Gillian is the Marketing and Communication Manager of SSIA leading the branding and communications initiatives of the Organisation. She has over 15 years of experience in PR, communications and marketing with experience in leading B2B and B2C marketing communications strategies in a wide range of businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
1. Can you tell us about your career journey? What first got you into the semiconductor industry?
I started working in TV news station in Hong Kong during college and became a news reporter for TV documentary programs after I graduated. I decided to pursue a career in PR/comms after a few years in the media as I was more interested in developing good stories from a company’s standpoint. My family and I have relocated to Singapore since 2016. I joined SSIA in 2019 as the Marketing and Communications Manager, and it is the first role that has exposed me to the semiconductor world.
2. What are the similarities and differences between your previous roles and the role in a semiconductor trade association?
The work of a trade association, particularly in SSIA, is fast-paced and dynamic – much more than I had expected before I joined the Association. It is challenging but fulfilling to work in the Association with our Executive Director, Wee Seng, always leading us to tease out new perspectives and ideas to advocate for the semiconductor industry.
Working at SSIA has also provided me with opportunities to engage with different people such as our members, business leaders, government agencies and peers from other trade associations. It’s an interesting and exhilarating time.
3. What were your biggest challenges and excitements as an employee in the semiconductor industry? How did you deal with these?
There are many technical terms that I have never learned before joining the semiconductor industry. I still remember the difficulty in figuring out the context of my first few meetings at SSIA since I found it hard to understand the terminologies and the whole semiconductor manufacturing process. Thanks to Wee Seng and my SSIA colleagues, they have never hesitated to answer my every single question about the industry, which has helped me to adapt and function in a new environment faster.
Being the Editor of the Voice magazine is also a challenge at the same time excitement. I am thrilled to have received many informative and insightful stories from companies across the industry. Having launched eight issues so far, I feel happy that the magazine has been well-recognized with its mission ‘by the industry, for the industry’. Nonetheless, catching the editorial deadline and getting sponsorship for every issue are always not easy.
4. What do you enjoy most about working in SSIA?
I enjoy working with the SSIA Secretariat team. Although we are a lean team, we always make challenging tasks possible by working out the synergy between team members. I also felt rewarded when some SSIA members told us how our initiatives had made a positive difference in their workforce and business development.
5. How do you see the changes in marketing and communications after the COVID-19 crisis?
COVID-19 has changed the marketing and communications landscape overnight. In-person marketing events and conferences, which used to be the effective channels to convey marketing messages to companies, especially in the B2B sector, are being cancelled or postponed. Relevant and useful content is the key now. People in the marketing and communications field will need to be creative on how to continue engaging their target audience without an in-person engagement and revisit their marketing strategies.
For SSIA, we strive to offer relevant content and support to the companies in the industry. We have converted some of our events to online platforms. Most importantly, regardless of the format of the initiatives, we remain to stay relevant to the industry by providing useful information as well as practical support which the semiconductor industry in Singapore needs most during this crisis period.
6. How do you see the changes in the semiconductor industry in Singapore in the recent 10 years?
Semiconductor is the backbone to the connected world, and it is particularly true when people now consume digital contents more than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for semiconductor and electronics solutions from personal gadgets to cloud storage, and even to high-tech medical equipment will be increasing. These growth factors will stimulate the growth of the industry in the coming years.
I believe the research and development sector of the industry will grow at the same time as it enables technology changes and innovation. This is why SSIA has launched the R&D Committee to help advance the R&D ecosystem here in Singapore. With these new demands and industry trends, it is also crucial to upskill the workforce and recruit new talent for the industry. As such, it is one of SSIA’s mission to grow the talent pool for the semiconductor industry in Singapore.