For a leading digital economy like Singapore, a future brimming with innovation and emerging technologies is crucial for sustained growth. Over the years, national digitalisation efforts have equipped businesses and government offices alike with the ability to shift physical services into digital conveniences. Such shifts were then further accelerated by COVID-19 , with nearly 75 percent of local firms choosing to digitalise in order to survive.
Standing at the forefront of this transformation is not only Singapore’s world-class digital infrastructure but also its tech-embracing workforce. To strengthen the country’s digitalisation efforts, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has introduced initiatives to develop technical skills and ensure a continuous pipeline of local tech talent.
In building Singapore’s digital economy, IMDA nurtures young tech talents to become future leaders of the organisation through various young talent programmes. One of such programme is the Associate in Infocomm Media (AIM) Graduate Development Programme—a two-year structured programme that immerses and nurtures fresh graduates in the different functions of the IMDA to prepare them for future roles in building Singapore’s digital economy. Here, we feature the tech journeys of two AIM talents, who are now pushing the frontiers of Singapore’s digitalisation in their new positions at IMDA.
Stepping into a tech career
With his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), Mr Srinivas Avichal has long dreamt about harnessing tech for positive social impact. Today, as Assistant Manager at IMDA’s Sectoral Transformation Group under the Lifestyle Division, he lives his dream by advancing the digitalisation of crucial sectors like retail, food and beverage (F&B), hotels and wholesale suppliers.
Before making the leap of faith and applying for the AIM programme, Mr Avichal had what he describes as a life-changing experience with tech. During his previous professional attachment, he worked closely with his supervisor to analyse technology patents and identify opportunities in the autonomous vehicles space.
“This [experience] gave me direction in [determining] the specific area of the technology sector that I wanted to pursue. I decided that I wanted to pursue a career to develop and commercialise technology that will benefit society. In that sense, IMDA and AIM has brought me closer to my career aspiration.”
Mr Srinivas Avichal
When the opportunity came, Mr Avichal jumped at the chance to submit his AIM application, especially with IMDA’s crucial role as the architect of Singapore’s digital future. As an aspiring tech professional, he readily seized the opportunity to work with a team and contribute to national projects.
Having witnessed how digitalisation can be leveraged as a force for good, Mr Avichal now looks forward to changing the sectoral landscape by integrating frontier tech like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things into their day-to-day operations.
Likewise, fellow AIM graduate Ms Yee Wang Sui also joined the programme with the goal of making an impact through tech. Though Ms Yee never imagined that she would explore the vast world of tech, the ever-evolving nature of digital innovations piqued her adventurous spirit and drive to take on new challenges. After discovering her passion for coding, she hasn’t looked back.
While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Systems and Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Ms Yee developed automated solutions for coral reef data collection, reducing the task’s complexity and increasing efficiency for marine research.
“Seeing how manual processes [are] automated or made more efficient by technology excites me because there is so much time and effort that can be saved [for] doing higher value work. Now that I am in IMDA, I hope that I can change the lives of others with tech.”
Ms Yee Wang Sui
Building off this past experience, she now hopes to increase the efficiency of cross-border trade as Assistant Manager at the BizTech Group’s Trust Tech Programme Office (T2PO). By combining transparency tech like blockchain with international standards, Trust Tech removes the need for paper-based documentation and enables a seamless flow of goods between digitally inter-connected trading partners.
“I see myself as a bridge between the government and the less tech-savvy. I wish to enable industries and people to leverage on the convenience and efficiency that tech has to offer. Since IMDA is involved in almost anything related to tech, I have an industry-wide view.”
Ms Yee Wang Sui
On Singapore’s road to digitalisation, continuous and concerted efforts spanning generations will be key to spreading the benefits of digital across the country. With IMDA’s AIM programme supporting fresh talent to explore roles in tech, the stage is set for visionaries like Mr Avichal and Ms Yee to lead the nation’s digital transformation, actively shaping the role technology plays in our lives.
Interested in deepening your expertise in tech? Looking for a dynamic opportunity to drive lasting change in the digital economy? Click here to learn more about opportunities to contribute to Singapore’s digital growth through the Associate in Infocomm Media (AIM) Graduate Development Programme.