Take best of old and new to strengthen businesses

I agree with Mr Francis Cheng ("Traditional businesses should embrace change, not fear it"; last Friday).

The traditional sectors of Singapore's economy have been under immense local and foreign competition. However, it is important to note the benefits that have occurred because of this trend.

For example, because more companies have drifted online, this has brought down pressure on retail and commercial rents for the first time in many years.

Recently, this has made it possible for local start-ups to have a better chance of succeeding. This is in line with the Government's goals of creating an innovative economy in order to maintain stable wage growth for all Singaporeans, and wean firms off low-cost labour.

However, this is not to say that the concerns of the older and more experienced generation in business are entirely unfounded.

The young should eagerly and sincerely take advice from the old. After all, the older generation have previously been in the same position, being young entrepreneurs with different mindsets from the existing generation at the time.

Hence, for Singapore to be a leading business hub for the future, business leaders must utilise the best practices from both the old and new generations.

Rising global competition is a threat. But, compared with the past, Singapore is equipped with much more knowledge and resources. Coupled with an openness to new ideas, Singapore is well poised to be a key player in the world of business.

Lionel Loi Zhi Rui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2016, with the headline 'Take best of old and new to strengthen businesses'. Print Edition | Subscribe