Heroes Unmasked: Staying Resilient In The Face Of Adversity
While many Singaporeans stay home, there are a group of workers who have been working tirelessly around the clock to keep the country going since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this series, we shine the spotlight on SIM’s alumni who are essential workers across different industries as they share their personal stories of challenges, triumphs and hopes for the future.
By Joshua Joseph
When COVID-19 cases first began to spike in Singapore, banks here were already implementing business continuity plans which meant that Lim Yinghao, a business financial manager at United Overseas Bank could carry out operations by mainly working from home and would come in to the office only when it was necessary.
Yinghao who graduated from SIM-University of London's Accounting and Finance programme, assists small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with their financial and investment needs to develop innovative solutions and initiatives for different stages of their growth. The pandemic has seen many SME businesses being hit hard with unprecedented severity.
“COVID-19 brought about a sudden shutdown of many key industries in Singapore such as tourism, events, hospitality, retail, food and beverage and more. Many SME companies are suffering greatly due to border controls. Many have also suffered setbacks due to restrictions put in place during the circuit-breaker period,” says Yinghao.
During this time, Yinghao has been working in overdrive assisting SME companies with applications for additional working capital to tide through this tough period. He is also glad that the government's slew of initiatives have provided some financial relief for SMEs. Yinghao keeps himself updated with these initiatives to better advice businesses according to their needs.
One of the toughest hurdles that he has to overcome during this period is having to meet clients' needs while practising social distancing.
“Most SME owners prefer sharing their company's business plans and needs in person as such information is highly confidential. However, given the constraints, I have to ensure that they are comfortable sharing through video conference calls to assist them with applications. While this may be difficult, it is also a good opportunity for SMEs to reinvent and digitise business operations to be more effective,” Yinghao shares.
Despite the extended work hours and the challenges that come daily, Yinghao is determined to face these head-on by focusing on his goals. He attributes the resilience that he has developed to his experience as a Dragon Boat team member in SIM.
“I learnt that no matter the scale of the challenge (or the distance we need to paddle), we have to focus on our task at hand. We have to paddle one stroke at a time to the best of our abilities to achieve our goals”.
Yinghao also adds that his Accounting and Finance degree has been an important asset in helping him to be more effective. “Having gained accounting knowledge, I'm able to use it this to my advantage to conduct an assessment of a company's future performance by studying past years' financial records,” he notes.
In the stride to put his best foot forward each day, Yinghao believes that it is his strong passion for the job that has been a crucial factor in keeping him highly motivated to succeed.
“It gives me a great sense of fulfilment to help SMEs with their various banking needs and see them grow from strength to strength. My favourite part of the job is getting to meet business owners from various industries and backgrounds and to hear their stories of their start-up journeys. I liken it to watching real-life TED talks!”
Interested on treading the same path as Yinghao? Find out more about the SIM-UOL Accounting and Finance (Hons) programme here.