Medicine Is A Calling, Not A Business

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

I have always been fascinated by nature and the biology of life. I have had pets all this while, breeding fishes, looking at birds nesting and I love gardening. In school, I was extremely keen on human reproduction. Fast forward to today, I would say Sunfert is driven by my passion for creating lives. And when there is passion and purpose, everything falls in place.

What traits do you look for in your talent or how do you decide who is right for a job?

We focus on people who are hungry, passionate and driven. Those who thrive best in our team are the ones who are willing to learn and develop. I have always said during job interviews that knowledge and skills are not as important as this can be developed, but we want people who are passionate.

How do you think the industry you are in will evolve in the future?

The fertility field is a rapidly developing one. In some countries, 5% of births are conceived via in vitro fertilisation (IVF). By 2026, the global demand for fertility treatment is expected to be worth US$36.2 billion (RM150 billion). As it already is, technological advancements will continue to raise the bar on successful pregnancy rates. Fertility treatment may well be automated by use of robotics, as it is already happening. The cost of treatment will be lower, making it more accessible to all who need it. More complementing services revolving fertility treatments will sprout.

What advice can you offer those looking to start their career/own business?

Envision where you want to be, think of the reaches you want for your business, and persevere towards that goal or vision. Above all, you must have passion for what you do, because no matter how large or beautiful an ambition, nothing as strong as your own passion can take you there.

We all know about the industrial revolution, are we in for a technological revolution? Your thoughts.

Well, it’s definitely happening in the fertility world already. Innovation and progress in the past two decades have not only improved laboratorial processes but has significantly improved pregnancy rates worldwide. Automation with robotics and artificial intelligence will spearhead the industrial revolution. For medicine, we are now looking at the molecular genetic basis of human diseases, with a view of modifying or preventing them in future

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional life?

I am fortunate that throughout my career, I had the opportunities to cross path with several mentors that shaped my thoughts and my approach to work culture. Seeing how grounded they are on their principles and how clear their directions are in their life objectives has a profound impact on my thoughts.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?

I would like to continue to develop the fertility services in Malaysia. We will continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies and thought leadership, yet affordable in pricing – offering value and good outcome for our patients. At the moment, everyone is gunning for the “low hanging fruit” which is the international patients, especially mainland Chinese. Sunfert has always been committed to improving access to fertility services. We have launched our CSR project IVFkasih, a low cost IVF programme.

Best piece of advice you ever got on your career.

One of my mentors ingrained in me that medicine is a calling, not a business and that has always been my guiding principle.

Most-admired business leader? Why?

Richard Branson. He is unconventional and has a “never fear failure” and “learn from mistakes” attitude.

How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry?

In the medical world, constantly keeping up with the latest journal publications as well as attending medical conferences are essential to understand the latest treatment and cutting-edge technology that are available.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge I have faced was dealing with some rogue agents that brought foreign patients to our clinics. Some of them were unscrupulous and unethical. We took some drastic steps to cut them off even if it meant we have lost significant revenue. This episode has made us wiser when choosing and dealing with partners.

What are the top three factors you would attribute your success to?

First, I am clear about my aims and goals in life, and then keep reminding myself of them. Secondly, doing what I am passionate about naturally drives me to work hard towards my goals. Thirdly, I am fortunate to be able to build a team of like-minded people, and be able to train and coach them to achieve the company’s vision of providing affordable yet effective fertility care.


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