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Glocalisation is the new buzzword

The curriculum and programmes at UCD College of Business empower its students to think globally and act locally

Glocalisation has been a buzzword for quite some time. But what is it? And why is it an important element of success and prosperity for business. Glocalisation is essentially the ability to think globally and act locally.

How Glocalisation is Changing Business

For decades now, brands have sought to build a global workforce. This means looking beyond a country’s borders. The reason is simple: hiring people of varied backgrounds promotes an exchange of ideas.

Singapore “has sought benefits from our links with the subcontinent," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the South Asian Diaspora Convention in 2016.  “If you go back to a closed world, you're going to be a lot poorer. And you will not be able to operate the way you are doing.”

A global business culture brings about more business dynamism and creativity. But, it is not enough for success. Enter Glocalisation, which goes beyond the composition of one’s headcount. It is larger than a singular mission statement covering all business activities no matter what country they’re operating in.

“Glocalised” companies take action, tailoring global products or experiences to suit local tastes. Market research gives them an insight into the likes and dislikes of consumers. We all know that a younger consumer will likely prefer advertisements on YouTube or social media platforms. Compare this to an elderly consumer, who may react better to bus stop advertisements and phone calls.

Market research is key to understanding differences. The preferences of a younger consumer in Singapore, for instance, will differ from that of a younger customer in Vietnam or the United States. Research also gives companies access to specifics such as age range, engagement time and a consumer’s thought process.

With a decent sample size, research can give companies an edge in the market. Milo, a popular drink mix of cocoa and malt, is a success story. Produced by Nestlé, the company has created more than 60 variations of the drink. Over in Australia, a large exporter of dairy products, Milo has a distinct milky flavour. In South Africa, the drink smells slightly herbal and has a taste which is skewed towards malt.

“The secret, and the trick, as to how we win, is really the thorough understanding of consumer preference. And they are very different (across countries),” Dr Tan Sze, managing director, Nestlé R&D Centre Singapore, said in a recent interview.  

In 2016, the company achieved sales of CHF 89.5 billion ($127 billion) and 3.2 per cent in organic growth.

Other brands have made tweaks to website design, advertisement content, with changes trickling down to even the tone of promotional videos. These changes help to cement a global brand’s position in a local market.

“There are few products which are entirely universal. In reality, large multinational organisations need to have an appreciation of the local market and the demands of each discerning consumer group to succeed,” says Dr Orna O’Brien, programme office director and school manager at the Centre for Distance Learning of UCD. The centre is within the UCD College of Business, which has around 70 per cent of international staff.

UCD qualifications, which are offered in conjunction with Kaplan Higher Education, dive into both the global climate and local business environment.

“Students gain an appreciation of global business, as well as keen insights into the domestic Singaporean market. They are equipped for the global workplace and have the skill sets needed by local companies,” Dr O’Brien adds.

In the corporate world, improvements are often hedged on the acumen of business executives. Naturally, companies are looking to hire talent with a “glocalised” mindset. 

An under- or postgraduate degree at UCD could be a good start.

University College Dublin (UCD) students in Singapore benefit from learning from a curriculum that is delivered by both UCD’s faculty as well as local lecturers in Singapore. UCD is positioned with a global perspective which guides its teaching and curriculum. Students are able to keep up with global trends while learning from their local lecturers how to adapt to the local markets.

Essentially, the faculty’s involvement aims to provide UCD students the global mindset required in a world that’s ‘shrinking’ because of globalisation while the local lecturers refine students’ knowledge with localised case studies and applications.

Many companies must expand the markets beyond their own shores for business sustainability. To do this successfully, it is important to keep in mind the customers’ needs, cultural differences and different business etiquette wherever you are.

For example, how you conduct business meetings in Singapore might differ from meetings in the UK. Having the global cross-cultural understanding can make all the difference. This implies that having local knowledge is key in interacting effectively within the global economy.

The programmes and curriculum at UCD prepare you to think globally, and act locally. Simply put, you will be well-versed in the area of “glocalisation” as it is a skill UCD aims to inculcate in its undergraduates and postgraduates.

This is cemented by the fact that UCD is ranked within the top 1 per cent of universities worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17. Additionally, UCD College of Business has also achieved the prestigious Triple-Crown Accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), The Association of MBAs (AMBA) and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).  Essentially, these are the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations. As UCD goes through regular audits, it ensures that its curriculum is up to date with worldwide trends.

Credentials and reputation are vital when it comes to selecting a degree programme. However, students should also not underestimate the importance of lecturers who can equip you with skills that last a lifetime. Their expertise will help you stand out in the real world after graduation.

Be prepared for the future by being glocal-ready. Select from a suite of disciplines that matches your career aspirations by enrolling in the University College Dublin’s Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) or Master of Science degree programmes.

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