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Spotlight on Bertrand Bidaud: a journey into Gamified Entrepreneurship

Bertrand Bidaud, Founder of Sing Experience shares about his journey into Gamified Entrepreneurship

How did your entrepreneurship journey begin?

I spent most of my corporate life in consulting, focusing on strategy for the technology sector. Providing recommendations without being involved in the implementation itself left part of me to be unsatisfied. 

I felt the need to create my own business to some extend to deal with this and cover the whole spectrum of activity from strategy to implementation.

Sing Experience has a unique motto, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” What inspired you to create a company centered around providing unique experiences, and how has this motto influenced your business approach?

I created SingExperience more than 10 years after moving to Singapore from another South East Asian country. In Singapore, the ‘needs’, as defined in “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”, had moved beyond the basic levels, physiological and safety. 

But the opportunity to address the higher levels of “needs” was still significantly untapped. Therefore, I decided to provide services that would satisfy them and be able to experience decades of business growth ahead.

Initially I focused on the consumer sector, ‘personal services’ through experience gifts (www.singexperience.sg). 

Once the consumer segment was in place, I developed the corporate sector, through Staff awards gifts, team bonding (www.teambonding.sg) and gamification subsequently.

We started designing our own activities in 2016, COVID accelerated that trend. We discovered during COVID that our ‘legacy services’ were not suitable for the unusual period. We quickly pivoted and transformed ourselves into a “game creation company” for the corporate sector.

We now focus on the design and provision of our own games.

Can you share some of the most impactful or memorable activities you've designed, and how they have helped companies achieve their HR goals?

Corporations are very much behind gamification push, and this accelerates during the last 3 years. 

  • Gamification is very powerful as when we enjoy ourselves, we are more focused and more engaged making learning and understanding easier.
  • Gamification is widely used for staff onboarding. It helps create a positive image (leading edge and creative firm) among new hires.
  • Gamification complements well any training.

We created many games in the last 4 years (almost 30), some are proprietary to our clients, and some were developed in collaboration with our clients that we now market to all our corporate clients. 

An example of a proprietary game: We recently created a game to market a new product for a US firm in medical sector. The aim is to have a more engaging relationship with their sales channels during the launch of new products and reward them in a fun and interactive manner. We did it from Singapore even though several decision makers were in north America.

An example of a game created with a client that we now market to others: A company focused on IT security want to engage with their own clients in an innovative manner. They asked us to create a game to raise the awareness to the corporate cyber risks. We now propose the activity to our clients under the name “The Great Cyber-hacking Challenge”. It is fun, it is engaging, it is a competition and without always realising it, participants are familiarised to 6 hazards such as  Phishing Emails; Use of 3rd party Software; Unsecured Public Wifi,…  

We  have also created games to increase employee sensitivity to different risks such as Safety at work.

We have also developed games for negotiation and strategic thinking. Not to replace training, but as a complement to it by making employees more engaged.

Could you share your insights about the latest trends in gamification and team building in Singapore?

Gamification started on the west coast of USA, in the tech sector. 

One reason is that these firms hire a very high number of young graduates. The generational change lead the US tech sector to adapt. The urgency was created by the fact that these young graduates are both hyper competitive and in high demand. Any business slow to adapt its hiring practises would be losing the battle for talents.

In Singapore, Gamification appeared also with US tech firms as they were familiar with the approach and were asked by the HQ to implement gamification to recruit best talents.

But nowadays, European and Asian firms have caught up and represent a large part of our development effort. 

Gamification also moved beyond recruitment to training and outside HR to marketing, etc…

In the last 12 months, we experienced strong push in the local education sector. We have worked with Singapore schools from primary to O level to design games to complete the traditional learning methods. Local schools have a discretionary budget to experiment new approaches and we met several Principals with strong entrepreneurship mindset. Singapore education system has become a reference worldwide and from what we see, it will remain that way.

How do you think the gamification market will evolve in the future?

Gamification is without doubt a long term “Business Megatrend”. 

It started in the corporate sector within HR to increase employee engagement but is expanding to marketing and other domains, such as education and other government sector.

It corresponds to expectations of younger generations but is also simply ‘more efficient’ way to communicate.

For more information, please click here https://teambonding.com.sg/

Bertrand Bidaud, Founder of Sing Experience 

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