Success: The Insight Story – Don’t venture into something that you are not familiar with

This week, SunBiz gets the views and thoughts of edotco Malaysia Country Managing Director Wan Zainal Adileen

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

It is the collective experiences since my school days that helped brought me to where I am today.

My love for music got me involved in the school marching band where I found myself appointed the drum major. Later, in college, I was a student president and in other leadership roles. In these positions, I obtained the exposure and somehow found myself in a position where peers referred to me for direction, guidance and advice.

This helped me learn and develop the soft skills required to lead and mentor people. To this day, it has been a continuous journey of learning and self-improvement to better my leadership abilities. I am grateful for these life experiences and I believe they form the foundation of my leadership style today.

How has your previous employment experience aided your current position?

Every organisation has its own unique corporate and organisational culture and values while each country has its own set of dynamics and operational differences. I have been lucky to have worked in and with multinationals, which gave me the experience being based overseas for extended periods of time. The diversity helped improve my people management skills and the network and connections built through these stints are invaluable too.

I learned to be more versatile and have a broader view of things. This helped me refine my problem-solving skills over time, arriving at innovative solutions that address the different challenges. This is critical as telecommunications is an essential service and edotco infrastructure plays a crucial role together with mobile network operators (MNOs) keeping people, communities and the nation connected.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at edotco Malaysia?

Prior to taking on this leadership role in edotco Malaysia, I was the Chief Sales and Corporate Affairs Officer at Group level. When I opted to focus on Malaysia as edotco Malaysia Country Managing Director, I was tasked with establishing the business as an independent integrated infrastructure provider and implementing processes to stabilise and drive the organisation forward. This aspect was critical as edotco was a new carve-out from Celcom at that time.

Our first challenge was to build awareness and confidence among our customers to accelerate market acceptance and recognition as an independent telecommunications infrastructure provider. We tried to overcome this by remaining consistent to our value proposition of helping MNOs reduce their operational expenses through co-location and through economy of scale enabled by the right shareable assets and offering advanced solutions that address the connectivity needs of the nation.

It is particularly satisfying when acceptance flowed in from MNOs and other operators see the value that edotco brings to the industry. Operators do not need to build their own infrastructure, which is capital intensive, as they can use our innovative solutions that are plug-and-play capable. It also expedites rollout for quicker go-to-market coverage for customers.

The highlights so far include pioneering the use of small cells in Malaysia, such as the first digital small cell solution by a telecommunications infrastructure provider in KL Sentral. It enhanced coverage and connectivity for thousands of daily commuters and improved network speeds by up to four times as we pave the way for 5G implementation in high-density urban areas.

Our team also installed the first site in Malaysia that optimises connectivity via unobtrusive multi-beam technology at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in KL Sports City to enlarge network capacity in the run-up to Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games. This project was completed within two months and helped MNOs cater to the full capacity of the stadium during the peak of the SEA Games.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

My family keeps me grounded and I am a firm believer of making memories together. So I try to get them involved in my activities as much as possible.

Two of my favourite pastimes are horseback riding and road cycling. There is a sense of serenity and adventure while on horseback. It gives me total thrill when I am in tune with my mount, tackling obstacles in our path.

Riding, both horseback and bicycle, offers freedom, movement, and is a great stress relief for me. I am very pleased that my son is becoming a natural on the saddle too, and it’s an activity we do together now.

Occasionally, I plan road cycling trips with my colleagues as well (when the situation allowed). This helps us build stronger interpersonal relations outside work settings, which is also beneficial for team spirit and cohesion.

I also enjoy playing music on a regular basis. The guitar is my favourite instrument and I have collected quite a few guitars over the years. I am lucky to share this hobby with a group of friends and we play together whenever we can.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

No man is certainly an island, in my books. As much as we would like to think we can, we cannot do everything by ourselves. Having a good support system and mentorship helps us grow personally and professionally. It is reassuring to know we can rely on certain people as a sounding board, and for guidance and valuable advice.

