Synagie and Singapore Management University (SMU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to co-develop continuing education and training programs. The programs are specially designed to address the specific talent and skills shortages faced by the technology and eCommerce sector in Singapore and Southeast Asia, with the aim of upskilling over 3,000 sector professionals by 2025.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at SMU and attended by Guest-of-Honour, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, Ms. Gan Siow Huang. Top-level executives from major eCommerce companies and leading brands such as Lazada, Shopee, Shopback, L’oreal, Shiseido, and Blackmores gathered for the MoU signing ceremony and a panel discussion titled “Opportunities and Challenges for the Next Decade of eCommerce”.

Bridging the digital skills gap

More than 60 SMU-certified programs across 7 areas of focus will be co-developed by SMU Academy(SMUA), the professional training arm of SMU and Synagie Commerce Academy (SCA), a digital commerce enabler in Southeast Asia. These include:

  1. Personal Development
  2. Customer Business Development
  3. Channel Development Management
  4. Marketing & Creative Services
  5. Supply Chain Operations
  6. Customer Engagement Solutions
  7. Business Analytics Solutions

With the push for digitalization in Southeast Asia, businesses around the region are facing challenges in recruiting talent with relevant specialist expertise to meet their business needs. Through holistic, scenario-based experiential learning, the programs and modules co-developed by SMUA and SCA seek to deepen the specific skillsets needed to fill the skill gaps in the digital commerce ecosystem.

Businesses around the region are facing challenges in recruiting talent with relevant specialist expertise to meet their business needs. Complemented by SMUA’s highly interactive, collaborative, and project-based approach to learning, the modules delivered at SMUA will be taught by leading eCommerce and tech experts with industry experience. The programs will be launched progressively in the latter part of this year. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate jointly issued by SMU and SCA.

Strengthening partnerships between Institutes of Higher Learning and industry players

“The partnership with Synagie signifies our commitment to deepening collaboration and engagement with the industry to create practical learning programmes for adult learners who are looking to upskill and reskill. Drawing from the proven andragogy expertise of SMU Academy and industry knowledge from Synagie, these programs will serve to better equip the workforce with in-demand digital skills, ecommerce experience, and bridge talent and skill gaps in this era of disruption.” said Mr. Jack Lim, Executive Director of Singapore Management University Academy.

Ms. Olive Tai, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Synagie, said, “Southeast Asia’s eCommerce and tech ecosystems are thriving. While they face many opportunities over the next decade, they also face significant challenges due to skill and talent gaps. To truly maintain their position as global leaders of the ecommerce sector, Southeast Asia’s eCommerce and tech players must come together to inspire and build the next generation of talent. Synagie’s partnership with SMU marks significant milestones for 2 of the Company’s strategic schemes – Synagie Commerce Academy (SCA) and Synagie Partner and Network (SPAN) – roadmapped to propel and future proof the Company’s position as Digitial Commerce’s leader and change agent for good.”

The event also featured a panel of key industry leaders who came together to discuss the future of the eCommerce industry and the challenges and opportunities it will face in coming years. Moderated by Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Business Federation, Mr. Lam Yi Young, the panel was representative of the spectrum of businesses across the eCommerce industry ecosystem.

Panellists included Executive Vice President Marketing Solutions from Lazada, Ms. Moony Li, Co-Founder of Shopback, Mr. Joel Leong, General Manager of Digital Commerce at Nike, Mr. Ken Yamada, Founder and Managing Director of homegrown skincare brand, Porcelain, Ms. Pauline Ng, and SMU Assistant Professor of Communication Management, Dr. Roh Sungjong.

Topics discussed during the panel included how brands can leverage data to better understand consumer behaviour, factors the industry needs to consider to meet sustainability goals and most urgently — the need to nurture talent and build capabilities for the industry.

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