2024 BAFG Awards – Catching up with our Past Winners #2

Hearing from Dipa Swaminathan and Rasi Thirumalai  – Founder and at ItsRainingRaincoats


Can you tell us about your experience winning this award and what it means for your business?

We are incredibly honoured and grateful to have been awarded INSEAD’s BAFG Award for Social Enterprise.

The award from INSEAD underscores the value of our work in fostering a positive force for change. It not only brings increased visibility to ItsRainingRaincoats but also amplifies our voice in advocating for social causes. This recognition allows us to reach a broader audience, attracting potential partners, donors, and collaborators who share our passion for making a meaningful difference in Singapore.

Moreover, the INSEAD award serves as a source of inspiration for our team, boosting morale and instilling a sense of pride in the impactful work we do. The validation from such a prestigious institution encourages us to continue pushing boundaries and exploring innovative solutions to address the challenges we are passionate about.

As we reflect on this achievement, we recognize that the award is not just a recognition of past accomplishments but a catalyst for future growth and impact. ItsRainingRaincoats remains committed to its mission, and we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead as we leverage this recognition to expand our reach and make an even greater difference in the lives of those we aim to serve.

Can you discuss any unique or innovative approaches your business has taken to be a force for good?

One notable initiative that highlights our dedication is the introduction of our first Youth Hackathon.

The Youth Hackathon is IRR’s endeavour that not only engages young minds but also involves them directly in our journey to create positive social impact. By providing a platform for the youth to actively contribute to our mission, we are nurturing the positive change-makers of tomorrow. This initiative empowers the younger generation, encouraging them to think creatively, problem-solve, and actively participate in addressing social challenges.

Through the Youth Hackathon, we aim to instil a sense of social responsibility and activism in the participants. We believe that by involving the youth in our endeavours, we are sowing the seeds for a future generation that is not only empathetic but also actively contributes to social integration in Singapore.
In addition to our youth-focused initiatives, ItsRainingRaincoats is dedicated to strengthening our charity through digitalization. Embracing technology allows us to enhance our efficiency, reach, and impact. By leveraging digital tools, we can streamline our operations, reach a wider audience, and improve the overall effectiveness of our programs.
The digitisation efforts encompass various aspects, including online fundraising campaigns, virtual awareness programs, and the use of social media to amplify our message. This approach not only modernises our operations but also ensures that we stay connected with a diverse and global community of supporters.

These approaches not only make us a force for good today but also lay the foundation for a sustainable and impactful future for ItsRainingRaincoats.

Can you discuss any partnerships or collaborations your business has formed in order to have a greater positive impact?

We acknowledge the significance of collaborative partnerships in effecting meaningful change and actively seek to form alliances with individuals, businesses, and organisations that share our vision. One notable collaboration is our strategic partnership with Engineering Good, a non-profit dedicated to narrowing the digital divide by providing refurbished laptops to vulnerable communities and developing open-source assistive technology with disability groups.

Through this collaboration, we are actively supporting our beneficiaries’ aspirations for upskilling and continued education, crucial building blocks for enhancing their lives. Together, we are united in pursuing a common goal – addressing social challenges and making a tangible, positive impact on the lives of those we aim to serve.

Additionally, we have joined forces with Life Line Clothing, a textile recycling company committed to reducing textile waste. This partnership offers ItsRainingRaincoats a sustainable solution to handle unwanted donations. With this collaboration, we can sustain our recycling efforts in an environmentally responsible manner.

Our commitment to partnerships and collaborations is deeply ingrained in the essence of ItsRainingRaincoats. These alliances serve as a driving force behind our capacity to generate positive change, expand our influence, and establish meaningful connections with diverse stakeholders who share our passion for making a meaningful difference.

Catch-up with 2023 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Gao De Hui, CEO, SDTR MARINE PTE. LTD

Post #2 – Dipa Swaminathan and Rasi Thirumalai, Founder and Executive Director at ItsRainingRaincoats

Catch-up with 2022 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Michelle Woo, VP Venture Build, ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific (Corporate Winner)

Post #2 – Masami Soto, Founder of Buy One Give One – Empirics Asia

Post #3 – Gurpreet Singh, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at RightShip

2024 BAFG Awards – Catching up with our Past Winners #1

Hearing from Gao De Hui  – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at SDTR MARINE PTE. LTD

Can you tell us about your experience winning this award and what it means for your business?

