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Real Business : 2013 Issue 1
18 Real Business ISSUE 1, 2013 DonalD Tong CPa is one of the many expats who now call Singapore home. Of its 5.35 million population, about 37 per cent are permanent residents or foreign employees. Tong moved from Sydney to Singapore in 2003 when Procter & Gamble seconded him to work in its Asia-Pacific headquarters. “It was a great opportunity to learn about doing business across different countries in Asia,” says Tong, who jumped at the chance to work in a broader role with a regional scope. “ Similar to the experience of others I’ve met, it usually starts off with the expectation of one assignment then continues to extend.” Tong was hired by multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo last year, where he now works as the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regional manager, financial planning and reporting, overseeing performance deliver y across the business’s portfolio of brands, including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness. “It’s a broad role where I’m involved in developing regional strategies and target setting across pricing, premiumisation and investor relations,” he says. Voon Hoe Chen CPA moved from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore 12 years ago to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers. A partner at PwC, Chen leads the accounting advisory, commodities trading and risk management, and treasury practice. Working in the densely populated island nation of singapore offers great opportunities to learn about doing business throughout asia. “My work offers me the opportunity to interact with some of the largest companies in Singapore and from around the world,” Chen says. “PwC is a global network of firms that emphasises global mobility. Singapore is one of the favourite choices for overseas secondments.” The number of multinationals with regional headquarters in Singapore means a high calibre of international talent is drawn here, making the workplace culture competitive and fast-paced. “Because of the broader work responsibilities, work-life balance does take a back seat at times,” Tong says. “The good thing is people around you are working at a fast pace, so you stretch yourself to achieve more than is otherwise possible.” CPA Australia has a presence in Singapore and a good relationship with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore. “There is an active CPA Young Professionals Network, with recent events including whiskey tasting and networking,” Tong says. “There are also monthly activities organised by the local branch. It is always well attended.” dEStInatIonS SIngaporE IntErvIEw ViRGinia Millen photoS edWin koo CPas aRe Based in 127 CountRies fRoM BRunei to kaZakHstan and ZaMBia Hub working in Singapore regional 17.1% of households claim private wealth of a million dollars or more 1.2 %growth In gdp2012 % 1.8 UnEmploymEnt
Issue 3 2012