Alan Koo Liang Kwee: Driving Financial Excellence with Two Decades Expertise

Alan Koo Liang Kwee: Driving Financial Excellence with Two Decades Expertise

Alan Koo Liang Kwee, CFO

Alan Koo Liang Kwee


In today’s competitive world, the CFO is a position with significant responsibilities and opportunities to contribute to the company's growth and success in a dynamic industry. CFO of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (SABECO), Alan Koo Liang Kwee is a Singaporean professional with over 28 years of experience in operational and regional finance across Asia Pacific, primarily in the FMCG sector. Alan's professional background exemplifies a successful and diverse career in finance, marked by international exposure and a commitment to adding value to organizations through strategic initiatives and a global perspective. CEO Insights Asia magazine engaged in a one on one interaction with Alan Koo, let’s read to know more.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional background and experiences? Also, what motivates you in your daily work?

With over 28 years of experience in both operational and regional finance across Asia Pacific, I am a Singaporean who has had the privilege of working overseas for over half of my career, notably in China and Vietnam. These international assignments have been challenging yet rewarding, providing valuable insights and a holistic perspective throughout my career while managing cultural differences.

On a daily basis, my motivation stems from the purpose behind my decisions to take on roles and the value I bring to the table to achieve successful deliverables. Additionally, the unwavering support from my teams and superiors over the years has played a crucial role in my success.

Can you share your journey to success and your personal mantra for achieving it?

My path to success has been guided by a simple yet powerful mantra: Be courageous enough to take the leap of faith. Throughout my career, I've learned that opportunities seldom come knocking twice, and it's essential to seize them when they arise and make the most out of them. Sometimes, it's necessary to be a risk-taker, albeit a calculated one. Even if there's a chance of failure, I see it as a valuable lesson to learn from. At a senior level, mistakes can be unforgiving, but without trying, one would never truly know their potential for success.

My path to success has been guided by a simple yet powerful mantra: Be courageous enough to take the leap of faith

How would you describe SABECO as an organization and its market position? What sets your organization apart and makes it unique for clients?

SABECO is a well-established and renowned beer company in Vietnam, deeply ingrained in the hearts of Vietnamese consumers as a source of local pride. With a strong presence in the domestic market, SABECO has become synonymous with bringing joyto people through its high-quality and refreshing beers.

How do you plan to leverage your extensive professional experience in this field to elevate the organization's reputation?

I firmly believe there is significant potential for transformation, particularly in the digital realm (SABECO 4.0). Equally important is the focus on enhancing the capabilities of our workforce by incorporating industry best practices. This will be a gradual process, considering the scale of our organization, and will require proper change management, patience, and a touch of luck. Instead of implementing drastic changes all at once, I envision a more progressive approach, introducing continuous improvements that build confidence among our workforce. Celebrating small successes along the way will also play a vital role in showing appreciation for their efforts. By combining these strategies, we can effectively enhance SABECO's profile and ensure sustained growth and success over time.

Please share your leadership approach. What principles or methodologies do you follow as a leader?

In my leadership approach, I strongly believe in being open and collaborative, which has proven effective throughout my career. I recognize I may not have the solutions to various challenges, but I firmly believe that by working together as a team, we can find the best path forward. To ensure a well-rounded and capable team, I make it a practice to surround myself with individuals possessing diverse skillsets that complement each other, thereby strengthening the overall function.

I also value the opportunity to learn from my team members, particularly the younger generation, as I realize leadership is a two-way street. This mutual exchange of knowledge and perspectives enriches our collective abilities. While collaboration is essential, there are times when tough decisions are needed, and in those instances, I am not hesitant to take decisive action. I firmly adhere to the belief that not making a decision is, in itself, a decision. This blend of openness, collaboration, and the willingness to make difficult choices has been the cornerstone of my leadership approach.

What is your envisioned future path?

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work with several esteemed companies in various countries, including listed companies in Singapore and Vietnam, as well as multinational corporations that have enriched my experience over the years. For me, it's not just about delivering value; I also focus on the purpose and relevance I can bring to each role and organization.

Considering your extensive industry experience, what advice would you offer to aspiring industry leaders?

Firstly, I would advise them to prioritize staying relevant and continuously upgrading their skillsets. Secondly, assembling the right team of people to work with and alongside is essential for achieving success. Collaborating with capable and dedicated individuals will strengthen the collective capabilities and contribute to positive outcomes. Lastly, I encourage budding leaders to be willing to take calculated risks and demonstrate courage in decision-making. As one advances in seniority, the complexities of decisionmaking intensify, making it vital to be confident in making well-considered choices.

Alan Koo Liang Kwee, CFO, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (SABECO)

A Singaporean professional with over 28 years of experience in operational and regional finance across the Asia Pacific, primarily in the FMCG sector, Alan Koo is the CFO of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (SABECO).

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