Winning the INSEAD Business as a Force for Good award was a profoundly gratifying experience for both myself and SDTR Marine. This prestigious recognition affirmed our commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility within the shipping industry. For us, the award symbolizes not just a milestone but a continuous journey towards integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of our business.
The award has encouraged us to stay steadfast in our vision and mission, reflecting our commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives. It underscores our role as a responsible player in the global shipping industry and motivates us to persist in our efforts to create a positive societal impact through our business operations.

Can you discuss any unique or innovative approaches your business has taken to be a force for good?

SDTR Marine has implemented several unique and innovative strategies to establish itself as a force for good in the maritime industry. Our foremost initiative is the ambitious goal of constructing a net-zero emission fleet by 2050. This endeavor is in line with the Paris Agreement and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decarbonization targets. We are dedicated to continually upgrading and innovating our fleet to enhance energy efficiency and incorporate sustainable energy sources.

As one of global signatories supporting the Call to Action, an initiative spearheaded by the Getting to Zero Coalition with the backing of the Mission Possible Partnership, we are actively involved in a collective effort to revolutionize shipping. We employ energy-saving devices on our vessels and practice slow steaming to conserve energy. Moreover, we are constantly exploring advanced technologies like main engine diagnostic systems and the development of AI-based ship operation diagnostic systems. These systems integrate comprehensive data on weather, ocean currents, and optimized routes; utilizing AI to fine-tune engine speeds, fuel consumption, and vessel route selection, thereby boosting operational efficiency.

Our sustainability department is relentlessly working on designing vessels powered by methanol and ammonia as part of our ultimate goal to achieve a carbon-neutral fleet. Recently in Singapore, we have also experimented with biofuels as an alternative energy source. These efforts represent our ongoing pursuit of diverse paths to carbon reduction, showcasing our commitment to pioneering a sustainable future in maritime transport.

Can you discuss any partnerships or collaborations your business has formed in order to have a greater positive impact?

SDTR Marine firmly believes in the transformative power of partnerships and collaborations to enhance our impact on sustainability and social responsibility. Our strategic alliances have been pivotal in advancing innovative and sustainable practices within the maritime sector.

One significant collaboration was with the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI). This partnership culminated in the award of an Approval in Principle (AIP) certificate from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for the world’s first Ammonia Dual Fuel Kamsarmax Bulk Carrier. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to pioneering sustainable ship designs and reflects our dedication to environmental innovation​​.

Last year, we also collaborated with the China Classification Society (CCS) to jointly develop the first generation of ammonia duel fueled bulk carriers. This initiative represents a significant step towards realizing our vision of a greener maritime future. Additionally, we have partnered with the Norwegian classification society DNV on a carbon capture project, further exemplifying our proactive approach to addressing global environmental challenges.

Beyond these technical and innovative partnerships, we are deeply committed to community engagement. We actively organize initiatives like beach clean-ups and tree planting, involving our employees and their families. These activities are designed to foster a sense of sustainability consciousness and emphasize our dedication to environmental stewardship, extending well beyond our core business operations. Above community efforts are integral to our mission, highlighting our resolve to make a positive impact both within and outside the maritime industry.

Catch-up with 2023 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Gao De Hui, CEO, SDTR MARINE PTE. LTD

Catch-up with 2022 Winners – Interview series

Post #1 – Michelle Woo, VP Venture Build, ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific (Corporate Winner)

Post #2 – Masami Soto, Founder of Buy One Give One – Empirics Asia

Post #3 – Gurpreet Singh, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at RightShip

Alumni Code of Conduct

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We’re pleased to introduce the INSEAD Alumni Code of Conduct, a guiding document that embodies our commitment to excellence and ethical conduct. It sets the standard for achieving the highest levels of competence while upholding unwavering integrity.

Adherence to these principles is an expectation for all members of our esteemed alumni network. The INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA) and INSEAD itself are dedicated to enforcing this code, recognizing it as a vital asset in preserving the integrity of our community. We maintain the prerogative to withdraw certain privileges if standards are not met, ensuring that our values remain steadfast.

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Introducing GIRO Option and Streamlining Membership Payments

We’re excited to introduce a more convenient method for managing your membership fees. Going forward, you can now opt for GIRO payments, streamlining the process and ensuring a hassle-free experience.

In light of this improvement, please take note of the potential adjustment in membership fees to SGD 150 on a global scale. Currently, our IAA SG annual fee stands at SGD 130 through the GIRO system. To initiate or switch to this payment method, kindly download the GIRO form

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and return the completed form to IAA SG, Asia Campus, 1 Ayer Rajah Avenue, 138676 Singapore.

