Probably, you have heard by now that I have clinched the Singapore Computer Society IT Leaders Award for the category “Young Professional of the Year”. I am deeply humbled to be bestowed the award given that its prestige and the honor to stand beside the giants before me who have won it. It came as a surprise to me when I was notified about the award. Here are some of my thoughts post receiving the award yesterday in the SCS Gala Dinner 2010.
Probably I share the story behind how I got here. I was nominated by Christopher Lim, a SPH journalist who I have met the first time when we were traveling together to Malaysia for a Nokia technology event. I shared with him the work I have done with Thymos Capital LLP and SGEntrepreneurs, as both an investor and a community organizer. What follows after, we stayed in touch via Facebook. Two months later, he messaged me on Facebook two months later after our meeting that he like to nominate me for the award. I thought that it was alright to put my name forward and believed that I might not made it into the interview round at that point of time. Probably, getting a nomination from someone independent and not within my professional circle served a fair validation to what I have worked on so far. Second, I believed that the other candidates who are also nominated for the same award are just as good and if not better that me.
Probably, the interview I have gone through is one of the most interesting experiences of my life. What made it really memorable is that I was interviewed on the same day (15 Jan 2010) when Chlkboard was launched. Before the interview, I was thinking about the launch of the product and decided that I would complete the interview to the best of my ability in front of the board. I remembered when I completed the interview, I called my co-founder Saumil Nanavati and told him that I am heading to his place to prepare the launch for Chlkboard. He asked me how the interview went. My answer is that it is the most natural interview that I have ever been, meaning that I did not hold anything back and just conveyed my thoughts in a straight and honest manner. The same goes for when Nicholas called me on the same day as well. One of the things I did tell the judges, is that I am happy to wake up every day, getting ready to work on what I want to do and how I can pursue my dreams with my passion and drive. While I was looking for the next thing to do in a transitory period last year, I thought that I was ready to give up for something stable. In the end, I come to the realization that being myself is the best way in how to move on with life. Once I figured that out, I put my mind and focus into it. That journey started with Chlkboard and many good news that come with my work in Thymos (which will be unveiled in due time).
So what does this award mean for me? I prefer to view it as an encouragement for the future that I am building in the process. To me, as the years go by, the best way to think about awards & accolades is not to think about whether you will win them. As of life, I find that I learned more from failures and less from successes. What is important to me now, is that I can put all the heart, dedication and focus on what I work on and do my best in everything that matters, whether I am working on my start-up or helping the community from time to time.
Photos of the Awards Ceremony
Photo taken by Nicholas Khoo
Photo (by Nicholas Khoo): Standing along side with Rear Adm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew (Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore), Alphonsus Pang (President, SCS), and the other distinguished winners for the SCS awards which include Peter Ho, Head of Civil Service.