“IT’S LIKE PUTTING GLOBAL MANAGEMENT TALENTS FROM BRENNTAG IN ONE CLASSROOM”
Weiseong Fong, DIRECTOR – VENTURES & INTEGRATIONS, ASIA PACIFIC, BRENNTAG PTE LTD
When it comes to the topic of integration, I have the experience – not only because of my past professional work with different organizations and my current role as a member in the Business Development team via Merger & Acquisition (M&A) for Brenntag’s Asia Pacific region, but also because I joined Brenntag myself through an acquisition. At the end of 2015, Brenntag acquired TAT Group, a Singapore-based distributor for industrial chemicals with subsidiaries in Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
It is part of my job to contain and align the acquired entity with Brenntag’s environment, culture, values, practices, processes and policies. It was a big challenge to manage to get everyone at the TAT Group to understand, adopt and deliver all the requirements in terms of business, operations, reporting, risk management, etc. based on the standard operating procedures, policy, and guidelines of Brenntag right after the completion of the acquisition. I’m proud of what we have achieved so far, which is the successful vertical integration of TAT Group within a year, and now we are going for horizontal integration. I see this as an opportunity to grow and bring our business to the next level under the leadership of Brenntag.
Integration of people is essential
Integrating a company is not only about aligning strategies, processes and structures. It’s also essential to integrate people into the new corporate culture properly and make them feel part of the family. At Brenntag Asia Pacific this happens via structured onboarding programmes where they have the chance to meet with different functional heads to understand Brenntag, their respective functions and team members as well as how they connect internally and externally.
The main change for me after joining Brenntag came with the matrix organizational structure Brenntag uses, in which people are pooled with regard to their skills and capabilities. This structure was new to me and though it means that I have to include more people in decision-making processes, I see the advantages this structure provides: we communicate more readily across the boundaries and this will help to create a good and cooperative work environment; business information silos are broken and we are able to respond more flexibly; there’s the chance to develop broader people capabilities, and the quality of the decisions made is higher as it comes from broader views, insights and perspectives.
„It’s also essential to integrate people into the new corporate culture properly and make them feel part of the family.”
BOSS helps me to grow as an individual
My personal integration and development within Brenntag was mainly supported by joining BOSS, Brenntag’s global executive management programme. I was really surprised when I was informed of my nomination for the class 2016/2017. I am excited and grateful for this professional development and learning opportunity. As someone who is relatively new to Brenntag, I see my nomination as a testament to Brenntag’s emphasis on full integration, not just the business aspect, but also on people investment.
BOSS is not just about studies, it is about learning new personal and business skills and growing as individuals through structured input by the professors, interaction and exchange of ideas as well as knowledge from different peers and networking across the Brenntag world so that I can further enhance my effectiveness and productivity in my work.
„The diversity of people involved truly makes the BOSS programme so unique. We have 13 nationalities from 24 Brenntag offices around the globe in the class.”
In order to maximize the learning experience from the BOSS program – knowing people tend to focus on what they already know and do well, and all participants in the programme are holding a senior executive position in Brenntag with great achievement and accomplishment – before going for the programme, I encouraged myself to unlearn what I have learnt and am good at so that I have an open mind with topics, discussions and situations that I have never experienced or am even less comfortable with. This not only maximizes my learning but also puts my perspectives and skills to the test during the programme.
Moreover, the diversity of people involved truly makes this programme so unique. We have 13 nationalities from 24 Brenntag offices around the globe in the class bringing in all their various backgrounds, work experiences and work functions. With such diversity, BOSS provides an unsurpassed platform for peer-topeer learning, sharing of experiences and in-depth discussions of the most pressing business issues. It’s like putting global management talents from Brenntag in one classroom. I’m really proud and happy to be part of this group.
Fact sheet Weiseong Fong
Born in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia, Weiseong today lives and works in Singapore.
After his Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance), Weiseong gained his Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) Australia and completed the Strategic Management Program at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as well as the International Management Program, Stanford University-NUS
Career at Brenntag:
He joined Brenntag in 2015 as Regional Director – Finance & Administration of TAT Group through the acquisition. Following the completion of the vertical integration of TAT Group, Weiseong was given the opportunity to join the M&A team under the Business Development function of the Asia Pacific region as Director – Ventures & Integrations, Asia Pacific, focusing on scouting and ventures/acquisition work as well as the integration process. In addition, he is currently the Project Team Manager of the Brenntag Singapore Integration Project managing the alignment of the Brenntag Pte Ltd and TAT Group with the Brenntag business model and structure.
Playing badminton (2-3 times a week), listening to music, reading and traveling
Past or present famous people to have dinner with?
Lee Chong Wei, one of the world’s best badminton player since 2008; Weiseong wishes to know and understand the drive, passion, persistence, determination, perseverance and commitment behind his success and his activities in returning the society via charity work.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon