Making the cut - Samsung Singapore President, Lee Jui Siang

In an age of disruption, it's important to be highly flexible and adaptable to the fast-changing pace of the environment. It's all about empowering the team and giving them the room to be innovative and creative. This is exactly what Samsung Singapore's president, Lee Jui Siang, believes in. That, and his ability to cook for the family whenever he finds time out of his busy schedule.

 

Video and edit: Lawrence Ng

 

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Making the Cut - Quentin Sannie, CEO, Devialet

Don't listen. Feel. Music is all about the emotions, as Quentin Sannie would tell you. The French company, known for its audiophile-grade Phantom speakers, is all about you. Because it's not the speakers, nor the sound, that's interesting. It's you. Hear more from Devialet's CEO in this episode of Making the Cut.

 

Video: Lawrence Ng

 

Edit: Soon Kai Hong

 

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Making the Cut - Samsung Singapore President, Lee Jui Siang

In an age of disruption, it's important to be highly flexible and adaptable to the fast-changing pace of the environment. It's all about empowering the team and giving them the room to be innovative and creative. This is exactly what Samsung Singapore's president, Lee Jui Siang, believes in. That, and his ability to cook for the family whenever he finds time out of his busy schedule.

 

Video and edit: Lawrence Ng

 

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Making the Cut - Ken Wong, President, Lenovo, Asia Pacific

By: Eve Goh

 

Never think about what you're good at doing. Instead, think what you didn't do well and improve on it. This is the personal approach by Lenovo Asia Pacific's president Ken Wong, and part of Lenovo's culture, which focuses on 复盘 - to relook past moves and understand how one can do better.

 

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Making the Cut - Tan May Lin, General Manager, Epson Singapore

By: Eve Goh

 

She's not just the general manager of Epson Singapore. Tan May Lin is also a super mum to three boys and spends precious time with them. Challenging as the dual roles might be, she takes it in her stride and is always ready to listen and answer to the needs of both her family and colleagues

 

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Making the Cut - Benson Lin, Asus, Corporate Vice President

By: Eve Goh

 

You're never too old to do new things. Even at the age of 50, Asus' corporate vice president Benson Lin is still on the move. Literally, because the man exercises religiously and brings that same determination to work.

 

 

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Making the Cut - Eugene Goh, Vice President, SEATO, Samsung El...

By: Eve Goh

 

Failure is just noise. The real challenge is to overcome them and be better from the experience, according to Samsung Electronic's Vice President of Southeast Asia and Oceania, Eugene Goh. It's also about embracing the mobile generation, keeping up to the pace but more importantly, knowing how to inspire his team to think out of the box.

 

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Making the Cut - Tina Weyand, Chief Product Officer, Homeaway

By: Eve Goh, Gwyn Lau

 

What does watching a sloth and Star Trek have to do with Homeaway's Chief Product Officer? Surprisingly, quite a lot because these personal experiences shape the way Tina Weyand manages the team on a daily basis.

 

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Making the Cut - Min-Liang Tan, CEO and creative director, Razer

By: Eve Goh

 

Not many people can claim to love what they do. Or for that matter, create a passionate following amongst gamers. Razer's CEO and creative director Min-Liang Tan managed to check all those boxes, creating amazing products for gamers. At the very heart of it, he manages the business like a game, strategising and overcoming challenges with a gamer's mind and heart.

 

Min-Liang Tan

 

I don't think I really have a favorite game at any point of time, well, I have a favorite game at any point of time, right? Like all the gamers out there, well, you know today it could be Mass Effect or tomorrow it could be, you know, Dragon Age or it could be Ultima or something like that, right? So that's something I love about gaming right, there's always something cool around the corner.

 

Back then in 2005, gamers weren't necessarily the, umm, considered huge industry. On top of that, depending on where you are you've got societal pressure for example, right, game is not good for you, parents, teachers, what have you. But, but, attitudes are changing.

 

I would actually dare say that there are huge amount of opportunities and a huge amount of areas of expansion for eSports right now. Xian, for example, part of Team Razer, you know, he's been one of the eSports athlete we’ve been supporting all the way through and he's been delivering some phenomenal global kind of achievements and we're really really proud of him.

 

We're just really focused on one person and that's the gamer. I like to chat directly with our users, our fans and it's a great conduit for me to always be listening, like, whether it's positive feedback or “I love your product” and things like that and, even negative criticism which we think is really constructive where we are able to say, “Oh is there something we can improve on our product?”, “Is there something that we can push the limits in terms of engineering?”

