NUS MSc 04 June 2018

Learning about Singapore through business projects

As part of our NUS Master in Management and CEMS Master’s in International Management (CEMS MIM) , we send our students to study in two different CEMS universities abroad. At the same time, we also receive students from these CEMS universities. In the past 2.5 months, exchange students Lea Kneubuehler, Monika Hulewicz, Nils Goeres, Valentina Buzzo and Victor De Fays had the pleasure of working together with ABB on a project to evaluate the digitalisation readiness for selected industries in the Singaporean market. Based on these insights, they proposed a prioritisation of the target industries and potential ABB Ability solutions to target the respective industries.

They share their experience and learnings from this project.

Our Backgrounds

We are five exchange students at the National University of Singapore Business School, where we are pursuing our double degree master program, the CEMS Master in International Management. Our home universities are Bocconi University (Italy), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), ESADE Business School (Spain), University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), and University of Louvain (Belgium). At our home universities, we are pursuing various master programs, ranging from Finance to Business Innovation.

Key Findings

We assessed the digitalisation readiness of the selected industries with the Smart Industry Readiness Index, which has been developed by the Singapore Economic Development Board. The assessment was based on a thorough desk research, interviews with industry experts such as ABB’s key account managers, and ABB customers. Furthermore, we identified industry-specific opportunities and benefits that led to a proposed offering of ABB Ability solutions per sector.


First, we learnt more about Singapore and its industrial sector. This enabled us to get a holistic view on the country, in which we lived for the past few months, and to learn more about a potential future sector and place to work at. Second, we improved our skills with regard to working in culturally diverse teams and with stakeholders from a variety of fields and cultures. Last, we enhanced our project management and strategic thinking skills, which will help us in our future careers.

As a team, we expected the industries to be further digitalised, especially compared to the situation in our home countries where governmental institutions do not particularly incentivise digitalisation as much as the Singaporean government does.

Experience with ABB and its Customers

Throughout the project, we felt fully supported by our project sponsors, Nirupa Chander and Han May Kwong, and ABB’s key account managers. They all contributed likewise to making this a great experience for all of us. With regard to the customers, we encountered varying support, which heavily depended on the sector. Some of the customers were not willing to give us an interview, either because they perceived the topic as being too sensitive or because of time constraints. Those companies, which we had the pleasure to visit, were all positively minded towards the project and ABB.

Hopes and Views

We hope that many of our fellow CEMS students will have the chance to get to know a company and its customers as thoroughly as we did. The project greatly contributed to our CEMS experience and our insightful time here in Singapore. For a future business project, we would propose to reduce the scope of the project, which would allow a more in-depth analysis of the reduced field of research.

For more information on the NUS MSc Mgt + CEMs MIM programme, please visit