Career Path

Going places

by Nicolette Wong

Yung C Ooi
senior director of marketing
DHL Express Hong Kong
Photo: Edde Ngan
The fast-paced logistics industry doesn't stop for anyone. For this reason, it offers exciting opportunities for people who enjoy a dynamic working environment and diverse job functions.

A career in this sector has brought Yung C Ooi not only professional advancement and job satisfaction, but also an ongoing supply of opportunities to make connections with people all around the globe.

Mr Ooi, current senior director of marketing, DHL Express Hong Kong, hails from a finance background and joined the global firm in Singapore in 1998 as a research & product development executive. The job ensured ample exposure to different aspects of logistics operations and gave him his first leg up the corporate ladder.

He enjoyed the multicultural nature of the organisation thoroughly and at the turn of the millennium moved to the Asia-Pacific headquarters to take up the role of regional research analyst, a move he describes as one of the milestones of his career.

"The position gave me perspectives on the company's regional operation, which was a welcome challenge for me," he recalls. He was subsequently promoted to regional product manager and then to regional retail sales manager. During this time, he worked closely with colleagues across the region involving more than 40 countries, carrying out duties ranging from product analysis to product development, sales and marketing.

Another opening presented itself in 2007, when Mr Ooi became national marketing manager of DHL Express Malaysia and two years later, regional corporate communications director of Deutsche Post DHL Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Delivering promises

Mr Ooi has experienced the various stages of his career as an interesting journey and he is justifiably proud that he has been able to work his way up within the corporation and the industry.

His current role involves all aspects of marketing, from budget and product planning to pricing, business performance analysis, advertising, public relations, events management and corporate communications. Budget meetings and discussions with his team constitute part of his regular work routine, while meetings with advertising agencies, media organisations and other firms are constant features on his agenda.

He is working towards a number of strategic goals which include increasing brand awareness of the company, supporting the sales team to generate greater revenues and developing new business while retaining DHL's existing customer base.

"Companies in some industries can expand by making investments in a very competitive market, but our priority is sustainability," he notes. "We strive to constantly raise our service quality, to help us remain competitive in the long run."

A relevant educational or professional background is a distinct advantage for young talent interested in working in marketing in the logistics industry, says Mr Ooi, adding that the most important attribute is an open mind, since there is always room to learn more about the field and the scope of duty can expand as one progresses.

"Our professional area covers a wide spectrum of job responsibilities, from frontline operations to commercial and supporting functions such as human resources, IT and finance, and the direction a person takes depends very much on his or her individual strengths and interests," he points out. "Most importantly, jobseekers should be willing to embrace challenge and be good team players."

Ideal entry points for young graduates include management trainee or analyst positions, as these roles provide solid training on the basics of logistics, as well a number of possible career directions.

Although there is ample demand for new blood, industry players are in constant fight for the best candidates, which makes recruitment a competitive process, Mr Ooi adds.

Constant change

The multifaceted global logistics industry is central to manufacturing processes in many sectors—from the collection of raw materials to coordination with production schedules and ultimately getting the goods out to the consumers.

Transportation security is of major concern, and the information and technology systems used are set to become increasingly sophisticated in future. As the mainland market continues to expand, he adds, the industry is also gaining momentum across the border.

Newcomers to the industry should have a keen sense of responsibility, since logistics are all about speed and reliability. Sound knowledge of the issues involved is essential for long-term career growth, but the hard work is rewarded by worldwide travel opportunities, which Mr Ooi views as one of the most rewarding aspects of his job as he is part of the global DHL network which spans more than 220 countries and territories.

"My career with DHL has brought me to many places in the world and has enriched my life experience. Wherever I go, I connect with local DHL staff," he says. "Every new task brings a chance to learn, and every day offers something new. That's why I've thrived moving from one role to the next."

Taken from Career Times 17 December 2010, B10
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