Starting fresh in digital transformation
Starting fresh in digital transformation
Eugene Tay from the Digital Strategy, Consumer Secured Lending team enjoys developing strategies and new technology solutions which impact the Bank and its customers. Despite having no experience or knowledge of banking, he joined OCBC as a Graduate Talent in 2017, ready to take on any challenges which will come his way. See how he has been part of OCBC’s digital transformation journey.
Eugene’s interest in innovation started when had the opportunity to explore how innovations affected and influenced individuals and companies through his final year project. He took up his first internship with the customer solutions and innovation team of a multinational logistics company and witnessed first-hand how digital innovation could solve real-life business problems. “I wanted to join the most exciting digital disruption wave called fintech,” Eugene recalled. And that was what he did.
As a Bachelor of Sports Science and Management graduate, Eugene found the OCBC Graduate Talent Programme (GTP) a good match which allowed him to build a strong foundation in banking, something which he was lacking in. “The bank also recognised my interests, taking into account my preferred division and team during the application process. Instead of worrying about being allocated to a division I had little interest in, I progressed through the programme as a member of the digital strategy team within the Consumer Secured Lending business, somewhere I knew I wanted to be,” said Eugene.
Through rotations in various functions and roles which were customised to complement Eugene’s role in digital strategy, he gained an appreciation of core customer needs and insights. Some rotations were more challenging than others. “I was first attached to one of OCBC’s branches. That was a memorable experience as I would never have imagined myself in a front-office role. Needless to say it was a rich learning ground, and a humbling experience,” Eugene laughed.
When asked about some of his proudest achievements, Eugene pointed to OCBC OneAdvisor Home, a one-stop home ownership portal which integrates property search, affordability assessment and related advisory services to guide customers. Emma, a home and renovation loan chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, was another brainchild of the team that has since revolutionised how customers interact with the Bank. Despite being new to the team, Eugene found himself contributing right from the start.
“The challenge lies in adapting and pivoting throughout the delivery lifecycle to promptly respond to technology changes and competition. This requires close collaboration and communication between internal stakeholders and external partners of the bank.”
As a fresh graduate and new addition to the Bank, Eugene had little confidence in sharing his views and opinions, for fear of making mistakes when doing so. “Looking back, it would have been a richer learning experience had I spoke up. Afterall, my team could have benefited from hearing a different perspective, from someone less experienced in the industry. Ideas often are generated when they are least expected,” Eugene mused.
When asked what qualities are most important to success in this role, Eugene assented to critical thinking and problem-solving skills. “It is crucial to match the right solution to the business problem. To do so, however, one must be cognisant of the converging landscapes of technology and business. Continuous learning is key to keeping abreast of industry updates, as with learning from success stories and thought leaders. For me, I find conferences, including web-conferences, particularly useful in staying updated,” he said.
When it comes to working in digital transformation, Eugene believes that one must be bold and dare to dream and be constantly inquisitive. “In my line of work, we generate ideas and transform them from conception to reality. It can be challenging and complex, but it is truly exciting and fulfilling!”