PROUD MOMENT: Dr Randave Singh Gill (3rd from left) with his wife (right), two children, mother and brother – Photo: Supplied
By Anandpreet Kaur | Malaysia |
Information technology specialist Dr Randave Singh Gill recently completed the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at a local university in Malaysia. His driving factors: An ardent believe in lifelong education and a penchant to seize opportunities.
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, it doesn’t exist…..Once you feel good enough to move ahead, take that step, persevere, reexamine and keep going,” he tells Asia Samachar.
It was that can-do spirit that saw him thrusting forward in the pursuit of the DBA which can be ‘lonely and mentally draining’.
But why bother doing a PhD or a DBA. “Doing an advanced degree such as a Doctorate helps you better appreciate contradictions, differing views and perspectives,” he said. Now, that’s some food for thought.
Born Kuala Lumpur in 1978, Randave is the third child among five siblings. He has two elder sister and two younger twin brothers.
After finishing schooling at Batu Road and La Salle in Sentul, he then pursued his degree at APIIT and a Masters at Universiti Malaya.
He was raised by a single parent Jesvinder Kaur.
“She is a single parent that is both a father and mother to me. She is the source of my strength and everything good in me. Professionally, she held various management and sales roles in mid to large organizations,” he said.
Today, Randave is the technology head at SWIFT, a global provider of secure financial messaging services. Prior to this, he was the project management office head at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Malaysia and much earlier in software development at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Randave, 44, was the valedictorian for HELP University’s 32nd convocation ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur towards the end of March.
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW
What made you pursue the DBA?
I believe in lifelong education and the DBA is part of that journey. In addition, I wanted to be able to gain an improved perspective and techniques in driving organizational strategy and people development goals. This is relevant to my professional role a leader within technology and corporate space.
Tell us a little bit about your experience in the run-up to the DBA award. What were the challenges and how you overcame them?
It’s translating aspiration into actual execution. I completed my Master’s 12 years ago, and knew how demanding a doctorate degree would be to me, my family and work. I needed to ensure that mentally I was ready to immerse myself in this journey and carved out a plan which would not just see me through it, but have minimal impact on my family and work. I was blessed with a very supportive structure that consists of my wife, family and friends. In addition, I received tremendous mentoring and coaching from the university, especially from my two supervisors. The structure gave me the platform to address the common challenges of an advanced degree program, which is normally seen as lonely and mentally draining. To further address some of this, it was important to pick a topic of research that is practical and of interest to me. One of the biggest challenges I faced was speaking and writing the academic “lingo” which consists of formality, procedures, techniques and sometimes even rules to be understood and adhered to. This took the most amount of effort and time, as I do not come from the academia world.
Would you urge fellow Sikhs to pursue studies up to the PhD or DBA levels? Why?
Yes, of course. Honestly, doing an advanced degree such as a Doctorate helps you better appreciate contradictions, differing views and perspectives. You get to see patterns and reasoning better which then grounds you with more humility. As the saying goes, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know” and as Sikhs, we are students and the journey of learning never ends.
Were you involved in any sporting activities?
I have been very active in sports especially during my younger days (i.e football, badminton and running).
These days I focus more on individual disciplines and am a triathlete. I try to participate in at least two-three events a year (at least during pre-Covid). I am not any good and don’t even come close to finishing in the top 100, but it’s a way to keep me active and healthy.
How does the DBA help in advancing your career?
So much of my career advancement in leadership roles starts moving away from my core skills (i.e technical) to more people and strategic dimensions. To be continuously successful, I must have a good handle in all aspects of the organization i.e People & Organizational Development, Financial Planning & Analysis, Economic Trends and Shifts, Corporate Strategy & Communication, etc. The DBA allowed me to gain insights and build lasting connections with various industry leaders.
What does success mean to you?
In my personal opinion, success is made up of three parts. 30% is all you (i.e your ambition, perseverance, dedication, etc), 50% is because of those around you that have supported you (i.e you parents, spouse, family, friends, etc) and 10% is pure luck. Hence, when you’re successful, remember that all these parts had to come together. Hence, be humble and thankful. When you have not been successful despite giving it your all and having all the support, remember that potentially that luck did not favor you at that time. Don’t be discouraged. Sometimes the universe doesn’t align. Pick yourself up and keep going.
In addition, you may have noticed that 30-50-10 does not add up 100%. Well, that is because that 10% is the illusion of perfection and certainly. There are very few things that are certain in life, the rest is down to how much you believe in yourself and taking that leap of faith. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, it doesn’t exist – never let “good be the enemy of perfect”. Once you feel good enough to move ahead, take that step, persevere, reexamine and keep going.
Values for Life and Leadership (Asia Samachar, 22 March 2022)
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