NUS launches new Mandarin Leader Workouts for SMEs

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17 August 2009 - Today, NUS Business School launches a series of top quality executive education programs, developed with inputs from SME leaders and alumni. The NUS SME Leader Workouts are short, intense, and focused on timely issues. In addition, the series includes a number of weekend programs which are taught completely in Mandarin, a preferred language for many SME leaders.

Despite the stock market recovery, SMEs which have managed to survive the worst of the financial and credit crisis, are still asking themselves about the right strategies for the future. Those who have cut their costs and battled to maintain their cashflows remain divided on whether the stock markets have gotten too far ahead of the real economy.

In Singapore, SME leaders are being encouraged to go back to school and to develop in a number of areas; internal talent development, branding, regionalisation, growth strategies and innovation. However, the nature of an SME's business makes it difficult for key staff to be away for long periods of time, which is typical of high end executive education programs for MNCs.

In line with NUS Business School's outreach to the SME community in Singapore, fees for the SME Leader Workouts are significantly lower than its regular Executive Education programs. SPRING funding is also being sought for SME participants, although that has yet to be approved.

"The SME Leader Workout series will be a great avenue for SME leaders in Singapore to engage, debate, learn and grow. SME Leaders who can grasp the opportunities, and develop the right strategies for their business today will be the MNCs of tomorrow" according to Prof Brian Hwarng, the NUS Executive Education Deputy Chairman, and Academic Director for the NUS-Peking University MBA Program.

About the NUS SME Leader Workout Series

This is a series of short, intensive executive education programs developed specifically for SME leaders in Singapore. The series is composed of the following programs:

SME Leader Workout program Summary Description
General Management module This program focuses on:
The Legal Environment for SMEs;
Strategy Execution - Balanced Scorecard;
Effective Human Resource for SMEs;
Risk Management; and an
SME Round Table discussion

Strategic Marketing Management Module This program focuses on:
Marketing Strategy;
Customer Relationship Management;
Sales Management;
Marketing Communications;
Foreign Partnerships; and
Marketing Research and Pricing for SMEs

Operations Management Module This program focuses on:
Managing Operations: A Strategic Perspective for SMEs;
Managing Quality: Key to Survival;
Reengineering & Value Creating Systems;
Case Discussion: Lessons for SMEs; and
Preparing for Uncertainties: Lean Thinking
Learning from Yokogawa

Branding: Big Bang Value or Marketing Black hole (in English) To enrich SME executives' understanding of the appropriate paradigms and strategies to effectively brand and market their products and services in increasingly competitive markets.

Charge, Defend or Retreat (in English) Traditional competitive strategy assumes that companies need to choose between two basic strategies - competing on quality or competing on cost. For SMEs, neither one of these choices will be optimal.

Long Tails, Black Swans,& Blue Oceans for SMEs (in English) Understand the difference between innovative and replicative entrepreneurship, and the opportunities and challenges for traditional SMEs to pursue innovative entrepreneurial ventures in the changing market landscape of Asia.

Gaining an Edge Through Services (in English) Understanding the role of ‘owning the customer" and "owning the brand" in creating and capturing value. With commoditization of most industries, the program shows why and how to use service to differentiate your offering.

Essential Skills in Times of Crisis (in English) When it comes to running a small business no single entrepreneur can make it alone. This program focuses on skills related to Practical People Management; Negotiation Skills for Vendors and Clients; and Strategy vs Tactics
It's Not Just the Strategy, It's the Execution! (in English) To highlight the importance of strategy and the need for strategic management as opposed to tactical operational management. However, even with this recognition and the construction of an actual strategy, the crunch remains in the implementation and execution of that strategy on the ground.

About NUS BUSINESS SCHOOL Executive Education

Established in 1965, NUS Business School is known for its focus in providing management thought leadership from an Asian perspective, enabling our students and corporate partners to leverage on the best global knowledge and deep Asian insights to drive business growth in Asia and around the world. This combination of global knowledge and Asian insights is reflected in all aspects of its research, teaching and industry outreach. As Asia's Global Business School, NUS Business School is a leading authority on business in Asia.

Since 1981, we have been offering a comprehensive portfolio of public and customized executive education programs to more than 20,000 senior leaders and managers from over 80 countries. With a world-class international faculty, high impact research coupled with a spirit of enterprise, and progressive teaching tools, we deliver a diverse suite of programs that equip participants with the skills to make a direct impact on their organization's performance. For more information, visit:

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