Date: 18 October 2007
Venue: NUS Business School Hon Sui Sen Auditorium
Press Release | Webcast
The CEO Unplugged series, a flagship program of NUSBSA, continued its tradition of inviting renowned leaders in the Singapore business community to share their thoughts and experiences. Fashioned in an informal talk show manner, the series has invited more than thirty of Singapore’s most prominent business leaders since its inception in August 2001.
Held on 18 October 2007 at the Hon Sui Sen Auditorium, the 14th installment saw a turn out of 250 comprising alumni, students and friends. Guest speakers were Mr Adam Khoo, Executive Chairman of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, and Mr Ivan Lee, CEO of Thai Express Restaurant.
Back then, Mr Khoo (BBA Hons 1999) was ranked among the top one percent of his academic achievers. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur. On what he considers key to his success, Mr Khoo advised, “Dare to dream. It may sound cliche but it is so true.”
He quickly added that knowing what you want and planning how you want to get there as equally important factors.
“In school, it is called cheating. In business, it is called market research,” Mr Khoo humorously stressed about doing due diligence. “Find something that works and improve on it. Ask yourself – How can I create a lot value to the people around me? How do I do it a bit better than the rest?”
Mr Ivan Lee, a double major NUS graduate in Philosophy and Economics, in turn, shared his views about leadership in business.
“A large part of doing business is about being a leader,” said Mr Lee. “I believe that being a leader is about putting your foot down.”
“Ego and contentment are two of the most powerful internal forces that may destroy you,” said Mr Lee in a serious tone. “You’ve got to have a strong moral grounding.”
When asked about staff retention, Mr Lee pointed out, “In order to retain people, they need to be paid well. Secondly, you need to provide them with job satisfaction and that means giving them empowerment and the respect they deserve.”
Mr Yeo Keng Joon (MBA 1985), immediate past President of NUSBSA, was inspired “to see so many young people come together to learn more about entrepreneurship.”