My journey with Croda started in February 2010. I joined the graduate trainee programme after completing a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the National University of Singapore. As part of the graduate trainee programme, my first job placement was in the Customer Service Department. I coordinated orders and handled export shipments to all parts of the world. The job allowed me to learn the fundamentals of shipping and logistics, as well as to first-hand experience the fast-paced commercial world.
As a chemistry graduate, I always have a strong interest in working in the laboratory developing new molecules and technologies. The opportunity came when I joined the Industrial Specialities Applications team for my second job placement. I worked in the laboratory developing new products as well as supporting customer projects. With the guidance of experienced team members, I was exposed to the technical aspects of the business, which will definitely serve me well in my future career.
Having a strong interest in the commercial aspects of the business, I moved on to take on the sales support role for Consumer Care. For the first time in my career, I was exposed to product enquiries, price quotations and regulatory enquiries from customers and other Croda offices around the globe. It was definitely a rewarding experience, as it allowed me to establish strong communications internally with the respective departments, as well as externally to the customers. In addition, my prior experience in customer service further strengthened my understanding of the business, allowing me to interpret and view Croda’s supply chain from different dimensions.
My last job placement as a graduate trainee was in the Marketing department supporting Personal Care. In Marketing, the strategies and approaches are completely different from Sales. I gained first hand marketing experience by working together with a creative and innovative team on marketing campaigns, exhibitions, product launches and many more. It was very fruitful to see the projects which I have been working on for months become commercialised.
After completing 2 years of eventful and memorable graduate trainee programme, I applied for a full time role in the Marketing department, taking on the role of Marketing Executive for PTIC. In this role I got to take on full responsibilities of the marketing plan. The role also allowed me to work extensively with colleagues from other parts of the world and I had the chance to utilise my creativity and ideas in global as well as regional projects. The job scope allowed me to experience the commercial and technical aspects of each of the PTIC businesses.
One of the great benefits of working in Croda is the culture of flexibility and openness within the company. My mentor and managers knew that I have always wanted to go into sales and after nine months in the Marketing department, I was given the opportunity to increase my portfolio with additional sales responsibilities in the Home Care markets. With dedicated guidance from the Sales Director, I learnt about sales techniques which further strengthened my business acumen.
Three months later, I moved to the Sales department, taking on sales development which was an eye opener for me. The role allowed me to have more focus on three business divisions, and gave me the chance to coordinate and work with the Croda Sales and Marketing team, as well as to handle direct customer accounts. Providing sales leads to the Sales team, answering commercial and technical enquiries, organising exhibitions and tradeshows, and getting involved with the global commercial team was part of my job scope to grow the business. These experiences allow me to view the business from the micro and macro level.
In Croda, there are always endless career opportunities available. Apart from the job responsibilities in the specialist role, I further expanded my portfolio by providing dedicated support to the Sales team in Asia Pacific to drive business growth. Such experience allows me to understand the market dynamics and trends more clearly, and I can more effectively work with the Sales Director in setting strategies. I am currently taking an MBA at the Manchester Business School to further improve and prepare myself for the next stage of my career. I look forward to continuing my exciting and fulfilling journey with Croda.
To significantly strengthen our performance in Asia Pacific, the sales structure was reorganised. I was appointed to the role of Business Development Manager – Geo Technologies and Home Care. I enjoyed the new challenge of propelling these two businesses to greater heights.
After 3 wonderful and memorable years working in Performance Technologies, I was given the opportunity to take on the role of Sales Manager Asia for Industrial Chemicals. I am responsible for the leadership of Industrial Chemicals in Asia and part of the Global Management Team to help shape the strategic plans for the global business. Industrial Chemicals is a diverse and dynamic business with multiple speciality applications and established oleochemicals. I am extremely excited to be in this new role and focussing on developing new key areas as well as strategically accelerating the growth of the existing businesses in Asia.
I was given an opportunity to take on a bigger role to lead the Performance Products business in Asia, which includes Home, Fabric, Water and the diverse Industrial Chemicals sector. Performance Products is a massive and important business to Croda and to Asia, and in this role I spearhead the overall business and build up a strong and capable Sales and Marketing team across Asia to accelerate and support growth. I continue to be part of the Global Management Team to shape the strategic plans for the global business, and am responsible for the near to long term strategic plans for Asia to maximise growth. I am also the commercial lead for our Indonesian, Cikarang, manufacturing site, driving commercial growth for the site whilst being responsible for site planning as well as profit and loss. I look forward to seeing Performance Products and Indonesia Cikarang site continue to evolve into an innovative, differentiated and sustainable higher tech business and continue its strong growth.
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