Veronica Allen is CEO & Managing Director of IBM Singapore. Her impressive career trajectory epitomizes the globalized workforce that characterizes the business field today.
“I have worked across multiple industries, in different geographical regions, in different executive leadership roles,” she says. “It is indeed a very global and very international world today."
Before joining IBM, Veronica worked across the Asia Pacific, Australia, and Europe. Her previous roles include CEO for Parkway Shenton, Singapore and executive leadership at Siemens.
"Having international experience gained from working in different markets, different geographies and across different cultures is certainly highly valued," Allen shares. "It can be a strong differentiator that positions you well in any multi-national corporation.”
Her latest move to Singapore suits the dynamic lifestyle that comes with being a business leader.
“I was offered a great opportunity to relocate with my then firm Siemens, to their Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore. I love Singapore – it is a very secure, safe, well-structured, organized forward-thinking and innovative environment. And with a regional role with a lot of international travel, Changi Airport is wonderful in facilitating speed through immigration and customs!”
Veronica's career pathway may not be standard for a Bachelor of Science graduate. But the knowledge that she gained from her Computer Science major has proven vital.
“Technology plays such a fundamental part in business today,” she explains. “Every C-Level executive needs to have a strong understanding of how to leverage technology innovations to best serve their customers, to disrupt and to stay ahead of competition. It has been great having a grounding in computer science, and being able to leverage this in the business environment.”
Every C-Level executive needs to have a strong understanding of how to leverage technology innovations to best serve their customers, to disrupt and to stay ahead of competition. Veronica Allen
Asked what the biggest challenge facing innovators is today, Veronica cites “market relevance”, and the need to adapt at speed.
“The speed at which the world is changing is ever-fast, and innovations need to be done at a similar speed,” she says. “New ideas need to translate into fast innovations, with a strong focus on speed to market and speed to value. Innovators always need to have an over-the-horizon view of changing trends and new technologies and be agile and adapt quickly to evolving market needs.”
Veronica describes this process of agility as “learning new things every day.” It is one of the things she loves about her job.
“The world is moving at such a fast speed,” she says. “New innovations, new technologies, disruptive business models…”
But it is also the human aspect of her job that makes it worthwhile for Veronica.
Like any successful leader, she values her team and loves the “interactions with people, who bring fresh perspectives on life, work and business".
“New perspectives present innovative opportunities across multiple dimensions,” she says. “I am very proud of having built strong, cohesive and high performing teams in my businesses to-date.”
She is also motivated by the “sense of achievement when you are able to bring value to your clients and help them achieve their goals.”
Veronica’s advice to her younger self is equally applicable to those seeking to follow in her footsteps:
“Be brave, be bold," she says. "Explore the world, and take those chances that come up!
“It will be a tremendous journey.”