Rest assured, we understand the importance of accuracy in billing. It is highly unlikely that you will experience double charges, whether you’re a current member on GIRO or Credit Card payments. However, in the rare event of accidental double billing, we’re committed to offering you a complimentary one-year membership.

Your continuous support is invaluable to us, and we appreciate your attention to this update. Should you have any further inquiries or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community.

Celebrating Global INSEAD Day: A Day of Diversity and Impact!

Greetings to a commemoration that goes beyond honoring our roots, steering us towards a shared journey ahead. As Professor Sameer Hasija aptly expressed at the kickoff of Global INSEAD Day in Singapore, “we are one family,” bound by our INSEAD experience. Today, we pay tribute not only to the inception of our cherished institution in 1959 but also to the transformative influence of our alumni community. INSEADers form the heartbeat of our INSEAD family, and your active participation is the linchpin in shaping the future of IAA SG.

Envision the collective influence we can wield, the relationships we can nurture, and the wisdom we can exchange. This isn’t merely a celebration; it’s an open invitation to come together, cooperate, and construct an IAA SG that mirrors your ambitions. We’re not just alumni; we’re inseparably connected as INSEADers, and our solidarity is our greatest asset.

In this ever-evolving world, our committed involvement within the INSEAD community is crucial. Through engagement, mentorship, volunteering, and the sharing of our insights, we not only enrich our own journeys but also inspire, bolster, and catalyze others. Let’s sustain this spirit and leave an enduring mark on the future, jointly.

So, here’s to diversity, impact, and the INSEAD family that binds us all!

#GlobalINSEADDay #INSEADFamily #ImpactTogether #iaasg #gid #insead #diversity

2023 Year-To-Date Highlights Reel

As we approach the final stretch of 2023, it’s a perfect moment to pause and reflect on the incredible journey this year has been. Over the past months, our community has been a hive of activity, hosting a staggering array of over 50 events that have left an indelible mark on all of us.

Behind the scenes, a dedicated team of around 70 volunteers worked tirelessly, pouring their hearts into every endeavor. From thought-provoking workshops to electrifying performances and every inspiring moment in between, this year has been a tapestry of extraordinary experiences.

In this blog post, we invite you to join us on a journey through the highlights, the heartfelt connections, and the transformative moments that defined our 2023. It’s not just a review; it’s a celebration of the collective effort that made it all possible, where our volunteers built bridges for alumni to engage. So, settle in and let’s relive these unforgettable memories together.

BAFG Awards 2024 is BACK

In the years following World War II, Georges Doriot came up with the idea that the world needed a new kind of educational institution—one that united people, embraced diversity, and leveraged business to rebuild nations and promote peace. He envisioned an institution that could make a meaningful contribution to society.

That institution, of course, was INSEAD. In the decades since its founding in 1957, our school has never wavered from that vision. Our belief in using business as a force for good has come to define who we are, what we stand for, and how we conduct ourselves in the world.

INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore is pleased to launch “Business as a Force for Good” Award (BAFG Award) 2024.


The Award recognizes Singapore companies and individuals who have demonstrated thought-leadership with respect to “Business as a Force for Good”, have a vision, mission statement and strategy clearly demonstrating their commitment, have developed best practices and have achieved remarkable economical results and/or meaningful societal impact.

Eligibility and Award Categories

All Singapore based companies* will be considered for the following award categories:

  • BAFG Award 2024 for social enterprise in Singapore
  • BAFG Award 2024 for start-ups in Singapore (established under 3 years)
  • BAFG Award 2024 for SMEs in Singapore (revenue under S$100m or less than 200 workers)
  • BAFG Award 2024 for corporates in Singapore (revenue more than S$100m or more than 200 workers)
  • BAFG Award 2024 for incubator/accelarator/VC 

*Operating as a Singapore legal entity and registered with ACRA https://www.acra.gov.sg/

A jury made up of alumni leaders from various industries will identify the award winner. Selections will be based on the positive impact the organization has had on society through its programme or its core business activities.


The winners will be announced at the IAA Singapore AGM on Mar 2024.

Application or nomination

Please complete this link with the name of your company or a company you would like to nominate. We will need the name of a representative (yourself or another person-in-charge from the company nominated) whom the selection committee will contact for further details.

We will shortlist the Top 3 finalists from each category and they will have to submit a document (Powerpoint / PDF) with no more than 10 slides / pages including the introduction of your company and any other supplementary information.

