27 November 2006

“Gala Des Oscars”

Sunway University College School of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Management (SHTLM) hosted a “Gala Des Oscars”, Charity Gala Dinner recently at the Multipurpose Hall in Sunway University College.

The theme “Gala Des Oscars” which meant “a celebration of entertainment in the style of the Oscars” ensured a grand affair with lively performances in belly dancing and hip hop, pre-event activities and decorations based on the glamourous Oscars and Hollywood set.

This charity dinner was in aid of Generating Opportunities for Learning Disables (GOLD) of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Sunway. The objective of the event was to launch the pledge between the SHTLM and GOLD, to raise funds for equipping the new arts and crafts room for the special class of learning disabled students there. This was also to instill event organising skills amongst the students of the Diploma in Conventions and Events Management and the Diploma in Hospitality taking the Special Events Management module. It also provided opportunities between both organisations to interact, learn positive values and to create more awareness of the challenges faced by these special students

Special awards were presented by the SHTLM to Coordinators of GOLD:- Puan Hjh. Juairiah Bt. Hj. Johari and Mrs Mary Chen. Volunteer of GOLD, Mrs Nancy Thoo, who despite her disability caused by a stroke, offers her untireless support at the GOLD Street Bakery and Café and an award to the Most Outstanding Student of GOLD, 22 year old, Syed Norsyafiq bin Syed Ahmad Marzuki.

A cheque of RM5,000 was also presented by the SHTLM to GOLD of SMK Bandar Sunway, which is part of the pledge to raise funds for equipping the new arts and crafts room at the school.

Multicultural Marketing - Getting it Right

Sunway University College under its Distinguished Speakers Series recently organised a talk on ‘Marketing in a Multicultural Environment – Understanding Asian Consumers’ by Professsor Jikyeong Kang, Professor of Marketing and Director of MBA Programmes of the renowned Manchester Business School, UK.

During the one and a half hour talk held at Sunway University College, she expounded on the different factors involved in multicultural marketing, the impact of different culture on spending habits, current practices and such.

The talk was met with overwhelming response. No doubt due to the topic, which is vital to be understood in Malaysian society yet hardly explored. Even in the United States, the ethnic populations are growing at a higher rate then the general market, making it a group that demands the attention of strategic businesses.

Professor Kang shared that American companies’ depth of understanding toward their multicultural market is still shallow - 55% of them are still executing a ‘trial and error’ strategy with only 10% reporting that they are ‘getting it right’.

Asians can be distinguished from the common market through certain shared values, such as their emphasis on family, education and saving. “When it comes to spending, Asians tend to be collectivistic, which encourages interactions between members of a community,” Professor Kang explained “Hence, the word-of-mouth method of advertising is widespread. Also, shopping becomes as much a leisure activity as to acquiring a product.”

“Cultural knowledge is critical to being authentic,” Prof. Kang continued. She advised that it is imperative that there be a person from the target culture to be on the inside. This is because the consumers will be able to see through it if the company tries to ‘cheat’ in its marketing tactics.

A Korean national, Professor Kang completed her PhD in Retailing and Marketing at the University of Minnesota and worked in the United States for 18 years. She has been attached to MBS since the year 2000. Last year, she was shortlisted for the Public Sector for Asian Women of Achievement Award in the UK.

Manchester Business School, the biggest and third ranking business school in the UK, recently signed an MoA with Sunway University College to offer its MBA programmes locally. The part-time study programme, which has already attracted 19 students since its inaugural intake last July, was designed to fit around busy work schedules allowing ambitious-minded individuals to pursue a highly sought after qualification without any interruptions to their career.