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​​2020 Forbes 30 under 30 – James Lim

Published on: 27-Apr-2020

​Nanyang Business School (NBS) alumnus James Lim (Class of 2017) has recently been listed in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, under the Consumer Technology category. James joined Helpling, an online on-demand housekeeping service, in 2017 and is currently the Asia-Pacific Managing Director.

As we reached out to James to congratulate him, we also took the opportunity to ask him to share his thoughts about his feature on Forbes, NBS journey and experiences in Helpling. 

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NBS alumnus James Lim 

"It was definitely an honour to be featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia. I am grateful for the opportunities that had been given to me over the past years and not to mention, the many people that had helped me along the way," said James.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), James shared about his undergraduate experience – meeting like-minded peers who are now a big part of his inner circle. They studied, worked on projects, and played together. He recalled staying up overnight at the study area in NBS – rushing to complete their work before the project deadline.

During his undergraduate programme, a specific module, Global Business Strategy, (GBS) taught by the late Ian McGovern, impacted him a lot. He learnt the importance of thinking out of the box, of learning about the bigger world out there, and most importantly, of knowing how to structure his thoughts logically. He was constantly challenged by McGovern and claims that it was a very humbling experience for him. It also made him realise what he did not know and helped to shape his current views on personal development.

When asked what made James to join Helping, he said it was the challenge of restructuring and growing a business from an unprofitable start-up to a highly profitable scale-up. Although James' learning curve was steep and had many sleepless nights, the life lessons that he learnt during the process was one that justified his efforts. "The school of hard knocks - that's how I would best describe my experience with Helpling," he added.

James considers the transformation of Helpling Singapore from unprofitability to the current high growth, high margin business model, as his biggest achievement since the time he joined. However, James also had his fair share of struggles. He shared that initially, he struggled with managing and leading his new team. Nevertheless, over time he learnt from books and mistakes. He became aware of his ego and blind spots and sought ways to improve himself as a leader and manager.

James has some big plans for Helping in the future – to be the leading regional player in the home services space. The company is currently focusing on increasing the portfolio of services and exploring further regional expansion in Asia-Pacific.

This is an excellent reflection of NBS's goal to help leaders innovate, transform, forge new paths, create value, and deliver impact. We wish James the very best in his current and future endeavours!

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