Distinguished Business Leader,
Mr Clement Woon
The Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) organised Sydney’s fourth’s Distinguished Business Leaders Series featuring Mr Clement Woon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS). About 170 Singaporeans living, studying and working in Sydney benefited from the interesting evening with Mr Woon as he shared his personal journey and views on a diverse range of topics including the importance of technology, productivity and innovation in ensuring continued growth and viability for businesses.
Mr Woon began his sharing by taking the audience through his remarkable corporate journey. In particular, he related his fond memories with Leica Geosystems AG in Switzerland for 10 years - one of the most successful and oldest Swiss technology companies, and his eventual return to Singapore to run SATS. He further shared the challenges in managing global businesses in Switzerland, which was considered only as a small populated city.
Drawing on his experience with Leica, Mr Woon depicted his recipe for success in business management. He added that his most unforgettable experience was back in 1987, when he had to lay-off about 1,000 workers. Then, Mr Woon was caught in a heart wrenching dilemma on how to salvage the situation and break the news to the workers. Arising from this incident, Mr Woon was motivated to continuously look for ways to better manage businesses to ensure their longevity, so that such mass retrenchments can be avoided.
Mr Woon also shared the approach taken to expand the business base of SATS after he took over the reins. He captivated the audience with his candid sharing of the need to know the finer details of a business and the importance of customer focus in order to be successful. On top of these, Mr Woon gave his views on the shift of economic power from the West to the East, largely driven by the rapidly growing share of China’s position in world trade. Mr. Woon also explained heartily on his ultimate decision to return back to Singapore after being in Switzerland for more than 10 years to contribute back to the country where he grew up and educated.
Questions & Answers (Q&A) Session
The Q&A session was an inspiring one where Mr Woon fielded questions on areas including his decision to switch his career from a technologist to a management role, and the importance of taking stock at the various stages of life and to review what to focus on next. He urged the attendees to continuously up-skill as life is a continuous learning process. Mr Woon concluded the event by highlighting some practical survival tips for businesses.
Presentation of Token of Appreciation
(L-R) – Ms Sim Ann (Director for OSU), Mr Clement Woon (President and CEO for SATS), Mr Chiang Chie Foo (Permanent Secretary for Prime Minister’s Office and Defence), Dr Suzanne Victor (Artiste) and Mr Albert Chua (High Commissioner for Singapore High Commission in Australia)
For more information about SATS, please visit www.sats.com.sg