Dear Skålleagues, dear friends of Skål,
It is a great subject of pride to be elected President of SKAL International Singapore for the term 2017/2018
A few months ago, I have taken over President Michelle Sandhu who was instrumental to get the SKAL Asia congress 2016 to Singapore and to organize it successfully. I am thankful to Michelle for remaining on board as the Honorary Treasurer and member of the Exco committee and for providing me with her guidance. I am also delighted to be assisted by all the other SKAL executive committee members: Janet Tan Collis, Megan Harris, Angeline Tang, Priscilla Foo, Tony Cousens, Ronald Sathiavanan, Andrew Jeffrey, Andrew Chan, Melvyn Yap. They are all recognized and accomplished professionals in their respective fields. They have my gratitude as their input is crucial to help meet our goals and to keep on making SKAL Singapore’s value proposition always better and relevant to the current environment.
SKAL’s legacy is huge. It is important to remind that this international organization focusing on Tourism and created in 1932 remains the most powerful, prestigious and representative network in this field. SKAL Singapore is only one of the 355 clubs spread out throughout 84 countries. Our membership of roughly 100 in Singapore is part of a worldwide membership approaching 15.000, a large fraction of them being high-level executives and decision makers.
This forces us to be modest in the way we consider our contribution but this must also make us proud to be an integral part of this amazing community. Indeed, to be a SKAL Singapore member is also to be a member of this outstanding family of kindred individuals of all nationalities, ages and traditions; men and women who all share the open values of goodwill and friendship. In SKAL, we have friends all around the world and we must profit from this amazing opportunity. SKAL’s value proposition remains strong and incontrovertible in terms of networking opportunities and as a place of choice to ‘do business amongst friends”.
However, SKAL also faces challenges: Today, people work more than before. More productivity is expected every year and ROI is the new golden calf. A more short-term approach means less time to network, to exchange and to train oneself.
SKAL also needs to address the dilution of time and the multiplication of platforms permitted by the digital era and which often give the illusion that they can replace face-to-face networking.
Finally, another well-known challenge facing legacy organizations is the renewal and the rejuvenation of their membership. Humans are creatures of habits and it is always difficult to impose the change which is needed to adapt to the expectations of the new generations.
That is why SKAL Singapore started to vary the format of its monthly gatherings (seated lunches but also early evening snacks around drinks…) in order to better meet the needs of young professionals and their squeezed time allowance. This approach has already been met with a certain success.
Aside from the usual recruitment effort within their network, we are also encouraging all SKAL Singapore members to contribute to our Club by recruiting one young SKAL member amongst their collaborators in their own organization. In doing so, we have already gained several new members who are less than 30 years old and who are bringing new ideas and new blood to our Club.
More than ever, SKAL Singapore must be a platform to introduce new concepts and new ideas or to create more opportunities. Thus, members are encouraged to introduce their products and activities and to propose special offers to their fellow members in the frame of multimedia presentations. Do reach out to me for such opportunities.
We also wish to reintroduce the feature of special guests and lecturers to join our gatherings and to share their knowledge with the attendance.
There is a lot to do and it can be made easier and more successful with the help and participation of all fellow SKAL Singapore Club members. Thank you again for your support, your enthusiasm and your welcome contribution.
In Skål !