career transitioner/ restarter
RU XIN SHI
CEO, Xintesys Consultancy Pte Ltd
(In her 50's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Ruxin is no stranger to unconventional choices, having majored in electronic engineering, pursued (unrelated) jobs in accounting, consulting and software technology, and took a leap of faith to start her own multi-million technology company.
Like many, Ruxin was fixated on climbing the corporate ladder in her younger days, and became Managing Director (Asia Pacific) in Fujitsu Glovia in 2005. But at the height of her career, when Ruxin turned 40, Ruxin was retrenched during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. About 100 unsuccessful job applications later, Ruxin thought – ‘Why not offer her accounting and corporate expertise directly to companies?’ Specifically, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who face many gaps in their business processes due to a lack of skilled resources and suitable systems.
That inspired Ruxin to start Xintesys, to make technology and systems more accessible to SMEs. Today, Xintesys provides highly configurable workflow driven business solutions (similar to ERP solutions but focus more on processes than just recording transactions) for SMEs and has since grown to a S$8M company based on valuation in 2017. When business grew, Ruxin began employing mothers with young children, retirees and private university students to provide hybrid work arrangements, and this strategy has become another unique factor of Xintesys.
Ruxin Shi is worthy of the Singapore: 40-over-40 nomination for these key reasons:
1. Creating value for SMEs through entrepreneurship. SMEs are a segment that is particularly important today, but which many corporates and startups shy away from serving this sector, due to smaller deal sizes and the need for customised approaches. Ruxin decided to take up this challenge, starting Xintesys to provide tailored and comprehensive business solutions for SMEs, helping them resolve their struggles with operational and backend processes and systems. Helping the "small guys" thrive in today's increasingly digital economy is no mean feat, and makes Xintesys and Ruxin stand out from the crowd.
2. Creating work opportunities for diverse backgrounds. As Xintesys grows, Ruxin has been employing mothers and private university students, offering flexible work arrangements. This has become one of Xintesys‚' unique value propositions today. Ruxin is passionate about helping people who may require hybrid working arrangements, like mothers and students, stay employed, relevant and productive today. By having the heart and investing in and training resources to create opportunities for people who want to find the perfect balance between family/school and work, Ruxin sets herself apart from other women and entrepreneurs.
3. Creating unconventional career and life choices. Ruxin is not afraid to pivot and open new doors, especially when intended paths do not work out. When Ruxin was retrenched during the 2008 Financial Crisis and failed to land a job after 100 applications, she decided to take a leap of faith and offer outsourced accounting services. As her client base grew and upon realisation that many SMEs struggled with processes and systems, she decided to "pivot" again and develop her own ERP business solutions for SMEs, which set the foundation for Xintesys. Ruxin is no stranger to taking pivots and making unconventional career choices, from pursuing her accountancy certifications at night when she was an early-career electronics engineer, switching to the world of sales from accounting, and taking the plunge from corporate leader to startup founder. Her grit, self-discipline and commitment to opening new doors sets her apart.
4. Investing in building a culture of trust and flexibility for over a decade. Ruxin believes in creating environments for people to do their best work. For the past 14 years, and even before COVID-19, Ruxin has advocated for flexible working environments and hours for her staff without insisting on face time. This is very different from many companies, which only started flexible/hybrid working after the COVID-19 pandemic - putting Ruxin (and Xintesys) as a frontrunner in this area. Over the years, Ruxin's team has had the ability to create balance between family/school life and work, without the need to trade one for the other. In fact, even though these days most companies insisted that their employees returned to office or can only work from home up to 2 days a week, all the workforce in Xintesys remained 100% working from home whilst the office under-utilised, setting trust and flexibility as key tenets of running a company is an innovative and inspiring way of thinking, and which sets Ruxin apart from many entrepreneurs.
In her own words:
I created a sustainable working environment to provide income for our people who primarily have family needs (young children, special needs children, single parent, elderly) and Students from Private University and Polytechnic (so as to give them a competitive edge when compared to Graduates from NTU and NUS), while doing so, we developed a made in Singapore Highly Configurable Workflow Driven Business Solutions with the brand "Xintesys".
Biggest challenge thus far
We started the Company without any Capital 14 years ago and even when we were just a 2-men team, we managed to convince our customers to trust us, pay us progressively and wait patiently while we develop the Solution for them. Without their support and trust, we won't be able to develop what we have today.
what judges say
What an inspiring story of resilience and compassion– from setting up company after being retrenched, to employing under-served groups into company and enabling flex-work arrangement