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More Companies to Invest in Grooming Digital Leaders through the First Graduating Cohort of Squared Online for SMEs

Programme primes 100 business leaders to look to digital as a key tool for success

14 March 2018, Singapore - Today, close to 100 business leaders from 79 Singaporean companies graduated from ‘ Squared Online for SMEs ’, a digital marketing leadership programme aimed at fostering the next generation of digital leaders. Traditional home-grown companies such as Hiap Tong Corporation Ltd , a heavy equipment rental company, and Mothercare , which has had a presence in Singapore for over 30 years, were among the participating companies which are digitalising their businesses and investing in developing digital leaders to drive transformation for their organisations.

The programme, launched in 2017 with the goal of training 1,000 digital leaders by 2019, is a partnership between Google, global training provider AVADO and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in support of the TechSkills Accelerator initiative. Leveraging the award-winning Squared Online curriculum, Squared Online for SMEs aims to strengthen Singapore’s talent pool of ICT professionals in digital marketing skills and leadership, empowering them to transform their businesses through technology and capitalise on the opportunities created in a digital economy.

Officiated by Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the graduation ceremony included the strong support of companies from various industries, ranging from retail and F&B to logistics and healthcare. Participants attended online classes held over 24 weeks by a team of industry experts who helped hone participants’ skills in critical areas such as Social, Mobile and Data Analytics. These local firms performed better than their global counterparts - the pass rate for the Squared Online for SMEs programme in Singapore (85%) was higher than the global1 average of 82%. These results indicate a strong interest and growing recognition among local SMEs of the importance of building a strong digital strategy to reach out to new potential customers.

Stephanie Davis, Country Director of Google Singapore said, ‘With technology, we can give Singaporean SMEs the tools they need to compete with larger brands globally. We can help them expand locally, launch a successful app or go global. We hope that the successes of this graduating batch of companies will inspire others to learn how to harness the power of online to take their business to new heights.

Sandy Tsang, Managing Director APAC for AVADO said, ‘AVADO is passionate about learning that works, and Squared Online for SMEs is a testament to that. We are bringing peers and experts together to strengthen the Singapore SME community’s digital knowledge and leadership skills. The best part is that through our virtual learning environment, we are able to reach hundreds of SMEs with each intake, so we can deliver this impactful learning at scale. It has been an exciting journey to work in partnership with Google and IMDA to transform the digital landscape in Singapore.’

Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive of IMDA said, ‘Congratulations to the pioneer batch of graduates! They inspire us with their commitment to invest time and effort to develop new capabilities to transform their businesses. Digital transformation is happening across every sector, from retail to manufacturing to professional services. We urge more SMEs to build up their digital capabilities and seize the new opportunities in a digital economy.’

1 Squared Online Certificate in Digital Marketin

Registration for the next intake is now open. To register for the Squared Online for SMEs programme, visit Squared Online for SMEs. The deadline for registration is Monday, 2 April 2018.

The programme is supported by CITREP+ under the TeSA initiative. Eligible Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may enjoy course fee funding support. Please visit for full details.


About Google
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

AVADO delivers learning that works using a unique combination of structured learning design, expert-led content and learner collaboration. AVADO is a learning partner of Google and the exclusive training provider of CIPD Enterprises, working with hundreds of businesses worldwide to engage and up-skill their workforce and transform organisations to embrace a new digital mindset. AVADO provides online professional qualifications, capability building and apprenticeships in Accounting, HR, L&D, digital marketing and more. AVADO is headquartered in London, with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Hamburg, and New York.

About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
TThe Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For more information, please contact:

Tate Anzur on behalf of Google
Keith Kay
DID: 6568 9157

Adam Monaghan
DID: 6876 7913

Infocomm Media Development Authority
Candy Pok
DID: 6211 1706


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