What was it like growing up in Singapore?
I’ve always enjoyed the city’s multi-cultural, chameleon-like environment. I grew up in a small, middle-class, tightly-knit family in Singapore with strong traditional Chinese family values that resonate well with those of Rémy Cointreau. This is something I, too, transmit to my family and children. Growing up, I was strongly influenced by my grandfather and father. Not only did they teach me business ethics, but the importance of generosity and giving back. This explains why I love mentoring, coaching and nurturing the next generation of talents. Helping successfully groom young talents is a personal passion.
What’s it like working in Singapore?
Singapore is known for its cleanliness, safety and disciplined infrastructure. It is a very livable, green city with a strong pool of talent. Political stability, high literacy, high workforce efficiency and productivity are important factors positioning Singapore as a great place to live and work.
What’s Rémy Cointreau’s Singapore office like?
We’re located in a beautiful, central part of the city. Perched on Level 33, our office overlooks the majestic skyline and scenic Marinabay area, near the business district. I have close to 70 colleagues in the Singapore, SEAP regional and Global Travel Retail office—which is an open plan, encouraging close interactions, regardless of our position. What I really like is the overall ambience. Entering the office, you see a bar showcasing our products. Ample daylight shines throughout the office, which is like our second home, so it is very important that we feel comfortable at “home.” Food options in the area are a mix of local delights and cosmopolitan menus, and team-building Happy Hours, organized by HR, are another highlight.
What distinguishes Rémy Cointreau as an employer?
Terroir, People, Time and Exception is more than a value statement; it resonates in our day-to day management. While our company is focused on its ambition to be the leader in exceptional spirits, it aims to nurture and develop every employee to fulfill their optimum potential. Rémy Cointreau’s belief in people and family allows every individual to find fulfillment and meaning in what they do and a proper work-life balance. You have got to be a part of this experience!
What makes working in Global Travel Retail unique?
It’s all about speed to market and time management. Covering six major airports in five days was eye-opening for me during my second week on the job. But this experience taught me to think fast, act with precision, focus on one-to-two priorities at a time, setting clear directions for my team. For me, being decisive and having a strong self-entrepreneurial spirit are two very distinct characteristics to succeed in an extremely fast-paced, highly-competitive and commercially-aggressive industry. A unique characteristic is the volatility with client expectations, changing needs and tastes. It means that we need a good balance between intuition and analytics with some level of flexibility, in order to react to challenges and act within the market place quickly. When I start my day, I ask myself how I can better attract, engage and connect with clients, developing them into passionate advocates for our brands.
What are the most fun and most challenging aspects about the industry?
Your managers give you opportunities, trust and autonomy to try new ideas, which pushes you to constantly think outside of the box and be entrepreneurial. And if that does not work, you move on and try another idea. Challenges arise in managing retailer expectations, especially when it comes to adhoc requests with limited time to react. It also takes time and patience for retail partners to pilot ideas and concepts we bring to the table; therefore, it is important to build strong relationships rooted in credibility and trust while also thinking proactively.