The On Call with Insignia Ventures podcast introduces: A Leader A Minute! A Leader A Minute is a new mini-series featuring startup leaders at companies we’ve covered or featured on our show. We go beyond the perspectives of the founders or CEOs and get to know the other key executives who are driving the growth of these companies and creating an impact for the customers and communities they serve. They share first-day experiences, the growth they’ve experienced on the job, leadership styles, and what excites them about the future.
For each episode we do a Q&A interview for our blog and also produce a one-minute highlight for our TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We also highlight open roles in the functions led by these executives in case you would like to join their team and work with them as well!
In this second episode of A Leader A Minute, we talk to Eelen Lim, Head of Partnerships at Southeast Asia’s all-in-one finance platform for growing businesses Aspire, who talks about her transition from nearly a decade at OCBC to Aspire, how she got 250 Reward Nation points, and what excites her about building partnerships to drive SME finance digitalization.
@vcinsider All in one #finance platform for #SEA businesses Aspire turned 4 this week! Featuring their Head of #Partnerships’ journey with them #career #fyp ♬ original sound – The VC Insider
About the Featured Leader #3
Eelen Lim is a financial services professional with more than a decade of experience. She grew her career at OCBC leading teams in various functions before transitioning to the world of fintech at Aspire where she now leads partnerships.
Join Eelen in driving better finance digitalization for Southeast Asia’s businesses:
- Job Application for Head of Activation at Aspire (greenhouse.io)
- Job Application for General Manager / Commercial – Singapore at Aspire (greenhouse.io)
- Job Application for Head of Sales, Early Stage – Indonesia at Aspire (greenhouse.io)
- Job Application for Head of Sales, Early Stage – Vietnam at Aspire (greenhouse.io)
- Job Application for Network Partnership Manager (Cards) at Aspire (greenhouse.io)
A Leader A Minute: Why did you decide to join Aspire coming from nearly a decade at OCBC?
Eelen: I joined Aspire in Oct 2021. The role to build up the Partnerships Team speaks a lot to me. I have a couple of previous experiences building new teams and it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing. I chose to join Aspire as I will be able to leverage my prior experience in financial services to do something different.
Secondly, the working culture. After a couple of chats with Joel (SG Country Head), I knew that at Aspire, I will be able to exercise more of my right brain and be given ample opportunities to work on ambitious ideas and projects that will make a significant impact to the business. I will thus be able to capitalize on my entrepreneurial mindset to bring value to the organization.
Lastly, after a decade in OCBC, I see it as a personal challenge to step out of my comfort zone to stretch myself. I felt that being in a startup environment will expose me to the many intricacies of the business and therefore allow me to grow professionally.
A Leader A Minute: What would you say has been your biggest contribution to Aspire in your time in the company?
Eelen: Developing and building up the various partnership teams and seeing how we contribute to the company’s growth.
A Leader A Minute: How would you describe Aspire’s company culture in one word?
Eelen: Empowering. At Aspire, every individual is empowered to take ownership, think, execute, and make an impact.
A Leader A Minute: What was your most memorable day at work?
Eelen: When Andrea gave me 250 Reward Nation points for hitting the ground running and taking over the partnerships portfolio, and anchoring some of our key relationships with our partners.
A Leader A Minute: How has Aspire changed the way you see your role as a Partnerships lead in the banking sector?
Eelen: The world is our oyster, and the opportunities are limitless. Spend less time on process, approvals, and reporting. Focus more on strategy, delivery and achieving results because there is so much out there for us to achieve.
A Leader A Minute: What excites you about Aspire in the coming year especially when it comes to Partnerships?
Eelen: 2021 has been a great year for the partnerships team as we dial up the team to work with more partners to serve more businesses. In 2022, if you think that we can jointly create value to support the SMEs and startup community hit me up for a chat.