Google entered Singapore in 2007 with a team of 24, and since then it has grown the number of employees to about 1000. Now, to house all the Googlers and work more on products and new projects, it has relocated to a bigger four-storey office at Mapletree Business City. In the announcement, Google says,
We have a growing engineering team, and Googlers working across sales, partnerships, marketing, people operations and many more. We wanted our office to reflect that diversity and regional range, and built it in a way that enables everyone to work together effortlessly.
The inaugural event was joined by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Trade and Industry Mr. S. Iswaran. In his speech, Mr. Iswaran said,
Google and Singapore have enjoyed a strong partnership since 2007 when Google established its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. The opening of this new campus is a milestone, and testament to Google’s significant growth in Singapore over the past decade.
He added that Singapore stands as a hub for the regional and global movement of goods, services and capital. With the increased digitalisation of cross-border flows, it is important for the nation to establish leadership positions in digital segments, such as software, devices and infrastructure, to remain a key economic node in the digital economy.
Singapore aims to become the Digital Capital of Asia and a Smart Nation, with a comprehensive ecosystem of technology and media providers, supported by best-in-class infrastructure, where innovative digital solutions, services, and businesses are created, commercialised and scaled internationally.
Google believes this new premise will help foster collaboration and creativity — the key ingredients for innovation, which they believe, is key to long-term success.
Code in the Community program
Next year, Google will introduce a Code in the Community programme, with the aim to train some 3,000 children from less well-to-do backgrounds over the next three years. The program intends to heavily subsidise the cost of coding lessons to bridge the digital divide.
Google will work with self-help groups such as the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association, and the Eurasian Association to identify needy homes. They will target children, aged eight to 15, from such households. The 10-week course – to be conducted by 21C Girls and Saturday Kids once a week on a weekend – will take place twice a year.
Each batch of participants and their parents will start off with a visit to their new office where they will hear from the team about how they started their careers and what a technical job really has to offer. They will host a series of tech talks, meet-ups and interview workshops that they hope will give Singaporeans aspiring to pursue a career in tech a head start. Google will be announcing more details of the program soon.