By Dionne Wong
The Discovery+ Series is a series of events, delivered through online digital solutions, which give students the chance to speak directly with working professionals, and learn about careers they aspire to enter. Given the developments in the COVID-19 situation, Advisory is keen to provide support to the many students who are experiencing woes in this time of disruptions, by digitalising professional mentorship.
The Discover+ Panel on Mobility, held on 19 May 2020, was graced by Kenny Tan (Moderator), Head of Operations Excellence at Gojek; Andrey Berdichevskiy, Director at Deloitte Future of Mobility Solution Centre; Bai Zhiyong, Assistant Vice President, Strategy (Mobility) at Singapore Economic Development Board; and David Liang, Manager, Evolving Mobility at Land Transport Authority. Attendees included students at various levels of education with a desire to know the different career paths in mobility, and how to best position themselves for such roles.
The daily routine varies for different jobs in the sector. Some roles are tasked with ensuring that operations run smoothly and mitigating hiccups. For consulting firms like Deloitte, the requirements differ daily and it is predominantly about catering to the client’s needs in the most optimal manner. Working in a consulting firm largely involves business trips overseas to better understand the client’s needs. Different firms specialise in different operational needs and coordinate with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to expand Singapore’s transport landscape. Overall, working in the transport sector is a highly dynamic and versatile job which involves client satisfaction as well as engaging with people from various disciplines. All stakeholders work in tandem to achieve Singapore’s interests in becoming a world-class transport hub.
There are three parts to the supply chain: the planner, the maker and the executor. The nature of work in each of the sub-sectors differs and with it, the skill sets that are required. Mobility is an extremely broad sector which also comprises individuals who might not necessarily be working in said industry. Hence, the career prospects in the industry are not limited to transport alone.
Consultants can provide solutions for common problems that firms in the transport sector might face. Consulting firms, for instance, can provide system engineering and digital solutions. Multiple government agencies, under the Ministry of Transport (MOT), also facilitate the growth of the local sector in important ways. In particular, the work of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) focuses on drones while the JTC Corporation sources for plots of land and the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) carries out long term projects with our ports.
Mobility encompasses the movement of people as well as goods. The latter has taken off in light of this pandemic owing to the overwhelming demand by consumers. Therefore, the movement of said goods has become an integral aspect of mobility.
There are different stances toward the introduction of self-driving vehicles. As of now, the vehicles are still in the testing phase. Companies and agencies are still seeking ways to optimise safety as it remains the top concern. Hence the only way for autonomous vehicles to be implemented would be for a robust and almost foolproof infrastructure to be put in place.
Features like driver incentives and promotional codes significantly impact the platform as the need for on-demand vehicles does not usually corroborate with the user’s expectations of how much the service is worth. Notwithstanding other variables, sustainability is a delicate balance as the scales between how much a consumer is willing to pay and how much time the driver is willing to fork out to send said consumer is constantly being tipped.
Data sharing between consumers and businesses helps ensure safety as the fundamental backbone of mobility and optimise supply and demand in a holistic manner. This allows ride-sharing services to be conducted safely. As the need for working from home increases, mobility is bound to be affected to a certain extent as there is a shift in normal commuting hours. Hence, the demand for transport as a whole will be more spread out as working from home will become Singapore’s new norm.
Qualifications to work in the transport industry can vary. Regardless of the major you choose to pursue, focus your attention on the process instead of solely focusing on the end result. Depending on the specific sub-sector of mobility, you can choose which skills to acquire, that might position you best for that role. Learn because you have a passion for it and passion will bring you to great heights.
Regardless of educational background and experience, enter this sector because you have a fervent passion to serve the larger community. Most importantly, it is the attitude that you carry with you that will help you stand out and excel. That driven attitude supersedes the nature of your degree or course.