An honest word from my mentor is priceless as it helps broaden my perspectives and see things from a different point of view. My mentors help me take stock, recalibrate and give me the courage take on the unknown that prepared me for the next role.

Being a father, I want to do the same for my children and try to instil good values in them. More is caught than taught. With children being highly perceptive and technology widening their world more than ever before, I believe modelling the values is more important than lecturing on a belief. I hope they understand they can always come to me to talk about any matter.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?

My drive is to develop the business further and firmly establish the company as a leading player in supporting Malaysia as a forerunner in 5G. To this end, telecommunications infrastructure providers such as ourselves and other stakeholders must come together and play our respective roles.

We are committed to helping Malaysia realise the capacity required (for 5G) while at the same time continuously innovate to keep communities and people connected. We want to continue providing shared infrastructure in urban and rural areas to enhance the telecommunications industry and be an effective and efficient nation-building partner.

Apart from that, I hope I can be a good leader and provide valuable mentorship to inspire the growth of my team. Nothing would please me more than seeing them prosper in their roles and career.

Best piece of advice you ever received on your career?

This advice actually came in the form of a question posed to me by my reporting line. I had been a very successful sales person earning lucrative commissions in one of my earlier roles. My performance earned me a promotion to a larger management role which did not come with lucrative sales commission benefits. Because of this, I had reservations about accepting it; I was in my comfort zone.

This was when my superior at that time asked me whether I wanted to continue being motivated by money or being in a position to affect real change. This question got me thinking about what I really wanted to make of my career, and of myself as a person. It made me realise that I can do so much more and make a positive impact through my career. The one change in my career course led me to where I am today, overseeing the entire operations responsible for 13,000 telecommunications towers in Malaysia.

In short, the best advice I received in my career was, “Don’t be motivated by money but be motivated by success and what you can achieve in your lifetime.”

How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry?

I make it a point to stay connected with people. Previously, I’d schedule regular face-to-face visits to customers and fellow industry peers from all levels and backgrounds. It gave me the opportunity to hear first-hand from customers and peers, and understand the ongoings of the industry.

Spending time to listen to what they have to say and exchange notes on challenges helps us provide a solution that meet their needs. Now I do this virtually, until it is conducive to continue face-to-face meetings.

Various seminars and industry talks also help me better prepare the team to adapt and adopt new innovations for the benefit of customers and users.

What was your biggest failure and how did you learn from it?

I once tried my hand in a business that I had little understanding about. With limited exposure to the field, naturally the venture did not work out. This made me realise the weight of subject matter knowledge and understanding.

My advice now is, do not venture into anything that you are not familiar with or have done thorough research. Once we have found our niche, we should continue building on what we know best and not be side-tracked. By continuously looking for ways to improve and doing what we know best will make us true leaders in the industry.

What man-made innovation confounds you? Why?

Perhaps I am biased because I am in the industry, but the rise and necessity of smartphones that permeate our everyday life truly astounds me. Today’s smartphones have become as powerful as full-fledged computers. They are already faster than the mid-’80s Cray-2 Supercomputer and faster than the computer onboard the Orion spaceship NASA is testing to go to Mars.

All this in a device that fits into our pockets. We can do almost anything on a smartphone now. From staying productive with emails, drafting and reviewing documents, to making purchases online and managing our financial transactions – they can all be done while on the go without missing a beat.

No longer simply for making calls, our smartphones have become versatile computing devices that most of us cannot imagine life without. It has truly revolutionised the way we live and work. And, all these are facilitated by the connectivity that edotco enables.

View source version: https://www.thesundaily.my/business/success-the-insight-story-don-t-venture-into-something-that-you-are-not-familiar-with-FE6574016

For media enquiries, please contact:

Annushia Balavijendran
edotco Group Corporate Communications
Tel: +603 2268 6014
E-mail: annushia@edotcogroup.com

Success: The Insight Story – Don’t venture into something that you are not familiar with

This week, SunBiz gets the views and thoughts of edotco Malaysia Country Managing Director Wan Zainal Adileen

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

It is the collective experiences since my school days that helped brought me to where I am today.

