About the Company:
Inclus is a social business with a vision to create a more inclusive society for people with disabilities (PWD). We want to enable adults with disabilities to achieve independence and social integration through gainful employment and supported living. We are building an ecosystem that integrates businesses and technologies to provide a seamless platform for an individual's support. Through our ecosystem, we can provide individualised and blended support solutions that cover and adapt to all the needs and changes of an adult throughout their life.
Inclus was founded by Arudra Vangal, Anders Tan, and Shaun Tan, all 3 of whom are highly motivated and committed to their vision of creating a more inclusive society. Arudra has high- functioning autism and grew up facing myriad social challenges where understanding how to behave socially was extremely difficult; Anders has a brother-in-law on the spectrum who faces tremendous difficulty finding and holding a job – he has the skill sets but employers are unable to understand him, and he finds it difficult to navigate the various social constructs at work. Shaun is a strong believer of providing opportunities and the right environment as it can unlock the potential and provide the necessary platform for success.
Together with the founding team, Inclus is supported by, and constantly growing, a strong following of people who believe in its cause. Our advisory team consists of experts in their respective fields and our partners are pushing the edge of the knowledge and technology boundary in their own elements. We are strong believers of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”. This is a highly concerted effort to collectively gather the best minds, best technologies, and best practices (both theoretical and practical) on a global level, where we will synergise and integrate them together into an ecosystem to push towards our vision.
Inclus has developed a career training and placement program; IVE – it represents a suffix for Inclus to form the word Inclusive, that involved different organisations and domain experts around the world with years of experience and knowledge. The main contributing parties are (1) our team, (2) our advisors and their networks, and (3) our partner organisations: Asha Foundation (http://www.ashafoundation.org/), Mind Shift (http://mindshift.works), and Chapel Haven (https://www.chapelhaven.org/). All 3 main training programme partners are continuously and closely supporting us for our programme runs. Our partners in the ecosystem are continuously supporting and ready to closely support us for our program runs. Our training and support teams have been trained and exposed to both the pedagogy and implementation of our partners’ programs. Through the domain experts, practitioners, doctors, and researchers from our partners, we constantly review and attune our curriculum and program such that it becomes a standard and framework that Inclus can use to benefit and customise for different groups of disabilities across a variety of industries and employers in Singapore.
We are continuously learning and evolving IVE as we work with new advisors, partners, organisations and inclusive employers. We understand that there is no one-size-fit-all program so each program will be customised to a certain extent and designed backwards with the jobs and employer’s working environment in mind so that we can match and fit the needs of the adult with neurodiversity and employer.
Inclus has a team of veterans with minimum of 15 years of experience in the social service sector and experience training adult learners in supporting people with special educational needs to deliver the programme and lead our training. Our ecosystem is governed and regulated by a strong team and partnerships. This is a long-term implementation where the foundation and capabilities are be built from the start. All our activities (products, programmes, partnerships, services, etc.) are designed, built, and executed to be aligned to our vision and business strategy. This is a self-sustaining and self-regulating model with implementation that will grow exponentially where the starting phase will be slower in terms of growth. It is a continuous learning feedback loop where we build the infrastructure, gather, execute, review, and revise. With more learning, experience, and data as we grow our ecosystem through partnerships and users, we will be able to achieve very high level of capabilities and understanding
One of Inclus’s core business model and activity is finding employers to work with and partner on multiple levels. This is a process that does not have a quick turnaround time because a partnership will require not just resources from an employer but also their commitment to work closely together with us to integrate a PWD into their job trial, internship or employment. The turnaround time for working out an job trial arrangement with an employer is usually faster than working out an employment arrangement. On average, we take around 2 to 3 weeks after the first meeting with a potential employer to work out a base arrangement – roles, tasks, profile suitability, period, etc. This is also where we build the next step of working out a contractual arrangement with the employer which requires formal commitment to provide the job trial, all necessary resources to make this work, agreement on acceptable expectations and outcomes for the job trial, and the fair and equal opportunity for the PWD to be considered for employment upon their graduation. Depending on the employer’s organisational structure, this can take 4 to 6 weeks or more.
When everyone is included, everyone wins.
Co-Founder - Anders Tan
In early 2018, Anders was instrumental in leading a pitch to major business leaders and investors on an idea that they had – which eventually became Inclus. Inclus built the business case, travelled around the world to observe industry leaders and stress test their business case with all the relevant stakeholders, and when they came back to Singapore, Anders connected with his network, pitched and secured significant investments that will allow them to have some runway running Inclus. This was extremely important because it wasn’t enough to just raise enough to bring a team together to test the model for 6 to 9 months, but it was necessary to give it some runway to allow a disruptive model to gather momentum and buy-in in the social service space which is relatively more conservative and traditional. This was only possible because these global business leaders and investors believed in his leadership and capability to succeed.
In 2020 when COVID-19 hit Singapore hard and required a circuit breaker, the people with disabilities Inclus outsourced to their partners were in danger of losing their jobs. Eventually, Inclus not only managed to prevent their existing employees with disabilities from losing their job, but also managed to create more employment opportunities. This was only because of (1) when Inclus first started securing employment for people with disabilities, Inclus consciously decided that they should only target industries and roles that were more resilient and as future-proof as possible – this definitely hurt their revenue because it closed the doors to a lot of employment opportunities that we had, but Anders was an advocate and key support of this decision, and (2) as COVID-19 devasted their lives, it destroyed a lot of jobs but on the other hand created many others – Anders was quick to jump on and capitalise on this by leveraging his old and current employment network to hire people with disabilities for the new employment opportunities that COVID-19 created. These were not just one-off opportunities because by focusing on the longer term, Inclus have slowly and steadily created a sustainable foundation that allows the team to focus on what’s ahead of them rather than addressing past issues. To-date, the employment opportunities that Inclus secured during the circuit breaker, are all still around because those were not opportunities that they secured just for that short window. Inclus have consistently been able to drive and grow value for the people they serve because of the vision and leadership that Anders has, which has across the many years proven time and again to be critical in institutionalising and sustaining positive impact.