Colouring Outside The Lines

By Gladys Goh|17-11-2020 | 5 Min Read

I’ve always believed that passion, resilience and tenacity are core values that form the foundation of success. Granted, that there are various barriers to be addressed that may undermine the opportunities for individuals to thrive in their respective roles, but having that razor-sharp focus on the end goals can truly drive oneself to reach greater heights.

Bridging the gap between work and passion

Taking that first step to identify your passion in whatever you do is an important process to help ensure you will achieve a fulfilling career journey ahead. Be it an interest in science, language, arts, maths, or any other field of study or industry, follow your passion and never look back! 

Bringing together my love for numbers and trend-spotting through data analysis, coupled with my creative side especially in the art of marketing, led me to kick start my career in several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands. Almost 15 years ago, my experience with various marketing portfolios and my love for colours and the effect they have brought me into the Nippon Paint family. 

The biggest breakthrough for me was the sense of excitement we’ve created for products in a low involvement category like paint. Through the years, fuelled by our passion, teamwork and creativity, we continue to inspire our consumers through colour and other consumer-centric initiatives. 

Almost 15 years ago, my experience with various marketing portfolios and my love for colours and the effect they have brought me into the Nippon Paint family.


Indeed, we have now empowered consumers to decide for themselves on paint selection; traditionally this decision solely lay in the hands of the painter, contractor or interior designer. 

Breaking barriers through change

Enabling change can be a daunting process, especially when it is out of our comfort zones – as well as everyone else’s around you. However, change is very much a necessary factor which allows us to reach milestones. When we learn how to see things from a different perspective, it brings fresh opportunities and encourages us to exercise our creativity to achieve our full potential. 

My journey within the male-dominated coatings industry has given me the opportunity to bring different perspectives and skillsets to the table. I am grateful that I receive full support from my team members and the management right from the very start. 



In addition to that, transitioning to the paint and manufacturing industry from a separate background has opened many doors for me – both at work as well as for my own personal growth. With the mindset of bringing change to create excitement for the brand, the first step was to identify challenges and gaps in the industry in order for us to develop a strategic direction to propel forward. 

Our marketing and communications strategies were focused on thought leadership initiatives, leveraging on our innovative coatings solutions such as through the introduction of the first odourless paint in Malaysia. Continuing our Wellness journey, we began providing consumers with holistic solutions and inspiration through colour trends – while focusing on functional coatings that are able to improve the health and wellness of indoor spaces. 

Enabling a Growth mindset 

As we go through different phases of life, our priorities and goals change. As such, we will need to shift our priorities to grow and thrive in our own ways.  During these times, I often ponder and self-reflect…“Am I learning and growing through these current opportunities?” This triggers thoughts that can shape my own growth journey and also find various routes to success. 

Success doesn’t come easy. It takes time, effort, determination and the willingness to learn and grow, which also translates to how you perceive your overall outlook on life. In my experience during my time with Nippon Paint, I have had the opportunity to engage with multiple stakeholders from all walks of life who play an important role within the coatings industry: painters, developers, architects and designers to better understand their industry needs when it comes to providing them with solutions. 

In my experience during my time with Nippon Paint, I have had the opportunity to engage with multiple stakeholders from all walks of life who play an important role.


Furthermore, as Nippon Paint has expanded our geographical presence over the years to various countries across Asian markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines, amongst others as part of our growth plans, I have had to adapt to the needs and demands of each and every one of these markets, channelling each market’s diverse culture to suit their respective market needs. These milestones at work have enabled me to be more receptive and adaptable when faced with challenging situations, be it at work or on a personal front. 

Armed with the deep understanding of the various local markets – its operations, needs as well as demands – I am now staying focused to put in place strategic plans on the innovation and partnership front, with the central goal towards sustainable growth. 

Having a growth mindset is truly empowering. It is when you believe that skills and knowledge can be developed, hard work is required for success and that strategies help in achieving goals that we’re set to achieve big wins. 

Inspiring future leaders

The current generation of youth are the faces of our future, and it is important to provide them with their opportunities to grow through various platforms. Over half of fresh graduates believe that their first job is highly important in paving the way to their future careers.  

We should always aim to be a better version of ourselves, and that in itself is already a win.


As such, at any workplace, it is important to lead by example through actions and by being the best version of yourself to inspire and empower others to build on their strengths. Not only will this augment their level of confidence in the workplace, but also allow them to leverage on their strengths to thrive on new skillsets throughout their careers. 

Secondly, it makes a difference if you have a role model that you look up to in life to be more self-aware in our personal growth and development. Throughout my life journey, the one figure that I respect as a role model is none other than my mom, whom I view as a leader in her very own way; driven and capable of raising a household on her own – always sticking by her principles, while being resourceful to achieve her set out goals. As a mother to two children, I hope I can then be their role model too. 

With determination, all of us can achieve success in our own ways, and we shouldn’t let anyone define what success means to us. We should always aim to be a better version of ourselves, and that in itself is already a win.

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Gladys Goh serves as Senior Vice-President, Strategic Innovation and Marketing of NIPSEA Group. In her current regional role, Gladys is responsible for steering the Group’s Marketing and Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility as well as Innovation and Strategic Initiatives functions.
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