfolio in the next one year or two years,” he said. “But in the next five years, I expect to see this being a meaningfully larger number just because we see a lot of opportunities out here.”

A strategy that defies the current trend toward greater scrutiny of startups and their profitability, Temasek last month acquired a stake in Indonesian online beauty product retailer Social Bella, which is rapidly raising its profile in a country with a large youth population and a blossoming e-commerce sector. The company is expected to become a unicorn — an unlisted startup with a valuation over $1 billion.

Social Bella joins Singaporean fashion e-commerce platform Zilingo and martial arts event organizer One Championship as companies that Temasek calls “aspiring unicorns” and has invested in over the past year.

Temasek is “actively in dialogue with a few others in which we would probably invest in the next few months,” Sipahimalani said.

The state fund’s focus on startups goes beyond Southeast Asia. During the year ended in March, Temasek invested in American food delivery service DoorDash, Indian ride-hailing service Ola and the China business of co-working space provider WeWork.

Unlisted shares accounted for 48% of the 24 billion Singapore dollars ($17.4 billion) in new investment made during the year.

The increasing investment in startups reflects Temasek’s belief that the digital economy will continue to grow through areas such as e-commerce, ride-hailing and online travel bookings. The fund forecasts Southeast Asia’s digital market to reach $300 billion by 2025, tripling from 2019.

Temasek plans to stay aggressive despite the prolonged Sino-American trade tensions, expecting that earnings for U.S. and Chinese internet companies will remain solid.

The fund’s asset portfolio reflects the shift in policy. Financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, and transportation and industrial sectors accounted for 61% of Temasek’s exposure in terms of asset value during the year through March 2019, shrinking from almost 80% a decade earlier.

In contrast, investment in life sciences and agribusiness rose to 7% after totaling just 1% a decade ago.

China now ties with Singapore as Temasek’s top investment destination. Unlisted assets accounted for 42% of the fund’s total as of March 31, rising from 28% over the past 10 years.

Temasek possesses dense information networks in the U.S., China, India and elsewhere that enable it to discover promising companies before others do and revise its portfolio quickly. The net portfolio value more than doubled over the past decade to SG$313 billion from SG$130 billion. The average 10-year return on investment stands at 9%.

Temasek also enjoys freedom from investor pressure, unlike private-sector funds. This lets the fund keep stakes in themes and companies it believes will produce sustainable growth.

Sipahimalani said startups particularly benefit from Temasek because the fund can invest at different stages of growth.

“If we come in at an earlier stage, we can keep supporting them in subsequent rounds,” he said. “If they are performing and we have a good partnership, we can keep funding them.”

When U.S. plant-based alternative meat developer Impossible Foods raised $300 million in May, Temasek led the funding round like it did in July 2017.

For an investment fund with a massive portfolio, the money devoted to one startup usually exceeds $50 million. Temasek’s venture capital arm handles investment in smaller firms that do not meet its asset management criteria. Vertex Holdings looks to complete financing of $1.3 billion for a new fund by year-end and invest in companies in the U.S., China, India and Israel.

The Vertex unit was the first backer of Grab, providing money in 2014 to the Singapore-based ride-hailing company that debuted in 2012.

CEO Chua Kee Lock told the Nikkei Asian Review that Vertex has local teams with good networks to capture opportunities. Each local team has an investment committee and decides what to do in the market because they know best what is happening there, he said.

Temasek shifted focus toward startups because established domestic companies no longer bring high returns.

“Startups are indeed riskier than most publicly traded established firms, but the rewards for investing in the right ones are also exponentially higher,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore. Vertex’s funds achieve 20% returns, much higher than Temasek’s.

Temasek is a contributor to Singapore’s coffers, along with fellow state fund GIC and the foreign reserves.

The total contribution from these funds is projected to reach SG$17.1 billion in fiscal 2019. That figure would surpass corporate tax revenue of SG$16.7 billion and goods and services tax revenue of SG$11.6 billion as the largest income source for the city-state. As social security spending rises with an aging population, the investment in startups aims to support government income in the future.

But putting money into startups comes with risks, especially when the valuations of unicorns are under scrutiny. The We Company, parent of U.S. co-working space provider WeWork, was valued at $47 billion at the start of this year, but that figure now is thought to sit at $20 billion.

Sipahimalani acknowledged the recent investor focus on profitability and corporate governance.

“What we’ve seen recently is that the public markets are not that receptive to companies who do not have a clear path to profitability or positive cash flow,” he said.

Temasek itself invested in WeWork’s China unit, joining Japan’s SoftBank Group and other backers in a $500 million fundraising last year. Co-working spaces are viable business models, Sipahimalani said, but the key issue is the base of growth.

“What people are saying is we don’t want models where you are just focusing on growth and there is no visibility as to when you are going to come to break-even,” he said. “So I think that’s the balance.”

