Asia’s multi-ethnic population inspires innovation at P&G

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Asia’s multi-ethnic population inspires innovation at P&G

Related tags Singapore Research and development

The company deliberately employs a staff with an array of backgrounds—Chinese, Malay, Indian Japanese and more—at the Biopolis research and development center in Singapore.

“Because a variety of people work here, it takes time to reach a consensus sometimes​,” says Yuko Nakamura, director in charge of skin care and other products at the Singapore facility. “But at the same time, this work environment is conducive to the germination of new ideas.”

Cultural mirror

The R&D staff at P&G’s Singapore Innovation Center comes from over 20 different countries, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. “This multicultural workforce gives P&G an edge as it seeks to meet the needs and preferences of Asian economies with vastly different lifestyles and customs,” ​the publication claims.

Focus groups assembled at the center comprise Singaporeans from a spectrum of national backgrounds. And, P&G “has gone so far as to set up rooms that mimic typical homes in various countries, hoping this will help researchers gain further insights.”


The Biopolis is an international biomedical R&D complex meant to foster an exchange of ideas and inspiration among professionals working for companies and academic institutions. And, the consumer goods company has a substantial presence there.

P&G's six-story, 32,000-sq.-meter Singapore Innovation Center is one of the largest among the myriad R&D facilities set up by global manufacturers in the city-state,” ​reports the Nikkei Asian Review.

The recently opened offices mimic the collaborative structure of the larger Biopolis site. The company planned its spaced “to unleash the full potential of P&G people, enabling strong collaboration….Every floor has a choice of quiet areas, individual work spaces and open collaboration areas,” ​reported Cosmetics Design​.

Top down

The FMCG company has changed its approach to business in Asia and Singapore, in particular, several times in the past years. Shifting to a management strategy that preferences the global over the regional, P&G moved some personal care leadership positions out of Singapore​ earlier this year.

The latest restructuring includes Singapore in the IMEA region, along with India, Africa, and the Middle East. The management team for cosmetics and skincare in this region is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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