Sulin Lau – Head of Marketing Services at Maxis
“I’m walking home in this!” Sulin Lau jokes, having taken a firm liking to the white Fendi suit that she’s been dressed in for her photoshoot. It’s a hint of what she proudly refers to as her ‘kaypoh-ness’ – the quality that propelled her two years ago towards becoming the Head of Marketing Services at Maxis, Malaysia’s largest telecoms company.
“You have to be aware that every bit of knowledge you pick up in marketing has a rapid expiry date,” she remarks. “Stuff gets obsolete fast, and the older you get, the harder it is to stay restlessly hungry and curious. The trick is to surround yourself with as many loud, smart, opinionated young people as you can find, and keep harassing them to teach you what you don’t know about their world.”
Leading a Marketing & Communications team of 35 people, Sulin has spearheaded memorable campaigns like their dramatic ‘Maxis Man vs. Network’ advertisements, which saw Maxis’ CTO, Morten Bangsgaard, literally betting his life on the company’s promises of low bundle prices, and better network coverage and speed. She also helped oversee a major rebranding of the company last year, although in her eyes, it’s a constant work in progress.
“No brand transformation is ever complete. We started in 2014, and it’s still an ongoing journey. We’ve found that branding is also a very powerful tool for building momentum and energy internally, so one of the most exciting things we’re working on is how to attract an unfair share of new talent with a questioning ‘what’s next?’ mindset to work at Maxis, to keep building on our existing transformations.”
Perhaps this approach also stems from Sulin’s own upbringing, where her father instilled the habit of asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions in her. “I’m kind of pushy –I often make people uncomfortable or unsettled. It’s not a work style that suits everyone, but for some people, this poking can also be energising and stimulating. My great hope is that every person who joins the Maxis team gets the opportunity – and motivation – to produce ideas that they can be truly proud of.”