(R) Looi Qin En, co-founder of Glints, a local job portal targeting millennials.
Young, meticulous, passionate – these are the qualities that represent Looi Qin En, co-founder of Glints, a Singapore-based job portal targeting millennials. Glints aims to help millennials explore jobs, internships, courses and other opportunities, and do what they love.
In 2014, Oswald Yeo, Looi Qin En and Seah Ying Cong chose to drop out of their prestigious university education at the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School to fulfil their startup dream – Glints, which the three co-founders established while they were still in the army.
It might seem like an irrational decision for many, but to these millennial bosses, they have clear directions and goals of what they want to achieve.
While Glints supports the ready-hiring approach of traditional companies, it also presents an opportunity for companies to position themselves as an employer of choice through awareness.
“The most common form of building this awareness is by hiring internships, but it can take place in many forms, including events, hackathons, pitch competitions – all of which Glints has organised for dozens of employers before,” said Qin En.
Today, Glints is taking off. It announced on Sept 6 last year that it has raised US$2 million (S$2.8 million) in Series A funding led by Gobi Partners and Golden Equator Capital. Other investors, including Fresco Capital, Wavemaker Partners, Singapore Infocomm Investments, Pix Vine Capital, East Ventures and Darius Cheung of 99.co, have also lent a hand.
But unlike the founders of Glints, not every young person is optimistic about his or her career goals in the workforce of the future. According to an interesting survey on millennials initiated by Glints, they found that:
90% of the youths surveyed say that the workforce of the future that they will be graduating into will be radically different from today’s workforce.
However, more than half of the respondents (56%) believe that what they are learning in school is inadequate for this future.
Consequently, 78% of them have actively searched outside of school for opportunities (e.g. competitions, internships, projects) to gain skills for their future job.
Further, 82% of the youths are even willing to sacrifice personal leisure time and social time to participate in these opportunities.
In view of the above findings, how can millennials thrive in the radically different workforce of the future?
Moreover, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said at the 50th Anniversary of National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Business School in 2015: “Singapore’s future lies in being an innovative economy.”
But does our local culture breed innovation?
The Epoch Times quizzes Qin En on this and more in an exclusive interview.