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Can you briefly describe your current role and responsibilities?
At NTUC Enterprise, I take care of statutory reporting and regulation compliance, and projects relating to restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, implementation of group policies, procedures and systems as well as risk management, treasury and capital management.
What part of your job do you find particularly meaningful or satisfying?
I’m given the autonomy and the platform to challenge conventional thinking, do things differently and break new ground. That’s what I like about my role here.
AT NTUC, we are first and foremost a social enterprise. This means putting people and the communities that we serve before profit. We do not seek to maximise returns to shareholders in the way that commercial companies do.
Hence, not all commercial practices can be directly applied to NTUC. We have to find solutions that fit the organisation’s unique vision, mission and culture. But this provides a different learning curve for me which keeps me motivated.
What is the one most important factor that motivated you during your time at KPMG?
The learning opportunities offered by working with clients and partners have spurred me in my time at KPMG.
One of the things that I learnt at the firm is how we need to unlearn and re-learn what we know before we could learn new skills and competencies. You learn not to make assumptions too easily and to look at issues from different vantage points.
For me, a vigorous learning environment at the firm also helps to imbue greater self-confidence and motivates me to keep on taking on new challenges and tasks.
Are there experiences you had in KPMG that eventually came in useful for your current career?
I would name a few such as managing situations and diverse stakeholders, thinking critically and on the feet, and the ability to plan many steps ahead. The writing skills that I picked up have also helped me communicate with greater clarity, persuasiveness and impact. These experiences are certainly serving me well in my current career.
What were your most memorable experiences at KPMG and is there anything you miss?
It sounds strange but I don’t think I will ever have the chance to do so anymore – from counting beef patties and french fries to fleets of cars, construction cranes and forklifts.
I think these are experiences that you don’t get to do when you are desk-bound or always in the office.
You get to interact with clients first-hand and better understand their nature of work.
What advice do you have for people who may be contemplating a similar career?
My advice would be to look within, be honest and focus on your own life goals.
Know what you want to achieve in life, not just in career. You will then make a career decision that is aligned with your higher self and intentions.
Every job is more or less the same. The difference lies in the degree of the issues or challenges we face every day.
Ultimately, one needs to feel that he is contributing meaningfully to an organisation.
And finally, above all, it’s all about the people that you work with. Make sure you like the people and the environment. If you do, you would excel and be happy.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by running.
There is always something new, whether it is nature or people that you meet while you are doing a routine run. The trails and routes can be different but the destination is always the same – home.
Running allows me to also go back to the fundamentals and makes me appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.
I like to vary my running, whether it is training for speed or distance. The variation trains me to push the limits and strengthens my belief that we can achieve anything if we put our mind to it.
Of course, we need to condition ourselves first and make sure that we are physically prepared.
But what is important to know is that preparation only takes you that far. After a certain point, it is your determination and willpower that propel you to your destination and beyond.
Please describe how you feel about KPMG today?
The firm has certainly changed over the years and has moved with the times, especially in the use of technology as part of the audit process. I feel that the firm can afford to be more technology savvy and leverage technology to deliver greater value to clients and to communicate with them better.
Despite changing with the times, some things stay the same at the firm, in particular the core values that underpin interactions with clients: Working together. Open, honest communication. Acting with integrity.