“Niche or be niched” – this is the motto the 47 year-old, holds steadfast. She is currently the Asian region Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of DPECO Sdn Bhd, which she joined in 2015. “I always instil an entrepreneurial spirit into any job I undertake. When I joined this company, within three months I managed to secure a huge contract following its business commencement in Malaysia,” says Eang Phing.
Following her graduation from Deakin University, Eang Phing joined Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1994 and stayed on for two years before moving on to the real estate development arm of ECK Group of Companies, where she successfully turned around the property division from a RM2 net worth section to RM50 million.
After almost a decade in the real estate sector, she moved on to a world renowned Korean conglomerate, V-ENS (M) Sdn Bhd in 2006. The company's principal activities consist of information technology services that include automotive and system integration. “I had a lot to learn when I joined this company. I was truly privileged to have been appointed the first and only female General Manager at this Korean conglomerate,” says Eang Phing.
Her current role at DPECO needs her to be constantly liaising with Korean engineers on vehicle development and production engineering. Asked on how she manages to lead a team of men with a different cultural background, the ever-buoyant business professional likens it to stretching a rubber band. “It takes time and patience. If you stretch a rubber band too much it will break. So, to get optimum output, you will need to stretch and relax interchangeably,” she says.
Eang Phing adds that apart from proving her capability, she also had to persuade the engineers on the competence of a female leader. “I was dealing with engineers and had to learn the concept before being able to lead them. In addition, culturally and historically, it took a bit of work and time for them to listen to a woman,” she says.
In terms of her leadership style, Eang Phing is most passionate in managing her team by building on their potential. “My greatest satisfaction comes in building teams that work together to achieve the best that they are capable of doing. I believe strongly that good camaraderie leads to achieving goals,” she adds.
She emphasises that her basic principles in life and business were taught to her by her father. “My father was a fantastic businessman. He was managing a rubber estate and was also involved in heavy machinery. I was already issuing invoices and managing collection when I was nine years old.”
Asked on whether she would have chosen a different academic pathway, Eang Phing said that she has no regrets in taking up accounting studies at Deakin, and ultimately obtaining her CPA status.
“I am very proud of being a CPA Australia member. I believe when choosing a professional qualification and career, one needs to be well aware of his or her personality, passion and interests. It starts form self-awareness and I know I made the right choice.”