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Ultimate comeback kid

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BACK to the forefront. That sums up the domestic manufacturing sector's status of late - from growth laggard, hard hit by the global economic downturn in 2015 and 2016, to surprise growth engine last year.

The strong turnaround in the sector - which accounts for about one-fifth of the economic pie - came courtesy of a cyclical upturn in the major markets. Structural shifts towards higher-value industries also contributed to the resurgence. Indeed, Singapore's move towards advanced manufacturing has given the sector a new lease of life. Brunch speaks to a few engineers whose career paths reflect how the manufacturing landscape has transformed over the years.

Be innovative or be efficient? Sure, ideally businesses would like to be both, but in the real world, the tradeoff, or tension, between innovation and efficiency is an issue that many companies grapple with. It's also the kind of "problems" that global tech consultancy ThoughtWorks helps clients resolve.

In Raffles Conversation, ThoughtWorks CEO Guo Xiao - who relishes tackling big, hairy, complex challenges - discusses the intricacies of problem-solving.

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Meanwhile, for entrepreneurs still struggling to bring their business up to the next level, Mentor John shares his wisdom on how to improve your chances of business success. (Tip: Commonsensical Courage is one of the requisite skills.)

Elsewhere in BT Weekend, Disrupted checks out the two winning AI startups at the Unilever Foundry Startup Battle, at which our columnist was a judge. And The Finish Line looks at five of the dark horses at the 2018 World Cup.