Aseem is a business leader with 30 years of experience building high-performance businesses, teams, and client solutions across APAC and Canada. He has held various leadership positions in corporate banking with two international banks, taking on diverse roles across multiple geographies, managing global clients and products, developing and executing strategy, growing and transforming businesses, mentoring senior teams, and leading post M&A integrations.
1. When you’re at a networking event, how do you describe your independent career status, and where you focus your work?
Over 25 years, in 6 of Asia’s most exciting cities - Bangkok, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and HCMC - I have taken on leadership roles with top international banks, building businesses, teams and customer solutions. This diverse experience has also provided me with an opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of business leaders across various industries.
My independent consulting work leverages this experience, knowledge, and network to help businesses expand into new markets and grow. My focus is primarily ASEAN and India, as these are the markets I can help companies with my knowledge and business relationships.
2. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer your clients? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
My broad experience spanning 25 years covers multiple geographies in a variety of local, regional and global roles. Furthermore, it covers sales, product management, post M&A business integrations, P&L responsibility, leading senior teams, and strategy development.
This means that any company looking to expand and grow in the markets of ASEAN and India, can leverage this experience to build and grow their business whether they are looking to open new offices, customer acquisition, understanding customer behavior, product rollouts, building teams or leadership, regulatory guidance or connecting with local decision makers. My experience helps them save time and money.
3. Why do you think there is increasing global demand for independent expertise?
This is primarily driven by the need to get personalized service and value for money. Companies can tap into experienced professionals (like me!) who have hands on experience, rather than the large consulting firms who are mostly presenting information consolidated from different sources. Companies can get customized and flexible service - not just in an area where they need help but also the duration of engagement from few days to few months. Finally, value for money with a reasonable retainer and success fees, make it an attractive proposition and potential differentiator.
4. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular milestones in the results.
I took on an 8-month assignment with a global technology firm who were looking to grow their business in ASEAN. The scope and key success criteria of the assignment were as follows:
- Provide senior management access within the top banks in each market.
- Conduct account planning to understand the future strategic direction and their investment budgets for the short term.
- Use domain knowledge and relationships to create an account plan across all business pillars.
- Build a positive company brand with each of the customers and help the sales team create targeted pitches, present at the right level and control the narrative.
- Help the Sales team build an opportunity base of at least USD 5 million (from zero).
5. What's your favourite thing to do when you're not on the clock?
Travel is a passion for me. I like discovering new cultures, places, and restaurants. And sharing my experiences with other travelers. I am in the Top 1% of TripAdvisor reviewers.
I use my leadership and coaching experience not just at work but also at home. I work closely with my two teenage children and guide them in all aspect of their lives, whether academic, sports, relationships, career goals, or dealing with day-to-day challenges. Through this engagement, I hope to help them grow into responsible and empathetic global citizens.
6. What is the biggest challenge you had to face in your career so far and how did you overcome it?
Having lived and worked across multiple geographies in a variety of roles, the biggest challenge and the driver of success, is undoubtedly, people. And this means engaging people from different cultures and background, building diverse teams and aligning them towards common purpose and goals, despite language challenges. Combine this with meeting senior management expectations to deliver business targets in a relatively short period.
Like many other people, I have the technical skills and experience but that is not enough. I believe the reason for my success in diverse roles is my strong belief that you have to lead with purpose and values.
And these have been my guiding lights helping me meet numerous challenges:
- Integrity - ALWAYS do the right thing no matter what.
- Excellence - strive for continuous improvement and never be complacent.
- Lead by Example - don’t just talk, let your actions do the talking.
- Accountability - accept mistakes, learn and move on.
- Respect - you can disagree but do so professionally and try to find a win-win outcome.
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