Being a technopreneur not only means seeking opportunities, taking risks, and having an adventurous mindset but also exposes themselves to emerging technologies and makes use of these technologies to identify economic values and turn ideas into actions. The best way to obtain such knowledge is to hear from the industry. This month, we are pleased to have invited two distinguished speakers to share their experience, insights on entrepreneurial opportunities in cybersecurity and what it takes to be a technopreneur.
Mr Ng Hoo Ming, a veteran industry leader in our national cybersecurity landscape, spoke about leadership. Having served more than 30 years in the government sector, Mr Ng was involved in numerous national level cybersecurity projects.
To him, a key factor that would define the success of an organisation is the ability of its leaders. They must be able to constantly adapt to the changing business climate to remain relevant and to scale to greater heights. Mr Ng also shared four important characteristics that leaders should have in leading and managing an organisation’s transformation. These include the capacity to create a shared vision, set specific and measurable goals to support the vision; the ability to lead transformations; positive mindset of accepting failure with emphasis on lesson learned; charisma to connect to people and skills to relate to people. Mr Ng also highlighted that a well respected leader is someone who can provide guidance, who is open to new ideas, who is able to choose the best people and lead others to lead themselves.
While encouraging students to ask questions, Mr Ng provided very practical tips to those who intend to be business founders, on how to build a team, how to manage pricing as both science and art, and how to achieve a win-win negotiation. Mr Ng candidly shared that an effective team must comprise members who constantly ask positive and constructive questions. He concluded by emphasising that one doesn’t have to be a genius to be successful, rather success is determined by passion and perseverance.
As the Global Relationship Officer of ASEAN Chief Information Officer Association (ACIOA), Ms Kwek Hon Sing witnessed the trend and change of the industry and how digitalization has changed the entire landscape. She is confident of the potential of information technology. On the role of humans versus technology, she believes humans are still ‘superior’, but they shall not be complacent.
A passionate individual driven by the belief in a better world, Ms Kwek is recognized for creating values for SMEs in Thailand and supporting their growth beyond just funding. Reflecting on her personal journey as an entrepreneur, Ms Kwek has experienced numerous highs and lows. She started out as a cybersecurity distributor and it was through a lot of hard work, both physically and mentally before she was awarded the license of a crowdfunding platform. She is the first person in Thailand to attain this feat.
The serial entrepreneur also shared her insights about mindsets and skills required for different stages of the entrepreneurship journey, from discovery and ideation, to prototyping and experiment, to commercialising and expansion. In the process of experimenting and prototyping, she cautioned students to turn obstacles into opportunities and highlighted the importance of constant learning, curiosity and commitment. She encouraged students to be entrepreneurial when they are young. “Stay humble and not forget the original purpose”, Ms Kwek advised.
The session ended with valuable insights into information technology and how digitalisation has changed the entire landscape. Most importantly, they stressed that students who were passionate in entrepreneurship had to be committed to their vision and be willing to work hard.