May Lim: Do What’s Right, Not What’s Easy


May Lim, who is relatively petite in size, may be seen as a little more vulnerable than others. That’s of course not true, her ambition is not small at all! She is really mature and speaks like an adult (I mean, being 20s / 30s doesn’t qualify us to be an adult inside out), and knows what she’s doing. So, what exactly is May up to?

May Lim, 25

Co-Founder, CLEF Intelligence

 

 Star Profile

  • A technopreneur who is always asking “why not”
 Characteristics

  • Only one word to describe May: Empathetic
 Skills and Passion

  • Outdoor activities, travel
 Favorite Quote

  • Do what’s right, not what’s easy

Early Days

“Same same but different”, that would be very apt to describe May. She always thought that although she is a millennial herself, she’s different from others. Maybe that was because her mum is originally from China. There was a time when they went to visit relatives in China, she witnessed herself how different her life was from her cousin’s life. Just because of where you were born, opportunities and environment are so different that it could change your whole life. May learned an important lesson from then – never to take any opportunity for granted. Many youth nowadays are relatively fragile, how we were educated was a big factor. “Mindset is the biggest challenge, it might take a whole generation to change that,” May said.

Journey to Entrepreneurship

When May studied in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), she took an 1-year exchange program to US. That one year was very fruitful journey for May, she saw the humongous opportunity of Information Technology in future. It planted a seed in her head that IT is where she would stay. That year also opened up a whole new landscape for May personally, she started to embrace changes, started to ask why and not just what.

During her studies May also did an internship program with Microsoft. She had tasted two different career paths – corporate life at Microsoft and startup venture in US. When she came back from US, Singapore government just started Smart Nation initiative to support better living using technology. Technology is the future! That’s how she convinced her parents to let her join a tech startup when she graduated.

Transforming from IT Service to Product Company

By her university mentor’s connection, May was introduced to the team behind CLEF, who had experience in a IT service-centric company that does customized consultancy and development work. To scale up, they know CLEF needs to be a product-centric company and not a service-centric company. The team saw good opportunities in the workforce management space, and May decided to join CLEF to grow the company towards HRTech. May and her early team built the first product together (an IT analysis tool for HR managers). Besides building product, she had to manage everything else like finance, sales and marketing. Challenging!

Their first product Wazyn as a web-based Workforce Planning System was built to support HR managers in Saudi Arabia. Huh Saudi Arabia? The team had multiple years of experience working with the labour market space in Saudi Arabia, so why not? Caly as the next product to help people plan for career development is in the line. “We start a company not out of convenience, it’s very intentional. We don’t start a company just for the sake of starting one.” – May Lim.

Takeaways

  • Startup is about 3 things: problem solving skills, creativity and grit
  • There is a saying in Chinese – 富不过三代 (fortune doesn’t last for more than 3 generations); it’s very relatable to Singapore!
  • Today we are information overloaded, information is useless until it is actionable
  • Singapore startups are not collaborating enough
  • Know what is important to you and be focus
  • Parents don’t mean to “nag” or resist our decisions, they are just afraid that we don’t know what we are doing. As long as we can show them we know, they would be supportive
  • Always re-evaluate (or reflect): is this the time at a cross road? Do we keep on the same track or need to change?
  • Entrepreneurship is not a job, it’s a lifestyle
  • If we are being oblivious, live in our own world, we would never get to achieve big dreams


  Company Profile

CLEF Intelligence

Workforce Management Solutions

  • Workforce is one of the most critical resource of any organization. We want to support leaders and managers in bringing the best out of every individual

Check it out!


Credit: All icons on this page are from Flat Icons