Year 3 SMU Business Students Win Inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge Organised by the Singapore Maritime Foundation

04 April 2019

Maritime Industry’s Successful Outreach to Non-Maritime Undergraduates in Inter-varsity Competition Involving APL, Jurong Port and Shell Companies in Singapore.

The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) today announced Team Meridian, a group of Year 3 Business students from the Singapore Management University as the winners of its inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge. The case competition organised by the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office, a unit under SMF, drew participation from over 100 undergraduates in five local universities, of whom 75 per cent were non-maritime students. It was the first time that three maritime companies – APL, Jurong Port and Shell, had come together in such an initiative for undergraduates to solve real-world business challenges as part of the industry’s efforts to attract young talent.

The champion team comprising Mr Ng Zheng Han, Ms Jasmine Oh and Mr Ng Yan Hong had earlier emerged tops in the Preliminary Round for their proposal to Jurong Port on the restructuring of the Technical Services Department and recommendations to attract more locals to join the port engineering vocation. Participants also worked on APL’s case about digitalisation for operational efficiencies in shipping, and Shell’s case about the strategy and plans to tap on a new business opportunity in the Preliminary Round. The quality of submissions was very high, with a one point difference in scores for many teams.

For the Grand Finals, Team Meridian beat two other teams from NTU and NUS in a 24-hour challenge to solve key recruitment and talent management issues for the case study centred on strengthening Singapore’s position as a Global Maritime Hub for Talent. The SMU team’s proposal to enhance awareness and branding and boost opportunities for career development particularly impressed the panel of judges.

Apart from cash prizes, the three finalist teams also received an exclusive invitation to the MSC Maritime Summit Dinner on 1 April 2019 – organised especially for these nine students to network with C-suite level of representatives from APL, Jurong Port, Shell, SMF and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Attendees included Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chairman of the Shell Companies in Singapore, Mr Ooi Boon Hoe, CEO of Jurong Port and Capt Lee Chee Seong, COO of APL, Ms Tan Beng Tee, Assistant Chief Executive (Development) of MPA, Mr Lee Keng Mun, SMF Board Member and Head of Shipping Asia at Hamburg Commercial Bank and Mr Loo Tze Kian, SMF Board Member and Managing Director at LCH Lockton Pte Ltd. The dinner was held at Artemis Grill, a fine-dining restaurant at Level 40 of CapitaGreen offering panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.

Speaking about their win despite this being their first foray into case competitions, Mr Ng Zheng Han, representative from Team Meridian, said, “As Business students, we honestly did not expect to win so we are really thrilled! We joined because we find the maritime industry interesting and this Case Challenge has helped us to see that there are so many opportunities in Maritime Singapore. What we appreciated the most from this experience was the direct two-way feedback we got from the industry about the challenges and our proposed solutions, which allowed us to apply what we studied in school.”

Mr Kenneth Chia, Executive Director of SMF, said, “In organising this inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge, we sought to get a successful outcome for both students and our industry partners and I think we have achieved that.

Through this, students got a peek into the inner workings of today’s maritime industry and the chance to take on real-world business challenges, while maritime companies were able to brand themselves and gain a fresh perspective on their challenges.

“SMF seeks to increase our outreach to talent of different backgrounds and skills to meet the needs of the diverse maritime ecosystem in Singapore, and we were heartened by the strong signups and diverse disciplines of our participants for this Case Challenge. Of the 36 teams who registered from five1 local universities, 75% of them were from non-maritime related backgrounds. This allowed for a variation of richer solutions from the student teams, who had also demonstrated incredible thought, quality and creativity in their recommendations,” he added.

Currently in its first edition, the MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge is organised by the MSC Office under SMF, in partnership with leading maritime companies APL, Jurong Port and the Shell Companies in Singapore. It aims to encourage students to gain deeper insight and perspective into the maritime industry, as well as explore internship or career options with maritime players.

As a key pillar contributing to 7% of Singapore’s GDP with a workforce of 170,000 people strong, Maritime Singapore is a massive industry that requires a diverse group of talent with different skillsets to drive future growth and maintain its competitive advantage. Partnering the industry, the MSC Office, a unit set up to raise the profile of maritime and connect students and jobseekers to the pathways within, reaches out to different groups through various channels and events.

Events such as the Maritime D/coded Tour provides targeted outreach to students from IT and Analytics disciplines, while the annual MSC Maritime Careers Workshop, draws participants from across all disciplines, with more than half of all participants coming from non-maritime related backgrounds. The MSC website ( where students and jobseekers can find out more information on maritime education and career pathways and opportunities also features a resume depository, where a majority are individuals from non-maritime related disciplines.

1 MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge participants were from NTU, NUS, SMU, SIT and SIM. Undergraduates formed teams of three to sign up, and there was a mix of teams from a single institution as well as cross-varsity teams. Participants also came from different courses and across different years of study.

About Singapore Maritime Foundation

The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) was established on 27 January 2004 to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among maritime stakeholders from the public and private sectors. As the bridge between the public and private sectors, SMF aims to provide the industry with a clear and representative voice, and spearhead projects to boost its development.

SMF also organises and participates in a host of maritime events to strengthen the Maritime Singapore brand. To date, SMF has significantly benefitted from strong support from all sectors of the industry which has enabled the organisation to reach out directly to the community for new areas of work to improve the current maritime ecosystem.

For details, please visit

About Maritime Singapore Connect Office

Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) was set up in 2016 to elevate profiling efforts of the maritime industry, connect students and jobseekers to maritime opportunities, and provide Singaporeans with easy access to maritime careers, education and training opportunities.

As a unit under the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), MSC serves as a central node connecting maritime employers, industry associations, schools and government agencies with students and jobseekers. It offers maritime-related education and career guidance, links the industry with schools for internship and job opportunities and organises outreach events and publicity campaigns.

For details, please visit

Media Contacts

Singapore Maritime Foundation
Corporate Communications Department

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Ms. Angeline Teo


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Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

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Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

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