A network for women entrepreneurs in Singapore

New in Singapore: ellesnetwork, a french speaking network for women creating their own business
The launch meeting will be held tuesday May 29th, 7:00 PM at Fort Canning Centre, White studio
"Come find how to create how to create your company in Singapore et become a networking expert".
Registration on ellesnetwork' website


Dualexpat becomes Equipaje

In the last 3 years, we have been working on developping the Dualexpat platform, dedicated to expatriation in Asia, providing online resources, services and collaboration tools. We have been enriching contents and have elaborated customized support services to expatriates and spouses, which gave us the pleasure to accompany a number of our members in this beautiful adventure of expatriation.  On the other hand, the collaborative part of the platform didn't reach up to our expectations.

Based on this assessment, we have decided to merge the activities of Dualexpat (accompaniment of mobility) with those of Equipaje (HR development & coaching), on a unique platform, which henceforth gives an open access to all news, country files, guides and news on professional mobility in Asia, and relies on linkedin and viadeo for the collaborative aspects.

Equipaje,RH Nomades specialises in developping people and organizations in Asia

Our services:

Why Equipaje? Becacuse this term, mixed with spanish, symbolises altogether the journey, the team and the project.

Why RH Nomades (Nomadic HR)? Because the ambition is to enliven Human Resources in today's environment,highly characterized by nomadism, be it for mobility per se, for the cross cultural composition of teams, or for the increasing use of collaboration tools 2:0. Our wish is to support companies in being part of  HR transformations.


Visit the website and flip on:


Women leadership in Asia

The Asia Society has recently released the results of a survey on women leadership in Asia. Led by Astrid S Turminez, Vice Dean Research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, this wery well documented report describes the contrasted situations of women access to top management positions in the different countries of the region, with a global observation: women in Asia are significantly paid less than their male counterparts; only a limited percentage of them get access to the General Manager job.

Amongst the key findings of the report:

The growth of wealth in Asia has reduced the gab between men and women in many countries, particularly in the areas of health, life expectancy and access to education, economic opportunities and polical engagement. But the situation remains highly contrasted: the countries where the gender gap is the weakest are New Zealand, The Philippines, Australia,  Sri Lanka and Mongolia; those where unequality is highest are Pakistan, Népal, India, the Républic of Korea and Cambodia.

Concerning women leadership, rankings differ according to the indicators being emphasized. Globally, New  Zealand, Australia and the Philippines are leading the rankings. When considering economic aspects and other elements sucjh as women access to top management position, or wage & compensation equity, thos 3 countries are joined by Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand and Malaysia. In the political arena (number of women having a seat in Parliament, number of women ministers or Head of States), the hierarchy is paradoxically reversed, with India, Sri lanka and Bangladesh amongst the 5 best ranked countries; a situation that is explained by the number of women, in these countries, who have become Head of States through family or dynastical links. 

The country's level of development generally represents a favorable indicator of an accrued access for women to leadership positions. But such an analysis suffers a number of exceptions: Japan and Korea are poorly performing on the number of women in top management or Board positions, or on compensation and political engagement equity. Otherwise, China, Singapore and Hong Kong continue to display important imbalances.

In Asia, concrete measures would be becessary to plug "leaks in the pipeline": an impressive number of women abandon their professional activity when moving from mid level to top positions. This abandonment rate amounts to 70,24% in Japan, 52,88% in China, 48,83% in Hong Kong and 45,9% in Singapore. Those measures, which would aim at easing the choice for women to pursue their career without abandoning their mother role and family responsibilities, could take the shape of maternity or paternity leaves, child and elder care, and more equitable retirement schemes.

The report mentions for that matter a number of best practices initiated by States, NGO's and Companies.

One example is the shared cab system implemented by Google in  Bangalore for the sake of all it's employees, which enables women leaving the office after 8 PM to be accompanied back home by a security agent and to be prioritary amongst their male colleagues to be driven home first whatever the itinerary.


►Download the report "Rising to the top" on the Asia Society's website: Women Leaders of New Asia


Singapore cares for it's SME's

Since 2010, Singapore has developped, through it's Productivity & Innovation Credit scheme (PIC), a powerful incentive plans to SME's that are investing in human capital, innovation and productivity enhancement. This program has been reinforced within the framework of the 2012 budget. The PIC henceforth enables companies to deduct from their Chargeable Income 4 times the amount of their investments or to opt for a cash payout.

