May 20, 2020

Amazon has now entered Singapore, following previous reports

IGD Singapore
Amazon Singapore
2 min
Amazon has now entered Singapore, following previous reports

Following earlier reports, Amazon is now set to enter Southeast Asia through Singapore, which will see it compete with local competitors Alibaba and Tencent Holdings.

With the launch of Amazon Prime in Singapore, Shirley Zhu, Programme Director at IGD Singapore has said: “Singapore has affluent consumers with busy lifestyles, a big expat population and high internet penetration. It is also the gateway to Southeast Asia’s 600 million consumers. Shoppers here also tend to be very open to innovation, all of which make this a very attractive market and a huge opportunity for a retailer like Amazon.

“There’s a huge opportunity in general for online grocery in Singapore. We’re forecasting sales to more than triple to approximately S$0.5bn (US$0.35bn) by 2020. Although online is only a small part of the country’s grocery market today, with a 1.2% share, we estimate that by 2020 online will have a 4% share of Singapore’s grocery market, with a compound annual growth rate of 39%.

“However, Singapore is also an extremely competitive market. Rumours have been circulating since the first quarter of 2017 about Amazon’s arrival, and both ecommerce companies and bricks and mortar retailers have upped their game accordingly.

“Amazon aims to supply more than 20,000 unique items to the Singapore market. A wide range of products are already available on the app, including groceries, household and home essentials, electronics products, toys, and more. Frozen meat and seafood and chilled beverages are also on the list.

“There are two delivery options for Amazon’s Singapore customers. Two-hour delivery is available across all delivery areas, whereas one-hour delivery is only available in selected postal codes at an additional charge of S$9.99. To support this fast delivery, Amazon has built its largest urban Prime Now fulfilment centre in the world, spanning some 100,000 square feet.

“This is the first country where Amazon has introduced Prime Now before its flagship offering, Prime. The service is usually exclusive to members of Amazon Prime but will be available to Singaporean shoppers that don't have a Prime membership for a limited period.

“It remains to be seen how successful Amazon’s launch will be, but one thing’s for sure – in online grocery, Singapore’s shoppers are benefiting from more options, cheaper prices and faster deliveries than they ever have before.”

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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