Building city like Singapore Vs moulding people like Singaporeans

There is no doubt that both Chief Ministers of Telugu states have a dream to turn their respective capitals into a Singapore like city. A well-known quote of Gurajada Appa Rao goes like this: “Deshamante Matti Kadoi Deshamante Manushuloiii”, which when literally translated means, “A country is not about its soil but it is about the people of the soil”. If we consider the same, what matters is the most is the people of a particular region.

Of course, with a great effort and investing a huge sum, it may not be a difficult task to turn the capital city into Singapore. But, is it possible to mould the people like Singaporeans who have the following great qualities that ultimately made the country what it is now?


Singapore is perhaps the most heavily Western-influenced of all the major Asian economies and, as such, presents a sometimes confusing mix of solidly traditional Asian values and ultra modern business techniques. Also, Singapore is an assorted mix of ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians and global émigrés. It is very important to note that what is true of the ethnic Chinese move toward may be very different from an Indian-oriented company.


Also, it is specific to Singaporeans that business structures tend towards the hierarchical with decisions made at the top by senior management before being cascaded down the chain. It is unusual for people to display open disagreement with a decision made. Any debate would be held in private. Singaporeans ensure that people of a similar status deal with senior people. Do not show disrespect by expecting them to deal with younger, more junior colleagues.

In Singapore age is respected and managers tend to be older. As with all Asian countries, age brings automatic respect and it is more difficult for younger people to interface as equals at senior management level. Managers expect and receive respect. In return for that respect they take a holistic interest in the all-round well being of subordinates.


As far as Singaporean beliefs are concerned, they believe in a good team leader who will strive hard to develop an atmosphere of consensus-style decision making within the team in which individual members are shielded from the possibility of ‘losing face’. Decisions are team oriented and therefore success or failure is also team oriented. Due to the consensual nature of team decisions, external agents can sometimes feel frustration at the lack of progress. It is difficult to speed along this process from the outside and any seeming interference could be resented, leading to even slower movement.


Performance determines promotion within an organisation – except within family firms where family bonds are strongly felt. Synchronization is sought in meeting situations and everything should be done to promote and maintain that harmony.


Last but not least to bring out the good of Singaporeans is the importance they give for safeguarding ‘face’. Relationships are the key in Singapore and relationships become difficult if people have lost face.


On the whole group oriented, Singaporeans make highly effective team players if the team environment stimulated promotes the harmonious interaction of individuals rather than a competitive approach. This is the key reason for its overall success.


In this milieu, I have no doubt in stating that it is easy to turn Hyderabad or Vijayawada into Singapore like cities, but it is very difficult to mould the people into Singaporeans like, for its the matter of attitude of the people that plays a key role and the same cannot be controlled by the external agency.


Published by sumankasturi

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