With his creativity confined in a typical nine-to-five job, Sang Beng Ng hadn’t even turned 30 when he founded semiconductor specialist Aemulus Corporation.
In this interview, the CEO and executive director talks about ensuring such red tape and office politics does not pervade his organisation, and why sustaining this culture is the HR team’s greatest task.What inspired you to turn entrepreneur and establish Aemulus in 2004?
Working for an MNC has its stability and benefits, but lacks the most important trait to success – freedom. To be specific, freedom to explore further due to work specialisation and many channels of red tape. Eventually, confined creativity led to stagnant growth.
In addition, red tape rooted from abhorrent office politics is the most unbearable road block at work.
Were you ever concerned that your age (under 30 at the time) would prove a barrier for you in making a mark?
Like gender discrimination at work, age barrier is a societal stereotype. It was truly tough initially for a young man to convince seasoned decisions makers in the industry. However, my determination did not waver even once and the rest is history.
You started your career with another employer – what did you learn there that you could bring over to Aemulus?
Before Aemulus, I took on a self-initiated project which led to a record-breaking promotion then as the youngest junior manager. The whole experience did reinforce my work motto: be exceptional, don’t replicate.
At which stage of the Aemulus growth story did you decide to focus on building an HR team to help scale the people operations?
The element of HR has been there since day one. Employees are the soul of a company, having said that, it is vital to have the right talent pooled together for greater success.
I have a knack at people-telling, not like a fortune teller of course, it is more of knowing a person better based on behavioural observation. With that, I had a great start with a bunch of creatively motivated engineers and today we are publicly listed.
- "I have a knack at people telling, not like a fortune teller of course, it is more of knowing a person better based on behavioural observation."
What is your favourite way to spend time outside of work?
Time-freeze moments of my kids through photography – capturing emotions that are momentarily oblivious to us.