#38: Professor Annie Koh of Singapore Management University

#38: Professor Annie Koh of Singapore Management University Featured Image

Prof. Annie has an impressive track record in driving tripartite discussions between the education sector, government, and private organizations, in close areas to supply chain. In her position as Director of the International Trading Centre (ITC) and Business Families Institute (BFI) at Singapore Management University.

Annie is also a member of the Board of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore; Family Firm Institute. Chair: Finance and Investment Committee, GovTech Singapore Board; Asian Bond Fund 2 Supervisory Committee, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s Central Provident Fund, serving on the SkillsFuture HR Sectoral Tripartite Committee, HR Certification Taskforce.

Listen to the full discussion here:



Connect with the Guest:

Professor Annie Koh: Linkedin | Twitter | Company Website

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How important are the Supply Chain and Logistics industries to Singapore?
  • Collaboration between Universities and Trading, Trading and Maritime Companies plus the Government.
  • Getting started on Maritime Economics Track with SMU.
  • Students’ desire to learn and interact with industry professionals- they want to know what kind of jobs awaits them in the future.
  • 70% of the alumni from the Trading track at SMU are still working in the industry.
  • 60 trading and 20 maritime companies got together to educate the current.
  • How Supply Chain and Logistics Executives nurture and mentor students preparing them for the future.
  • The 3T: Trust, Talent and Technology.

Show notes:

  • [01:07] Could you tell us a little about some of the projects that you have spearheaded in Singapore Management University?
  • [03:00] Trading companies collaborating with Academia to nurture trading talent and preparing the pipeline of talent. Creating a partnership between Government, Universities and Trading Companies to develop a strong pipeline of talent for the trading industry.
  • [05:20] Convincing Trading Companies to send their top Traders to class and train the students on the product. Eg: how to do crude oil trading.
  • [05:40] How many students would join a noncredit class? A lot! Students want to interact and learn directly from the industry professionals
  • [06:20] 70% of the alumni on the special Trading Track we created in 2006 are still working in the industry.
  • [07:01] How we started a Maritime Economics track and managed to send our students for 1 year of study in Denmark fully funded by the Government. Some of the students are now working with big companies like Maersk.
  • [08:05] As we speak, we launched a Maritime Operations track, working with our corporate and governmental partners. Universities are strategic Partners of the country.
  • [08:40] How Annie’s ecosystem of 60 trading companies and 20 maritime companies started the movement of nurturing the next generation talent for their industries.
  • [09:35] What is the key to success? How do you manage to bring the private sector and government together to come up with these initiatives?
  • [10:10] Many companies realize they need to collaborate with universities and the government to create a strong pipeline of talent.
  • [12:26] Many executives in Supply Chain and Logistics have grey hairs on their head – they need to make it their responsibility to grow and develop the pipeline of the next generation talent who will take their place.
  • [12:50] In the past, many of our ‘brainy’ students went to banking. But if now supply chain and logistics is important to our country – I ask our government and partners to work with us to guide the students to this sector.
  • [14:10] What are your thoughts around the best practices and wishes for both students and sponsoring companies when it comes to internships and graduate programs? Building up the skill set for the companies.
  • [14:30] You need two hands to clap. So we created the noncredit classes for the professionals in the trading or maritime industry to come and teach. Professionals set the expectations for the students and identify the talented ones.
  • [17:56] How can we increase digital literacy?
  • [20:21] Learning can be on a collaborative basis.
  • [22:44] Even digital skills need to be upgraded as we go along.
  • [31:25] How come coaching, facilitation, and mediation is not part of universities’ curriculum?
  • [34:15] How do you cope with the increasing cost?
  • [40:02] Lifelong learning is such an important component of Singapore’s blueprint for human capital development.
  • [46:06] Working with other partners like SCALA Supply Chain And Logistics Academy to develop the skills for our students.
  • [47:01] Our mid-career hires need to learn downstream trading, upstream transportation, and they need to understand logistics as well.
  • [54:29] How can education contribute to sustainable development?
  • [59:55] Tell us a little more about yourself.

Related Episodes:

Episode #6: Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux \

Episode #13: Damien Dhellemes, Country President Schneider Electric

Episode #26: Troels Randbøll Støvring CEO of Twill Logistics




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