I’m driven by a strong desire to help people reach their potential – both personally and digitally.
So what made me the person I am today?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Parents were farmers but on top of that my mother owned a grocery store and father had many types of contractor duties during the off-season. Most my uncles ran their own businesses as well. So it seemed natural and inevitable that I would become one too. But no one could have predicted the path I’d take…
I left high school confused – I wasn’t captivated by any of the traditionally female occupations. So I spent a year working in my mother’s grocery shop, where I learned a lot – not least, that this wasn’t the job for me.
Luckily for me, Finland’s Ministry of Employment offered psychometric testing for people like me. No wonder typically female jobs didn’t excite me – it turned out I had a ‘manly mind’ and should consider becoming an engineer, teacher, entrepreneur, judge or even (heaven forbid) a military leader.
So I signed up to study computer science – the only girl among 32 boys. No surprise, I met my husband-to-be on the course.
After graduating in 1995, I joined Nokia. Two years later, I travelled to Bangkok to lead a mobile network implementation project. It was a great eye-opener and a steep learning curve for a young woman who’d spent her life in small cities in Finland. The way things worked in Thailand (or didn’t), the belief structures, traditions – everything was different. I loved it. The people, the climate, the food. As my 9-month posting drew to an end, I vowed to return to Asia.
Soon after, my husband and I moved to Singapore – initially on a one-year Nokia contract to build the StarHub mobile network. At that time, StarHub was little more than an idea on a scrap of paper. It had no premise and just a handful of staff. My husband and I were the first two engineers hired to work on the project from the Nokia side.
When the network was ready for launch in April 2000, my boss suggested I take a new path, training as a GPRS Engineer. When the first flurry of data was sent from the StarHub mobile network to the internet, I was there to make it happen and witness the moment. This was a life changer for everyone – suddenly we could browse the internet on the move!
I was hugely dedicated to my work and loved the customer interaction. Then in 2006 my life took a fresh turn – I finally fulfilled my entrepreneurial destiny, co-founding Lemom. At first, my business partner and I intended to build a hobby-based company, but clearly I wasn’t programmed to do something ‘small’. We ended up building a company that designed, produced and sold fashion accessories. Materials were sourced from around the world, jewellery was produced in Singapore and goods were exported to Europe for selling. We grew a network of marketing organisations with more than 200 consultants who bought our fashion accessories via the e-commerce we’d built then sold them on.
While operating this business, I mastered skills that I put to daily use in my current role – a role that involves helping small business owners build a strong digital presence. I also assist with inbound marketing.
I was 9 when I bought my first computer. The year was 1981 and my father was baffled—how could I spend a year’s worth of savings on a quirky little box? My father, who knew little about computers, had no idea that these strange boxes would come to play such a big role in my future. They’d determine what I’d do for living, how I’d meet my wife during computer studies and where I’d set down roots.
Even I would have been surprised to learn that I’d end up on the other side of the world thanks to my skills in computer software and hardware engineering, mobile and IP networks, and internet security.
I found my true passion when my love of technology was combined with my talent in business and strategy planning. I hit this sweet spot when I worked as Head of Network and Service Optimisation at Nokia Siemens Networks. I learned here that I was at my best in a role that required a breadth of responsibilities, covering both people and business.
I’ve now clocked up 19 years of experience working in the MNCs, telco and IT field, 15 of these in a multicultural environment. I’ve been in managerial positions for the past 12 years. As well as managing people, I’ve been accountable for leading sales processes, strategy, prioritisation and results. I’ve been involved in direct customer interface in multiple roles for 15 years, often receiving recognition for my customer relationship skills. I’ve also gained extensive experience building relationships at director level.
I’m a growth mindset person and I need an organisation that can offer me challenges and room to innovate. I want to work in a environment that welcomes continuous self-development; a place where I can offer the full range of my capabilities. It gives me a pleasure working together with my wife by helping small business owners to reach their business and personal goals.