TNG Digital CEO Ignatius Ong on spearheading the change for a cashless landscape in Malaysia

Ong succeeded Syahrunizam Samsudin in August, who returned to his role as CEO of Touch 'n Go.

Ong is focusing on developing a holistic roadmap for 2020 (All photos: TNG Digital)

Congratulations on your appointment as the new CEO of TNG Digital. What is your strategy for the first 100 days?
Realign the current organisational structure to be more lean, agile and have clear accountability. I am also mapping out the entire roadmap until end-2020 for new product launches, user acquisition, merchants (online and offline acquisition) and making sure that all tolled roads are enabled with PayDirect and RFID. [I will] bring the brand TNG Digital (TNGD) to be recognised as the largest and leading e-wallet in Malaysia, spearheading the changing of the Malaysian landscape to be cashless.

What are your short-term and long-term goals?
The roadmap will be holistic. We will define and prioritise: i) low-hanging fruits to be executed, ii) quick wins and iii) what resonates with users’ needs (for example, all tolled roads). We focus on medium-term initiatives that bring value to end users and finally, on the slightly longer term, launches that will define TNGD as the only go-to e-wallet in Malaysia.

What has been the most significant moment in your career so far?
Every moment is significant and defining in my career — starting from my first job as a banker with Pacific Bank, to a consultant with Accenture and 15 years with Malaysia Airlines Group. I believe that in everything we experience, whether it is positive or otherwise, there is always a takeaway. I recalled periods when I worked for unreasonable leaders. I learnt from them never to repeat such qualities in the future, especially when I do become a leader. There are always significant moments all the time.


Ong spent 15 years with Malaysia Airlines Group and was previously the CEO of Firefly

What is your go-to method to keep calm when chaos strikes on the office front?
I will sit with my wife and kids at home and re-watch Die Hard 1, Die Hard 3, Top Gun and Rambo 3. When you are stressed, pull yourself out and do what you love and like. It calms you down and then you [will be ready to] look at the challenges from a whole new dimension, with greater resolution.

What do you like about TNG Digital?
It is a household brand, and every Malaysian uses it, especially for tolls. It has so much potential and, clearly, [is] the company that will bring Malaysia and its rakyat to a cashless environment. Also, our principals are leaders of the financial and technology industries such as CIMB and Ant Financials (Alipay). What is not to like about TNGD?

What are some of your favourite ways to unwind after work?
Going home and spending time with my family. Speaking to my twin 6-year-old girls and asking them questions I faced at work and waiting for the most genuine, undiluted, unfiltered and uncompromising answers. Of course, some white wine and beer will help greatly, too, paired with 900g of medium-rare ribeye.


This article first appeared on Oct 21, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. ​


Follow us on Instagram