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With the theme ‘Stronger Together: Collaboration for a Sustainable Future’, SNCF is delighted to bring together about 120 Co-operative leaders and speakers who have specially flown over to Phuket for the 2018 Annual Co-operative Leaders’ Conference (ACLC) on 21 - 24 April. This attracted largest turnout and spread across 28 co-operatives (co-ops).

This year, we are honoured to have Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office and Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC to join us as our keynote speaker.

Mr Heng Chee How
     ACLC Keynote Speaker, Mr Heng Chee How

With the theme ‘Stronger Together: Collaboration for a Sustainable Future’, SNCF Chairman, Mr Kwek Kok Kwong kicked start the conference with his vision that the co-op movement can continue to grow and remain sustainable if we collaborate. Most importantly is that the co-op movement does not fall into black hole of disruption in the digital vortex.

Co-ops are businesses driven by values, and not just profit. Through collaboration, we are able to deliver greater impact what none of us could achieve alone. Mr Heng challenged all co-ops to think deeper as to whether they are the preferred partner in their business. He advocated that one should not “change for the sake of changing, and should not assume that by doing things the same way a different result can be achieved” and that “past achievements are no guarantee for future success or survival”. If we want to stay relevant and sustainable, we need to have the DIANA factors - Data, Innovation, Adaptation, Network and Agility and also be the group that “makes things happen”.

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ACLC Speakers with SNCF EXCO members from left to right: Ms Clara Lee, Ms Guo MeiQi, Ms Chow Fong Leng, Ms Shena Foo, Mr Chia Hock Lai, Ms Dolly Goh, Mr Heng Chee How, Mr Kwek Kok Kwong, Mr Tng Ah Yiam, Mr Anan Chatrupracheewin, Mr Kenneth Kwan, Mr Aaron Lee, Ms Salbiah Manan and Mr Yeo Chun Fing


Mr Tng Ah Yiam, Deputy CEO and Head of Products, NTUC FairPrice Co-operative, expounded on Mr Heng’s presentation by illustrating how FairPrice collaborates with different players to create greater impact. He cited several examples including the recent collaboration on developing infant milk formula from scratch.

Mr Chia Hock Lai, Head, Digital Office, NTUC Income Co-operative, then highlighted the importance of data research which allows NTUC Income to innovate and adapt to ever-changing landscape while collaborating with starts-ups like Jaga-Me helps them to stay agile. He too emphasized that “co-ops are not all about selling products, they can also serve customers better”. So before digitalising the business, it is important to think through what our customers want.

Mr Aaron Lee, Co-Founder of Jaga-Me shared how Jaga-Me through its cross-provider technology empowers different organisations in the healthcare sector to collaborate seamlessly together for the social good. The importance of collaboration is further emphasized in Ms Shena Foo’s presentation. Ms Foo, Deputy CEO of Seacare shared how SOS and Seacare Co-operative collaborated to better the lives not only of their members, but also the community as well.

It is not enough to learn from our own co-operators. It is important that we learn from our global counterparts as well. Mr Anan Chatrupracheewin, who has retired from the Federation of Savings and Credit Co-operatives of Thailand, shared the structure of co-operative movement in Thailand including their operations which helped deepen our understanding on credit co-ops in Thailand.

The first day of the conference closed with the Speed Networking session. Through the speed networking session, the co-op leaders have learnt that they need to get to know each other better and, not just know of each other. It also generated collaborative opportunities among the co-ops. For example, the possible collaboration between NTUC LearningHub and co-ops like NTUC Health, Silver Caregivers and Seacare which provide healthcare screening services. FairPrice is keen to work with Customs Credit Co-operative on the provision of customised training programme for its procurement staff. SNCF will follow up on these possibilities and ideas with respective co-ops. By partnering, we can build an even more robust and sustainable co-op movement in Singapore.

In the Day 2 of the conference, we have Ms Clara Lee, Head of Corporate Communication and Branding sharing NTUC Health’s efforts to meet the needs of our ageing population such as collaborating with the communities and institutions to promote active ageing and enhance self-care competencies.

Ms Guo Meiqi, our SNCF Scholar who is currently working at NTUC First Campus, gave her opinion on the power of small. She said: “The masses focus too much on the big, when the solution often lies in retaining the essence of the small”. She also elaborated on the general misperception on millennials and emphasized the “key to understand millennials today is to understand their preference to create new networks which differ from the older generations who sought to empower hierarchies.”

Last but not least, we have Mr Kenneth Kwan from Deep Impact sharing his Small Steps to Big Changes. He showed that all we need to do is to take small steps a time to stay relevant, to innovate and to enhance productivity. And each small step we take will help meet the changing needs of the community; and these small steps will collectively form big strides enabling us to move forward make a great impact.

Our lucky draw grand prize winner who won a 3D2N stay at
Novotel Phuket Vintage Park Resort
Stage Performance
Thai cultural dance performance

Group Photo Cabaret
Co-operators with cabaret show performers

Wefie at the gala dinner

The conference ended with a farewell gala dinner where participants were treated to cultural dance performances, cabaret show, lucky draw and games!

View more event photos below or on our Facebook page:

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