A lens on navigating challenging markets: DBi Asia 2018

In the first week of the new year, Stern students braved the storms and unprecedented crowds of people at JFK to make their way across the globe for the January 2018 DBi Asia program. After what felt, to many, like weeks spent at various airports, all 38 students and our fearless administrator made it to Singapore for two weeks of lectures, corporate visits, cultural exploration and some much-needed sun and heat!

Through a partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS), students attended lectures on subjects like the future of the Chinese economy, navigating challenging markets such as Indonesia, and negotiating across cultures. Beyond the classroom, students were allowed behind the scenes at companies representing three different industries important to Singapore and Asia as a whole.

The first visit was to the iconic Marina Bay Sands where students learned about the challenges of operating a gaming business in a country where gaming is highly regulated and discouraged. The views from the 57th floor SkyPark did not disappoint.

The next visit was to the headquarters and training center of Singapore Airlines. SA is arguably one of the most luxurious airlines in the industry and a glimpse into its strategy and fourteen-week employee training program left no doubt as to why its earned its reputation.

Towards the end of the second week, the global marketing director of Thailand’s Chang Beer treated students to happy hour. As beer was passed around the room, students learned about the non-traditional marketing strategies Chang Beer has taken due to the regulations in its home country and its plan for global expansion.

In between the informative lectures and corporate trips, students immersed themselves in the DBi experience through a variety of activities. We networked with NUS MBA students, viewed the city from the water on boat tours through the canal system, explored the extensive orchid collection at the Botanical Gardens, and tried every dish available at the outdoor Hawker Centers. The course ended with a farewell dinner at the oceanside Long Beach Seafood Restaurant where students tied on bibs, pulled on plastic gloves, and were served Singapore’s national dish, chili crab.

Dr. Love, as our NUS professor was affectionately known, and his support team definitely helped to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience that none of us will be forgetting anytime soon!

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