NTUC should continue to help with social needs

NTUC Enterprise does not have a traditional commercial charter and so it does not have to profit at all costs to please shareholders (NTUC Enterprise gets nod for acquisition of Kopitiam; Dec 21).

It also does not have the restrictions and limitations of a charity in terms of expanding its business capacity and capability.

As a well-integrated enterprise in the supermarket and food and beverage industries, it has the size, scope, scale and strength to do more, such as developing more and better quality leaders, automating operations, improving productivity and achieving better results.

I trust that NTUC Enterprise will continue to fill in the gaps in meeting social needs, especially for the poor, needy and disadvantaged.

It should help boost our food culture and improve cost effectiveness for hawkers by, for example, buying in bulk and directly from the sources of supplies.

In doing so, it can help contain the rising cost of living and improve lifestyles.

This acquisition by NTUC Enterprise is also a wake-up call for small enterprises to improve their business models and strengthen their competitive edge.

Otherwise, they may not only risk being taken over by large enterprises locally, but may also have to compete with multinational giants.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2018, with the headline 'NTUC should continue to help with social needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe