Interview with Mr. Hardip S. Rekhraj – Ex-YE Member | Senior Lecturer & Researcher School of Media & Communication (SOMAC) Faculty of Social Sciences & Leisure Management Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
Written by JA Malaysia Alumnus – Richelle Khor
Introducing our honorary alumnus, Mr Hardip S. Rekhraj- the Head of Visibility and Staging of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). In 1994, when Mr Hardip was still a student of SMK Seaport (now known as SMK Sri Permata), he participated in the Young Enterprise programme after receiving encouragement from his brother, Mr Jagdip, who happened to be the Managing Director of the previous year. After several interview stages, he was appointed as the Human Resources Director of SCAN Enterprise. Impassioned and determined to bring forth stellar deliverables, he was specially commended by AMCHAM for his insights in producing production manuals that encompass step-by-step pictorial guide and safety guidelines for each item manufactured by the enterprise. Little did Mr Hardip know his decision to become a young enterprise student would impact his life profoundly.
Perhaps to enable a better visualisation, it was an era of limited information where people were still grappling with bulky computers. However, the members’ learning process was never hampered by technical hurdles and the merit should be attributed to Mr Hardip’s determination in elevating members’ technological prowess, to which was also well-resonated by the passion of sponsors from Motorola. Fascinated by the efficacy of the professional development training offered to Motorolans, he successfully convinced the management to extend the policy to members of the programme. The milestone was ground-breaking, “Yes, twenty-odd Form Four students received professional training on presentation skills, learnt the basics of Apple Macintosh and underwent several other training modules meant for working adults.”
The young Human Resources Director regarded their chief industrial advisor, Mr Longinus Bernard, who was the Head of Human Resources unit at Motorola as his role model. “The programme, if supported by reputable organisations and led by passionate industrial mentors, offers a wide spectrum of learning that cannot be taught through our conventional education system.” Whilst working under the close tutelage of the charismatic leader, Mr Hardip was intrigued by the advocacy of Mr Bernard in developing a healthy and participative culture among management and staff. He unconsciously emulated his leadership ideology and started promoting inclusivity among the members, placing higher emphasis on their needs and welfare to ensure all issues were resolved amicably.
As Mr Hardip explored the disciplines beyond his purview as the Human Resources Director, his interest in public relations flourished. Gifted the temperament of an all-round communicator, his ambition to pursue a career with public relations began to take form as he seized every opportunity to speak in public, craft messages for specific purposes and to be at the forefront of all relationship-building initiatives. “While my peers were busy studying for SPM, I was busy grooming myself to represent Malaysia at a global forum to discuss economic, education and social matters.” Upon treading on untapped opportunities, he was convinced to have a career direction in Communications and continued to sharpen his endowment with a Master’s degree. He emboldened the students to scout the learning arena prepared by JA Malaysia to identify one’s shortcomings and talents. The avalanche of opportunities ahead calls for students’ agility to overcome the restlessness in deviating away from the regular course of students.
One of the important lessons taught by the programme is the ability to work collaboratively and harness collective intelligence. As students take up the role of a team player, they are deemed to modify their usual working practices to accommodate the team culture. Individual strengths and weaknesses are exposed to everyone’s assessment and in fulfilment of the common goal, the considerable amount of time they spent working with each other allows them to truly understand their peers. In-depth, far-stretching discussions drive them to effectively channel their ideas, thus highlighting the importance of mastering soft skills. Communication becomes the foundation that sustains the organisation, ensuring all ingenious pennyworths, presented in a plethora of shapes and form, are woven and refined into a harmonious tapestry. It is the aspiration of Mr Hardip that more students benefit from JA Malaysia- to be at the best place for the next moment.