It has been close to three years since LucaNet’s incorporation in Singapore. Over the past three years, LucaNet ASEAN has established its presence over major ASEAN cities including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and many more. The team in Singapore is currently lead by managing director, Kenneth Tan.
As Singapore’s first official employee, Kenneth is one of the key protagonists involved in LucaNet’s development in the ASEAN region. Having evolved from an auditor, to a consultant, to sales manager and finally the managing director, Kenneth has been through a rich history of the experiences in his remarkable career.
In this interview, we will get a deep dive into Kenneth’s story with the company, his athletic hobby, and how he embodies the grit and discipline of an Ironman as he leads the LucaNet ASEAN team.
About Tan and LucaNet
When did you join LucaNet and what made you join the firm?
I joined LucaNet in April 2017. I was previously doing accounting and auditing in KPMG, where I recognised my passion for the accounting and finance profession. However, the way of doing things in the industry was still fairly old-school.
LucaNet approached me during that time and it is a solution that could integrate accounting and finance with technology. And that is where I saw the future of this industry, and the reason behind me joining the firm.
What is your most memorable experience thus far at LucaNet?
For me, there are just so many memorable experiences here as we are constantly growing our brand in this region. Each time we onboard a new client and watch them successfully go live with our software is especially memorable to me. And it is not just about acquiring new clients, but also seeing them truly enjoy the benefits when they use LucaNet. It is hard to pick one single experience.
How running affects Kenneth's life
I heard you have been actively participating in Ironman triathlons for the past few years, what got you started?
Back when I was doing Singapore’s military service, one of the values I picked up was to constantly push yourself to be better than what you were yesterday. That was what got me into doing things that push myself out of my comfort zone. I started joining races with shorter distances, but it got to a point where I no longer had to commit too much time to train for these events.
That was when I told myself to participate in something that forces me to commit my energy and time. Thus, I started going for longer distances, 7 to 8 hours, and these events were not doable without any form of preparation. Ultimately, it is for me to sharpen my discipline and mental fortitude.
You talked about the importance of preparation for these events, what is the kind of duration we are looking at?
For example, I will be doing the full Ironman triathlon in June 2020, and I have already started my training in November 2019. On average, I have dedicated 10 to 15 hours of training a week and will continue to do so till the date of the event.
It sounds like discipline is extremely important for these races. May I know what is your driving force?
There is this quote I hold dear to myself “Quitting is easier. The pain all stops. But it will never get you to where you want to be.” This also translates to my approach to everything in life – to do everything with my 100%. Be it work, or simple tasks like having a meal - if you want to have a meal, have it as though it is your last.
Any experiences you would like to share during your Ironman races?
There was one race I did in Vietnam, my very first half-Ironman race, somewhere during the marathon, in the distance I saw a huge figure of a Chinese god. I thought I was hallucinating. I kept staring at it for about an hour throughout the race. After the race, I quickly looked on Google Maps and found out that there was an actual giant statue of a Chinese god at that location, out there in the mountains.
Wishes for the future
What are your personal goals for 2020?
First, it is to successfully get married. Second, is to complete the full Ironman in June 2020 in Hamburg.
As the managing director for Singapore, what are your goals for the team in 2020?
Our goal as a team is to grow our brand as the leading financial performance management solution within the ASEAN region. Anybody who thinks about reporting or consolidation will think about LucaNet at the tip of their tongue.
As a trivia question to end this interview, what are 3 things you cannot live without?
- Rice: I like rice more than any other carbohydrate. It is rice over potatoes, noodles or bread.
- Beer: when it comes to relaxing, I cannot do without beer. A nice cold beer always helps.
- Coffee: I need coffee to start my day.
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