Astreem’s 10th Year Anniversary Gala Dinner, 30th September 2015

Reflections of a new Account Manager, Eunice Leow.

Barely two months into my career with Astreem, I was appointed as emcee for the 10th Year Anniversary Gala Dinner held at Marina Bay Sands. I was nervous, to say the least.

Relax, have a sip of wine and you will do just fine. I have faith in you, Eunice. Abhishek Date, my mentor and Franchise Director told me as he saw me pacing the ballroom frantically, rehearsing my script for the umpteenth time. To have someone you respect have faith in you is humbling and heartening. I held onto Abhishek’s words as I prepared myself for what I knew would be an exciting celebration that evening.

It was 7:40pm when I got the cue from Founder and CEO of Astreem, Hsien Naidu, to commence the event. Still tense, I spoke mechanically and my jokes sounded scripted (it was). However, midway through, I gazed into the crowd and met Hsien’s eyes. She was looking at me reassuringly and nodding in affirmation. In that moment, I was empowered to execute my task with purpose and heart as I was filled with pride to be under Hsien’s leadership.

That night, my directors delivered inspiring speeches. They thanked esteemed guests for gracing the event, and our partners for their support over the past ten years. As a new comer, I was astonished by the sheer number of attendees (100 to be precise). In these years, Astreem has helped to grow many brands through franchising. Some had struggling starts but have seen success, while others expanded exponentially. Regardless, their presence that night signified gratitude, appreciation and attestation towards their partnerships with Astreem. To quote Hsien, Astreem looks at SME growth with a perspective of achieving successful growth over the long-term … Accelerating SME To Reach Every Essential Milestone is the ultimate goal… This aim is evident in Hsien’s drive and work ethic. She has stayed focused on this and inculcates this value into every Astreemist.

The highlight of the night was a presentation of seals of quality to franchisors who have pursed or excelled in franchising. It was organized and awarded by the Singapore Franchise Training School. Franchisors attended courses on franchising where they were evaluated on a set of Franchise Management Excellence criterion before qualifying their brands for either the Franchise Quality Mark (FQM) or Franchise Ready Mark (FRM). Brands such as The Manhattan FISH MARKET, Seriously Addictive Mathematics and The Burger Bar were among the recipients. This is a new initiative premiered by Astreem that evening and was very well-received by partners.

The success of this company under Hsien’s leadership is the result of her foresight, drive and vision. While celebrating this ten-year milestone, Hsien also shone the light on people who have helped make her vision a reality. To me, one of the keys of leadership is in recognizing every employee’s worth and their contributions. Hsien took the opportunity that evening to present tokens of appreciation to those who have supported her for some time. It was a moving moment on stage as my senior colleagues were surprised and touched by Hsien’s gesture. It was a heart-warming ending to the evening.

As a new employee in this company, I witnessed the accomplishments of this organization clearly that night. I saw the trust and confidence partners have in Astreem, a capable team and effective system, and more starkly, cohesion and a sense of loyalty. I felt honoured to belong to this team headed by a visionary. I am an even stronger believer in Astreem, and I am proud to be a part of this company.

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