Saturday, April 26, 2008

Malaysian don set to soar with fellowship award - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: April 26, 2008 By : Irdiani Mohd Salleh

The first-ever Malaysian to be awarded a fellowship by a prestigious British management research institute has no illusions about herself.

"I am like a humming bird (the world's smallest bird). Although it has tiny wings, it can fly wherever it wants," said Irene Ng, an associate professor of Marketing in the School of Business and Economics at the University of Exeter, in the UK.

Ng was one of five academics in the UK who were recently awarded a Fellowship on Services by Britain's prestigious Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM), which brings academics and business leaders together to develop research of a world-class standard.

Furthermore, Ng was appointed the Lead Service Fellow, in which capacity she will join the directorate of AIM to ensure that the institute's activities are well-integrated."I'm really honoured to be selected. This is the dream of every academic in the UK. And to be appointed to lead the research is totally unexpected," said Ng.

During her three-year fellowship, Ng's research will focus on the pricing and revenue management of services, value-based service innovation, service capacity and business-to-business (B2B) service contracts.Though Ng's achievement is no mean feat, the Malaysian academic, who is in her 40s, is humble about her accomplishments thus far.

"I'm not a genius. I'm just like any other person who went to a Sekolah Kebangsaan, failed my Form Two exams and had my research papers routinely rejected."But that never stopped me to keep on learning and trying," said Ng, who is also a mother of three."I don't limit myself. I just do what I want and say what I think. Maybe that's the secret of my success today."

Indeed, Ng has had a spectacular career. Prior to joining academia, Ng was a successful business practitioner for 12 years. She was chief executive officer of SA Tours, the largest tour operator in Southeast Asia with offices in Malaysia, Singapore and China.

She was also the founder and chief executive officer of Empress Cruise Lines, which boasts an annual turnover of US$250 million (RM795 million).But with her recent fellowship win, Ng may be demonstrating that her best accomplishments are yet to come.

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