Imageneering the Future: Q&A with Annie Yap, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of AYP Group

AYP Group  is an award-winning talent and workforce management solution provider in Asia Pacific with a vision to be a full-fledged HR services and HR technology company providing both online and offline HR Solutions. 

Drawing inspiration from her father, it was Annie’s childhood dream to be an entrepreneur and is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Singapore. Now, with over 80 employees in the company, Annie aims to bring AYP Group to greater heights with its innovative HR Solutions. We caught up with Annie herself to find out more…

Our cause is “Imagineering the Future”,  we hope to help the candidates realized their career goals by helping them find a career that best fit their aspiration and personality.

Q: Tell us about AYP Group. How long you’ve been doing it, and who your clients are? 

AYP Group Services

A: Since 2009, AYP Group has been built with our dedication to our clients and candidates needs in mind. The AYP group is an integrated HR solutions and technology firm whose  cause is ‘Imagineering the Future’, to bridge the border between dreams and reality by truly bringing our clients’ & candidate’s aspirations to life. Our vision is to be a full-fledged HR services and HR technology company providing both online & offline HR Solutions to our clients from Recruitment, RPO to HR Consultancy & Outsourcing Solutions.

Q: What sparked your interest in entrepreneurship and Human Resource? 

A: My father was an entrepreneur and since young, I had been influenced by him. I had been exposed to doing business and its always my dream to start my own business. Upon graduation, I started my own business but failed and therefore joined a HR firm to gain more experience. I was with the firm for 15 years and was trained under my mentor, Dr Giam Cheng Lan who had since passed on in 2001.

Q: What were you doing before entrepreneurship? Tell us about your background and how it helps you with what you are doing now?  

A: I worked for a HR firm called GMP Group for 15 years, my mentor Dr Giam had truly inspired me to be in a professional HR practitioner and I saw how a good career can impact individuals. In my course of career with GMP, there were numerous moments when good careers impacted and helped the individuals and families.

I had ever helped a candidate with a temporary assignment 20 years ago whilst he was back to Singapore during his university vacation to help him understand more on the technology industry. Now, after 20 years, he is the Singapore Managing Director of one of the biggest security software firms in the world.

Q: Tell us more about your inspiration behind AYP Group. What’s the idea and mission behind it? 

A: I want to help more candidates and clients be successful in their business and lives. Our cause is “Imagineering the Future”,  we hope to help the candidates realised their career goals by helping them find a career that best fit their aspiration and personality.

Q: What makes AYP Group different from other HR solutions companies that we know? 

A: For us, we are strong believer of innovation, we constantly innovate HR solutions to help our clients solve their HR issues. One of the latest innovation for us is that we develop our own HR software : JuzTalent , the software helps the client to tap onto online HR features like electronic P-file, Payroll, leave, claim, training features.  The clients can now do all these functions online, it is environmentally friendly as it do without all the paperwork, and it cuts down manpower in processing all the administrative tasks.

HR and Talent management is always my #1 key challenge. Good people are hard to come by and retaining them is also challenging as they are ambitious and driven.

Q: How many employees do you have and what’s the AYP Group working culture like? 

A: We have 80 employees in the Region and Singapore being the HQ, we have 40 employees that is based in Singapore. Our values are : Passion, Commitment, Collaboration, Integrity and Value Creation. Our culture is built upon the values and we compliment, recognized and reprimand our employees based on our core values.

Q: In terms of sales & marketing, how do you reach your clients, and what works?     

A: We do quite a fair bit of digital marketing as the new era of clients and candidates are all very internet savvy.  Other things that we do is to constantly engaging our existing clients to introduce other new services to them so that we can increase share of wallet.

Q: Where do you see the future of recruitment (especially with highly mobilized talent)? Any plans for AYP Group in the near future? 

A: The workforce for freelancer will increase, more and more people will take on short term contracts, project based work. Also with automation and robotic coming up, more jobs will be disappeared, therefore its crucial for one to constant upgrade and pick up new skills.

Deliberately work on your company culture, it should be built by design and not by default. Culture is the main ingredients to attract, keep and retain your employees and clients.

Q: Tell us about your Number 1 business challenge?   

A: HR and Talent management is always my #1 key challenge. Good people are hard to come by and retaining them is also challenging as they are ambitious and driven.

Q: As an entrepreneur, what motivates you personally?    

A: Ability to offer products or solutions that can impact employees’ lives.

Q: What would be your advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs keen in starting a business?

A: Go for it, entrepreneurship is the only job that is secured as you will never be retrenched by your boss. There are far fewer female entrepreneurs than male entrepreneurs given that women constitute to about 50% of the world population.

Q: As a HR practitioner, how can LadyBosses running small to medium businesses motivate/ engage their employees? 

A: Deliberately work on your company culture, it should be built by design and not by default. Culture is the main ingredients to attract, keep and retain your employees and clients.

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