The top 3 finalists from each category will then present to a panel of judges between 29 Jan to 2 Feb 2024. They will have 15 mins to present and another 15 mins for Q8A

Application and Nominations must be received no later than 5 PM Singapore time, 10 Feb 2024.


The “Business as a Force for Good” Award is a wonderful opportunity to recognize best practices, to give visibility to deserving companies and to promote INSEAD’s mission. We are very much looking forward to hearing from you soon.

For more information, contact Tan Eng Hwa at [email protected] or Jaz Chua [email protected] 

Past Winners






  • ECOSOFTT, Marcus Lim (TIEMBA’13Jan) and Stanley Samuel (TIEMBA’13Jan), Founders

Where are they now? Catching up with past winners

Volunteer Feature: Kévin Boezennec, MAP’20Feb

1. How has volunteering with IAA SG impacted your personal growth and development?

Being the Clubs lead helps me to continue my personal growth by acquiring new skills and enhancing my abilities in communication, organization, and management.

This position allows me to further develop and showcase my leadership skills and demonstrating my ability to guide and inspire others.

2. How do you envision the future of IAA SG’s events and volunteer programs?

I would like to see more fun and camaraderie! I believe that having fun and building friendships is an important aspect of fostering a vibrant alumni community. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to foster a sense of camaraderie among club members while working towards our shared goals.

3. What would you like to see for IAA SG?
Being a volunteer is a chance to expand our network by connecting with other club leaders, faculty, alumni, and members of the Singapore alumni association. It enables everyone to broaden their connections and learn from other experienced professionals. I would like to see more of this spirit among the members.

#iaasg #insead #volunteer


Volunteer Feature: Vandana Ahuja, MCCC’19Dec-S

1. What motivates you to continue volunteering for IAA SG through organizing events?

Giving back –  Volunteering for IAA SG and organizing LLL & CD events stems from my passion for talent growth and a deep sense of gratitude for the educational experiences with INSEAD during my EMC program. That motivates me to give back to my Alma Mater. Driving LLL & CD alumni events provides an avenue to contribute to the success and growth of the institution, fellow alumni and support current students.

Connecting and growing the network – Organizing LLL & CD events including educational programs, workshops with guest speakers offer our alumni continuing learning opportunities, staying updated on relevant topics and trends in their field of interest. At the same time being a great platform to connect with fellow alumni, build relationships and expand their professional and social networks. These connections have the potential to lead to new opportunities, collaborations and friendships.

2. Can you share a memorable experience or story from your time as an event organizer for IAA SG?

Actions speak louder than words – One of the most rewarding moments occurred recently when a distinguished globally recognized guest speaker expressed his sheer delight at the impeccable organization of the event on INSEAD campus, which made it a memorable experience for him and the attendees. In fact, such was the positive impact of the event, it’s nudged us to bring this negotiation skills guru, for another workshop on popular demand, for benefit our alumni community.

3. How has volunteering with IAA SG impacted your personal growth and development?

Volunteering with IAA, SG has been an enriching journey. Engaging in this altruistic endeavour, I discovered the great joy of giving back to the community that nurtured me. The experience allowed me to unearth untapped leadership skills, communicate and collaborate with diverse minds and embrace the sheer joy of teamwork. Each event, initiative provided fresh perspectives and expanded my horizon. Enthusiastic and positive feedback from alumni, students has been heartwarming and ignited a renewed sense of purpose. This remarkable experience has deepened my bond with our Alma Mater and our wonderful alumni, reinforcing the vibrant and tightly knit community we proudly call our own.

#iaasg #insead #volunteer


Volunteer Feature: Arvin Singh, MBA’14J

What motivates you to continue volunteering for IAA SG through organizing events?

I am motivated to continue volunteering for IAA SG through organizing events because I enjoy working with a team to create positive learning experiences for others. We’ve been able to create thought provoking conversations and sharing across small companies and large enterprises with lessons building a business and scaling through collaboration.


How has volunteering with IAA SG impacted your personal growth and development?

Volunteering with IAA SG has helped me to develop my leadership skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills. It has also helped me expand my network given the broad set of experienced attendees and speakers that have come to our events over the years.


In what ways has your involvement in organizing events for IAA SG strengthened your sense of community?

My involvement in organizing events for IAA SG has strengthened my sense of community by giving me the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. It has also given me a sense of purpose and belonging by engaging with peers in the alumni association as well as INSEAD alum that attended the events.


#iaasg #insead #volunteer