published: 09 March 2023

Chia Song Hwee profile Chia Song Hwee


Mr Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive, IMDA Graduands, Ladies and gentlemen -

I am delighted to join you this afternoon for the graduation ceremony of the very first cohort for Temus’ Step IT Up programme.


When Temus was established in April 2021, it was not just about enabling digital capabilities and value creation for enterprises (including Temasek portfolio companies) and government agencies, it was also about developing homegrown digital talent.

Making a mid-career pivot is very difficult and courageous thing to do. I must say that you have made a bold but wise move to join the SIU programme.

Why do I say that?

Technologies and tech-enabled new business models continue to disrupting businesses globally. Advancement of technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Web3, and 5G and 6G connectivity will only accelerate this trend going forward.

Most businesses and organisations have been going through some form of transformation digitally for more than a decade, perhaps more so in the Western countries. But in the last decade, a lot has happened in our region and in Singapore.

I must say that not every company has been successful. In fact, many of them were struggling. So, it is very hard for the digitalisation trend to keep pace, and one of the biggest challenges One of the biggest challenges that organisations face is the shortage of talent, especially tech talent.

A report by the Ministry of Manpower back in 2021 found that software, web and multimedia developers are the second highest profession in demand with over 1,600 vacancies.

There was another report by Amazon Web Services citing that by 2025, Singapore would need an additional 1.2 million digital talent. Even if you halved it for a conservative estimate, it is still a big number. The number of people entering the workforce is only 40,000 to 50,000. So, there is a lot of pressure on finding talent.

For Temus to remain competitive and grow our business, it is key that we have access to homegrown talent. But talent doesn’t grow on trees, and we cannot take the attitude of being passive and hunt or recruit people from the same pool. We must take on the challenge of growing the talent pool so that we can add more human resources and enable the digital transformation towards the digital economy.

Now, that's the reason why the Step IT Up program,e was established. And that's why you're here. We are very grateful for the vision and support of IMDA. In particular, their TechSkills Accelerator, that has provided funding and have placed over 13,000 individuals in this profession so far.

I believe that through the collective effort of companies and public agencies like IMDA, we can create more human resources in the tech space. That takes effort, that takes courage. But that's something that we must do.

You know that by joining this programme, you're also going to be joining a very young company that’s barely two years old. The Temus board, including myself, is however very enthusiastic about the Temus’ prospects with regards to the business objectives that will meet the needs that I mentioned earlier. More importantly, we encouraged by the progress that the management team has been able to drive together with our talent.

We're seeing very strong traction with our customer wins, translating to revenue growth. if everything goes according to our expectations, we will be doubling our revenue this year from the last. We still only have a very small base, but growing at this pace is very impressive for a very young company.

Another thing I want to stress is, while we need to stay price competitive in this very competitive business, I'm quite happy to say that we are not winning on price. We are winning on the value propositions of Temus.

Our co-creation and co-development mindsets have resonated really well with our customer base. While technical skill sets is one thing, working with customers to create solutions together, alongside them, is going to be a key differentiator for us.

You have to go beyond your technical skills. That is one thing that I want to remind all of us of. We cannot be successful if we just do what others are doing, because they are much larger than us.

So, one of the things that I would like all of us to do, especially as you are the ones who have to deliver, is to think about how to differentiate ourselves. When you're delivering something to your customers, it cannot be what they can get elsewhere. It has to be something extra. And that will go towards building and reinforcing the Temus differentiation and our brand in the marketplace.

To all of you graduating today, I wish to reaffirm the value that you will bring to Temus and its customer base as you embark on your new career as a builder of digital businesses and the digital economy.

You have made a very bold and wise decision to place yourself in this fast-growing, future-proofing sector. I also believe that Temus will provide you with the environment in which you can excel in your work and advance your career.

You, and your families, should be proud of your achievements in the SIU programme. I am sure that tomorrow, when you get assigned to your customers, you will make us very proud as you deliver good value to our customers.

Congratulations on your graduation and welcome to the Temus family. Thank you.

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