18.35 Activism - Young Activists
Seeing the World with the Singapore's Can-Do Spirit

In his early career at Sony Electronics, Nicholas Lim was given a tough assignment – to foray into Sri Lanka’s untapped car audio market from ground zero. Despite having the option of leveraging on mass-market products to achieve quick success, Nicholas instead decided to focus on cultivating the niche market of consumers who can afford high-end products after a study of the landscape. Naysayers thought Nicholas was insane for going against the conventional wisdom of picking a low-hanging fruit but he stood his ground.

The hard work of organising months of marketing launches and going from shop-to-shop in Colombo to convince business partners paid off. His brand emerged as a strong market contender in Sri Lanka for car audio – a milestone that would not have been possible without a brave decision made based on a bold vision. The outcome also led to Nicholas’ conviction to always have the courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and do what others may not do.

His belief in challenging the status quo is evident in how he sees the value that youths can bring to their job. “Youths may think they’ll need to conform to rules in order to progress in their workplace. However, they actually bring with them a fresh pair of lenses to the organisation and this can be tapped on to help reinvent new methods to age-old problems!”

The Young NTUC Career Guide never hesitates to hit the ground running to gain first-hand insights on understanding youth consumers through his interaction with younger workers and being a fervent user of a host of popular youth-centric apps, including TikTok. This in turn gave him good ideas for crafting marketing strategies targeted at the youth market.

Having done seemingly impossible career pivots himself, Nicholas encourages his mentees to keep an open-mind in developing their career trajectory. “We should never be defined by what we studied. I once pivoted to business control even though I was marketing-trained, so I hope to inspire youths out there!”. Nicholas also advises youths to read widely. From catching up on the daily news to following commentaries on one’s favourite sport, the knowledge from far-reaching domains would help build reasoning skills useful for any job.

In his role as a regional marketing lead, Nicholas has to navigate between different cultural norms and nuances. Though travel has come to a halt during the pandemic, “virtual business trips” and having technology as an enabler allows Nicholas to still have his eyes on each country’s ground situation as he skillfully navigates the new norm.

“Even as I was excited over interacting with other cultures, nothing beats having Singapore as the place I call home. Its security and greenery are some of the many blessings I am always grateful for,” shared Nicholas as he rounded up the interview with an introspection of what having a regional career meant.