Themed Seizing Opportunities and Thriving in a Post-Covid-World, the 17th edition of the Shin Min and Bosses Network Learning Cruise was graced by Guest of Honour Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. Ten speakers representing established and new-growth companies took the stage to share insights and learning points.
Having a solid workforce, a roadmap with clear objectives, and ability to adapt and innovate is vital for businesses to move ahead in a post-Covid world.
One of the widely anticipated speakers was Lim Hock Chee, CEO of Sheng Shiong Group Ltd, a long-time member of The Bosses Network, who generously shared details of the transformation journey that shaped Sheng Shiong into the high-performing public-listed company it is today.
Sheng Shiong Group CEO Lim Hock Chee with Minister Low Yen Ling.
Other noteworthy speakers included Dr Andrew Seit, CEO of Yong Shen Food Industries who took an over 60-year-old family business in traditional Chinese food ingredients on a digital transformation journey to prepare for the new era. Vanessa Ong, managing director of Gernise Global Pte Ltd, took her love of bird’s nest and modernised it into a lifestyle product that can be conveniently consumed without the time-consuming process of double boiling. These stories and more shed insights into the ways that businesses rejuvenate themselves with innovative ideas.
As with all past editions, Dream Cruises is the partner venue for the event, with the exception of 2020. For organiser Bosses Network, a members-only group for Mandarin-speaking entrepreneurs and business leaders, the event was a big undertaking with challenges in managing government regulations and protocols. But the obstacles were successfully navigated largely due to the strong support and stringent protocols carried out by Dream Cruises.
Said Andy Hoon, Organising Chairman, Bosses Network: “Initially, there were attendees who had voiced concerns about going on board a ship, but after going through the experience, many of them felt that it was a most enjoyable cruise. They felt safe and were able to get the most out of the learning sessions as well as relax and enjoy World Dream’s facilities and fun activities. It was a perfect setting for the sharing of great minds.
Dialogue session with Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“Bosses Network couldn’t have done it without Dream Cruises’ professionalism and enthusiasm. It sets a good benchmark for next year’s event. In fact, we have already confirmed 35 rooms so far, and I’m confident we will see a much higher return of past attendees when the pandemic becomes endemic.”
The theme on seizing opportunities and thriving in a post-Covid world is very apt in describing the way Dream Cruises has navigated its own challenges. Shared Michael Goh, president of Dream Cruises & head of international sales, Genting Cruise Lines: “In a post-Covid environment with new risks and innovations to address them, business leaders need to reimagine the future, rethink their strategies and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset for recovery.
“For Dream Cruises, we had to really think-out-of-the box on what was needed to adapt to this evolving situation. This led us to become the first to revamp our safety measures and protocols in response to the pandemic and collaborate with leading global healthcare expert, DNV, which had enabled us to be the first cruise company in the world to be CIP-M certified, specifically for cruises.”
Michael Goh, president of Dream Cruises & head of international sales, Genting Cruise Lines.
Following the Dream Cruises roadmap to transformation
It was the first step that led Dream Cruises to significant achievements such as being the first cruise line in the world to successfully resume safe cruises in Taiwan, and soon after in Singapore all within 2020, as well as recently in July 2021 in Hong Kong. With the Shin Min and Bosses Network Learning Cruise, they can now lay claim to being the first cruise line to host a MICE event in Singapore.
Dream Cruises’ roadmap to transformation was a detailed and systematic one, with the united collaboration of all front-line and back-end personnel to ride out the storm of this pandemic. They began by evaluating how to utilise and maximise its assets in the most cost-efficient manner, especially its ships across the region. Next, they established clear objectives which included the revamp of safety procedures.
“Complementing this, it's also vital to understand consumers' needs and enhance our offerings despite the restrictions and challenges due to the pandemic. This is fundamental to any company striving to overcome challenges. We have learnt from our experiences and we now have a better understanding of our customers' behaviour and requirements, especially in this new cruising age,” said Goh.
He shared more on key takeaways that are vital for businesses to move ahead in a post-Covid world: “First of all, having a solid workforce foundation within the company and sharing a common company vision is an important driving force for change and to overcome challenges. Secondly, it's important to have a roadmap with clear objectives on what needs to be done and achieve. Thirdly, it's crucial to be able to adapt and innovate, be it in our thinking, operations, utilising of resources, etc."
Despite travel restrictions, Dream Cruises has enhanced its Super Seacation itineraries with global thematic cruises and exclusive onboard activities such as the current Markets of the World and the upcoming Nordic Christmas Adventure to engage passengers.