My love for music got me involved in the school marching band where I found myself appointed the drum major. Later, in college, I was a student president and in other leadership roles. In these positions, I obtained the exposure and somehow found myself in a position where peers referred to me for direction, guidance and advice.

This helped me learn and develop the soft skills required to lead and mentor people. To this day, it has been a continuous journey of learning and self-improvement to better my leadership abilities. I am grateful for these life experiences and I believe they form the foundation of my leadership style today.

How has your previous employment experience aided your current position?

Every organisation has its own unique corporate and organisational culture and values while each country has its own set of dynamics and operational differences. I have been lucky to have worked in and with multinationals, which gave me the experience being based overseas for extended periods of time. The diversity helped improve my people management skills and the network and connections built through these stints are invaluable too.

I learned to be more versatile and have a broader view of things. This helped me refine my problem-solving skills over time, arriving at innovative solutions that address the different challenges. This is critical as telecommunications is an essential service and edotco infrastructure plays a crucial role together with mobile network operators (MNOs) keeping people, communities and the nation connected.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at edotco Malaysia?

Prior to taking on this leadership role in edotco Malaysia, I was the Chief Sales and Corporate Affairs Officer at Group level. When I opted to focus on Malaysia as edotco Malaysia Country Managing Director, I was tasked with establishing the business as an independent integrated infrastructure provider and implementing processes to stabilise and drive the organisation forward. This aspect was critical as edotco was a new carve-out from Celcom at that time.

Our first challenge was to build awareness and confidence among our customers to accelerate market acceptance and recognition as an independent telecommunications infrastructure provider. We tried to overcome this by remaining consistent to our value proposition of helping MNOs reduce their operational expenses through co-location and through economy of scale enabled by the right shareable assets and offering advanced solutions that address the connectivity needs of the nation.

It is particularly satisfying when acceptance flowed in from MNOs and other operators see the value that edotco brings to the industry. Operators do not need to build their own infrastructure, which is capital intensive, as they can use our innovative solutions that are plug-and-play capable. It also expedites rollout for quicker go-to-market coverage for customers.

The highlights so far include pioneering the use of small cells in Malaysia, such as the first digital small cell solution by a telecommunications infrastructure provider in KL Sentral. It enhanced coverage and connectivity for thousands of daily commuters and improved network speeds by up to four times as we pave the way for 5G implementation in high-density urban areas.

Our team also installed the first site in Malaysia that optimises connectivity via unobtrusive multi-beam technology at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in KL Sports City to enlarge network capacity in the run-up to Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games. This project was completed within two months and helped MNOs cater to the full capacity of the stadium during the peak of the SEA Games.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

My family keeps me grounded and I am a firm believer of making memories together. So I try to get them involved in my activities as much as possible.

Two of my favourite pastimes are horseback riding and road cycling. There is a sense of serenity and adventure while on horseback. It gives me total thrill when I am in tune with my mount, tackling obstacles in our path.

Riding, both horseback and bicycle, offers freedom, movement, and is a great stress relief for me. I am very pleased that my son is becoming a natural on the saddle too, and it’s an activity we do together now.

Occasionally, I plan road cycling trips with my colleagues as well (when the situation allowed). This helps us build stronger interpersonal relations outside work settings, which is also beneficial for team spirit and cohesion.

I also enjoy playing music on a regular basis. The guitar is my favourite instrument and I have collected quite a few guitars over the years. I am lucky to share this hobby with a group of friends and we play together whenever we can.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

No man is certainly an island, in my books. As much as we would like to think we can, we cannot do everything by ourselves. Having a good support system and mentorship helps us grow personally and professionally. It is reassuring to know we can rely on certain people as a sounding board, and for guidance and valuable advice.

