Sound man­age­ment skills cru­cial

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

Have a good busi­ness plan that has been val­i­dated by ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als. You also need to know how to get fund­ing. Fund­ing is avail­able. You just need to know how and when to get it. By net­work­ing with gov­ern­ment agen­cies, NGOs and at­tend­ing the right net­work­ing ses­sions, you should be able to meet your po­ten­tial part­ners and in­vestors for your busi­ness.

Get some work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore em­bark­ing on your own busi­ness. You need to learn how to han­dle peo­ple, man­age projects and be a team leader. Without good sound man­age­ment skills, you are set­ting your­self up for fail­ure be­fore you even start your busi­ness. Pa­tience, per­se­ver­ance, per­sis­tence and em­pa­thy are some of the finer traits that will help you in your en­deav­our.

How do you main­tain work-life bal­ance? Play­ing golf is my favourite hobby be­sides singing. I have been play­ing golf since the 1990s. So Satur­days are de­voted to this pas­sion of mine. Sun­days I spend time with my fam­ily catch­ing up on what I have missed. It is non-stop eat­ing out for us on Sun­days, from break­fast to din­ner.

I also watch TV, es­pe­cially the news chan­nels. After hours dur­ing the week, I also spend time with cus­tomers and clients.

How has men­tor­ship made a dif­fer­ence in your pro­fes­sional and per­sonal lives? Dur­ing my ca­reer I had a chance to work with a group of col­leagues who were ex-IBM em­ploy­ees who taught me an im­por­tant prin­ci­ple – show re­spect for an in­di­vid­ual. This prin­ci­ple has guided me through­out my ca­reer and in my in­ter­ac­tion with my col­leagues, clients, cus­tomers and staff.

I also ad­mire my Ja­panese busi­ness part­ner who, at the ripe old age of 77, is so healthy that he walks faster than me. He is also will­ing to share the knowl­edge he has gained from his vast global ex­pe­ri­ence. This I find has re­ally helped me as 80% of my busi­ness is out­side of Malaysia. If a par­tic­u­lar econ­omy is down, it is best to move on to an­other emerg­ing mar­ket where the op­por­tu­ni­ties are abun­dant.

What do you want to ac­com­plish in the next five years? Per­son­ally I would like to see all my four chil­dren be suc­cess­ful in life. I would also like to help Pikom reach new heights and to ac­com­plish the six thrusts which are: glob­alise the Malaysian ICT in­dus­try; in­crease the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the ICT in­dus­try; de­velop human cap­i­tal re­sources; lead the dig­i­tal trend; en­hance value to mem­bers; and ac­cel­er­ate growth of Malaysian ICT de­mand.

Best piece of ad­vice you ever re­ceived in your ca­reer? Be healthy as it keeps your mind clear.

Who is your most-ad­mired busi­ness leader? Why? Jack Ma. What he has achieved is re­mark­able and very ad­mirable, not for­get­ting in­spir­ing. It shows just what you can achieve if there is vi­sion and pas­sion.

How do you stay abreast of is­sues af­fect­ing your in­dus­try? Pikom has given me the op­por­tu­nity to net­work with techno­preneurs and, through this net­work, I have learnt or con­tinue to stay abreast not just on the lat­est hot trends but also of what’s com­ing next, that is, the next big thing.

What was your big­gest fail­ure and how did you learn from it? If you want to start a busi­ness, make sure you have enough sup­port – fi­nance, in­fra­struc­ture and skilled peo­ple. This is cru­cial to sus­tain the busi­ness and take it to the next level.

What man-made in­no­va­tion con­founds you? Why? I would pre­fer to say amazed rather than con­founded.

This would be the in­ter­net. It has con­nected peo­ple glob­ally, mak­ing the world smaller. It has brought tremen­dous changes in both our per­sonal and busi­ness lives in such a pro­found way. It has paved the way for more tech­nol­ogy break­throughs. I don’t think so­cial net­work­ing sites would have ex­isted without it. We have to thank the in­ven­tors of in­ter­net for chang­ing the world.

What do you think is Malaysia’s great­est brand? AirAsia. It’s a Malaysian brand that has gone on to great heights. It es­pouses vi­sion, dy­namism, in­no­va­tion, courage and is truly a com­pany we can get be­hind as Malaysians.

Blue or Red Ocean Strat­egy? Or nei­ther? Why? Go both. Un­der­stand both strate­gies be­fore im­ple­ment­ing.

A must-read for ev­ery busi­ness owner/ man­ager is ... Stephen Covey: Seven Habits of Highly Ef­fec­tive Peo­ple. It’s life-chang­ing and will open your mind and spirit to the won­der­ful pos­si­bil­i­ties out there as well as your own per­sonal po­ten­tial.

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