Looking back, what do you consider the most defining moments in your first 100 days in this position?
Being in this specific industry and working globally for the last 20 years, what I had to come to grips with early was the readiness of our clients to understand the advantages and opportunities we can provide, the skill sets of my team to communicate our capabilities, and the data, product and technology to deliver them. Developing a customer lifecycle product roadmap that can deliver true value across our clients’ engagements with their customers was critical in the first 100 days.
What do you regard as the crucial factors for you to stay on top of your game?
For me, it’s really about understanding our clients’ everchanging pain points and how we can help, whether that is making it easy for them to do business with their customers, growing their business through new customer acquisition, or helping them understand the risk associated with their decisions. I also have to be fully aware of what’s happening regionally in our industry and if there is opportunity to take our significant experience in Malaysia and bring that to the region. Staying on top of regulatory changes and requirements is also critical. I also need to be on top of ever-changing technologies and analytics, and how they can add value.
What do you foresee are the game-changing challenges facing your industry?
You can either treat these challenges as a threat or an opportunity, and I look to see how we can use them to help our customers. Be it AI, blockchain, concerns on privacy and data protection, or increased analytics such as non-traditional data, they can each help our industry. The key is to understand the challenges, recognise the opportunity, understand your own limitations and work with partners that have the expertise, or learn quickly, to provide solutions.
Single out a leader in the corporate world you wish to emulate.
I’m not interested in emulating a single person, as my own experiences tell me that each of these successful leaders will have different attributes that can help me. Whether it is a leader driven by innovation, being customer-centric, empowering their team, hiring the right people at the right time, being goal-oriented, not afraid of making mistakes but learning from them and so on, I hope I can learn from each of them and chart my own successful path forward.
Why do you think CEOs need a dose of James Bond in their lives?
As a huge 007 fan who dreams of owning an Aston Martin DB5, a dose of James Bond is just what we need. A man of action, not one to procrastinate. Knows what needs to be done and sets out to achieve that. Able to adjust and redirect when required. Focused on outcomes and makes sure he has the right resources to achieve that. Comfortable with leading-edge technologies and equally comfortable without. A great communicator, who gets what he wants… what CEO would not want to be a bit like Bond, James Bond.
As Group CEO, what excites and worries you most?
What excites me is the fantastic opportunities within Malaysia and being able to bring this locally owned company to take on the big international players within the region. I’m also excited by the positive contribution CTOS makes to individuals, companies and the economy of Malaysia. I’m also excited by the quality and commitment of our people within CTOS, and how they are quick to adapt and always put the customer first. What keeps me up at night is making sure we continue to exceed our customers’ and our own expectations. I also worry about the responsibility we have to protect the data entrusted to CTOS and ensuring we do everything possible to have a secure environment.
What are your strategies to make CTOS the most successful company in your industry?
CTOS is already the most successful CRA in Malaysia; the challenge is now to bring that local success to the region. In Malaysia, our unique proposition is driven by a number of factors, including our longevity in operating in Malaysia, the amount of data we hold, which is significantly larger than others in our industry, our leading-edge product development using that data and that we are the only 100 per cent locally owned CRA. Coupled with our fantastic team, board and shareholders, we have a unique proposition that will continue to see CTOS as the most successful CRA in Malaysia and beyond.