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Great Business Leadership with Bobby Ting Sie Ching of Hydro-Icon

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HAVING AN EDGE AND CONSTANTLY INNOVATING IS A MUST.

As a Managing Director, Bobby Ting Sie Ching has shown great examples of leadership in running a business, guiding it from start-up to a fast-rising company.

As part of Sarawak’s prominent Ting’s family, headed by his parents Tan Sri Dato’ Paduka Dr Ting Pek Khiing and Puan Sri Datin Paduka Wong Sui Chuo, it should come as no surprise then that Bobby Ting would want to step forward and be counted, stamping his own mark in the world.

Bobby eventually ventured into the construction business, which all began after he came back to Kuching and his father put him into selling mangoes. “I was the one that helped my father start up and somewhat commercialise the mango business. It was from a very canteen approach as we did not have a brand or logo at that time. A few others and I reorganised and branded it, and so that is why you can see Ming Kiong’s red boxes as quite prominent now,” said Bobby. He handled this line of business for few years, which proved to be successful.

“My first job happened to be in construction,” he shares. “This was when I was still in Sydney. And, although working for others was a great learning process, I soon realised that all this effort would reward the business owner rather than contribute to the family business. So, it didn’t take long before I rushed to complete my MBA so I could rejoin the family. But, truth be told, I didn’t really know that I would end up in construction at first, as my father had a diverse range of businesses, which ranged from hospitality, plantations and other agricultural businesses. It was only after touching base in a few of them that I realised building and construction was where my passion lay. So, I took it on full-fledged and never looked back.”

Today, as Managing Director of two highly-regarded companies – Hydro-Icon is a construction Company incorporated in year 2007 specialise in the water treatment plant, design, engineering and construction of water and wastewater treatment equipment and systems; and Elica, a new development group that is currently making headlines for its debut project, The Republic in Kuching – Ting has made it clear that, although he’s the youngest in his formidable family, he is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. After all, “age is just a number,” as he rightfully points out. As the managing director now for both Hydro Icon Sdn Bhd and development group Elica Sdn Bhd, it can be said that Bobby has come a long way from being a beginner in the construction business.

And, if last year was anything to go by, it would seem his time in the sun has come. His maiden property development project, The Republic by Elica, in Kuching’s Kempas Heights, did him proud by clinching the prestigious Best Residential Property Development award at the 2014 South East Asian Property Awards Malaysia. Having had always to work extra hard in order to prove himself, such accolades prove sweet savour for Ting. “We were cautious when we launched it, uncertain of the economy. But we took a gamble to embark on a high- end, luxurious and niche product. It’s been a wonderful journey so far – plenty of hard work and planning – but we have strived as a team to get to where we are today. Construction and property development have always been my passion this was great recognition for what we have done to date.”

Touching on the Chinese adage that wealth seldom lasts beyond three generations, Ting brushes it off as an over-generalisation.

“It is not important that wealth survives as much as life lessons learnt,” he muses wisely. “Wealth may dwindle due to economic factors and that’s a lot for future generations to overcome. But, transcending the importance of family and togetherness and following one’s dreams is far more important. If future generations can follow a genuine passion of their own, success will surely follow. Young people need to follow their passion and intuition because, if you have that, success will come. All you need is just to work hard at it. Young people want to be successful yet, these days, everyone wants fast results. But success and wealth has never come easily. You have to endure challenges, work hard, persevere and grow on them to ensure success.”

On his own plans for continuous success, Ting is pragmatic and states that “having an edge and constantly innovating is a must.” A firm believer in the importance of differentiation and standing out from the crowd, he has also strived to ensure that his teams at Elica and Hydro- Icon follow suit. He acknowledges that the completion of each project is always a highlight. “Each site has its own challenges and is always different and unique from the last one. We have learnt and built upon each task, which, for Hydro- Icon, gives us our competitive edge in water treatment plants in Sarawak.”

Aside from innovation and gaining the proverbial edge, Ting also stresses the importance of having the right team to back you up. “I am extremely fortunate to have the team I do – they are the core of the business. I also think a vital key to our success is the ability to let go and not micromanage too many issues. You have to, ultimately, trust the people you work with while working with them to solve issues. And, when you can see eye to eye with your team, rest assured they will have the company’s interests at heart.” This certainly stands Ting in good stead as he welcomed the latest addition to his family, a baby boy named Kingston, born in December last year – yet another blessing for him, his wife Shen- Tel and toddler Benjamin.

