1. How do you measure success, what does success mean to you?
Success to me is attaining satisfaction in both work and family life and remaining resilient in different circumstances and environment. Mentoring my staff to succeed in their career aspirations is success to me. I believe that success comes to people who always remain focused and make the best of the situation. I have found throughout my life that being thick-skinned, forward-thinking and a wise soul are unbeatable ingredients for personal and professional success.
2. How do you keep employees engaged and motivated?
Encouraging open communication and ensuring that employees can provide feedback to you is critical for employee engagement and motivation. I participate in most employee engagement activities and take the effort to communicate to each employee to make them feel respected and valued. We created various platforms to encourage employees to voice their concerns. Developing a proper career progression plan is what we practice and employees are driven and motivated to work harder knowing there is a career path planned for them. We recently created a friendly competition by setting up cross-selling teams where the team with the highest successful referrals will be rewarded. This motivates employees to step up to the plate and be more productive towards achieving a common goal together.
3. What is the best career advice you’ve received and why?
My decision to take up a career in auditing with a big four firm to pursue articleship programme instead of accepting an offer from a major university to pursue accountancy was a turning point in my life. Taking the road less traveled and persevering the hard life of balancing work and study made a big difference to my life and career. Within four years, I completed my program and became a qualified accountant coupled with four years of audit experience. It is often said that who you are is the sum of what you have learned. Being in the audit profession has enabled me to hone critical skills that were very important for this field, specifically: vision and instinct, the ability to see the big picture, interpersonal skills, decision-making ability, leadership, and communication skills. These traits are key to foster in work, in business, and in life.
4. How do you manage work-life balance?
To me, work-life balance is a misnomer. The lines are getting more blurred as there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance. Life just doesn’t work that way. Work is part of life, not a detached entity. There are days you may need to place more attention on your business and your work. One doesn’t just switch off. Balance is achieved over time, not each day. It is more about having the flexibility to get things done in my professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy my personal life.
5. What is a book/person that has most influenced your career or life? And why?
My mentor at the big four firm who interviewed and offered me the job at the firm had the most influence in my career and life. Even though he was the toughest person to work with, I learned so much from working for him. He taught me the importance of being customer-centric and providing excellent professional services to clients, whilst always remaining technically sound through continuous education and reading. How to sell and market the firm was the most valuable skill I learned from him. The book which had a strong influence on me was the Airbnb Story on how it disrupted an industry. This has become my favourite case study during my presentations and also something which has inspired me to work harder and remain focused on my goals.