But more investment in startups means more susceptibility to market fluctuations. The uncertain global economic outlook also matters.

“If the world falls into a structural recession, life will get just as hard for startups as well,” Halley said.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

TAKASHI NAKANO, Nikkei staff writer OCTOBER 08, 2019 and Nikkei staff writer Kentaro Iwamoto contributed to this report.

https://asia.nikkei.com/

Review: Hospitality at the Singapore Grand Prix 2019

Singapore Grand Prix Hospitality

Article written by James Barry

There is a sense of inquisitiveness as you look down the home straight at the Singapore Grand Prix. For a moment the noise of engines has gone silent, there is no activity from pneumatic wheel changing crews, just the view of the crowds on both sides of the track darting in and out of the various buildings that adorn the start line of the racetrack.

As you look closer you realise that the grand prix isn’t just about the racing. These odd shaped crafted units are uniting people during a weekend of frenetic racing on the track and offering them an experience that will leave them with memories for a lifetime.

These unique hospitality suites are what keep the thousands of fans entertained, watered and fed through three days of high excitement. There are six specially designed hospitality facilities at the Singapore Grand Prix. Each one offering a different experience allowing you the chance to combine the food and beverage options available as well as serving up first class social and networking opportunities for you and your guests.

Our combination over the weekend saw us enjoying both ends of the grid and giving us amazing views of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

We started our experience on Saturday in the Sky Suites at Turns 1 and 2. We were met by a team of attentive and very helpful servers who explained the menu to our party and serving times so that we could plan our day around the racing and entertainment. The suite was spacious, comfortable and temperature controlled, and we were well looked after with a constant stream of service to ensure that we remained refreshed throughout the day.

With a choice of sitting on the balcony in front of our table or wandering around the rooftop Sky Terrace, there is a real buzz of excitement wherever you choose in the hospitality suite to watch the races from.

We were tantalized with a wonderful array of food, with Cod Croquettes and Turkish Kebabs to start the afternoon off, followed by dinner at 6.30pm which included Monkfish, Seared King Scallops and Rack of Lamb, Baked Jumbo Prawns and Chicken Tikka and finishing off with a Banoffee Pie.

To complement our wonderful menu, we were spoilt with free flow Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne and a fine selection of wines from New Zealand (Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc, Misha’s Vineyard Pinot Noir), Italy (Marchesi Mazzei IGT Toscana “Philip” Cabernet Sauvignon, Elena Walch Chardonnay Doc Cardellino ) and France (Laurent Ponsot Bourgogne Blanc Cuvee de Perce-Neige). There were numerous beers, spirits and soft drinks available for those who wanted something different.

Taking to the evening sunset on the Sky Terrace, we were able to take in the stunning sights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit as well as overlooking the Wharf Stage where we indulged in cocktails and signature dishes whilst listening to the bands on stage under the stars.

On our return to the track on Sunday we were taken to the highly fashionable hospitality facility Twenty3. Situated at turn 23, the final corner of the circuit. Twenty3 doesn’t just give you a perfect view of the race, but it also allows you to watch the pre-race starting grid as well as the post-race podium celebrations.

We were welcomed by a team of extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff who despite our eagerness to explore, were patient enough with us to explain all the facilities and the locations of all the F&B outlets within the hospitality suite.

What an amazing place this is. You are free to sit anywhere and explore the many different options available for food and drink. Champagne was served on arrival as we wandered around to find our base for the day. There are six bars for us to visit along with Michelin star restaurants to tease us with mouth-watering cuisine.

With drinks ordered our first call, was the Bay Terrace for some early afternoon snacks. With so much choice available it was difficult to decide what to pick first. Eventually we settled on Burger and Lobster. Mouth-watering Lobster Roll and succulent burgers, all served in a luxurious al-fresco setting. Other food choices consisted of Mee Siam, Laksa and Grilled Seafood and the wonderful BBQ Chicken Wings were a constant favourite throughout the day.

In between the racing, we were entertained at the Terrace Stage, where DJs, fire dancers and Taiko drummers kept the day busy for us while we sipped on a range of drinks to keep the party going.

Every so often we would retreat back into the cool atmosphere of the Apex Lounge, where the big screen kept us informed of all the activities on the track and the build up to the big race.

With the race drawing near, it was time for dinner, and we had three feature restaurants to choose from.

Podium Izakaya offered fresh off the grill Kohitsuji Rib Yakinku, just one of the many Japanese influenced dishes complimented a selection of Japanese sake and cocktails.

At Largo Do Paço, Chef Tiago Bonito served up classic Portuguese recipes that were brought to life by a number of ingredients not traditionally associated with Portuguese cuisine. Meanwhile, next door at San Domenico, the two-Michelin starred chef Massimiliano Mascia, offered tempting Italian fare which included Veal Cheek with Soft Polenta.

