Successful Businesses in Singapore

April 17, 2014 | Valerie Wong

For a small island country that was once a colony of the British Empire, was occupied by the Japanese, subsequently became a part of Malaysia upon its independence from Great Britain, then ultimately expelled by the parliament of Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has come a long way. The small republic is now recognized as one of the Four Asian Tigers.

Singapore developed into a trade-oriented market economy as its wealth is dependent on trade of which a bigger part deals with manufacturing (26.6%) and services (73.4%) industries. The country is deemed as one of the world's primary commercial hubs and has a reported GDP growth of 5.8% in the third quarter of 2013. It has one of the highest GDP per capita of $62,000 in 2012.

Top Corporations in Singapore

In 2013, Singapore's reported unemployment rate was at 1.9%, one of the lowest in the world. Multinationals and other conglomerates have made it big in Singapore more so if their industry is connected to financial services, processed food and beverages, electronics, petroleum refining, ship maintenance and repair, entrepot trade, rubber products and processing, life sciences and offshore platform construction.

The top 10 companies in Singapore in terms of revenue and success are: Shell Eastern Trading,  fuel, oil, chemical; BP Singapore PTE Ltd, oil, gas, chemicals, carbon and finance trading business; Wilmar International, agribusiness; Vitol Asia, energy trading extract, trade, refine, store and transport materials and resources; Exxonmonbil Asia Pacific PTE Ltd, of the world's most successful petroleum and petrochemical companies; Pertamina Energy, crude oil and oil products; Petrochina International (SG), physical crude oil, refined oil products (gasoline, gasoil, jet fuel, naphtha and fuel oil), petrochemicals and investments; GS Caltex Singapore  Ltd,  supplier of  petrochemical products; SK Energy International, oil company and Sinochem International Oil, pertaining to oil industry.

Singapore Startup Companies

Though the success of these companies could be attributed to the humongous capital the companies shell-out, decades of experience in all business aspects and the intelligence to supply the needs of consumers, a startup company in Singapore still has possibilities. Singapore startup companies are the “game changers” as they try to depart from the norm, moving fast and distancing themselves from the status quo. Innovation is a key component.

Doing business in Singapore is very promising. The trend to supply superfluous items is not the key to a successful startup company. What is important is sticking to the “basics” - meet the needs of consumers.

Business Opportunities for Foreigners in Singapore

With Singapore's fabled economic growth, foreign investors are keen on opening business ventures in the country. Singapore is business-friendly as it has the least corrupt government and the most open market economy. Interested foreign investors should do some research and feasibility study on the “wants” and “needs” of Singaporeans. They should take into consideration not only the business climate and governing laws of the country, but its culture and people.

Going into the food business is feasible.  One can establish a fine dining restaurant, a specialty restaurant, a coffee shop or snack shop and still do good business.

Singapore is all support for the development and promotion of biotechnology. Multinational drug companies have set up plants in Singapore due to the support of the government in terms of funding, infrastructure and help in recruiting world-class scientists and biotechnologists.

The biggest manufacturing sector in Singapore is electronics. It comprises 48% of the country's industrial output. Singaporeans are into gadgetry and electronics to keep up with the digital and mobile world, thus making their busy life highly manageable.

There is a high demand for accountants, auditors and bookkeepers in Singapore. Every business needs these financial services.

The demand for reliable transportation in Singapore is high.  Depending on the capital, a taxi service system is recommended.  Car for rent is also a possibility so is a limousine service.

Singaporeans can very well afford to buy cars so a car dealership is another possibility.  Though car dealers offer car repair and service maintenance, the need for an independent car spare parts dealer and repair shop is a necessity.

Singapore has no spare veritable land for planting crops that is why the country depends on agro-technology to supply the locals' agricultural products for their consumption. The market for this sector is huge yet there are very few players because of the large capital needed.

A retail shop that sells eco-friendly and organic products in Singapore is another feasible business venture.

There is a huge possibility of earning a lot of money though online marketing, freelance writing, home-tutoring service and e-marketing in Singapore.  These ventures require little or no capital at all and can be done right at home. It is true that a foreign investor does not have to be in Singapore to do this, but then it would be a shame not to experience the warmth and friendliness of Singaporeans, not to mention the perennial sunshine of the country.

The opportunities for business ventures in Singapore are vast. For a fast-developing country, certain needs arise regularly. Though it is easy enough to find one's way establishing a business in venture in Singapore, there are still some unknown hurdles one can meet in the process. For a hassle-free and stress-free business venture application in Singapore, it is best to hire the services of Servcorp.