“Skillset is just one part of the equation. Attitude, energy and enthusiasm are so much more important than skillset alone.” – Mr Eric van der Hoeven, CEO of JTH Group
It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude, said Mr Eric van der Hoeven, CEO of JTH Group, in an exclusive interview with Epoch Times.
JTH Group is a member of the Fortune Global 500-listed Jardine Matheson Group—a diversified business group focused principally on Asia.
The Group’s interests include Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm Group, Mandarin Oriental, Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Astra International.
“Skillset is just one part of the equation. Attitude, energy and enthusiasm are so much more important than skillset alone,” opined Mr Eric.
He envisions a change in employer/employee relationships within the next few years, resulting in more part-time, ad-hoc jobs (a bit like crowdsourcing) in the future. Mr Eric believes that if this comes to pass, tech-savvy Millennials will no longer be sitting in their offices eight hours a day.
“If you have a large problem that needs to be solved, or solutions that need to be developed, and when you don’t have an army of employees clocking in eight hours a day, you can work it through the Internet at any time of the day,” he shared.
Mr Eric flew in from Hong Kong to present awards to the winning teams at the JOS Innovation Awards 2016-17, held on Mar 3, 2017 at The Arts House in Singapore.
JOS Innovation Awards is a competition organised by JOS, a systems integrator, solutions provider and technology consultancy with over 60 years’ experience in Asia. JOS is a division of the JTH Group.
The competition is open to students from polytechnics and universities in Singapore, and engages Millennials in a contest to come up with technology-driven ideas and solutions to modern-day problems.
Nine out of the 80 participating teams, from all the public polytechnics, universities and several private universities, were at The Arts House last Friday to deliver their innovative ideas to a panel of judges comprising of senior management from JOS.
The judges include Dr Gog Soon Joo, group director of Training Partners Group and chief research officer of SkillsFuture Singapore; Mr Mark Herbert, CEO of Dairy Farm Group; Mr Ian Potter, a Distinguished Fellow of INSEAD; Mr John Tan, CEO of Saturday Kids; Mr Mark Lunt, group managing director of JOS; and Mr Andrew Tan, managing director of JOS Singapore.
Gerald Lim and James Ong from Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) came up with an idea that won the platinum award.
Their project titled ‘Cartshare,’ aims to provide a hassle-free shopping platform for users to collaborate on different promotions, as well as the ability to elicit opinions from family and friends before making a purchase.
Their solution is tailored to address the lack of peer-to-peer interaction, while shopping online, which results in a loss of potential revenue for retailers.
“My mum is picky about the clothes she wears. I had to screenshot, then copy and paste the information about the size and colour of the clothes she was interested in. And this frustrating process took a long time. I thought, ‘Could there be a solution to this?’” recounted Gerald Lim.
That’s how he came up with a user-to-user interactive interface, where a user can post the products that they’re interested in purchasing online, and seek opinions from friends and family members through a discussion.
The ‘promo share’ design was contrived by his teammate, James Ong.
“The promo share feature links you to other peers, to get you the promotions that you need,” said James.
This idea of sharing a promotion struck him while he was buying a speaker at a retail shop. The speaker sold for $49, or you could buy two speakers for $59.
“This represents a huge savings. Unfortunately, when I looked around, nobody was interested in this speaker. I thought, ‘Why isn’t there a platform that matches yourself and other people who might be interested in this promo?’” he recalled.
Under the mentorship and guidance of JOS executives, as well as lecturers and alumni of SIM, the duo merged their ideas, which led to the development of ‘Cartshare’.
Their brilliant concept impressed the judges, particularly Mark Herbert, CEO of Dairy Farm Group, who approached them after the competition for future collaboration.
“I think joining this kind of competition widens our horizon, pushes us to transcend our limits, and try things that were previously out of our field. And I truly enjoyed the entire journey, even though along the way I had some stressful moments,” said Gerald, who is striving to bring Cartshare to the market, in the near future.
“I encourage all Millennials to participate in the JOS innovation competition. It will definitely make you step out of your comfort zone and make you grow,” James remarked.
Mr Eric was impressed by the students, who utilised technology to churn out social-environmental solutions to solve the challenges the world is now facing. “I think the students are fantastic. They are creative, energetic and possess excellent presentation skills. They are the talents we hope to nurture,” he remarked.
To compliment the students’ commitment and efforts, JOS has earmarked S$13,000 of prize money for the winning teams, together with internship with JOS for students who had exhibited exceptional performance throughout the Awards.
“We aspire to build a talent pool, not just for the winners, but all the students whom we think have talent,” said Carmen Chan, senior manager at JTH Group.
“Although we’re reaching out to the young Millennials, we also hope to motivate our current workforce to continually think of innovative ideas and make use of the present technology to bring added value to Singapore society and businesses,” said Lee Shu Shan, assistant marketing manager at JOS.
Platinum winning team –
• CartShare – There is a lack of peer-to-peer interaction for online shopping modern consumer craves, which leads to a loss of potential revenue for retailers. The solution aims to provide a platform for users to collaborate, while shopping with friends and strangers. Ultimately, it provides a hassle-free shopping experience.
• Gerald Lim and James Ong from Singapore Institute of Management
• Wins S$7,000 of prize money and internship at JOS
Gold winning team –
• LastOrder – All around the world, there are many who face poverty and hunger daily while tons of perfectly edible food are thrown away. Through this solution, F&B businesses can donate unsold excess food by being instantly matched with charities in need of food.
• Jeremias Goh Jian Zhi, Karen Koh Li Yin and Jeremy Lee Ting Kok from Singapore Management University
• Wins S$4,000 of prize money
Silver winning team
• Shopwizer – With the aim of helping supermarkets provide excellent customer service and increase their productivity, the innovative system offers functions such as trolley rental, ease of navigation, promotions notifications and queue efficiency.
• Nichola Aina Manansala Rosario and Chow Yewna from Nanyang Polytechnic
• Wins S$2,000 of prize money