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A day in the life of: Melissa Kee, CHRO, Kuok Singapore

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In this inaugural feature of our new column, Priya Sunil steps into the shoes of Melissa Kee, Kuok Singapore’s Chief Human Resources Officer, for a glimpse at what makes her job so meaningful to her.

Q What is the one thing that gets you out of bed every morning?

My alarm clock! Actually, I wake up every day with a feeling of gratitude and excitement that it is a new day. I live every day with intention so that gets me going the moment I open my eyes.

Q What are your top five must-haves at the office?

My boss, my team, my colleagues, my mobile phone and hot drinking water.

Q What’s for lunch?

I try to go out for lunch to get a good mental break, but it is also good to catch up with my team and colleagues in an informal way. I eat a variety of cuisines, but limit my carbohydrate intake so I stay awake after lunch!

Q Back to work: what can people expect when they receive a meeting invite from you?

When I do initiate a meeting, I will make clear my intentions and expect others to come prepared to engage and contribute to the outcome. I like a productive meeting where there is clear accountability and ownership. Most of my meetings are in half-hour time slots to maximise my day.

Q Who is your role model in or outside of work, and why?

My boss, Ean Kuok is my role model. He inspires me to be a better version of myself every day. He has taught me that self-control is strength, and calmness is mastery. This has been the single most impactful leadership attribute which I have applied when dealing with the insignificant actions of someone else.

Q It’s the end of the long workday – how do you recharge for the next day?

My four energisers are exercise, meditation, reflection time and a good sleep.

I am trying to cultivate a healthy holistic living as I believe life is a marathon, not a sprint.

If you’re a CHRO and are keen to be featured in this column, do reach out to Priya Sunil at

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