Andrew Wong: A 36-year Journey From Associate to Distributor
Andrew Wong joined Swagelok 36 years ago in April 1984 as a Sales Engineer in Kemaman, a little known east coast town in Terengganu. Though not familiar with the job scope that was advertised, he went ahead to apply as the position was based in Terengganu, his home state.
For the past three decades plus, Andrew has always welcomed opportunities. He progressed from one role to another—Sales Engineer to Sales Manager, Country Manager for Indonesia, then Business Development Manager (Asia-Pacific), Country Manager for Vietnam, Regional Construction Manager (Asia) for Swagelok Capital Projects Company (SCPC) before his appointment as Operation Director for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei. All these gave him very valuable experience and exposure, and laid a strong foundation for him when he took over the distributorship of Swagelok in Malaysia, and became its CEO in April 2017.
Here is his story.
Season of learning and growing
Each role was a great learning experience for me. It allowed me to learn and stretch. It gave me the opportunity to experience, to travel to different countries, and to work with people from diverse cultures. It developed me professionally and as a person. Each phase was a season of learning and growing. And the biggest reward was to be able to enjoy and experience many amazing and incredible moments.
Perform under pressure
I stayed on in Swagelok all these years because of its principles. We do what we say. We walk our talk. I can sleep well at night because my conscience is clear. We have always delivered on our brand promise. We perform under pressure, and we do it right.
Agile . Collaborative . Accountable
No single role is devoid of challenges. There is no doubt about that. But I have always believed, and still do, that challenges are part and parcel of growth. There are always possibilities and solutions to all challenges. Our target behavior of Agile, Collaborative, Accountable is a great response to challenges.
When faced with challenges, we need to be agile and explore possibilities; surely there are people who can help, so let us collaborate to expand our capacity and capability; and be accountable to one another to ensure the challenges are resolved in the best possible manner. This explains why A.C.A. is central to how we overcome challenges.
Strong brand presence
I have had many positive moments and achievements. For example, I can still remember the early days I was a Sales Engineer in Kemaman. Swagelok has just ventured to Malaysia's east coast to serve the oil and gas industry there. The road system was not developed and it was a challenge to move from place to place. There were no mobile phones at that time. We had to carry a pager. When the office called, we would get a message on our pager to call back to the office or call the customer. Then we would search for a public phone, carrying with us lots of coins to make the call. This may sound really out of the world for the younger generation, but that was life back then.
However, we didn't allow situational challenges to hold us back from serving our customers, and serve them well we did! I believe the team made a strong presence and left a very positive mark in the marketplace in those days. I would be bold to say that even to this day, Swagelok enjoys strong brand presence because of our high quality product performance, and the team's strong customer service and focus. Let us continue to press on.
Respect and Integrity
Over the years, I have had opportunities to meet with Swagelok associates in different parts of the world. Many have inspired me, and many others have taught me and guided me through difficult times. In various ways, they taught me the value of respect for people and holding on to integrity in challenging circumstances. These two values – respect and integrity – resonate very well with me, and form my personal belief and accountability.
Stand out doing your best
As I reflect on my 36 years journey with Swagelok, I never imagined that I would have such a privilege and interesting career. Meeting so many people from different countries; entrusted by Swagelok to be their distributor in Malaysia… simply amazing! One thing I am convinced is that people will notice and recognize when you do a good job, because 'actions speak louder than words.' My advice to all associates:
Do your very best wherever you are. Learn as much as you can. I am certain the next opportunity will emerge for you. When it does, grab it; lean in with your strengths; and stand out doing your best!
Thank you, Andrew, for your dedicated service and contribution, and inspiring leadership!
1998 - In Solon, Ohio
2004 - Regional Meeting in Maui, Hawaii
2012 Asia Pacific Distributor Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand
OTC Asia 2018 with Market Managers