IN This week’s column SunBiz talks with CEO and Executive Chairman of GIIB Holdings Bhd, Tai Boon Wee (picture).
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Perseverance. I believe in hard work because there is no substitute for hard work and the continuous pursuit of excellence. There is no shortcut to success, you have to put your time into it. Also, there will always be challenges and obstacles, let them be your learnings to make you stronger.
What characteristics do you look for in your talent or how do you decide who is right for a job?
Skills and knowledge in the specific area are important, but they can be acquired over time and when people join us they have many opportunities to learn on the job. However, the most important thing is attitude. Without it, given their skills, they will not be able to succeed in the business.
How do you think the industry you work in will evolve?
There is plenty of room for our industry as rubber is used in everyday items and we cannot live without it. There are more requirements for reusable products and rubber is one of those materials you can do that with. Over the past two years, the sector that has experienced strong growth is that of rubber gloves.
What advice can you offer to those looking to start their own career/business?
First, identify what you want in life, then set your goals and actions based on what you want to accomplish. Then find your mentors who you think can help you and get their advice.
We all know the industrial revolution, are we going to experience a technological revolution?
Jack Ma said that if you don’t know the technology, it’s still manageable. However, if you ignore the technology, you will be left behind. The technological revolution is real, go there to understand and see how it can add value to you and your career.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional life?
I was fortunate to be mentored by successful entrepreneurs. They gave me great ideas and always instilled discipline as a key message.
What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
Besides business, I hope to be able to impart more knowledge and share my learnings in business with as many young generations to come to guide them in their careers and shorten their learning curve.
The best career advice you’ve ever received.
Just do it.
The most admired business leader? Why?
Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic. His management philosophy is timeless. If you have the chance, read his book and get inspired.
How do you stay on top of issues affecting your industry?
As part of our management, we must regularly update ourselves with our customers, suppliers as well as industry peers. Through regular conversations, we would be able to assess what is happening and plan.
If you could spend an hour with any thought leader in the world, who would it be and why?
Jack Welch. He is one of the most successful CEOs in the world, turning the company into such an admirable organization.
What was the biggest challenge you faced? What did you learn from this?
Managing people is the hardest part. Everyone is different and in every situation people behave differently. I learned that people management skills are important to bring out the best in themselves.
A Must-read for every business owner/manager is…
The mind of the strategist by Kenichi Ohmae.
How do you think climate change policies will impact businesses in the future?
Responsibility for slowing climate change rests with everyone and the same people who run the organization. No matter how big the effort, it’s a step forward.
What are the top three factors you would attribute your success to?
The same values that I install in our company: Integrity, trust and respect.