Enhancing productivity represents a major aspect of Singapore's economic policy, which sees it as an essential tool to leverage it's growth. The PIC (Productivity & Innovation Credit) is one of the key programs that have been set in place for that matter. It offers tax and financial incentives to companies that are investing in one or several of the following areas: : investment in automation equipement; investment in staff (Employee training); acquisition of intellectual property rights; registration of patents, trademarks, designs and plant varieties; Research & Development activities and investment in approved design projects. 

Concretely, companies can, in each field, deduct each year from their Chargeable Income ( between 2010 and 2015) 400% of their expenses, with a cap at 400.000 SGD, or opt for a cash payout equivalent to  30% of the expenses in 2010 and 2011, and to 60% of the expenses starting in 2012, with an expenses cap of 100.000 SGD.

What's striking is the openness and simplicity of the scheme. Incentives are based on investments that are not exceptional but take place in the companies normal development process.  Companies engage the expenses with no required pre-agreement.  They declare their expenses in their tax form or claim for a cash payout the next quarter following the investment. The staje is to facilitate the decision to invest, to accelerate and ampliy the process. 

In the field of training, the PIC represents an important stimulus. It enables companies to launch ambitious training programs, from hard skills training to the development of management skills and leadership, for a fraction of the initial cost: a training invoiced 10.000 SGD in 2012 will cost only 4000 SGD to a company opting for a 60% cash payout.

For more details, see the official websites of :


How Linkedin works

Realized by Infographic Labs, this image shows the multiple usage of Linkedin, particularly in the field of recruitment and business development.


The economic outlook is getting greyish in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands

The Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) published yesterday it's growth previsions for the country in 2012. With an estimate between 1% and 3%, Growth is showing an impressive slow down compared to previous years: 14,5% last year (2010), and a prevision of 5% this year

The figure that was released is the worst since the 2008-2009 crisis (-0,8% in 2009). It could yet be revised if the global economic context continued to degrade, with the debt in the Euro zone, or in case of a global financial crisis.

Such a weak growth perspective should have a negative impact on the job market and lead to pressure to lower salaries. A situation that leads to no enthusiasm on the front of international mobility and concerning the opportunities for job seekers and potential new entrepreneurs.

To be downloaded of the MTI website:


Rémi, creator of French Toast in Singapore

Rémi Malachin is the creator of French Toast, a young singaporean company specialized in the teaching of French language. Rémi arrived in Singapore in 2008 to work as an architect. Since then, he has sucessfully converted himself in a new profession. Portrait of an entrepreneur full of ideas, engaged in promoting French and turning it's learning into a pleasure.

Rémi Malachin was in no way predestined to open a French learning school. When he arrived in Singapore, in January 2008, it was to work as an architect, a logical move after his studies in this field in Nancy. But in Singapore, his career path has switched rapidly: He met his wife, founded a family and eventually stepped back from a field of expertise where he didn't find enough perspectives. He once contemplated the idea of creating is own architect firm, but such a project was far from being family compatible. While realizing freelance missions as a designer, he started to give French private courses. He soon found it very attractive and his teacher schedule filled in rapidly. In 2010, he decided to make the big jump and created French Toast, a Training center exclusively dedicated to French Language.

Learning French must be fun

For Rémi, it is essential that people learning French do consider it a pleasure: « 90% of our students are studying French for themselves, sometimes because they are interested by French Culture, sometimes because they are preparing a trip or planning to study in France, sometimes because they have french speaking friends or they have fallen in love for a french speaking person». The name of the school, French Toast, and it's logo, a toast painted with the 3 colours of the French flag, are representative of the very environment Rémi Malachin strives to create: « a comfortable and convivial environment that is also a place to have discussions and talk about French life; Interactive teaching methods that are spurring the envy to learn and practice.»

The students are apparently appreciating the concept. Their number is increasing sharply. When the school opened, in January 2011, there was just 1 group of 11 students. In August 2011, the number of groups had jumped to 15, with more than 200 students of 25 nationalities. As the original premises had rapidly become too small, French Toast has recently relocated in a new space.

What is the link between architecture and French teaching ?

"As curious as it may seem, I have the feeling that, in some way, my studies in Architecture did prepare me adequately to switch from one way to be creative to another, and become an entrepreneur. If you exclude the contents which were specifically linked to architecture, the training I received was focused on project management and the multiple ways to change perspective, a must when you are designing interior maps. Those skills have been very helpful to run a company».« the creation of a school, represents a lot of work; I have done everything from A to Z, from the early selection of the best teaching methods to the development of an integrated management tool, the recruitment of french teachers and the interior decoration of the building ».

Extending to Asia

Rémi never runs short of new projects and ideas. He is currently working on a fidelity card that would provide his students with a bunch of services and products from a restricted number of partners, and an additional way to envisage France. He is also exploring new channels of communication to promote French Toast, for example using Groupon. For the future, he is thinking of new openings in Singapore and maybe of further developments in the region through franchising.