An honest word from my mentor is priceless as it helps broaden my perspectives and see things from a different point of view. My mentors help me take stock, recalibrate and give me the courage take on the unknown that prepared me for the next role.

Being a father, I want to do the same for my children and try to instil good values in them. More is caught than taught. With children being highly perceptive and technology widening their world more than ever before, I believe modelling the values is more important than lecturing on a belief. I hope they understand they can always come to me to talk about any matter.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?

My drive is to develop the business further and firmly establish the company as a leading player in supporting Malaysia as a forerunner in 5G. To this end, telecommunications infrastructure providers such as ourselves and other stakeholders must come together and play our respective roles.

We are committed to helping Malaysia realise the capacity required (for 5G) while at the same time continuously innovate to keep communities and people connected. We want to continue providing shared infrastructure in urban and rural areas to enhance the telecommunications industry and be an effective and efficient nation-building partner.

Apart from that, I hope I can be a good leader and provide valuable mentorship to inspire the growth of my team. Nothing would please me more than seeing them prosper in their roles and career.

Best piece of advice you ever received on your career?

This advice actually came in the form of a question posed to me by my reporting line. I had been a very successful sales person earning lucrative commissions in one of my earlier roles. My performance earned me a promotion to a larger management role which did not come with lucrative sales commission benefits. Because of this, I had reservations about accepting it; I was in my comfort zone.

This was when my superior at that time asked me whether I wanted to continue being motivated by money or being in a position to affect real change. This question got me thinking about what I really wanted to make of my career, and of myself as a person. It made me realise that I can do so much more and make a positive impact through my career. The one change in my career course led me to where I am today, overseeing the entire operations responsible for 13,000 telecommunications towers in Malaysia.

In short, the best advice I received in my career was, “Don’t be motivated by money but be motivated by success and what you can achieve in your lifetime.”

How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry?

I make it a point to stay connected with people. Previously, I’d schedule regular face-to-face visits to customers and fellow industry peers from all levels and backgrounds. It gave me the opportunity to hear first-hand from customers and peers, and understand the ongoings of the industry.

Spending time to listen to what they have to say and exchange notes on challenges helps us provide a solution that meet their needs. Now I do this virtually, until it is conducive to continue face-to-face meetings.

Various seminars and industry talks also help me better prepare the team to adapt and adopt new innovations for the benefit of customers and users.

What was your biggest failure and how did you learn from it?

I once tried my hand in a business that I had little understanding about. With limited exposure to the field, naturally the venture did not work out. This made me realise the weight of subject matter knowledge and understanding.

My advice now is, do not venture into anything that you are not familiar with or have done thorough research. Once we have found our niche, we should continue building on what we know best and not be side-tracked. By continuously looking for ways to improve and doing what we know best will make us true leaders in the industry.

What man-made innovation confounds you? Why?

Perhaps I am biased because I am in the industry, but the rise and necessity of smartphones that permeate our everyday life truly astounds me. Today’s smartphones have become as powerful as full-fledged computers. They are already faster than the mid-’80s Cray-2 Supercomputer and faster than the computer onboard the Orion spaceship NASA is testing to go to Mars.

All this in a device that fits into our pockets. We can do almost anything on a smartphone now. From staying productive with emails, drafting and reviewing documents, to making purchases online and managing our financial transactions – they can all be done while on the go without missing a beat.

No longer simply for making calls, our smartphones have become versatile computing devices that most of us cannot imagine life without. It has truly revolutionised the way we live and work. And, all these are facilitated by the connectivity that edotco enables.

View source version: https://www.thesundaily.my/business/success-the-insight-story-don-t-venture-into-something-that-you-are-not-familiar-with-FE6574016

For media enquiries, please contact:

Annushia Balavijendran
edotco Group Corporate Communications
Tel: +603 2268 6014
E-mail: annushia@edotcogroup.com