4 Key Insights from SembCorp Industries Limited’s Management

Recently, I came across a 2012 interview featuring SembCorp Industries Limited’s (SGX: U96) chief executive, Tang Kin Fei.

In the interview, Tang shared his thoughts behind his management philosophy. With SembCorp Industries being one of the 30 components of the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), there may be valuable insights we can pick up from the company’s CEO.

As a brief background, SembCorp Industries has three business segments, namely Utilities, Marine, and Urban Development & Others. The former two are by far the most important for SembCorp Industries. Notably, the conglomerate’s Marine business stems from its majority ownership of fellow blue chip SembCorp Marine Ltd  (SGX: S51).

Without further ado, here are four key insights from Tang:

1. Lifelong learningclick here

2. The importance of clarityclick here

3. Empowering people

“Empowering people is also very important. I maintain that once you hire someone you must empower them to do their jobs, allowing them to make decisions and grow in their area of expertise. My style is to manage by exception – I step in only when a problem arises. ”

SembCorp Industries is a conglomerate with its fingers in many pies. Geographically, its Utilities segment also derives 63% of its net profit from overseas. As a company involved in multiple industries in multiple countries, empowering its employees may be the best approach to managing a complex conglomerate like SembCorp Industries.

4 .Giving back to society

“Finally, my personal belief is that life is not just about work and what we can gain from it. Most of us are very privileged in many ways and I feel that it’s important to give back to society, be it financially, with our time, or both. Serving the community helps to shift our focus from self to others and makes life more balanced and meaningful.”

Tang rounded out his thoughts on a different note. He felt that it was important to give back to society, especially for the ones who are privileged to do so. At the Motley Fool, our purpose is to help the world invest better, so I am in agreement with his line of thought.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.