68% of the Leaders in Singapore expect a strong growth for the ICT industry in 2019

Additionally, fostering innovation and agility came as the top two attributes of a digital leader.

Singapore, Oct 10, 2018 – Organised by S P Jain School of Global Management (S P Jain) the annual IT Management Conclave 2018 was held at the S P Jain Singapore campus last Friday where its annual Industry Survey findings were released.

With a theme on ‘Leadership and Governance in the Digital Age: Building Successful Digital Enterprises’ this year, the IT Management Conclave 2018 is a unique platform for businessmen, leaders, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals and academia to understand the key ICT trends and its impact on the industry sectors, enterprises and workforce.

Attended by over 100 senior leaders and industry players, the event kick started with a welcome address by Dr John Fong, CEO and Head of Campus (Singapore). In his speech, he said: “Understanding that digital transformation is at the core of how businesses work, we pride on cultivating the agility and capability to foster innovation in our students. Through our programs at S P Jain School of Global Management, we hope to craft such global leaders that are ready to ride above this digital wave.”

The event was also graced by Guest of Honour Mr Cherian Varghese, Regional Managing Director and Vice President, ASEAN and SAGE Cluster at Oracle.

IT Management Conclave Industry Survey 2018

The IT Management Conclave Industry Survey 2018 was led by Dr. Karippur Nanda Kumar, Associate Professor and Area Head of IT of S P Jain School of Global Management, Singapore.

With over 100 respondents, Dr. Kumar presented some of the key takeaways from the survey, which included:

  • 68% of respondents from Singapore agree that ICT industry’s general business outlook for 2019 indicates a strong growth.
  • 53% of the respondents from Singapore expect an increase in ICT employees in their organisation in 2019 compared to 2018.
  • 83% of respondents from Singapore indicate that Digital Transformation is the top priority for IT spending for 2019.
  • 91% of respondents from Singapore indicate fostering innovation and agility as the top two attributes of a Digital Leader. Other important attributes include digital visionary and building digital talent.
  • Respondents from Singapore indicate that leaders in their organisation are least effective in providing a clear digital vision and facilitating aggressive investment in agile and disruptive technologies.
  • 87% of respondents from Singapore have indicated that Cyber Security is the most important driver for digital governance. Other drivers include increased emphasis on collaboration between different departments and across geographical boundaries & Regulatory requirements.
  • Singapore is in a better shape of digital governance as compared to the region. However, over one-third of the survey participants feel more could be done for effective governance.

According to Dr. Kumar: “Lack of digital vision and innovative thinking throughout the business are found to be key organisational barriers for digital transformation. Transforming legacy systems and adopting new platforms are key challenges in building a digital enterprise in Singapore. Business and IT Leaders from Singapore need to provide a clear digital vision and facilitate more aggressive investment in agile and disruptive technologies so as to build successful digital enterprises.”

Following the survey release, attendees were engaged in presentations by Keynote Speakers Mr Newson Ng, Area Solution Architect (Asia Pacific) from Microsoft Singapore; and Mr Rohit Gandhi, Managing Director – Application Services, Products – APAC, Middle East & Africa from Accenture.

The conversations continued with a panel discussion on ‘Building Successful Digital Enterprises’, covering areas such as diversifying the business model through creative partnerships, strategic collaborations and disruptive innovations; and more.

Turn around your team like a true leader

Hiring the right talents matter and retaining them matters even more. Businesses are building workspaces exclusively for their employees – catering to every single need so that they can concentrate on maximising performance.

Managing your team holds a greater degree of responsibility nowadays, as people choose to leave and join better employers if they are not satisfied. Your business turnover is always directly proportional to the number of “happy employees” in your company, and how, you, as their leader, manage the team.

To begin with, a typical employee can start job hunting for want of better compensation, benefits or to further his/her career with some new experience. Just recently, I interviewed a talent who was looking at a new job because she had had enough of her work timings. One could easily tell she was disgruntled that her job offered her no flexibility and the company wasn’t ready to offer her another role with timings that suit her. This is a classic case of how an employee will leave your company if you don’t make flexible adjustments.

Managing individuals is one thing. Teams are even complicated. Every organization places strong emphasis on building teams and working together as one. Back in 2001, when we had just started the company, it was a task finding the right kind of people to fill my team. Picking talents who truly believe in the company’s vision and core values was hard to come by. To me it was important they understood that by belonging to a team, they were being part of something bigger.

We are a company founded on respect, approachability, teamwork, commitment and integrity. Spelling out what was expected from them was imperative. They had to understand why they were hired, what they were expected to do and what outcomes were expected. In short, they needed to know why they were a team.

Integrity has been a major factor in team building. There was never a grey area when it came to making the right choices — whatever was right was right and whatever was wrong meant a quick redressal. Mutual respect also accounts for better relationships. A good leader always has an attentive ear.

You must always remember that your talents bring forth numerous ideas, knowledge and workable solutions. Shaming them or ridiculing them in front of others would account for negativity that may affect the team. Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results. People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage and employ talents of every individual in your office.

Career growth and learning opportunities enable team members to perform better. So, enhancing opportunities for progression should be top on the agenda. Teams can also be encouraged to participate in training sessions, presentations, mentoring programmes and other assignments. People love to know that they have room for advancement.