Spoilt for choice, we decided to sample the delights at Takagi, which under the influence of Chef Takagi is a two-Michelin starred restaurant that served up signature dishes such as Lobster with Miso Sauce, Roasted Duck with Foie Gras Kinome Miso and Crab Meat with Caviar. The meal was so good it was transcendental. We lost ourselves in it, and for a moment, we forgot that we were at a grand prix dining on top quality food.

For those with a sweet tooth, Sidetracked and Sugar Rush were not to be missed. There was a yummy variety of desserts from Prague’s Good Food and Coffee Bakery, award winning pâtissier Philip Khoury and pastry chefs Eddie Stewart and Min Chai. The choices for our sweet indulgence were endless.

The start of the race saw us heading to the Sky Loft. This open-air environment gave us amazing views of the city skyline across the bay and really increased the excitement for the start of the race. With views overlooking the grid a constant supply of cocktails and beverages were available to keep us happy throughout the race.

Two hours of an enjoyable race culminated in a thrilling display of fireworks, which we had an unobstructed view of from the Sky Loft. After all the excitement we returned to the Apex Lounge, where the kinetic light feature entrances you and setting the mood for an evening of partying with resident DJs.

The Singapore Grand Prix really does live up to its reputation as a marquee event on the Formula 1 calendar. The world class hospitality that you can enjoy here is an unforgettable experience that you will want to go through over and over again.

Grant to develop Singapore’s first virtual power plant awarded to NTU

SINGAPORE: A grant to develop Singapore’s first virtual power plant (VPP) has been awarded to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), said the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Sembcorp on Tuesday (Oct 8).

A VPP is a digital platform that coordinates energy resources – such as solar installations and energy storage systems – across different locations in Singapore like a single power station.

“VPPs can bring about many advantages such as flexibility, scalability and improved power grid resilience,” said EMA and Sembcorp in the joint media release.

For example, the plant will optimise the power output of distributed energy resources across Singapore by using real-time data.

It can also automatically balance energy fluctuations from solar intermittency at different locations.

EMA and Sembcorp added that the plant would be equipped with demand forecasting and optimisation algorithms that take into account Singapore’s power grid and market conditions.

With a distributed architecture, the plant reduces the risks associated with single points of failures.

“This enables any fault on a distributed generation system to be quickly isolated, limiting loss of power to end users,” said the release.

It would also contribute to Singapore’s efforts in meeting climate change commitments, by allowing for cleaner and more distributed energy resources to be integrated into the energy mix.

EMA’s chief executive Mr Ngiam Shih Chun said that with the changing energy landscape, solutions are needed to “support our economic growth while safeguarding our environment”.

Source: Channel News Asia – Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-first-virtual-power-plant-developed-sembcorp-ntu-ema-11980140

Singapore narrowly dodging recession

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) – Singapore’s economy likely escaped a technical recession in the third quarter even as growth stayed subdued, weighed down by the prolonged trade dispute between the United States and China, a Reuters poll showed.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have increased 1.5 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised basis in July-September, according to the median forecast of 11 economists in the poll.

That would mark a recovery from a 3.3 per cent drop in the second quarter, the biggest contraction in nearly seven years, but analysts say the outlook remains weak as global demand shows further signs of faltering.

“Third-quarter GDP is expected to stay weak and narrowly dodge a technical recession,” said Lee Ju Ye, an economist with Maybank Kim Eng.

“Manufacturing will likely remain in recession, while services will be supported by the financial sector, tourism-related services and business services,” she said.

The standard technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Third-quarter GDP is expected to have expanded 0.3 per cent from the same period a year earlier, the poll found. The economy grew 0.1 per cent in April-June – the slowest annual growth since 2009’s second quarter, when it fell 1.2 per cent.

Like many other export-reliant Asian economies, Singapore has been hit hard by cooling global demand and the escalating US-China trade war, which has disrupted world supply chains in a blow to business investment and corporate profits.

The city-state’s manufacturing sector has suffered particularly, buffeted by the trade tensions and a cyclical downturn in the electronics sector.

All 11 economists polled by Reuters last week are expecting the Monetary Authority of Singapore to ease monetary policy at its semiannual review on Oct 14, the same day third-quarter GDP is announced.

The Singapore government is also expected to roll out a generous budget ahead of an election next year as the ruling party seeks to appease voters who are feeling the pinch from the economic downturn.

Source: The Straits Times

Highlight of the Singapore Grand Prix – 22 September 2019

F1NightRace

PRESS RELEASE

Victorious Vettel slays his critics

After a season with more down than ups, and more than twelve months since he last stood on the top step of an F1 podium, Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, who had started the race on pole. Ferrari gambled on an early pitstop for Vettel, and when both drivers had returned to the track on fresh rubber it was theGerman who remained ahead, triggering radio complaints from Leclerc.

