Top Singapore Private Education Institutions Score Gold at the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands 2012 Awards [Press Releases]
Singapore, May 17, 2012- The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning; and preschool education providers, Modern Montessori International Group (MMI) and PAP Community Foundation(PCF), have scored Gold in the latest Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands 2012 Awards.
They were voted by consumers to be among 95 most trusted brands that deliver uncompromising quality in today’s market. They won the consumers’ top choices, based on the number of votes polled and the six attributes of trustworthiness & credibility, quality, value, understanding of customer needs, innovative and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2012.
The survey has unveiled winners from diverse industries such as food and beverage, consumer electronics, health and personal care, household products, retail, education and telecommunications. They will receive their Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands 2012 Awards on May 17 at the Grand Park City Hotel from Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Member of Parliament for Choa Chu Kang GRC and Mr Tai Lee Siang, President of the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC).
This is the second time that MDIS has scored Gold in the Private Higher Education Category. In the Pre-School Learning Centre category, PCF won Gold twice and for MMI, it was their maiden Gold Award.
The Gold awards for the Private Education Institutions (PEIs) attests to the high quality and brand recognition that Singapore Private Education Institutions enjoy among consumers.
On receiving the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Gold Award the second time, MDIS’ Secretary General, Dr R Theyvendran said, “This award signifies and confirms the excellent quality standards that MDIS has achieved over the years and the strong brand recognition that we enjoy in Singapore and overseas. The fact that we are voted time and again as a trusted brand has put us in the forefront of the education industry. It is another milestone that will not just strengthen our outstanding credentials – but will serve to spur us on to even greater heights of achievement. MDIS has in place proactive expansion plans in the region as we aim to be a leading regional education institution.”
MDIS, which opened its first overseas campus in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2008, targets to open it second overseas campus in Malaysia in 2013.
Dr T Chandroo, MMI’s Chairman, said, “Achieving this very first Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand award in the Pre-School Learning Centre category, is testimony of the strong trust that consumers have in MMI’s high standards of quality and delivery in early childhood education. This also underscores the excellent reputation that PEIs in Singapore enjoy among consumers. Indeed, this award is another feather in the cap not just for MMI, but also Singapore as a trustworthy global schoolhouse which offers one of the best standards of
education excellence in the world.”
Key Survey Findings: Support for Local Brands and Green Consciousness
Singapore brands are indeed gaining wide recognition and support among consumers. The latest Reader’s Digest survey revealed that 80% of Singapore respondents in the survey agree that supporting local brands will help local economies to grow. The findings are positive for local SMEs, which are vying for customers in an increasingly competitive market. This is in line with the overall score of 82% of respondents surveyed in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The survey also revealed that Singaporeans are becoming more “green conscious”. A total of 65% of all Singapore respondents are likely to purchase an eco-friendly product and service compared to 48% in 2011. However, Singaporeans still scored less than the overall Asian average of 71%.
About three out of four Singaporeans also note the ingredients used on product labels and consider important factors such as environmental friendly raw materials, recyclable components, minimal packaging, good corporate environmental programs and use of environmental friendly production methods.
Green Initiatives : Green Campuses
Reflecting the overall Asian trend towards green consciousness, both MDIS and MMI have put in place green initiatives to “green” their campuses and to encourage students to go green.
MDIS, which has a strong heritage of helping the community, has embarked on a “Green MDIS” initiative since 2009. It is the first private educational institution to operate an environmentally friendly students’ hostel in Singapore. It invested S$3.65 million or 7.5 % of the total building cost on greening the hostel and now enjoys energy and water savings of $327,000 a year. The hostel also garnered the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Gold Plus Award in 2010.
MDIS has also installed several other green features such as solar panels, glass facade, and natural ventilation and LED lights. This has resulted in MDIS reaping estimated energy savings of 100,000 kilowatts a year or S$28,000 a year.
MDIS organizes several green activities for its students to participate in – such as recycling and reusing materials to be transformed into useful things for daily life and a Green MDIS Carnival to promote the awareness of environmental care.
MMI, which was awarded an Innovation Grant in 2011 by MCYS under the Green Fingers Project, recycles about 20% of all materials at all its pre-schools. Under the MCYS Innovation Grant, MMI will build a garden for children so they could experience hand-on interaction with nature and the environment. The pre-schools also use energy saving devices and take part in green activities such as Earth Day celebrations and nature walks around the school compounds, where students pick up dried twigs and leaves to be used in their Arts and Crafts lessons.
Dr T Chandroo, MMI’s Chairman said, ”Children nowadays generally do have a high level of awareness and concern for the environment. Children who attend our Montessori centres experience a high exposure to environmental issues. We believe that Man belongs to nature. Our curriculum is beautifully designed in a way such that we create awareness of the environment in our children, cultivating good values, which will form their personality, creating young citizens with green fingers.”
MMI is currently in the process of planning for the launch a green MMI centre for young children to further the green cause.
Rising Trust in Local Brands and the Green Cause
A total of 95 brands was named at the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand awards 2012. Out of these, 23 are local brands. Among them are popular household names such as NTUC Fairprice, Chan Brothers, Jean Yip, Propnex, Raffles Hospital and Knife.
Singapore’s major property developers such as Capitaland, City Developments and Far East Organisation were also winners.
Commenting on the rising brand awareness of SMEs, Choa Chu Kang GRC MP Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who was one of the event’s award presenters, said, ”The increasing number of local SME’s gaining brand recognition and trust is a significant achievement for Singapore which is well-known globally as a country brand. We hope over time this will result in more Singapore brands becoming global brands.The fact that Singaporeans’ support for local brands also indicates that we are keen to make our brands successful to enhance our economic growth and boost exports. We should and can do more to help SMEs improve their productivity and competitiveness so that not only can they counter the increasing pressures of globalization but also successfully make the intrepid leap into the global market.”
One of the key trends that should be maximized is the rising green consciousness of consumers. Mr Tai Lee Siang, President of SGBC, said, ”The Reader’s Digest survey showed that more consumers in Singapore and throughout eight of the fastest growing economies of Asia, choose to purchase eco-friendly products. This should spur Singapore businesses, especially SMEs, to go green. Green buildings and green products are more widely demanded by consumers and will help give our businesses a new competitive edge to gain market share.”
Other Survey Findings:
The Reader’s Digest survey, now into its 14th consecutive year, has revealed other findings including the following:
1. 47% of all Asian respondents will likely purchase a local brand instead of an international one, although 62% of Singaporean respondents are indifferent to purchasing a local or international brand.
2. Only 8% of Asian respondents (and 2% of Singaporean respondents) will unlikely purchase an eco-friendly product.
3. 80% or more of Asian respondents consider important factors when considering ecofriendly products (less than 80% of Singapore respondents do so)
4. More than 70% of Asian and Singapore respondents note ingredients and nutritional information on product labels.
5. Respondents in this year’s Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey have voted Ms Cheryl Fox, Presenter of MediaCorp as the most “Trusted Television News Presenter” in Singapore and Mr Gurmit Singh as the most “Trusted Entertainment Host” in Singapore.
Source: Reader’s Digest