Drive, determination and a razor-sharp focus are all qualities Ting has honed over the years. It certainly helps, of course, that he spent much of his youth basking in the sporting limelight as Australia’s Under 17 rugby and rowing champion – an experience that has made him clearly aware of the benefits of teamwork as well as how to best contribute in a team environment. “What I’ve learnt, as a sportsman, is that no matter what you do, you must do it with righteousness – play by the rules and with integrity. If you win, do so with grace. But, should you lose, learn from your mistakes and build on it to take on the next match.”

Despite what the future may hold, Ting is clear that all he wants is “to give future generations a bit more than what I had. Even for my staff – I want them to build upon what they have experienced working with me and to build on that for their own future generations.” But for now, his ‘bigger picture’ includes continuous growth. And foremost in Ting’s Five-Year Plan includes a trio of D’s: Diversification, Development and Definition. “I want to see Hydro-Icon and Elica moving into other infrastructure projects like developing large-scaled land plots into new aged suburbs as well as redefining conventional building practices using more innovative construction methods. Construction doesn’t mean Hydro-Icon is doing just water treatment plants or Elica only building high-end residential condominiums. I want to see us further ourselves and build more diverse products, from infrastructure and housing to roads, while leveraging on the skill-sets learnt from our current projects so we can tackle more challenging jobs!” Tellingly, he also adds that “I’d also like to see both companies expand into Peninsular Malaysia to take on larger, more established companies.”

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Bobby Ting is a winner of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015 BIMP-EAGA, under the Most Promising Category. The Awards were held on 1st August 2015 at Miri Marriott Resort and Spa, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Entrepreneurship

Fear & Desire with Emerging Technologies

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For all their complexity, we tend to think about emerging technologies in surprisingly simple ways. Either they are a force for good. That is, for eliminating disease and pain, and offering the prospect of not only extending our lives but bringing a level of physical and cognitive enhancement that even the previous generation could not have imagined. We get a sense of the apparently limitless power of artificial intelligence to help us grapple with the widest array of personal, social and physical problems, especially as we apply it to the massive and growing resource of Big Data. And we particularly enjoy the expanding connectivity that comes with all this.

Or we see them as threatening, especially as artificial intelligence increasingly makes important decisions for us, as that same connectivity is used to exploit us and as it distorts our view of the world, and as genomics explores and alters the very codes of life. They are also seen as a threat to the ecosystem through the toxicity from mining rare metals, from the gases and microplastic waste from modern appliances and through the dumping of ‘old’ technologies as the replacement cycle shortens.

Or, even more commonly, we see them as being all of this, leading us to think that all we have to do to enjoy all the benefits is to constrain the risks they pose. A comfortable trade-off, a pact of some kind.

But the story of emerging technologies may be far more interesting than this, especially if we ask questions that have not been asked before. Why is it that this ‘fear and desire’ relationship that we have with technology seems to echo a similar ‘fear and desire’ relationship that we and our forebears have had with God, with the State and even with the large corporations of the Market? Do we have – or have our forebears had – a fear of these but also a desire that the power that causes this fear be brought to bear to create sympathetic conditions for us? A series of powerful protectors and providers? Is that not similar to the relationship we are increasingly having with the new technologies? If we can see some resonance here, doesn’t that change how we should think about technology? What further questions do we then need to be asking about how this relationship works?

Technology and the Trajectory of Myth answers these and other questions. It identifies the nature of the dynamic that drives this relationship and presents evidence to show that such a dynamic has long been in play, not just with the new technologies but similarly with those ‘magnitudes’ of Deity, State and Market. This evidence is found not only in the respective fields of those magnitudes but also in science, the legislative process and in law more generally. All this allows an argument that the magnitudes have formed a trajectory that has shadowed the history of the West from the start, a trajectory in which the new technologies are a key factor in the occupation of the space previously and sequentially occupied by those magnitudes.

This dynamic is proposed as a combination of psychology and history, which not only explains the relationship between individuals and the magnitudes across this trajectory but which argues that this relationship is strongly present today. The idea of it was drawn initially from the account of mythology presented by the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg but it has then been extended and widely re-worked. The result has been the imagining of this series of magnitudes as mythological entities, the purpose of which is to deal with the pressing and persistent existential fears and desires that all individuals experience. These magnitudes are claimed by their respective dominant interests to be not only absolutely empowered – they must be so to cope with the absolute nature of those existential experiences of individuals – but which have had that fearsomeness engaged to create sympathetic conditions for each individual.