“To be completely honest with you, I don’t understand the undercut. We will discuss it after the race. My head is down and it will be down until the race–I just want to let you know my feelings,”said Leclerc on the Ferrari team radio.

Vettel was able to hold on to his lead through several Safety Car restarts, with Leclerc around 0.9s behind for most of the closing stages. After 61 laps, the four-time champion took the chequered flag with a 2.6s margin over his teammate, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completing the podium.

Singapore Safety Car record remains unbroken

Despite little action towards the head of the pack, the Singapore Grand Prix was an action-packed affair with three Safety Cars and all manner of near misses. The Marina Bay StreetCircuit has seen at least one Safety Car at every running of the grand prix, and while the firstSafety Car of the 2019 race did not come out till the half-way point, between laps 36 and 50 it  made three appearances. George Russell was hit by Romain Grosjean, and required recovery, and three laps after racing resumed Sergio Perez parked his Racing Point in the approach to Turn 14, bringing it out for a second time. On lap 50, Kimi Raikkonen retired following a collision with Daniil Kvyat, bringing out the third and final Safety Car.

Midfield battles beset with drama

The ‘best of the  rest’ championship saw several pendulum swings in Singapore on Sunday night, with extreme highs and lows from the midfield teams. Antonio Giovinazzi briefly led the race during the pit stop window, the first time an Alfa Romeo has led a grand prix since 1983.Racing Point saw accident damage for Lance Stroll and a retirement for Sergio Perez, leading to the second Safety Car of the race. The Renault-McLaren battle saw winners and losers on both sides, with Daniel Ricciardo dropping back after contact with Giovinazzi on lap 34.McLaren suffered on lap one, with Carlos Sainz suffering an early puncture, leaving it to Lando Norris to pick up points for the team.

Off-track Entertainment

Off the track, the event’s stellar entertainment line-up over the race weekend includedSwedish House Mafia, Muse, Gwen Stefani, Fatboy Slim, Hans Zimmer, as well as Toots and the Maytals, with Red Hot Chili Peppers closing the action-packed weekend to a 65,000-strong crowd at the Padang Stage after the chequered flag was waved.Overall, the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2019 recorded an  attendance of 268,000, its second highest ever attendance since the inaugural night race.

ABOUT THE FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

Singapore has successfully hosted a decade of night racing and Asia’s only street race on theFormula 1®calendar in the Republic since 2008. The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix will continue to enthral crowds with its unique combination of night race action and world-classent ertainment till 2021. See the world’s finest drivers go wheel-to-wheel under lights at speeds of up to 320km/h, threading the barriers around Singapore’s picturesque Marina Bay featuringa spectacular backdrop of iconic heritage buildings, modern architecture and a stunning skyline.

For media queries, please write to [email protected]

For media kit and hi-res images, please visit bit.ly/SGPmedia.

For the latest on #SingaporeGP, find us @F1nightrace on Facebook,  Instagram and Twitter.

Twelfth Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix attracts highest attendance since the inaugural night race

F1NightRace

PRESS RELEASE

22 September2019, Singapore – The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2019has set a new record for the second highest attendance in its 12-year history, overtaking the previous one set last year.

With more than 130 hours of entertainment across 10 stages, innovative hospitality offerings, and exciting gastronomic experiences throughout the Circuit Park, the twelfth edition of theFormula 1 night race drew 268,000 spectators to the Marina Bay Street Circuit over the three-day action-packed weekend.

An exciting showdown is in store for spectators at 2010hrs tonight, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc taking pole position in Singapore for the first time–his fifth of the season and third in a row–ahead of the 61-lap Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2019.Four timeSingapore Grand Prix winners, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel roundoff the top 3 taking second and third place on the grid respectively.

Off the track, the event’s stellar entertainment line-up over the race weekend included SwedishHouse Mafia, Muse, Gwen Stefani, Fatboy Slim, Hans Zimmer, as well as Toots and the Maytals, with Red Hot Chili Peppers slated to close the action-packed weekend at the PadangStage after the chequered flag is waved

ABOUT THE FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

Singapore has successfully hosted a decade of night racing and Asia’s only street race on theFormula 1®calendar in the Republic since 2008. The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix will continue to enthral crowds with  its unique combination of night race action and world-class entertainment till 2021. See the world’s finest drivers go wheel-to-wheel under lights at speeds of up to 320km/h, threading the barriers around Singapore’s picturesque Marina Bay featuring a spectacular backdrop of iconic heritage buildings, modern architecture and a stunning skyline.

For media queries, please write to [email protected]

For media kit and hi-res images, please visit bit.ly/SGPmedia.

For the latest on #SingaporeGP, find us @F1nightrace on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.