INTERVIEW: Silverlake Axis’ group managing director Andrew Tan has worn several hats in a career spanning more than three decades. Chief of Staff Asia speaks to Tan about how he navigates career shifts while also working on his leadership and empathy skills.
Now at the helm of Silverlake Axis, the firm has been performing financially well, reaching its most profitable state in 2022. Thanks to its workforce to whom Tan attributes much of the company’s success.
Tan’s people-focused leadership was born from 38 years of experience in the management consulting and IT industries. He was the managing director of the SAS Institute, where he transformed businesses in Malaysia and Indonesia using analytics.
Tan also worked in Almaty Kazakhstan, where he was a partner in charge for Deloitte Consulting, covering Central Asia for three years.
Throughout his career, Tan has served in financial services and the industrial, retail, telecommunications, energy, and public sector. Find out about his beginnings in the story below.
COS Asia. You are a graduate of Geology and Chemistry, but you chose a different path. What made you decide?
Tan: Back then, Oil & Gas was a booming prestigious industry. Being in England at that time, I was inspired to explore the different geological landscapes, and I truly enjoyed learning new things in a different environment. The double major was a bonus as I excelled in Chemistry.
Then I decided to pursue my MBA at the University of Aston in the UK. After graduation, I had an opportunity to work with Arthur Andersen (now Accenture), one of the largest accounting and consulting firms. The company evolved into a leader in IT consulting and services later. I had many challenging and exciting assignments for more than 11 years as a leader in financial services companies in many countries. And you can say, the rest was history.
COS Asia: What is the most essential aspect of leadership? What is the hardest?
Tan: A company's success is highly dependent on the leadership skills of its executives. Thus, anyone who wants to competently lead their employees to top positions needs these leadership qualities.
Having a natural sense of authority and comfort is a skill that all leaders should possess, as only then can your employees trust you and let you take the lead.
COS Asia: Would you like to add anything? Any thoughts, tips, and lessons learned?
Tan: Always put yourself in another's shoes.
This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Andrew Tan, Group Managing Director of Silverlake Axis. For further coverage please see the below link: