[This is a sponsored post with SEA Gamer Mall.]
In 2010, when Tommy Chieng first applied for a job at SEA Gamer Mall (SEAGM), founded in 2007, he admitted he wasn’t even a gamer. During the interview, he also told the founder of the company that their website is far from impressive.
However, he continued with his research and ideas on how to improve the company’s operations. This impressed his future co-founder who hired him as a supervisor instead of dismissing him on the spot.
It’s been a little over a decade since that incident, but the values Tommy presented and demonstrated back then are those he still maintains today as CEO of SEAGM.
Namely, an open door policy, embracing change, adapting to current developments, promoting a family-type culture, ensuring work-life balance, etc.
Care as a fundamental value
At the heart of how Tommy runs the business is attention. This manifests itself in a variety of ways, from making sure its staff feel empowered to speak openly to their manager, to even providing staff with the funds and tools necessary to maintain their well-being.
For example, staff are given plants to maintain and are encouraged to share updates on SEAGM’s internal Facebook group. Then there is the company’s “Thank You Month” where employees are encouraged to actively show appreciation to their colleagues.
While Tommy was COO, he also started an initiative called “SEAGM 3F” to cover staff well-being in aspects of family, fitness and finances.
Under it, the company started giving staff a Family Day Out Day Allowance (FODA), with a quarterly allowance. This has been especially helpful for their 24/7 customer service staff who work on shifts and may not be able to spend time with family normally.
Apart from these staff can also get allowance because of you (250 RM / month) which allows them to purchase higher speed internet service so that they can better WFH.
Thus, these allowances encourage staff to pamper their families whenever they can. Staff can even spend a certain allocated amount (at management’s discretion) on a gym membership, renting a sports field, or enjoying a Zumba class.
“The only one that we haven’t really launched yet is the financial aspect, but what we’re trying to do is also help our staff buy their first home, etc.,” Tommy explained.
He explained that because the company is located in the small town of Sitiawan, many excellent students tend to leave for KL to study and work, while those who have not achieved similar grades will be left behind.
These latter students are those that SEAGM then supports from an early age. And, through the values and culture of the company, 48 of 177 employees at SEAGM remained with the company for more than 5 years, starting in 2021.
This dedication to the business is why Tommy feels it is necessary to give back to his people, not only out of appreciation, but also out of a desire to see them grow more.
A company that sets the tone
Fifi, Head of Human Resources at SEAGM, told Vulcan Post: “I have been at SEAGM for almost a decade and that says a lot about the positive and thriving work culture of the company which has always provided a sense of comfort and a sense of family-oriented work environment.
She also explained that SEAGM is a place where team and individual achievements and milestones are openly shared, not only with staff, but also with their family members.
But while successes are celebrated, that doesn’t mean mistakes and failures are avoided.
Raymond, Marketing Manager at SEAGM since 2019, told Vulcan Post: “Compared to my previous companies, in SEAGM we are allowed to make mistakes, to try new things even if we never have. [them] before.”
“But, we must also continue to research, optimize and never [settling] for what we did, even though it was successful.
He was also able to hone his skills to quickly adapt to ever-changing digital trends, which is crucial for his work of identifying potential and profitable markets, tracking performance across regions, and updating releases. games.
Even one of SEAGM’s new hires, Olivia, who has been in charge of e-commerce since May 2021, has already felt the impact of their corporate culture.
What particularly impressed him was how visible and accessible his leaders were, as well as the authenticity of their interactions and their intentions.
“After a few weeks, I can feel that our colleagues are not just colleagues, we make real connections as friends and work better as a team as well.”
Building a data-driven gaming ecosystem
Beyond the corporate culture, SEAGM’s ambitions are clear:
- To be the best platform for the distribution of digital online gaming goods and services in the world,
- Continue to be known as a customer-centric company,
- And to enable gamers to earn a living playing games.
While it’s important to constantly improve their UX and user interface, Tommy shared his strategy for making the business sustainable: creating better experiences and relationships with existing and future users.
These approaches must also be data driven, which is why this year SEAGM is focused on growing its data team and data capabilities. All of these efforts will be used to develop SEAGM’s gaming ecosystem plans.
It already has its own esports organization called SEM9 with teams competing internationally in games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and more.
Anecdotes: Tommy shared that the “9” in SEM9 can be read as “??”(Jiu), which stands for longevity, and“ SEM ”actually stands for SEAGM Esports Malaysia. “SEM” is also the first letters of pretend, “Nine” in Malay. At the same time, it embodies SEAGM’s goal of developing SEM9 in 8 other countries besides Malaysia.
Currently, SEAGM is in talks with Alex Yoong, a Malaysian professional racing driver who was in Formula 1, to also bring some members of his simulator racing team aboard SEM9.
Earlier this year, it also launched its own PC and hardware company, GLADAX, with the goal of eventually creating its own branded products.
The overall objective is for SEAGM to be at the heart of the needs of all gamers, whether for the purchase of gaming products, the pursuit of a career in esports, the purchase of PCs and gaming equipment. , etc.
Growing the SEAGM family
To fully realize these dreams, Tommy and the rest of SEAGM are now looking to hire more like-minded people who believe in their mission and vision.
Key roles they seek to fill include data engineers, data analysts, revenue manager, and business development manager.
In the last 4-5 months, they have already hired over 30 people as they increased the number of employees in their KL office.
A candidate would have an advantage if they could show that they are independent in what they do, and being a player is also an advantage because it would take them less time to understand the business.
But above all, Tommy prioritizes fit culture. Skills are important, but he’s learned that no matter how skilled a person is, it won’t work if they just don’t align with the core values of the team.
This is very important to us so as not to disrupt the harmony of the company, because the disruptive characters will destroy all the good things that we have already built in our company culture.
Tommy Chieng, CEO of SEAGM.
- Learn more about SEA Gamer Mall here and take a look at the open positions here.
- Read what we have written about SEA Gamer Mall in the past here.
Featured Image Credit: SEAGM
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