“Taming the Storm.“
For award-winning leader Gordon Lam, bleak forecasts are just an opportunity to emerge renewed.
Deliver faster outcomes, power better decisions, and unlock greater business potential. This is the mantra of the knowledge platform pioneered by enterprise software company, Syniti, but it could also just as easily be applied to its tenacious regional leader, Gordon Lam.
The Hong Kong-born Lam, educated in Australia, brings forth a blend of East and West in his leadership style. While some may have baulked at joining a business that had been declining for many years, Lam took on the mantle of leading Syniti Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) in August 2019, seeing it as an opportunity for him to achieve the impossible.
A mere five months later, covid-19 rocked the world, but Lam steadied his nerves and chose this moment of great upheaval to bounce back. “In February 2020, we set an ambitious goal to grow our APJ business threefold in three years,” he notes. Given the prevailing climate and the company’s recent performances, it must have seemed to some like a moon-shot.
And yet, in 2020, Syniti APJ exceeded its own expectations, growing its APJ software business by threefold. Such phenomenal growth was possible, Lam says, by placing the right people in front of the right growth opportunities – by way of supporting a “Triple in Three” growth strategy, which Lam and his team collectively owns and executes.
While some will rightly point to the technology industry’s incremental growth during the pandemic, it does not adequately explain the turnaround achieved by Syniti APJ. For the first quarter of 2021, year-on-year software results grew by 478%, with services up by 57%. “We also grew our net new customers base by 180% in APJ and contributed to about 25% of the global net new customer growth,” says Lam. “This is by no means an easy feat and comes with a lot of commitment and passion driven by my management team in collaboration with our customers,” says Lam.
As markets in 2020 shuddered and entire nations fled indoors, Syniti attained a 99.7% customer satisfaction rating globally — the highest in the company’s history, a performance bolstered by the company’s APJ turnaround team.
Now recognized as one of Asia’s Most Inspiring Executives, Lam readily admits that he is the sort of person who is constantly looking for a silver lining in any situation “As a leader, I believe it’s my duty to rise to any challenge that presents itself, with tenacity and empathy for others.”
And yet, he confessed with a glint in his eyes, he doesn’t have many other choices. “My tenacious style was also borne out of sheer necessity, due to situations that I was probably not ready for. Nevertheless, my personal motto is that one should bite off more than one can chew—and chew like mad!”
While accepting a personal award, Lam is the first to admit that the plaudits lie as much with his wider team. Syniti used its turnaround moment to expand into India and Japan, while moving its new regional head office to Singapore. The APJ team has also grown by more than 50% since Lam arrived. This has given a boost to the company culture and team morale, setting the company up for more success.
While the enterprise software industry is highly competitive, Lam believed Syniti has distinguished itself by pioneering intelligent and user-friendly end-to-end data management.
“We understand that especially for large enterprises, moving and improving data is a business-critical practice. To help generate greater business value for our customers, we are always looking ahead to the next step in the evolution of data management – helping customers to be successful on their digital transformation journey.”
Syniti Knowledge Platform is the industry’s first knowledge-driven platform that actively reuses knowledge – delivering faster outcomes, powering better decisions, and unlocking greater business potential with trusted, high-quality data. “It delivers knowledge at a fraction of the cost, with much greater accuracy and reliability,” says Lam.
For Lam, such innovations by necessity keep him on his toes. As a leader, he constantly challenges himself to think out of the box. “I remind myself to constantly question what I think I know.”
“To have to lead a company one has just joined through a global pandemic is a true test of an executive, and one which Lam has obviously aced.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group