Dr. Chee’s sympathetic understanding of the needs of young people led her to create an organization providing mentoring for disadvantaged people between the ages of 21-25.
What’s your story?
My name is Dr. Candice Chee, a Professional Management Consultant (PMC) with more than 25 years of experience in strategy consulting. I have been privileged in supporting several Fortune 500 Companies and MNCs in their pursuits for Customer Excellence in Asia. My experience spans from Retail Financial Services, Hospitality, and Lifestyle Services to Consumer Packaged Goods and the Pharmaceutical and Health Care sectors. I am versatile in both B2B and B2C markets, with expertise in remodeling product-focused business practices to customer-centric best practices. I am highly self-driven, resourceful, and efficacious in leading teams towards finding solutions to tough challenges and in exceeding high standards.
As a mother of three grown-up children, I always have a soft spot for youths who are under-performing due to lack of resources or guidance. While consulting for a government-related institution and doing adjunct teaching ten years ago, I was deeply burdened with despondent sentiments from youths who fell behind in Singapore’s meritocratic system. To help this segment achieve social mobility and enlarge Singapore’s social capital, I decided to pivot my consulting experience and expertise to develop our young adults.
MentorsHub was conceptualized and founded in 2015 to provide pro bono marketplace mentorship to undergrads, age 21 to 25, from less privileged families. I reckon that these are our low hanging fruits and could tip over more speedily to produce fruitful outcomes. Today, we have a team of 5 committee management members, 38 mentors, and 20 coaches who volunteer their time, talent, and resources on the platform. With these corporate giants, we have mentored more than 100 young people, one-to-one, over a one year period each. Our fulfillment comes from seeing how our mentees have transformed from good to great not just in their careers, but also in their character development and contributions to the community.
What excites you most about your industry?
MentorsHub is an independent private social mentorship initiative set up by a team of like-minded PMEBTs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, Businessmen & Technicians). Our passion is in enhancing the capabilities and opportunities of young adults. We are differentiated by our social mission, close-knitted mentoring community, tailored programs, and the quality of our mentors.
We are driven by a common vision to:
* Help our target beneficiaries uncover and nurture their potentials through discovery and developmental process to maximize their strengths for excellence
* Guide them in the building of capabilities that increase their opportunities for social mobility
* Inculcate virtues for success, impact & fulfillment for more purposeful living.
What is your connection to Asia?
Since my days as the Principal Consultant with Peppers and Rogers Asia, I have been leading business and strategy development with customers in the region. They include Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Singapore.
At MentorsHub, I recruited a strong team of mentors with a diversity of domains expertise, industries experience, and exposures from different countries.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city in Asia for business is Tokyo.
Having worked with my Japanese customers, I am often impressed with their diligence and dedication towards every task. They leave no stone unturned and are very open to exploring new concepts. They have a good work ethic and are personable.
Climate and culture-wise, the city is beautiful and enjoyable across four seasons. There are so many places that one could visit, so much natural beauty and amazing cuisines all around. The country also operates like clockwork with zero defects!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There are several quotes of wisdom that appeal to me at different times of my life. During my growing up years, there was no such thing as a ‘mentor’ or ‘coach’ to advise or guide me. I would say that the best piece of advice I have ever received was from my late mother whom I loved dearly. She used to tell me that “if you really believe in something, just go all the way and do it well!” It may seem to be ordinary advice but it saw me through extraordinary times.
It gave me the impetus to pursue higher education despite financial circumstances that inhibited me from a tertiary education and landed me in the workplace straight after college yet now I hold a doctorate degree in Business Administration.
Today I carry this quote on my company’s website to remind myself that “Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude” – Ralph Marston.
Who inspires you?
My mother. She was unschooled but taught herself to read and write by reading Chinese newspapers. During difficult times, she single-handedly brought up five young children. She was creative in making ends meet without compromising her values and principles. She had a high threshold for pressure and a strong will. She was the strong pillar of our family and the super-glue of our extended families. The sacrifices she made for me are priceless.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have attended several zoom webinars during the Covid period that talked about overcoming turbulent times. The webinar that I found most intriguing was delivered by Pastor Edmund Chan. He described four types of mindset that people could choose in responding to the current crisis:
1. Survivalist – ”what do I cut down to survive?”
2. Struggler – “how do I cope?”
3. Settler – “how do I keep my status quo?”
4. Strategist – “how do I strategically redeem my lost grounds?”
To move from whichever mindset we are into the Strategist Mindset requires a paradigm shift of our approach to life and underlying assumptions. From the ontology of assumptions, people are shaped differently by their cultural, biological, intellectual backgrounds, and idiosyncrasies. Our underlying assumptions could become the operating principles behind our self-fulfilling prophecies. Thus, for what it is worth, periodically test and evaluate our views towards life. The values, beliefs, and ideas we hold dear and true could make us or break us. In sum, this is how we could future-proof ourselves.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I asked my interviewees of my upcoming book the same question. Some said they would not change a thing because they all add up to who they are today; others would like a tweak here and there.
I have been a very ambitious and career-minded individual during my younger years but these had trade-offs. If I had my time again, I would want to spend much more time with my mom and dad. We often take for granted that our loved ones will always be there for us. But are we there for them too? Something lost can be repurchased or rebuilt, someone gone is forever.
How do you unwind?
During the day, I love to have a strong cup of cappuccino and read a book; have me-time. In the evening, I like to unwind with a glass of red wine, my favourite macadamia nuts and soft music on my patio, taking in the stars.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok and Bali are my two favourite Asian destinations for quick fixes, as they are just a jif-away. They have great restaurants, professional therapeutic massages, interesting flea markets and outdoor activities.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Half Time – People may be successful, rich, famous, powerful but still feel unhappy and unfulfilled. Half time transformed my perspective inside out and enlightened me on how to pivot from success to significance.
Shameless plug for your business:
As the Managing Partner of MetaCore Asia, I am known for my expertise and dedication in partnering Fortune 500 and multinational companies in their pursuits towards customer excellence. I assist organisations in their transitions from product-centric business practices to customer-centric best practices through my consulting practice and corporate training services.
I am passionate about building a virtuous cycle in the business ecosystem by identifying, creating and delivering values that impact stakeholders and people positively.
Change management is a process just as implementing a customer-centric strategy is a journey. To equip your management team with the knowledge, methodologies and skills that are needed to sustain your new business strategies, contact me at [email protected] for my highly consultative training, customised in-house training and corporate consulting.
How can people connect with you?
I am passionate about a customer-centric or person-centric approach to business practices as it creates true value for all stakeholders. I now deliver these insights mainly through corporate training and executive coaching.
Angels who are interested to scale or scope up MentorsHub as a means of paying-it-forward are also welcome to contact me at [email protected]
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.