Francis Goh is living his passion by helping clients in their Digital transformation journey through Hensed, a digital consulting company.
What’s your story?
Starting Hehsed Consulting was something that I had been preparing myself for a long time. After being in a corporate world for more than 25 years, I want to make a meaningful impact for the second half of my life. My professional journey has been enriching with international experience in the technology and energy industries where I had numerous P&L and high impact leadership roles with global leaders such as Accenture, SAP, HP, Microsoft and ExxonMobil. Hehsed allows me to live my passion and vision to bring about customer-centric innovation, digital transformation to business strategy and leadership management to organisation in this digital age.
What excites you most about your industry?
Our company operates in the industry of digital consulting services. Though, I prefer to call it just as digital era, in which we all are living in with a VUCA world being a big part of it right now. VUCA stands for – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The internet of things, web, and mobile technologies are redefining the status quo of traditional industries and creating significant opportunities for disruptors. Discovering ways to navigate in this digital age excites me as much as being in a position to help organizations find solutions to their internal problems and to prepare them for the next phase of growth.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Hehsed is a Singapore headquartered international company. We have 11 representatives offices around the globe across seven cities in Asia (including Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Sydney, Yangon). Singapore is the gateway to Asia, which has the highest growth area in the world. We are looking at building presence in China where there is a great potential in human capital management.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city in Asia for business is Singapore of course. Being a Singaporean at heart, and Singapore as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, it is a strategic hub where many global companies are headquartered with a lot of business opportunities. In fact, we see an increased number of start-ups setting up their base in Singapore.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I like a quote from Maya Angelou – “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Advice of a pure wisdom, especially in the age of customer-centricity. Today, it is even not a matter of choice anymore to ensure that your user experience and customer experience are what your clients expect of you. It is expected. The question businesses would need to ask themselves is, what can we deliver beyond the expected.
Who inspires you?
It is quite hard to nail only one person as many people inspire me. However, if I had to name only one, then it would be Einstein. He was a giant of his time, yet very humble. His phrase “if you cannot explain it simply, then you do not understand it well enough” is one of my guiding principles in business and a focus area in general.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We are living in a VUCA world. The reality brings us to a point where change is the only constant. Simple to accept, hard to apply. Embracing change is a very first step toward redefining the purpose of your organization in a time of digital transformation. It has significant implications on how we learn to leverage disruptive trends and convert challenges into opportunities. This seemingly minor mindset shift will equip your organization with new lenses to look at the process of innovation, product development, people development and business administration overall.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I love travelling and trying new things. Going overseas gives an exposure to be immersed into a different environment and a culture and learn from it first-hand. Global mindset is a prerequisite for a successful operation in today highly globalized and connected World. Therefore, 30 years back if I had my time again, I would explore the opportunity to live in every continent at least for five years each time. I would spend one year each time living in Asian cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
How do you unwind?
To unwind I prefer to do physical training such as running or jogging in the early morning. At the same time, I find wine tasting an unwinding experience too. I am intellectually curious about technology and the chemistry behind wine. Finally, music is a large part of my life helping me calm down and peace my mind whenever I have a need for it.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I have many such places in Asia. Maldives is one of my favourite destinations for relaxation. Though it is quite remote, the nature is so beautiful and authentic there.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Chasing Daylight” by Eugene O’Kelly, who was the Ex-Chairman and former CEO of KPMG, is one of my most recommended books for business people. Eugene O’Kelly passed away at 53, but he was given 100-days’ notice of his last stage brain cancer. Chasing Daylight is about how he spent his last 100 days. It is full of insights on the true meaning of life and how one’s life should be lived and loved. The book is a compass for all business people who aim to live with purpose. It is about courage, commitment and passion – integral parts of success in any business.
Shameless plug for your business:
Hehsed is a digital consulting company that assists businesses to realize their full potential through creating a culture of innovation, designing seamless customer experience and developing a digital transformation strategy (including digital human capital). At Hehsed, we combine business strategy consultants with high calibre technology experts to provide quality solutions to our clients.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.