Ooi Tiat Jin
HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPRMIT University
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Master of Global Trade, Class of 2023
CURRENT EMPLOYMENTFounder & Principal Consultant
“I believe that the knowledge and network gained through the Master of Global Trade program will better position me to fulfil my company’s vision of “Empowering Lives Through Connecting Businesses”.”
Based in Singapore, Ooi Tiat Jin (TJ), is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Curated Connectors, a consulting firm that specializes in supporting SMEs in Asia. There, he mainly works with small companies for restructuring and clarifying working processes as well as identifying platforms for them to showcase their businesses.
His passion for fostering successful partnerships began when working for the Singapore Chemical Industry Council and overseeing their operations including communications, human resources and events. During his tenure, the organisation grew into a full-fledged independent industry council that was better positioned to serve the industry and its members. Later, he spent seven years as Executive Manager and subsequently General Manager in Absotech, a chemical blending, trading and distribution company before being appointed as the Director of the Asia Pacific MSME Trade Coalition, where he was in charge of developing strategic relationships with regional organizations and government departments.
TJ received his Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University of Manchester in 1999.
I see myself as an entrepreneur whose journey began in March 2020 when I stepped out of my comfort zone to start Curated Connectors, my consulting business. Through small wins, hard work, favor and opportunities, I was able to start my second business in January this year, focusing on trading goods.
Through both businesses, I aspire to connect entrepreneurs and MSMEs and help them grow. Ultimately, I hope the lives they are connected to will be empowered as well. To achieve that, I need to expand my knowledge of global trade. I have a good appreciation both at macro and micro (implementation) levels, but that has come about largely through work experiences. I believe that a formalized learning approach through the Master of Global Trade will accelerate my knowledge growth.
I have further observed a gap amongst MSMEs, in understanding and appreciating, global trade at the policy and implementation level. There are, of course, many reasons why this may be so. However, one reason clear to me is that MSMEs are generally under-represented at macro level trade discussions and forums. I spoke in a session at the 2019 WTO Public Forum in Geneva. There, I realised that these platforms discuss policy issues that are aimed at helping MSMEs, but there were hardly any MSMEs present.
I see myself stepping out to lead the charge, to be a strong advocate and strategic representative for Asian MSMEs in advocating meaningful global trade. To be that leader, I will need structured knowledge, good corporate connections, and mentors that can guide me along this path. This program between Hinrich Foundation and RMIT University will meet my needs so that in turn, I can meet the greater need.