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KIREN KUMAR

Kiren is the Assistant Managing Director of EDB. To ensure Singapore continues to have a vibrant business community, Kiren needs to constantly cultivate C-suite executives, develop strategies, drive business development and innovate in developing Singapore as an ideal investment location. He also needs to create and seize the right opportunities to pitch Singapore’s value propositions to companies - like in this incident he recalls.


Reflections

Learn from the best on how to execute an elevator pitch to C-suite executives

I recently met with the CEO of a major IT company by chance at a business conference. We were seated at the same table over lunch. After 5 mins of ice-breaking, I decided to stress test EDB's newly developed Host to Home strategy with our clients. I asked myself, "Why don't I try our newly developed pitch on this chap?"

I created an opening in our conversation to naturally flow into our elevator pitch and I delivered it.

After I delivered the pitch, he started asking more questions around the 3 ways that Singapore creates value for multinational corporations. This gave me an opening to highlight how exactly we position and differentiate Singapore in Asia through the various initiatives around Home for Business / Innovation / Talent and the various horizontals that we have and will develop. Ending the pitch with a US MNC example helped to bring home the idea. I used P&G.

I believe in the importance of preparing well for meetings. After all, putting some thought to prepare for a meeting is a key way of returning the respect that people give us by agreeing to meet with us. However, it is inevitable that one may be required to give a quick pitch in a chance encounter or summarise our key points due to unforeseen circumstances. People always ask me how I am able to put something across so succinctly and convincingly within a few minutes.

There are a few learning points for me personally which I would like to share:

  1. You need to create a natural opening or a question that the other party asks to deliver the pitch.
  2. You will need to nuance the pitch and customise it for the client. KYC (know your client).
  3. You will need to internalise our strategies and intricately appreciate how our initiatives will strengthen our strategy, positioning and value creation.

The 'Elevator Pitch' is NOT just a marketing message or tagline or talking points on a slide. It should be viewed as a means of communicating our strategies and positioning to external clients. If all of us intimately understand this, we will be a lot more convincing when we communicate the pitch.