Singtel appoints former Accenture veteran Ng Kuo Pin to head NCS

05 July 2019 Consultancy.asia

Singaporean telco Singtel has appointed Ng Kuo Pin as the new CEO of its NCS subsidiary after his recruitment from Accenture earlier this year. The move follows the addition of former McKinsey boss to its board in March.

Singtel, one of the Asia Pacific’s largest mobile network operators, has elevated recent recruit Ng Kuo Pin to oversee its wholly-owned ITC and communications engineering subsidiary NCS. Recruited in February as NCS’s deputy CEO after nearly two and a half decades with global professional services firm Accenture, Ng steps up to replace Chia Wee Boon, who is retiring after ten years with the company.

“I’m honoured to be tasked with leading NCS at a time that is critical for governments and enterprises to go digital,” commented Ng. “NCS has long been a stalwart partner of both the public and private sectors and I look forward to strengthening these trusted relationships. As we accelerate our own digital transformation, we’ve never been in a better place to support our partners as they recalibrate their processes and business models.”    

Prior to crossing to Singtel, Ng spent altogether 24 years at Accenture, and after being made partner in 2006 held several leadership roles within the firm’s global Communications, Media and Technology (CMT) operating group, including as Head of CMT Singapore, Head of CMT Greater China, and ultimately as Accenture’s Head of Consulting for CMT Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He will take up his new role from the beginning of August.

Singtel appoints former Accenture veteren Ng Kuo Pin to head NCS

“Kuo Pin’s deep ICT experience will be invaluable as he leads NCS’s 2.0 transformation journey, driving its longer-term strategy, global expansion plans and service transformation,” said  Singtel’s Group Enterprise CEO Bill Chang. “He has worked closely with Wee Boon since he joined, to reshape the transformation agenda for NCS, attracting senior ICT talents in the process to bolster its bench strength.”

Meanwhile, Singtel has in recent months already significantly bolstered its coaching roster, as it were, with the appointment of former McKinsey global managing partner Dominic Barton to its board of directors in March. Spending nine years at the top of the world’s most influential management consultancy, Barton is noted for having spent the majority of his career in Asia, ascending initially from McKinsey’s office in Korea.

“Dominic brings rich expertise and insights from across a broad swathe of industries, having advised clients in banking, consumer goods, tech and industrials over three decades of consulting,” said Singtel Chairman Simon Israel at the time. “The diversity of his experience will be invaluable as Singtel’s digital transformation takes the Group into businesses and partnerships that cut across multiple industries. I’m delighted to welcome Dominic to the Singtel board.”

Consulting alumni

Among others on the board, Barton joins former Westpac Bank CEO Gail Kelly, who also serves as a member of the McKinsey Advisory Council, along with former KPMG Singapore Managing Partner Bobby Chin – a thirty-year company veteran who led the local branch for 13 years – and ex-PwC stalwart Gautam Banerjee, who over more than thirty years held numerous leadership roles at the Big Four firm, including as its COO for the Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, another McKinsey alumnus, Samba Natarajan, is the CEO of Group Digital Life, which among other areas focuses on digital marketing and data analytics as one of Singtel’s three major operational branches. At McKinsey, where he was a partner and spent 15 years, Natarajan in his most recent role prior to his recruitment to Singtel in 2014 was as head of the firm’s Southeast Asia Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice.

NCS, Ng’s new responsibility, was before privatisation initially established in 1981 by the Singapore government to capitalise on the coming information technology revolution. And in a recent closing dialogue at the Smart Nation Summit – moderated by Dominic Barton – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made note that the city-state and its leaders must continue to keep reinventing themselves in the face of the latest technological revolution.

“In our case, if we don't reinvent ourselves and somebody else comes along and takes the apple off our tree, we won't have lunch,” the prime Minister stated in response to a question from Barton. “I think that's a lesson which... we ourselves, not just the population, need to know and to remind ourselves every morning that we have to keep on being prepared to reinvent ourselves, and sometimes to cannibalise ourselves, because otherwise somebody else will do it.”


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