Flexibility and work-life balance are what Millennials at the workplace look for. Team leaders should be able to meet their requirements as long as core business hours are adhered to (Yes, your employee’s kid’s school fest is important as well). Minimising overtime by providing adequate staffing is good for all departments. After all, no boss wants tired team members reporting for work the next day.

Whenever there is an opportunity, it’s always nice to involve employees in decisions that affect their jobs and the overall direction of the company. Likewise, nurture and celebrate traditions at your company with your team.

If you treat your employees well and they feel valued by you, you will never lose them.

Manish is the Co Founder at Propay Partners and a frequent contributor for New Straits Times, SME Magazine, The Edge & others.

Creating a workforce of professionally successful & happy women

Meenalochani Kumar, Sr.Director &  Global Design Lead – Leadership and Executive DevelopmentSutherland

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them, I have believed in this mantra since early in my career”, says Meena. Fulfilling and complete are two words which describe her career. She has held leadership positions in areas of organization development, mentoring, leadership development, learning, talent management and business HR. She has enjoyed leading transformations at individual and organizational levels. She believes that HR as a function has a role in touching; impacting and enabling teams develop in an environment of trust. Humaneness and humility are two behaviours she has always strived to incorporate in her career and life.

Her core interest is in leadership development architecture and effectively using the power of mentoring and coaching in developing leaders. Being a coach and mentor to many women, she also enjoys being a continuous learner, writer, learning from unusual sources and from everyone.

Below are some more insights from her journey, shared with team ABT.

Who has been your biggest inspiration and Why?
Personally, my father has been my biggest inspiration. He was an eternal optimist, resilient and more than anything, He knew how to be happy through the crests and troughs of life. Professionally, my biggest inspiration has been Mr. Anant Talaulicar, an Indian Industry leader. A man of few words, and high ideals, I experienced an authentic leader in him. He stood for the values of the organization and truly was, is and will be my role model. A few other mentors who have shaped my career have been Ravishankar and Sujitha.

What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
Keeping teams motivated, engaged and committed on an ongoing basis is challenging in the world we live in today. In a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and digitized world, crunched loyalty, progressive demands, and shorter attention spans across the workforce, it’s a juggle for any HR professional. Rather than calling it a challenge, I would say it is yet another learning lesson in my career journey.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I practice collaborative leadership and believe in involving teams, stake holders in the journey. In terms of leadership personality, am a combination of reflective, authentic, and resilient leadership

Tell us about your most cherished milestone.
There are three milestones I would like to share:  First was when I fought cancer and went back to work, it was my first milestone. The second one was when I was nominated to be on the Board of the International Mentoring Association, I was the only Indian woman there. It was a moment of pride and it was my second milestone.

And the third was when I won the Femina Woman Leader award in the World Women Congress in 2017, it was my third milestone. I have won several awards, this one seems precious though.

Share your reflections on your professional career.
I have had the opportunity of working in small, medium and large organizations. Have worn multiple hats and have accepted different roles that came my way. It has been wonderful working with thought leaders in my career journey. They taught me to think, and were so rational that the quality of being logical and not doing something for fad got ingrained in me over time.

My career has been about connecting the dots, learning, unlearning and learning how to learn all along. Our experiences define who we are ultimately. Mine has been a mixed bag of experiences, good, not so good and bad at times. The reality is the learning that has emerged each time. When I reflect, certain experiences have taught me to be compassionate, others have made me resilient, a few more have intrigued and made me curious about human behaviours.

Throughout my career, I have seen teams, leadership and organisations change. What should remain constant in my view is our ability to accept and adapt quickly. Many experiences have taught me the importance of being able to think on my feet, be conscious and self-aware in difficult situations but the icing on my cake has been how my career has taught me the art of navigating in organizations and being savvy, both of these came in the latter part of my career, but are strategic skills for a Leader apart from the several other skills required.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
I would like to author a book on the nuances of mentoring, a topic so close to my heart. I would like to give back to the society some things I have been blessed with. I would like to spend more time with women needing career support or guidance. If I am able to help even 100 women in this process, for a start, that would be a significant step for me. I would to like to work towards creating a workforce of women who are professionally successful, at the same time, personally are happy and peaceful in life.

Effective leadership is all about goal setting: Pratap Nambiar

Real transformation requires a shift in the inner self, according to Pratap Nambiar, Chairman of Thought Perfect Pte Ltd, a Singapore based firm providing coaching and mentoring services to CEOs.

In a free wheeling talk with Winning Ways, Pratap Nambiar speaks about the challenges that leaders face today. He goes on to say that leaders are unable to set the right goals in the first place. Beyond the basics of goal setting is also the challenge of being able to identify short-term versus long-term goals and prepare to walk that road.

Pratap is also the Director of The Leadership Circle – the world’s leading process of evaluating leadership effectiveness. Prior to his executive coaching days, Pratap was a US Partner with KPMG, based in Singapore as Head of Global Markets for Asia Pacific. He also sat on the oversight Board of KPMG India. His main focus was to grow his firm’s business along with the client’s business through strategic CEO conversations that led to the development of market entry strategies, joint ventures/strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions.

Talking on the present startup scenario, Pratap mentioned that it is probably the best time to be a startup. “There is too much money chasing too little ideas,” he said. He points out that while there are some good startups, most of them are trying to create a business for the sake of availing funding.

“It is a challenge for the investors to find the real gems among the new startups. From a serious investor’s perspective it not just about the business model, but about the people involved,” he said.

Watch the complete interview on WinningWays