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Old 11-12-2019, 04:01 AM
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Question Telcos in Singapore

Hi everyone,

I stumbled upon this forum by chance and managed to browse a few threads regarding the job market and salaries in Singapore, mostly pertaining to the banking/financial industry. First time poster, so please bear with me.

I am a Canadian citizen exploring the idea of re-locating to Singapore for work, mainly due to lifestyle and climate. I am a 17 year industry veteran with a background in the telecom industry, specializing in finance/procurement, mobile and cable network engineering, deployment, and operations. I've lived the battle field and have gone the route of a non-technical role over the years in management, and have worked in three of the four major telcos in Canada and have traveled globally as my job required.

I am primarily interested in relocating to Singapore for several reasons:

1. Ease of transition.

Based on my research (of what is available to me) the telco industry is not that much different than of Canada, as in, the pace of technologies, skill sets, and government policies are similar (both past and present,) with Singapore having a slight edge over Canada (you don't have to manage a massive network coast to coast and the government doesn't intervene as much.)

2. Climate / lifestyle

The real draw to me is the climate and lifestyle; I do not enjoy living in a city with only hot and cold (Summer and Winter) both of which are just awful (I currently live in Toronto - centre of the universe.) I've visited Singapore several times, and each subsequent visit drawing me back more and more. I know that life as a tourist is much different than that of a resident, so I have to be realistic, and I'm hoping if any telco friends out there could help me out with some insight. I was envious of folks who would lunch outside Downtown Singapore, and socialize with their colleagues after work; no such thing where I am because everyone is busy commuting an hour and a half back home to tend to their families.

3. Salary / Cost of Living

Browsing through the forum, it appears there is a big salary gap in the industry between Singapore and Canada, but keeping in mind, a large chunk of our salaries in Canada are highly taxed due to our social system. I'm unsure of the living expenses in Singapore, but I expect they are much more than that of Vancouver and Toronto. I am hoping to set some real expectations for myself and not hype things up for myself.

I'm a long ways from retirement, so I'm hoping that the decision to move to Singapore will be a good one, regardless of whether I go bust or not. It's the experience that I'm after. Working and living in Canada can only get so exciting, so I'm looking for a new start elsewhere.

For any telco folks, if it means anything, I'm well versed with the usual players in the wireless market such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and DOCSIS 3.0/3.1 cable players such as Casa, Cisco, and Nokia. Currently managing/leading a team of application support specialists including an offshore team, and experienced in managing contracts with vendors and vendor management as part of my time in finance/procurement.

I understand that telco will never be as sexy or comparable to that of banking in Singapore, but telco is where I grew my career, but I am open to suggestions to moving into banking/finance industry as well. Hoping any telco and/or IT friends out there in Singapore can help with some advice. Thanks in advance, and much appreciated!



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Last edited by bcrdukes; 11-12-2019 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 15-12-2019, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
2. Climate / lifestyle

The real draw to me is the climate and lifestyle; I do not enjoy living in a city with only hot and cold (Summer and Winter) both of which are just awful (I currently live in Toronto - centre of the universe.) I've visited Singapore several times, and each subsequent visit drawing me back more and more. I know that life as a tourist is much different than that of a resident, so I have to be realistic, and I'm hoping if any telco friends out there could help me out with some insight. I was envious of folks who would lunch outside Downtown Singapore, and socialize with their colleagues after work; no such thing where I am because everyone is busy commuting an hour and a half back home to tend to their families.

3. Salary / Cost of Living

Browsing through the forum, it appears there is a big salary gap in the industry between Singapore and Canada, but keeping in mind, a large chunk of our salaries in Canada are highly taxed due to our social system. I'm unsure of the living expenses in Singapore, but I expect they are much more than that of Vancouver and Toronto. I am hoping to set some real expectations for myself and not hype things up for myself.

I'm a long ways from retirement, so I'm hoping that the decision to move to Singapore will be a good one, regardless of whether I go bust or not. It's the experience that I'm after. Working and living in Canada can only get so exciting, so I'm looking for a new start elsewhere.
If Toronto is just summer and winter, then Singapore is just summer and rain. Also, the humidity here kills.

The ease of commute here is true though, because Singapore is so tiny.

As for salary, could you share more on the average compensation packages in CA? What's your impression of the pay packages in SG? Our income tax rates are relatively low here, so if you don't aspire to own a car or buy multiple properties, you will not incur the other hefty indirect taxes/duties.

I'm not from telco, but I heard that the telco industry is under pressure given that more licenses have been awarded, which I think is the government's way of pushing the industry to innovate and compete.

