How did you find Rémy Cointreau?
I was recommended by a previous colleague who was working at Rémy Cointreau.
You held two prior roles in Singapore, what sparked your move to Malaysia?
Due to the complex nature of the SEAP (Southeast Asia-Pacific) markets, previously the SEAMI (Southeast Asia, the Middle East and India), I had to have a very in-depth understanding of operations within the region as a Business Controller. During this time, I met with all of our major customers and was involved in key decision-making. These experiences helped me develop my commercial skills, which have come in handy in my current role.
I was asked to review of our route to market in Malaysia and provide my recommended next steps for the Rémy Cointreau Group. Following the decision to set up a Malaysian local subsidiary, I was asked to become the first General Manager.
Biggest surprise about moving there?
How relatively easy the transition has been, thanks to the strong support of my team.
What was it like to open the Malaysia office?
Opening the office was a lot of hard work, but it was also very rewarding. Not many people get the opportunity to take a company from slides in a PowerPoint presentation to then actually setting up and managing a fully-established business. Overall, business is very good and exceeding all targets set in our initial plan.
What is the Rémy Cointreau Malaysia office like?
Our office is in a modern part of Kuala Lumpur in an area called Bangsar South, which is surrounded by F&B establishments. Rémy Cointreau Malaysia currently has 13 employees, 11 of which are based in KL. By the end of 2018/19, this should increase to 15. The office is open plan, which encourages close collaboration among the team.
Do you go out with colleagues?
The lucky part about this job and working in this industry is that I constantly get exposed to the best bars in Malaysia. Two bars that I have been going to recently are Bar Trigona, at the newly opened Four Seasons KL, and PS150, a speakeasy in Chinatown. We showcased both outlets during our CEO’s recent visit.
What does your role in General Management entail?
I’m responsible for all functions within Rémy Cointreau Malaysia. My initial task was putting the company in place: hiring people, selecting and setting up the office, establishing new policies, procedures and systems, gaining the required regulatory licenses and approvals … Now that the business is firmly established, my focus is to work with the team to accelerate business performance and ensure that we are doing our best to build awareness and appreciation for our brands in Malaysia.
As someone who has held three different roles, what can you say about working with Rémy Cointreau?
Working at Rémy Cointreau for the last seven years has been very enriching, something which has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. Prior to my current role, my professional experience was primarily in finance. I have broadened my skillset significantly with Rémy Cointreau, to the point that the Group was confident in appointing me to my current role.
Favorite cocktail and why?
My favorite cocktail is a Mount Gay XO Old Fashion. Sip it slowly over conversation with friends or family.