From the Isle of Man to Singapore
Grant Dawson joined IQ-EQ in July 2014, as the Support Services Finance Business Partner in the Isle of Man (IOM) and after a couple of years he took on the additional responsibility for the Corporate Services segment.
He joined our bespoke Explorer development programme, and two years later in early 2018 he was given the opportunity to move to Singapore, to take on the role of leading and integrating the Asia finance function. Grant was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer, Asia. We took this opportunity to ask him about his life in Singapore.
What have you found to be the biggest differences between the Isle of Man and Singapore?
Honestly it was a seamless transition from a professional perspective. The management and team I have led have been fantastic, very welcoming and keen to ensure we can meet all Group requirements.
From a personal point of view, you would think moving from the IOM in the middle of the Irish sea with a population of 85,000 to Singapore (which isn’t much bigger) having a population of 6 million was quite a shock. But again I was surprised at how quickly I settled in. I guess it helped having some fellow Manxies here to show me around. One big difference is definitely the weather and heat which I am still trying to get used to!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Singapore is a great hub to explore Asia with so many destinations only a short plane ride away. I therefore managed to tick nearly 20 new countries off pretty quickly however the recent pandemic has put a halt to the list I still wish to visit. Due to the lack of travel I have recently taken up golf (as a challenge given I hadn’t picked up a club for 12 months). Definitely keeps me occupied as I slowly improve however I am struggling to transition my indoor golf game to outdoor golf courses. I also now try and get out exploring Singapore more and visiting the non-touristy places and seeing the real Singapore.
What has a year in lockdown been like?
Singapore went into lockdown quite early in 2020 and from around April time there was a ‘circuit breaker’ environment that lasted a few months and slowly but surely we are moving through the phases. The last 12 months has obviously brought a halt to a lot of the plans I had for 2020/21 outside of the office and it’s been hard not to see family and friends for over a year now. During this time I guess it has given me some time to reassess my personal aspirations.
Work wise, other than the obvious restrictions on not being in the office and seeing colleagues, it has very much been as is. Credit must go to the Technology team globally and here in Asia which has allowed us to continue working remotely and meeting all key deliverables.
Chief Operating Officer, Asia