Discovering his passion in harnessing IT for business
A mechanical engineer by training, Reza decided to take the plunge into IT consulting as he found his passion was in working directly with people to help transform their business. As a consultant, Reza focused on harnessing the power of IT in accelerating his clients’ digital transformation journeys.
“I didn’t know too much about IT then,” he said candidly. “But as I worked on using IT to transform my clients’ business, I picked it up along the way, project by project.”
Taking on a new challenge in project delivery
With 20 years of amassed experience in enterprise resource planning systems, Reza desired a new role that would give him greater breath of exposure in terms of transport client industries and the technologies he could offer to them. NCS, with its focus on end-to-end digital transformation, provided him with that opportunity.
In May 2021, Reza joined NCS as Client Delivery Lead for Aviation and Maritime Transport. In this role, he works with clients to ensure smooth project delivery and value realization. He also works alongside the sales team to explore strategic business opportunities.
Clients’ trust as the driving force behind successful teamwork
In Reza’s view, one of the unique things about NCS is its positioning as a homegrown company. Clients see NCS as “part of the Singaporean family” whom they can place their trust in. And it is very important for NCS to reciprocate this trust by delivering on its commitments to them, he said.
To do this well, he has to build up effective project teams with strong capabilities to support clients’ requirements and help them achieve their business goals. This requires Reza to know his team members well in order to place them in the right roles.
“It is important to know their strengths and weaknesses, their work experience and areas of expertise, to ensure that the role that is assigned to them is suitable to their background and career aspirations and will allow them to grow and learn new things,” he said.
When it comes to leading teams, Reza likes to set objectives and encourages team members to find ways to achieve those goals rather than dictating the way they should work. “It is important to articulate expectations openly and candidly while being approachable in providing support for every project team member,” he said.
“I need to know when to support them from the back and lead them from the front,” he said. “I have to trust the team member to take the initiative and support them when they are having difficulties.”
Building personal relationships and trust is also important when it comes to working with partners and clients. “We must be open, consistent, and maintain fairness and integrity when dealing with partners and clients,” he said. “We must consistently deliver to our commitments, and likewise demand that partners and clients deliver to their commitments.”
As a Client Delivery Lead, he feels that one measure of success is when a client continues to be a friend even after the project is over, and is happy to be a reference. “That is when I know I have done the job well and delivered value to the client,” he said.
A passion for music and the great outdoors
Outside of work, Reza likes to listen to all kinds of music - from classical and new age to jazz and heavy metal, from Indonesian and Chinese to English and Spanish songs, from 60s-era music to current pop favourites. He appreciates music for its universality and timelessness.
He also loves travelling. Having studied in the United States, he has travelled to 40 of its 52 states including Alaska and Hawaii, and has Tibet, Africa and South America on his bucket list.
Recently, he has been exploring nature within Singapore. On weekends, he sets out to discover new hiking routes with his wife. With the couple starting out early to try to catch the sunrise, their two children – a daughter in her first year of Junior College and a son in Secondary 3 – prefer to opt out and sleep in instead.
A recent trail that they tried was the T15 from Mandai to Bukit Panjang. They have also done the Coast-to-Coast Trail, covering the 10 stations over three days. But their favourite is the hike from Dairy Farm Nature Park to Bukit Timah Hill.
Besides spending time with the family, Reza also takes a step back and try to strategise what he needs to do next in his work. “During the work week, my focus is on work. On weekends, I try to reset,” he said. “In that sense, I am always recalibrating on a weekly basis, across different areas. That helps me to achieve the right balance for a more sustainable lifestyle.”