Tet Fah Liew co-founded Workulture to empower entrepreneurs with the tools to build and grow their business by collecting employee feedback to improve employee engagement and experience.
What’s your story?
What’s the life story and insights of a Senior (mid-50s) co-founding an employee engagement SaaS startup? I am probably one of the oldest Co-Founder of a startup in Singapore. Actually, I don’t really feel “old” having worked in the trendy Techno Industry all these years though in different roles. I transited several times in my career. I started off as a Techie in datacomms & biomedical, switched to Sales in infocomm, setup my first startup in search, training & business consultancy before switching to human resources domain and finally embarked on my second startup called Workulture in January 2019.
What excites you most about your industry?
It always fascinates me when we discuss or work on people’s responses hoping to address specific engagement challenges. There are just so many action planning possibilities to creatively resolve the challenges. The most difficult aspect is predicting how people will behave emotionally which may surprise you either candidly or frustratingly.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Singaporean and have travelled extensively in Asia Pacific. It’s a very culturally-diverse region with extensive languages being spoken. Very challenging communicating but once you build the basic trust and chemistry, it is very fulfilling and meaningful whether in business or personal aspects.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Personally, I don’t really have a favourite city as every city is unique with respect to its culture and business environment. If I really need to just pick one, it could possibly be Bangkok as we always have very pleasant smiling business meetings with my Thai contacts feeling motivated and less “stressed”.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To sustain our career, we need to continuously learn, relearn and unlearn.
Who inspires you?
People who truly help people-in-need inspire me a lot as that’s what I hope to do more when I am retired.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Healthy living is still of utmost importance in our life. Only when we are healthy, we can take care of our loved ones and others and enjoy our life healthily.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I could rewind back in time, I would have picked up more sports and live a more varied healthy lifestyle as you age along.
How do you unwind?
I jog twice a week to maintain my overall health and most importantly, I use it as a means to detox away the stressful toxins to revitalise my mind and body.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
To me, any destination with great natural scenery and cool temperature will always relax my mind and body, away from a mostly concrete-environment city where I lived in.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Frankly speaking, I don’t really read books except for school textbooks (no choice lah, haha). I read newspapers a lot like my daily first default activity in the morning before work. Over the years, I improved my English and my knowledge of the social/techno/political/etc landscape with my deeply-disciplined newspaper reading habit.
Shameless plug for your business:
I always share with my prospects that Workulture will ensure a highly engaged workforce culture that will deliver greater business results. Check out: https://workulture.com
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 and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.