The condition on which all this relies is the full subjection of the individual to the regime of idea and practice of each such magnitude in their respective eras. In fact, it is that subjection which fully empowers the magnitudes. The outcome is that, ironically perhaps, each absolute magnitude is ‘brought to earth’ by its conversion into a sympathetic form, with its power moving from absolute to conditional. The consequence of this loss of absolute status is then a search for a replacement absolute magnitude. These successive creations and failures – which see each magnitude descend into a field of failed but persistent magnitudes – constitute the trajectory. Within this field there are competitions and alliances as the dominant interests of each magnitude seek its re-emergence into an absolutely powerful condition. The operation of this field is a way to understand, for example, the contemporary alliance between the Market and both the State and emerging technologies.

This leads to the end point, the point of our present condition. That is, that technology can only take its place in this trajectory if it acquires an absolute form. We can see this emerging in the claims that technology will fully empower the individual as an Absolute Subject. Unlike the secondary position that the individual occupied in relation to the earlier magnitudes in their absolute condition, such an individual will be empowered to deal conclusively with her own existential fears and desires.

So we come back to the point at which we began. That is, the common view that technology should be seen as comprising contradictory utopian and dystopian features and that the former will be realised if the latter are eliminated or severely constrained. In fact, both features are together essential to this story of modern mythology. We need technology to be fully empowered – thereby fearsome – so that claims can be made that it will deal with the absolute existential condition of each of us. This to be done by the full power of technology in which we are to be embedded as Absolute Subject and by which each of us can create absolutely sympathetic conditions for ourselves. Utopia and dystopia need both to be brought into the context of the modern mythology not as contradictory elements but as working parts of the mythological dynamic.

But that is not the end of the story. As we have seen, the relationship between the individual and each of the magnitudes of the trajectory is based on a subjection which is best understood as the foregoing of responsibility for oneself. To recapture this self-responsibility – and experience the respect which accompanies it – means to reject this subjection. This in turn means opting out of the mythological way of organising both our sense of self and our social arrangements and dealing with existential concerns very differently, respectfully and in radical self-reliance.

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About the Author

This article was produced by Elgar Blog, Edward Elgar Publishing‘s blog is a forum filled with debate, news, updates and views from our authors and their readership. see more.

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Entrepreneurship

How to Create Buzz around Your Startup Idea

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Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.

– Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

There is something very exciting starting up a business. Startups offer you a chance to do something fresh and take new ideas to the public. But if you’re going to succeed, you need to get it right from the very start of the journey. Creating buzz around your startup’s launch is possible, and here are some ideas to help you do it.

Blog About Your Startup Journey

This is a great thing to do if you want to create a personable and refreshing brand image. People like to see how your business is doing and how it grows from an idea into a fully fledged business. Blog about what you’re doing and how your business is expanding. If you can develop an audience of readers ahead of your startup’s official launch, it will be easier for you to hit the ground running. You can then make the blog the voice of the company as it grows and starts to turn a profit. This is something that you should think very carefully about when starting up a business.

Make Plenty of Announcements

You should try to make a lot of announcements when you are leading up to the launch of your startup. There are plenty of people out there that will be interested in hearing about what you’re doing. You need to start by creating a strong presence on all the key social media sites. If you can do this, you will build up an audience that will then be receptive to your messages. They will also be there to spread the word and share announcements with their friends on social media platforms. This can be hugely important when you’re trying to raise brand awareness and expose your announcements to as many people as possible.

Organize an Event and Invite People

Organizing a real event that people can turn up to and attend can be a great idea. It makes your startup’s official launch feel more real. If you just set a random date for the launch and don’t mark it in any way, it will be much more difficult to create a buzz. Hire a stage, sound system and find bleacher rentals to host the event. Then you can write a speech and make a plan for the schedule of the launch. If you can do this well, you will create a lot of buzz, and maybe get some more coverage for the startup too.

Reach Out to People Who Can Give You Publicity

There are plenty of people out there that might be able to help you achieve the publicity and coverage you crave. When your business is being talked about, people will hear about your brand and what it’s doing. So, you need to make sure that you reach out to many people in the press, the media and the blogosphere who can help you. There are many business magazines and websites that write profiles of new business and young entrepreneurs. If you can contact some of these people, they might be interested in offering you some coverage. Don’t underestimate how important this could be. Hopefully these ideas will help you with starting up a business.

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About the Author

This article was produced by SolVibrations is a multi-author self improvement blog, aiming to inspire creativity within.

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