Starhub has retrenched some employees just slightly more than a year ago:

s://.todayonline.com/singapore/starhub-retrench-300-full-time-employees-restructure-company

Do you have kids?

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Old 16-12-2019, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
If Toronto is just summer and winter, then Singapore is just summer and rain. Also, the humidity here kills.

The ease of commute here is true though, because Singapore is so tiny.

As for salary, could you share more on the average compensation packages in CA? What's your impression of the pay packages in SG? Our income tax rates are relatively low here, so if you don't aspire to own a car or buy multiple properties, you will not incur the other hefty indirect taxes/duties.

I'm not from telco, but I heard that the telco industry is under pressure given that more licenses have been awarded, which I think is the government's way of pushing the industry to innovate and compete.

Starhub has retrenched some employees just slightly more than a year ago:

s://.todayonline.com/singapore/starhub-retrench-300-full-time-employees-restructure-company

Do you have kids?
Apologies in advance for any spelling mistakes and any incoherent sentences as I am responding on a mobile phone.

Hi, and thanks for the reply.

I am okay with the humidity, so I can deal with that. I grew up in Vancouver, so rain is non-issue.

I would say there is a large wage gap in Canada, especially when comparing cities. A manager with 7 - 12 direct reports in Vancouver could be making $90K-$105K in (If you're lucky) whereas the same role in Toronto would be $110K-$125K. Taxes in Canada are tough - you lose 30% to 40% depending on your income bracket. I'm afraid I don't know what folks in Singapore are pulling in, but I would assume the same, if not, similar in range. I have no children and currently single, so I can take on these risks. The lifestyle is more attractive to me than the money. Would be nice to meet a local with the potential of raising children together.

Ideally I would like to own a car, but buying multiple properties are out of the question at this point., Let alone, buying one on a single income seems like a pipe dream. What's it like to buy/own a car? We pay 13% harmonized sales tax in Toronto when buying a car, and various fees here and there.

I am aware that the market is much more competitive in Asia bit seeing 300 people get laid off is small in comparison to that of Canada; It’s not abnormal to read in the news where thousands are laid off every year. I was once a casualty.


Last edited by bcrdukes; 16-12-2019 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 16-12-2019, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
Hi everyone,

I stumbled upon this forum by chance and managed to browse a few threads regarding the job market and salaries in Singapore, mostly pertaining to the banking/financial industry. First time poster, so please bear with me.

I am a Canadian citizen exploring the idea of re-locating to Singapore for work, mainly due to lifestyle and climate. I am a 17 year industry veteran with a background in the telecom industry, specializing in finance/procurement, mobile and cable network engineering, deployment, and operations. I've lived the battle field and have gone the route of a non-technical role over the years in management, and have worked in three of the four major telcos in Canada and have traveled globally as my job required.

I am primarily interested in relocating to Singapore for several reasons:

1. Ease of transition.

Based on my research (of what is available to me) the telco industry is not that much different than of Canada, as in, the pace of technologies, skill sets, and government policies are similar (both past and present,) with Singapore having a slight edge over Canada (you don't have to manage a massive network coast to coast and the government doesn't intervene as much.)

2. Climate / lifestyle

The real draw to me is the climate and lifestyle; I do not enjoy living in a city with only hot and cold (Summer and Winter) both of which are just awful (I currently live in Toronto - centre of the universe.) I've visited Singapore several times, and each subsequent visit drawing me back more and more. I know that life as a tourist is much different than that of a resident, so I have to be realistic, and I'm hoping if any telco friends out there could help me out with some insight. I was envious of folks who would lunch outside Downtown Singapore, and socialize with their colleagues after work; no such thing where I am because everyone is busy commuting an hour and a half back home to tend to their families.

3. Salary / Cost of Living

Browsing through the forum, it appears there is a big salary gap in the industry between Singapore and Canada, but keeping in mind, a large chunk of our salaries in Canada are highly taxed due to our social system. I'm unsure of the living expenses in Singapore, but I expect they are much more than that of Vancouver and Toronto. I am hoping to set some real expectations for myself and not hype things up for myself.

I'm a long ways from retirement, so I'm hoping that the decision to move to Singapore will be a good one, regardless of whether I go bust or not. It's the experience that I'm after. Working and living in Canada can only get so exciting, so I'm looking for a new start elsewhere.

For any telco folks, if it means anything, I'm well versed with the usual players in the wireless market such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and DOCSIS 3.0/3.1 cable players such as Casa, Cisco, and Nokia. Currently managing/leading a team of application support specialists including an offshore team, and experienced in managing contracts with vendors and vendor management as part of my time in finance/procurement.

