Singapore Business Federation chairman Mr S.S. Teo noted that in 2010, the Government set a target to produce 1,000 globally competitive companies with revenues exceeding $100 million by 2020.

“We took a count; I think there are only 300 so far. We don’t think this target can be reached,” he quoted (link to the article ).

Do you agree with the view that the target will be met with some challenges – why?

Here are my brief views:

To leapfrog to that level, I believe that the policy makers and enablers need to think outside the box and ensure that these 5 factors need to be in place:

1. Rely on more non-organic / acquisition type of growth where companies can merge to grow at 50-200% per annum over 5 years, and not 10-15% annually via organic means.

2. More opportunities should be opened up to entities that are not government-owned and who could be “travelling together in overseas business missions”.

3. Cast a wider net to identify SMEs with high growth potential instead of relying on inner circles and old boys’ club. Review existing channels and develop innovative ways to reach out to those entrepreneurs who are “outside the system”.

4. Define building blocks of what makes up a $100m company: and decide whether to go for asset heavy industries or asset light but heavy with IP and knowledge intensive (higher value add potential).

5. You have to create a pre-version of globally competitive companies  (GCC) called globally-ready enterprises (GRE) as a prelude towards becoming a GCC by itself.