Farewell to Wonderland – 7 things I will miss the most in Singapore – FBC Chairman Janne Lautanala’s blog post

After 4 amazing years in Singapore, now it is time for me and my family head back home in Finland. Singapore has treated us extremely well and it has really become our second home. Here are some of the things I will be missing most in Singapore.

  1. True kindness of the people

Starting even from the first encounter with my real estate agent James Ng, all people in Singapore have been extremely kind to me. You, of course have to be kind, polite and respectful to them to earn that, but I am very grateful for all kindness that I have received over the years. I have also enjoyed the multicultural environment of Singapore where you can meet so many different people from all over the world.

2. Energetic work environment and innovation

Over the 4 years period, I have had the pleasure of working for a leading consulting company (Avanade) – getting the experience of different industries both in Singapore and in neighbour countries – as well as for Wärtsilä – the leading maritime and energy sector company. The energy and enthusiasm I saw everywhere was unique – something I will be missing. It is no wonder that Singapore is the most competitive economy in the world.

Innovation is everywhere in Singapore. Singapore’s forward-thinking government is one of the early adopters of new technologies, which is a key factor in driving development and adoption in the country. Innovation ecosystems like PIER71 have fostered innovation and new ideas.

3. Communities

In addition to great Finnish communities Finnish Association (SiSu) and Finnish Business Council, I have enjoyed participating in many local technology and innovation communities – they all are extremely vibrant.

4. Safety

Never have I felt safer than in Singapore. I have had no problems letting my kids travel alone in MRT or taxi, even late Saturday night – knowing that they always will arrive home safely. According to study, Singapore is the second safest city in the world.

5. Superb international schools and a great place to raise your children

My kids’ school Overseas Family School  (OFS) – just like all international schools here – are just amazing. Kids have loved the school, and not only because they have been learning Finnish 4hours / week with the help of amazing Finnish teachers Nina Piirainen and Anna Nanning.

Save the Children’s annual End of Childhood Index compared the latest data for 176 countries and assessed where the most and fewest children are missing out on childhood. Singapore tops the ranking.

6. The nature

Every single time I go to Pasir Ris Park, I spot something new – whether it is otters chasing each other, wild boars looking for something to eat or Collar Kingfisher making its distinct sound. The flora and fauna are unbelievable – something you cannot easily encounter in other places.

7. Weather – The hug of the night

I will be missing the hot dark nights and the warm breeze that comes to you when you walk to your local grocery store or sip your drink in the rooftop bar.

Farewell and thank you

I will always remember this city nation and what a broad set of amazing experiences it has given to me and my family. We will be remembering this as a wonderland (In Finnish “Satumaa”) where many of our dreams came true – just like in Unto Mononen’s famous Finnish Tango:

There is somewhere a country beyond the wide sea

Where waves wash on shores of happiness

Where beautiful flowers always blossom

Over worries of tomorrow, that can be forgotten

Unto Mononen- Satumaa

I would like to thank you all for the great collaboration while I have been part of the Finnish Business Council Board. I have really enjoyed working in this great community and hope that we will be in touch also in future. Enjoy your holidays and come back recharged to participate in the FBC activities!

Janne Lautanala, Wartsila

Janne Lautanala


Finnish Business Council