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Taking the leap


THE clarion call for Singapore firms to expand overseas has been sounded time and time again, but the reality is that it is no walk in the park.

Firms with less resources - especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - often need to navigate a minefield of regulatory, political and cultural challenges, where mistakes can be very expensive.

Yet, many SMEs are biting the bullet to go ahead as it is often the only way to grow sustainably, buoyed by support provided either from government agency Enterprise Singapore or through the various free trade agreements signed.

This issue, we look at what some of Singapore's SMEs are doing to gear up for overseas expansion and how they are overcoming the odds.

In the same vein, our featured towkay is Pauline Ng - managing director and co-founder of Porcelain the Face Spa - who is looking to expand the business regionally. The company is eyeing Asean and China, after having grown organically within Singapore in the past 10 years.

To date, the skincare specialist has four locations in Singapore, with its latest concept store in Paragon Singapore. It has also expanded into the retail space, with its own range of facial products that are sold in 220 countries around the world. Ms Ng shares her secrets to longevity in a competitive industry and some of the biggest lessons that she has learnt along the way.

Similarly in Cutting Edge, we look at two firms in the beauty and wellness industry - Team Salon and Nail Palace - and what they are doing to stand out from the crowd.

Budding Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, focuses on A Gentleman's Tale, a mobile tailoring service provider that also takes advantage of technology such as a 3D body scanning machine to better serve customers.

In this issue's Legal Adviser, we look at the options that family businesses have when the first-generation entrepreneurs reach retirement, as well as the pitfalls to avoid.

In Smart Capital, we find out what SMEs can do to digitalise their business through a plausible scenario of a company intending to take this journey.

Finally in Space, we look at how Singapore's hotel sector is heating up as tourist arrivals rise and what this means for investments in hotel assets.

Happy reading.

Vivien Shiao

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