Wednesday, 24 June 2015

In The Limelight: Komalan Nathan

Next on "In The Limelight" we have a friend of mine who I got to know 12 years ago. Over time, we did lose contact before eventually getting in touch again. He is a men who has done a lot of traveling and would be nice to see things from his point of view. Thank you Komalan Nathan for your time.

*Starts Interview*

Question 1
You had to change school a couple of times during your high school time. As a young teenager, how did you find the process of having to start over again in a new environment, settling down and making friends all over again

It was a whole new experience. Bitter and sweet at the same time.  Bitter was the part where I had to leave friends I have known since primary school and move to a new environment. The sweet part is the whole process of making bunch of new friends. In the end I see it as a gain, because I would have not known as many people as I do today if I had not moved as much.  In the end looking at it all again today, I would say making friends as a young teenager was much easier back then compared to today.

Question 2
Your job requires you to travel a lot. Can you tell us a little more about your job and what do you do?

Part of a newly developed subsidiary of the Geismar group in South East Asia based in Singapore. Responsible of managing the sales and marketing in this region. Geismar is one of the pioneers in manufacturing machines for Railway track construction and maintenance. Close to over a 100 years now.

Working from Malaysia, i spend more than 50% of my time abroad, traveling around the South East Asia region in search of new businesses and sales opportunities to be explored. Railways has been and still is the easiest and cost efficient method to transport people and goods across a country or even a few countries. Without railways trade would never be the same. All Developed countries  have extensive railway networks to transport people and cargo as well. 

Working with Geismar, I deal with many government officials from various SEA countries, trade ambassdors, investors, railway network operators. Glad to say the job has given me the chance to see the world more and meet plenty of people who are diverse in almost every aspect. 

In simple terms I’m a salesman who sells pretty expensive equipment across the world

Question 3
Having travel to different countries, in your opinion what is the most significant difference between Malaysia and those countries. Compare the difference for us in terms of the society, nation development and culture.

Well to start with society. We pride our nation as being a multiracial country. But our society in general does not behave like a multiracial society living in unity.   We claim to live as one but unfortunately they harsh truth is we do not practice what we preach. This is the biggest failure of our society in my eyes. 

Development wise. I would say Malaysia has reached maybe 70% of our potential as a developing country. However there is still so much to be done as a nation to be truly an elite country of SEA. Comparing to countries like Thailand and Indonesia we have been blessed with abundance in natural resources. Sadly we have not fully utilized this resources to its full potential for the development of our country. The current state of our economy is a testimony to that. Once again I would say we are doing fine but there is a golden opportunity to do better that we are not taking.

When it comes to culture. Malaysia can claim to boast about our various cultures. I for one love  the various cultures we have. Where else in the world can I have an authentic Malay cuisine for breakfast, a perfect South Indian banana leaf meal for lunch and a full on 7 course Chinese dinner in the same day!

As a nation I would say. We are a sleeping giant of South East Asia who has yet to realise or ignorantly choosing not acknowledge our true potential in the global stage.

Question 4
What is the one thing you would love Malaysians to learn and follow from the things you have seen in foreign countries?

Respect and mannerism. We Malaysians for one lack severely in these departments. Lack of respect in all aspects is the true foe of our society today. When we respect each other for what we are. Only then we would be a nation united.

Question 5
You have been a lifelong Manchester United, and during this time what do you think was the worst moment you have witness and why?

Manchester United will always be an essential part of me. Growing up many of footballing idols played for them. The worst moment would be that 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.  I know many would consider that the 6-1 drubbing at home to City is significantly worse to the Barcelona defeat.

To me that defeat hurt the most. Why? Because the Man Utd Squad at that time boasted some of the finest young players in the world Rooney, Ronaldo who were conquering the English League. Manchester United have always been known as dominant force in Europe and domestically. But that final we were outplayed,outclassed and outmatched in almost every department. For a team who have been the strongest in England to go on to the CL finals and lose like that. Totally unacceptable. 

It just showed that Man United were no longer the top dogs in Europe. For a team known for its brilliant attacking play and lightning quick counter attacks we could barely make a decent effort on goal in that game.
Watching that game it was like watching my team chase shadows of greatness.

Question 6
Final question. What will be your advice to young graduates out there who has just started working? What are the right attitude you think they should practice in order to be successful?

I would say work to gain knowledge and not wealth as a young graduate. Start your career with an open mind, walk into the office everyday and make it a point to learn something new.Knowledge gained will never be a waste in my opinion. Secondly do not make your job a daily chore. Learn to enjoy what It has to offer and you may see your career in a different point of view. It’s the simple things which matter at the end of the day.

Lastly as young graduate just remember Rome was not built in a day. It took plenty of years. It’s the same for your careers. Rushing would not get you success. Moving smart will.

 *End Of Interview* 

      Coming up next: An interview with Kavithraa Baskaran

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