How to Impress Your Singaporean Business Associates

Indian Business Blog featuring on Business, Technology and Education
Written by Harshad Patankar

Singaporean culture is influenced by its main population groups—the Chinese, Indians, and Malays. Although it is a highly technologically advanced country and a cosmopolitan city with a fast-paced lifestyle, Singaporeans are unique when it comes to their way of life and conducting business. You may think that because you are familiar with Chinese or Indian cultures that you are good to go, but that is far from the truth. Some things are unique to Singapore, so what you know may not apply there. The city-state is a place where people value hard work, embrace the diversity of origin, and stick to the rules. Also, the people, especially the young, are ambitious, since this is a highly valued characteristic.

Are you wondering how you can make a good impression on your business associates in this unique setting? If so, here are some tips:

Fair play is the norm in business

Unlike other cultures, Singaporeans tend to stick to the rulebook in their business dealings. While who you know does matter, and while it is crucial to build and nurture business relationships, the culture of exchanging favors and exploiting personal connections to make progress in business is not common.

Dress smartly and be fashion-conscious

One thing you should know about Singaporeans is that they are keen on labels and fashion. You will do yourself a great deal of good by always being smartly dressed. Also, do not shy away from donning designer accessories. For accommodation, stay in a good hotel. You also need to carry yourself professionally and be friendly without over-familiarizing yourself. While at the negotiation table, the Singaporean negotiators will be impressed by your patience and by the fact that you do not reveal your personality too much.

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So, if you wish to travel to Singapore, ensure you have your best outfit for business meetings, do not be impatient, and be reasonably friendly. But first things first, you need a visa to gain entry into Singapore. To do so, you need to engage a reliable visa agent by visiting, and you will get your visa hassle-free.

The concept of face

The idea of “face,” which represents personal dignity, is at the heart of all relationships. The utmost care should be taken, and any action that can cause somebody to lose face should be avoided. People do not take well to anyone who gets upset. They also do not like anyone who displays their emotions, or who does or says anything that causes the other to lose face. You must learn to be tactical, diplomatic, and indirect at all times, as opposed to being direct and inconsiderate. It is important to protect a person’s face and avoid making them lose face, as it can jeopardize business prospects and damage relations.

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Implicit communication

You have to understand Singaporeans’ implicit style of communication. The business conversations may have a bit of “Singlish,” which is a blend of words drawn from English, Chinese, and Malay languages. You need to pay attention to what your Singaporean counterparts are saying, irrespective of their ethnic background. Some things to be aware of: A hesitant “Yes” could mean “No.” Also, “Yes, but…” may also mean “No.” Not answering a question is also a likely way of saying “No.” You must be cautious to grasp when someone is voicing a rejection, as it is a way of preventing you from losing face.

Hierarchy is strictly observed

Singaporeans have strong hierarchical relationships, which originate from home. The utmost respect is expected for age and titles. In work settings, the elderly are treated with great respect and deference. You should refrain from debating, rectifying, or differing with those older than or senior to you, as it will cause them to lose face and you to lose the respect of others.

About the author

Harshad Patankar

My name is Harshad Patankar and I am the chief blogger at BumbleBeeHub Blog and where I like to share my internet/tech experience along with some fascinating updates around the Business, Technology, Education and Government sectos with my online readers on this website. You can read more about me at my About Page. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook & Google