► FrenchToast website:



Mentoring & expatriation

International mobility implies change, separation, discovery and adaptation. In this process, it is important to exchange: share one's enthusiasms, comfront ideas, questions and doubts. Some may do so with their colleagues & friends. Some may benefit from the support of a coach, a trainer or an expert. A third way is to find support from a peer-mentor who is ready to share his experience, provide support and guidance. 

Within the framework  of international mobility, mentoring is a solution that is suitable to a variety of situations. Within the company, a mentor may act as a facilitator, not only regarding the adaptation to the new job and new environment, but also concerning the relations with the Head quarters and career management. Out of the company, mentoring can facilitate mobility and the discovery of a new life in the host country. It can be a way to support an individual in his job search or on his business start up project. It can also be suitable for a manager on his discovery journey of new cultural codes and management parctices in his company. 

The mentoring project

We are launching an initiative in order to promote mentoring among members of Dualexpat. If you want to participate to this initiative, be it as a mentor or as a mentee, please simply join our mentoring group or send us an e-mail

According to your needs and suggestions, we are likely to launch several mentoring programs on specific themes. 

Partnership with EPWN

The first of these programs is organized together with EPWN - European Professional Women Network, a professional network of women managaers and entrepreneurs in Europe. It is part of an effort by EPWN to extend to Asia the range of opportunities for it's members  (EPWN goes Asia). It merely consists in connecting women entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs in France with like minded entrepreneurs in Asia, in order to share experience and provide mutual support on developping projects in Asia. This program is open to Dualexpat members.

To go further:


Project still pending approval in Japan: 10.000 free flights to boost tourism


The news had been released in a number of media, it is still only a project:  offering 10000 free tickets to Japan in order to encourage tourists to rediscover the country. Beneficiaries of those free tickets would as a counterpart publish a report on what they have seen and visited.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, the project is currently non confirmed, pending budgetary approval. The Agency is otherwise warning the public not to be deceived by would be intermediaries for the program.

More information on this website, as soon as the program will have been officialized.


Expatriation: current trends and practices

KPMG Internal Executive Services

KPMG has recently released it’s survey 2011 on global assignment policies & practices. Herebelow is a summary of the findings.

1- International assignments are still on the rise

A large majority of companies are considering either to maintain or to increase their international assignments.

Future use of expatriates in next 5 years :
  • About the same: EU:46%; Asia:40%; US:41%
  • Somewhat more: EU:33%; Asia:21%; US:34%
  • Considerably more: EU:12%; Asia:17%; US:8%

2- Their motivation to do so is primarily linked to meeting Business objectives

An important proportion of them are still focused on reducing the cost of their programs. But their main objective when sending people abroad remains to support the organization’s business objectives and being adaptable to changing business requirements. (71% overall)

Interestingly, Asia Pacific companies appear to lay stronger emphasis than their European counterpart on controlling program costs and ensuring an acceptable ROI (EU : 8% ; Asia : 14% ; US : 15%) ; and on attracting and retaining assignees by maintaining competitiveness with other organizations’programs (EU : 7% ; Asia : 17% ; US : 11%) 

3- One international assignment out of two lasts 2-3 years

  • Less than 1 yr: 3%
  • 1-2 yrs: 17%
  • 2-3yrs: 52%
  • 3-4 yrs: 19%
  • 4-5yrs: 6%
  • More than 5 yrs: 3%

4- Companies do not report numerous lack of performance on international assignment, but acknowledge a number of assignees leave the company at the end of an international assignment due to lack of job avalable in the home country or because they get a better opportunity from another company.

% of dismissal because of inability to perform effectively during international assignment
  • None: EU:21%; Asia:45%; US:27%
  • Less than 5%: EU:60%; Asia:45% ; US:53%
  • Between 6 to 10%: EU:4%; Asia:0%; US:6%
  • Do not know: 12%
% of assignees leaving the organization within 12 months of returning from an international assignment
  • None: 14%
  • Less than 5%: 35%
  • Between 6 to 10% : 13%
  • Do not know: 25%
Reason for assignees leaving
  • No appropriate job available in the home country: 36%
  • Offered a better job/career in another organization: 21%
  • Do not know: 30%

5- Companies still largely rely on informal assessment by HR or management of potential assignee's suitability for international assignment. They seldom implement a specific process for establishing international assignment goals. 2/3 are hesitant on the quality of their repatriation process. 2 companies out of 5 are planning the return 6 months before repatriation; 1 out of 4 do so only 3 months before repatriation; 1 out of 10 do not make any anticipated plan. 

