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HR & EDUCATION | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore
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Take a look inside INSEAD’s $55m leadership development centre in Singapore

It marks the fulfillment of a vision too ambitious to achieve 15 years ago.

INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, launched its new Leadership Development Centre in Singapore last January 15, 2015. The 10,000sqm centre marks Phase Three of the school’s Asia campus expansion as it targets to raise its capacity in the region by 50%.

Located at Ayer Rajah Avenue in Singapore, the S$55 million development is aimed at bringing INSEAD’s total Asia campus footprint – situated in Singapore’s Buona Vista “Knowledge Hub” – to two hectares. “Combining world-class business research and a rich and diverse learning environment to further cultivate a global community of leaders, the new Leadership Development Centre will be a premier business innovation and executive education hub for the region,” says Michael Pich, INSEAD’s dean of executive education.

According to Pich, the creation and opening of the Leadership Development Centre is far from a standalone project. Rather, it is the realisation and culmination of a long-term vision.

“Looking back now, our success has made this project seem straightforward. But 15 years ago, when we stood before a vast, empty space and developed and articulated a shared vision with the Economic Development Board of Singapore for a fully-integrated campus in Asia, the notion seemed ambitious to say the least,” he noted.

Establishing a multinational business is always challenging, and creating the Leadership Development Centre was not only the biggest challenge INSEAD had to face. Pich explained that during the time when they are establishing a permanent INSEAD campus in Asia, they have to ensure that all aspects of their business are operational and support each other seamlessly.

“Given the unique operating framework of our institution, we had to build our thought leadership and faculty credentials while simultaneously ensuring the traditional business infrastructure was effectively being implemented to support it. That we are here now, embarking on Phase 3 of our vision, suggests we succeeded in a way that few other global business schools have managed to do,” he added.

Since the establishment of the Singapore campus in 2000, the business school has made a continued and significant investment in Singapore and the region. In 2014, participants and students of INSEAD were hailed from over 60 countries. There are also 63 permanent faculty from 22 countries now based in Singapore and 7,026 INSEAD alumni living and working in the Asia Pacific.

“Singapore was identified as the optimal base from where we could develop greater understanding of the region. It was our most daring foray into making Asia part of our lifeblood – in securing the most diverse faculty, in developing unique case studies, and in conducting different research,” said Pich.

He adds that the Singapore campus has become a flagship institution for the provision of executive education both in Singapore and across the region, with senior executive enrolments for open programmes jumping by 46% in the two years to academic year 2012/13.  

Singapore Business Review seeks out for new innovation centres and R&D labaratories in Singapore. Send a message to Lee Anne at research@charltonmediamail.com for possible feature. 

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Take a look inside INSEAD’s $55m leadership development centre in Singapore

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