Since the beginning of Apsbay, we wanted to be different, many will argue that we can’t be any other way because of who we are and where we come from! But yes, but how can we be different yet offer a good service to our clients?
3 things shaped Apsbay in my mind.
Firstly, I am passionate about helping the local Singaporean SMEs to succeed online, because I see that digital is the only way we can survive and thrive. Unfortunately, before the pandemic hit, most local companies had a very different mindset. Many would prefer to do business the old way, face to face and over a cup of coffee. Singaporean companies invested a lot in face to face engagements and almost nothing online. They would complain that it is too expensive and that it did not work.
Secondly, I noticed that Singaporean companies were fond of outsourcing because it was cheaper. This resulted in many digital positions being held by foreigners in Singapore or outside of Singapore, we did not know how to do even the simplest tasks online because we simply let the “experts” do it. I am talking about low cost outsourcing not expert help. Like getting a website built overseas for few hundred dollars and then complaining that it is not useful or not nice!
Thirdly, we know that there are many good agencies in Singapore who do top notch work but they do not serve the SMEs. And on the other end of the scale, there are also many design shops that do serve the SMEs but they give them “local” quality of work which again is not nice, another reason why companies choose to outsource.
These 3 considerations gave birth to these 3 pillars:
1. Serve the SMEs to help them get a world class image online
2. Use only local talent, and we will train the young
3. Offer top quality work, cutting edge design at an affordable price
So I said all that to arrive at why we train the young and how we will evolve Apsbay into a “youth” only enterprise, of course, we consider ourselves to be young as well!
We were offered an internship program with ITE and we jumped on it because it answered to our desire to train the youths. We believe that every youth should have a chance to flourish and we truly love the mission of the ITEs. So yes 2 years later, we have trained 9 interns and we want to take on more. The experience has enriched us and we hope we have sowed the seed into them, not only in skills but also a confidence that they are not forgotten and that they have a future.
I see an office full of youths, learning and acquiring a skill for the future, that I see many SMEs coming to us to design their website because they also want to be part of the vision for the digital future of Singapore.