Shaping the Future of Platform Work: Lalamove Partners SMU to Provide Students with Education for Policy Innovation Through Experiential Learning Module

By the SMU Corporate Communications team

Singapore, 9 April 2024 Lalamove, the leading on-demand delivery platform, and Singapore Management University (SMU) have successfully conducted a jointly developed undergraduate SMU-X practicum module, “Platform Work in Singapore”. In light of impending legislation regulating platform companies in Singapore, including their drivers and delivery workers, 25 SMU undergraduates developed policy recommendations for Lalamove, informed by research on the benefits and drawbacks of platform work. The course culminated with a proposal showcase on 3 April 2024.

This SMU-X module was a collaboration between Lalamove and the SMU School of Social Sciences (SOSS). To enhance students’ learning, experts from SOSS and Associate Professor Ivy Lau equipped them with applicable academic knowledge on topics such as governance and the social implications of platform work. Invited speakers from the platform industry shared insights on Singapore’s platform work ecosystem, including its challenges and opportunities. Mr Yuvan Mohan, Lalamove’s Corporate Affairs Manager in Singapore, as an industry mentor, offered the insider’s perspective and provided consistent consultation to students during the course.

“In recent years we have seen the rapid development of the platform economy in Singapore and beyond. As regulations start to spring forth to better protect those who choose the platform economy due to the flexibility of working hours and the income it provides, it becomes pertinent to inform and educate the next generation on both its opportunities and issues,” said Alex Lin, Managing Director, Lalamove Singapore. “We’re humbled to have the opportunity to work together with SMU-X on this module, paving the way for the students to garner a greater understanding of the platform economy and how it can be strengthened for the benefit of our society.”

“SMU-X courses offer an empowering environment for industry project-based experiential learning, where students apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to help course clients tackle real-world problems,” said Associate Professor Ivy Lau. “The students have come up with some innovative ideas to support Lalamove as they prepare to navigate a new platform work ecosystem that will be brought on by legislation coming into effect in the later part of 2024. In the process, students have also gained valuable perspectives on current social-economic issues and real-world consultancy experience.”

To craft feasible solutions for the issues that Lalamove anticipates they will face when new legislations for platform work come into effect later this year, students applied knowledge from various disciplines, including political science, psychology, and business, grounded by their comparative research into the nature of platform work in other countries.

The winning group of SOSS undergraduates Ahuja Mohit, Amrutha Varshini Thyagaraj and Choo Yu Yan Claudine impressed the judging panel comprising industry professionals and academics from SMU with their comprehensive proposal. They emphasised the importance of assessing stakeholder dynamics when businesses undertake change management initiatives, to account for the complex interplay of forces driven by media, policymakers, and corporate agendas. Of significance were the group's proposed communication campaign and thoughtfully crafted talking points. Tailored to address the imminent legislative changes surrounding platform work in Singapore, these recommendations demonstrated the group's understanding of critical issues and their capacity to devise workable solutions.

In recent years, the University has also started offering SMU-X Overseas (SMU-XO) modules which allow students to work on projects with overseas organisations. In the current academic year 2023-24, more than 70 SMU-X and SMU-XO modules are being offered, seeing more than 4,800 students partnering with organisations across all sectors. 

Lalamove aims to empower communities with fast, affordable, and transparent delivery services. In line with their mission, they also actively engage members of the public to do their part for the betterment of society. This partnership with SMU-X is the latest in a series of initiatives, which previously saw Lalamove collaborating with Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) to encourage platform users to donate to SOSD’s cause, as well as working with MediaCorp on its Shop & Share initiative to deliver necessities to disadvantaged members of society.