Ng Wee Leong
Wee Leong on a business trip in China
With SME bosses in China
On a business trip in Brazil
Industry Development Group
Manufacturing & Engineering Division
Marine & Engineering
International Partnership Office (Americas)
I was awarded the Executive Development Scholarship
(EDS) by SPRING in 2007 to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration with NUS. With a double major in Finance and Operations Management, and a minor in Technopreneurship, my background gave me a quick appreciation of the nature of SMEs. My finance background came in handy last year when SMEs were scrambling for funds and bank loans. I could clearly explain to them the enhanced financing schemes and also advise on the best options for them.
Amongst the many scholarships that I was considering, I decided on EDS for one reason – exposure.
Working with enterprises and agencies
The math is simple: if I work for any one company, I will only get to learn from that particular company. However, in SPRING I get to work with enterprises and industries.
I am given daily, the opportunity to learn from these businesses and offer advice based on what I have learnt. As most SMEs have a flat corporate structure, I interact with CEOs most of the time. These interactions give me valuable knowledge and understanding of why certain businesses succeed and why others don’t.
I am currently managing the marine and offshore sector
. I work with the sub-contractors of major shipyards such as Keppel and Sembcorp marine and other local companies in this sector. My job is to help them grow through advising them on business strategies, linking them up with business partners, providing incentives to help with upgrading efforts and facilitating discussions with other government and private organisations such as MOM, JTC and the banks.
One experience working with a local SME was particularly memorable. The SME was expanding its business internationally and negotiating with a potential partner based in Germany. I flew to Germany and participated in the negotiations to understand the requirements of the German firm to partner the SME. The result was the upgrading of the company’s capabilities through supporting the purchase of specialised equipment and reserving a large plot of land for its manufacturing plant. The total investment for this partnership came up to about S$20m and I had a key role in it! Such sense of achievement comes from being in a job where exposure is limitless.
To America and beyond!
I also hold a concurrent appointment in the International Partnership Office to link up local SMEs with international opportunities. As the Singapore market is small, our SMEs are encouraged to go global. Come June 2010 I will be posted to the United States for two years to faciliate partnerships between our SMEs and foreign companies!