 

Fundamentally, because I look at it as a gamer, there are all like challenges. You just try to get through a jumping challenge. You can't get through a jumping challenge, you'll find all different ways and means to do it you search on the internet for a walk-through and you know the list could go on there are many huge challenges out there. We don't look at it as a setback, we don't look at it as a negative thing. We look at all of this as challenges and because we were, we are, passionate gamers ourselves, what we wanted to do was to design great product - whether it's hardware or weather software for gamers - and what we've done is today we are world leaders in the gaming peripheral space. We didn't just invent the first gaming mouse we invented an entire new category, a whole industry.

 

Technically it's designing for myself. It’s, umm, it’s more like good fun.

 
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Making the Cut - Paul Michael Scanlan, Huawei CTO

By: Gwyn Lau

 

Paul Michael Scanlan has the bearing of what one thinks a chief technology officer should be, decked out in a suit and looking all serious. Now imagine Huawei's CTO on stage, jamming it up in a session with his band. Yes, he is one of the cool kids on the block.

 

Paul Michael Scanlan

 

People think, you know, CTO is Chief Technical Officer, yes? That is sort of what the title is called. But, very specifically, my job is providing advice to companies to transform them.

 

I love music and I love performing. I love playing music, singing, all these sort of things. The musical side has helped me significantly in the way I do other things, like public speaking and interviews. It’s made me more relaxed significantly. To stand up on stage in front of 3000 people, that’s quite umm, quite a challenge. That’s not easy to do. The fear factor is terrible but it helps you a lot when you stand up on a stage here in front of a few thousand people, as well.

 

What I’ve learnt over all the years I’ve been playing, if you play music by yourself it’s very different to playing with others. When you play with others - I can play, you can play, he can sing, she can sing - whatever, but can we all do it together? If you have the right team, it fosters creativity, musically or in business. The right team, that means the right components. You need the right ingredients to be able to create.

 

From the management perspective, I am very transparent, very open. I always have a policy - my door is always open. I like a team structure as opposed to a very bureaucratic style, I don’t like that. I like to be a little bit more hands-on, I like to understand the problems so that when other people explain it to me we can challenge each other. I like other people to challenge me, I’m not always right, perhaps never. So it’d be good if people can challenge me and then we can collaborate. I believe that collaboration becomes stronger if you have this style.

 

So if you want to grow a business, if you want to develop and take advantages of the changes that the whole behaviour of the planet, you need to be connected. The content is changing so it’s no longer just appropriate to have simple messaging or voice communications.

 

People now want to see video and video is becoming more pervasive in the industry. So therefore, when we know 40-60% of all data is video so, now you see telecom operators themselves, I say probably over the last past 5 years, they’ve taken a specific direction towards this thing called ‘transformation’. Some are heading and moving towards become more video or media oriented operators but generally, they all understand the need that they must change.

 

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Making the Cut - Arthur Chapin, Expedia

By: Lawrence Ng, Eve Goh

 

From his humble beginning as an intern to his current day job as the Senior Vice President of global product & design at Expedia, Arthur Chapin is consistent with one thing - he's a traveler and cook at heart.

 

Arthur Chapin

 

I am absolutely blessed to be able to travel a fair amount both professionally as well as personally. The first time that I got to take my son to the beach- so I’ve a 3½ year old, a kid from Seattle. There is no swimming in the water in Seattle, it’s a little cold. So just to see him sort of explore the beach and especially see the sea turtles which were his favourite, those were memories that which will last for the rest of my life.

 

I also really enjoy the quick, sort of, stopovers or the things you can do when you’re on long business trips. One of my favourite memories was actually going to Koh Samui, offering the owner of the restaurant a little bit of money to teach me how to cook Thai food and the next morning he took me to the market and taught me how to make those dishes. The banana blossom was the best and I flew back that night. So, that’s the type of experiences that will last me forever.

 

Cooking is one of my favourite hobbies. I am constantly experimenting so there’s no one dish - that’s one thing about me whether it’s at work or at home. I started at Expedia, I think I was employee number 262 in our development lab, actually helping us move out of Microsoft. It was kind of cool to see this company grow from a small startup into a large, sort of, international travel player.

 

The scale of Expedia now is absolutely amazing, what hasn’t changed is the people. The same reason that I wanted to join as an intern still exists today. We have a culture of learning, so we will sometimes run tests that challenge assumptions we had - things that had to be true or there’s no way that this feature, you know, could be tested off. Often what we find is that the assumption we had was a wrong assumption.

 

There were co-workers that could feel run over or could feel like I would do anything to, sort of, get the result and would leave dead bodies, if you will. I put more of my effort now into ‘how’, and how the teams interact than the specific ‘what’ we are accomplishing because the ‘what’ takes care of itself. If people are passionate, they know what they are trying to do, and how they are doing it, is by working together.

 

I think it’s only through great mentorship with many of the leaders of Expedia, but also time that I came to value and understand that how you accomplish something is as important as what you accomplish because the ‘how’ is what inspires and trains future people.

 

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