I understand that telco will never be as sexy or comparable to that of banking in Singapore, but telco is where I grew my career, but I am open to suggestions to moving into banking/finance industry as well. Hoping any telco and/or IT friends out there in Singapore can help with some advice. Thanks in advance, and much appreciated!
I think u can come here to explore first. Generally singaporeans have favourable impression of caucasian
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Old 16-12-2019, 02:40 PM
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Rats. That may not work in my favour as I am not Caucasian.
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Old 16-12-2019, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
I would say there is a large wage gap in Canada, especially when comparing cities. A manager with 7 - 12 direct reports in Vancouver could be making $90K-$105K in (If you're lucky) whereas the same role in Toronto would be $110K-$125K. Taxes in Canada are tough - you lose 30% to 40% depending on your income bracket. I'm afraid I don't know what folks in Singapore are pulling in, but I would assume the same, if not, similar in range. I have no children and currently single, so I can take on these risks. The lifestyle is more attractive to me than the money. Would be nice to meet a local with the potential of raising children together.

Ideally I would like to own a car, but buying multiple properties are out of the question at this point., Let alone, buying one on a single income seems like a pipe dream. What's it like to buy/own a car? We pay 13% harmonized sales tax in Toronto when buying a car, and various fees here and there.
Noting that CAD is roughly on parity with SGD, the managerial salaries in CA don't seem high to me. CA taxes are way higher though. SG's income tax for a 120k income is just $7,950, or less than 7%. Google for "singapore iras income tax rates".

A car is super expensive compared to the rest of the world. A brand new Toyota Camry costs $152k (cheapest Camry model). And you can only take a max loan of 60%, which means you have to pay 40% in cash.

For properties, it's worse -- 20% "additional" duty for any property purchase. 0% for citizens if they are first-time owners.

It's not all bad. As a poster mentioned, the locals here have an affinity towards western things, including non-caucasian people from the north american continent, people who speak roughly the same accent as Hollywood movie characters.

Since you said you're from Vancouver, I'm guessing you're an Asian Canadian?
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Old 16-12-2019, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Noting that CAD is roughly on parity with SGD, the managerial salaries in CA don't seem high to me. CA taxes are way higher though. SG's income tax for a 120k income is just $7,950, or less than 7%. Google for "singapore iras income tax rates".

A car is super expensive compared to the rest of the world. A brand new Toyota Camry costs $152k (cheapest Camry model). And you can only take a max loan of 60%, which means you have to pay 40% in cash.

For properties, it's worse -- 20% "additional" duty for any property purchase. 0% for citizens if they are first-time owners.

It's not all bad. As a poster mentioned, the locals here have an affinity towards western things, including non-caucasian people from the north american continent, people who speak roughly the same accent as Hollywood movie characters.

Since you said you're from Vancouver, I'm guessing you're an Asian Canadian?
Yes, it's no secret that Canadian taxes are brutal, and wages are low in comparison (even to that of HK!) Thanks for the details on SGs taxes and rates. I'll take a look in greater detail later today.

$152K for an entry-level Camry. Wow. That's luxury vehicle territory (Porsche etc.) I own two cars, so I am very lucky in comparison. That's brutal, and a serious reality check. How much do registration/licensing fees run for?

You are right to assume that I am Asian Canadian, and yes, I do have the "Hollywood" North American accent. Of both times during my travels in Singapore, locals would ask if I was from the US or Canada. I struggled with "Singlish," but perhaps that's something that needs to be picked up over time and constant exposure. I noticed there seems to be a handful of Australian and New Zealand expats in Singapore as well (which only makes sense due to it being the closest "Western" country to Asia.)
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Old 18-12-2019, 12:35 AM
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For the Camry, the $152k includes the COE otherwise known as the certification of entitlement. Petrol and parking are relatively ok, at about $100 per tank and $1.20/hour for non-CBD street parking respectively. Then there’s the annual road tax, at about $1k, and insurance $1k. Maintenance is another cost.

Besides caucasians from all over the world Brits Aussies and Americans, we also have quite a number of mainland Chinese, Malaysian Chinese, Indians, some Koreans and Filipinos working in white collar jobs. Depending how you count, about 30-40% of the working population here are foreigners.
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Old 18-12-2019, 12:42 AM
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Great insight. Thanks for that. Looks like I'll take the public limousine!

What should one expect's salary for a managerial role?
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Old 18-12-2019, 08:53 PM
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It should be 120k thereabouts. Have you tried contacting a local recruiter in SG?
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