- Way to assess a potential assignee’s suitability for international assignment
  • Assessment by external evaluator: 8%
  • Assessment by trained evaluator from within the organization: 5%
  • Informal assessment by HR or line mgt: 56%
  • No assignee assessment: 38%
-Approach to establishing goals for international assignments
  • No different process: 64%
  • Goals established for every assignee: 22%
  • No process for establishing assignment goals: 15%
- Satisfaction on good repatriation process :
  • Strongly agree: 5%
  • Somewhat agree: 29%
  • Neutral: 33%
  • Somewhat disagree: 23%
  • Strongly disagree: 10%
- Planning the assignee’s return :
  • At the beginning of the assignment: 4%
  • One year before repatriation: 7%
  • 6 months before repatriation: 39%
  • 3 months before repatriation: 24%
  • No planning : 13%

6- Families are largely taken into account. Dual career challenges are well identified and an important number of companies are providing a form of assistance.

The concept of family evolves. In addition to legally married spouses and dependent children, companies are including
  • unmarried domestic partners/companions of opposite gender: EU:78%; Asia:76%; US:39%
  • unmarried domestic partners/companions of same gender: EU:63%; Asia:60%; US:40%
  • dependent parents/extended family: EU:8%; Asia:10%; US:13%
Issue with dual career couples 
  • Employees are less likely to put themselves forward as candidates for assignment: 58%
  • Increases the chances of assignment failure: 34%
  • Reduces the length of assignment, the employee is willing to take: 27%
  • No noticeable impact: 30%
Assistance to accompanying spouses/partners whose careers are interrupted by an assignment
  • Allowance of payments to be used for designated expenses (job search, education...): EU:31%; Asia:26%; US:27%
  • Allowance that can be used for any expense: EU:13%; Asia:19%; US:14%
  • Job search assistance at host country: EU:29%; Asia:17%; US:16%
  • Work visa assistance at host country: EU:40%; Asia:36%; US:27%
  • Reimbursement of education expenses: EU:29%; Asia:19%; US:17%
  • Partial compensation for lost salary: EU:3%; Asia:2%; US:3%
  • Full financial compensation for lost salary: EU:0%; Asia:2%; US:2%
  • None: EU:23%; Asia:26%; US:37%

7- 60% of respondents consider current expatriates compensation are not more generous than they need to be. An important majority of compensation programs are home country based.

Do you think that assignees are overcompensated?
  • Yes: 40%
  • No: 60%
  • Home country base: 60%
  • Host country base: 12%
  • HQ Country base: 8%
  • The higher of Home/host country compensation: 7%
  • Case to case basis: 8%

8- Most organizations are providing Preassignment visits, which according to 58% of respondents could last between 5 to 10 days. Companies are providing language and cross cultural training not only to the assignee but also to the spouse and the children.

Preassignment visit to the host country
  • Assignee only: 9% (EU:8%; Asia:20%; US:8%) 
  • Assignee & spouse: 59% (EU:48%; Asia:36%; US:67%) 
  • Assignee, spouse & children: 18% (EU:31%; Asia:20%; US:12%) 
  • No: 14% (EU:13%; Asia:24%; US:13%) 
Duration of the preassignment visit
  • Less than 5 days: 39%
  • 5 to 10 days: 58%
Language training
  • Assignee only: 7% (EU:8%; Asia:12%; US:7%) 
  • Assignee & spouse: 29% (EU:24%; Asia:29%; US:33%) 
  • Assignee, spouse & children: 42% (EU:52%; Asia:27%; US:37%) 
  • No : 22 % (EU:16%; Asia:32%; US:23%) 
Cross cultural training in standard policy
  • Assignee only: 6% (EU:8%; Asia:7%; US:5%) 
  • Assignee & spouse: 21% (EU:28%; Asia:15%; US:19%) 
  • Assignee, spouse & children: 37% (EU:33%; Asia:39%; US:40%) 
  • No: 36 % (EU:31%; Asia:39%; US:36%) 
Frequency of language training being offered:
  • Offered for every assignment: 43%
  • Only when assignment country may pose a challenge: 40%
  • When requested by the assignee: 9%
Services provided :
  • Repatriation counseling at the end of assignment: 30%
  • Internal career planning/job placement toward the end of the assignment: 31%
  • Formalized mentoring program: 10%
  • Pre-repatriation visit to the home country: 21%
  • None of the above: 40%

Read the whole KPMG Global assignment policies & practices survey 2011 on KPMG website


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