Apical, part of RGE Group, is working with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, Enterprise Singapore and other corporate partners in the development of the university’s International Trading Program (ITP) and skilled trading graduates.
Apical’s partnership with NTU and its Centre of Excellence International Trading (CEIT) began in 2018.
NTU-CEIT’s ITP provides students with the requisite soft skills, technical knowledge and business acumen to embark on careers in the lucrative commodity trading sector and international trading value chain.
The ITP is offered exclusively as an additional specialization or track option to undergraduate students who are taking up business, engineering and maritime studies at NTU.
“As a global commodity training company, we are keen to identify and attract well educated and highly skilled talents in an ever-changing agriculture and commodity landscape. We are grateful for CEIT in providing and grooming the next generation of talent through this holistic program,” said Dato’ Yeo How, President of Apical Group.
In 2018, Apical welcomed two interns for a three-month internship at its Singapore office, where they underwent rotations in the risk, trading and shipping arms of the business group.
In 2019, the company hired two management trainees who graduated from NTUCEIT, including Hui Cheng Guan, who was part of the inaugural ITP cohort.
Besides courses and classes on subjects which were highly related to the trade industry, the ITP is advantageous in that it also has excellent networks with major trading companies, Cheng Guan said.
The ITP office managed to connect him with Apical recruiters to land a job at the company, he said.
“The ITP exposes you to the entire value chain of trading and allows you to get a flavor of trade flows and the industry in general. Having this foundation has allowed a smoother transition into my roles at Apical.
“I am currently attached under the India trading desk and having the basics flattens the learning curve required for day-to-day tasks, including managing logistics and key customer relations,” he said.
Jean Teo, Apical Commercial Director, said the company’s partnership with NTU-CEIT in developing the ITP has been fruitful thus far.
“We feel that the ITP is a holistic program which allows its participants to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience required to work in the industry, helping to shape them into valuable graduates who prove to be competitive and knowledgeable assets to their companies.
“We look forward to the additional influx of talent we can continue to expect from the ITP in the years to come,” Jean said.
As part of its support of the NTU-CEIT, Apical has also participated in various events related to the ITP, including CEIT Advisory Board meetings, closed-door CEIT forums and industry seminars as guest speakers.
Going forward, Apical aims to continue supporting NTU-CEIT and the ITP in similar ways.
Apical was formed in 2006 to consolidate RGE’s downstream palm oil business. Today, it is one of the largest exporters of palm oil in Indonesia.