The journey from an MNC to SME

Karen Pink, HR and IT Director, The Unity Group of Companies, draws out some differences between working in an MNC and SME.

Karen Pink

HR and IT Director

The Unity Group of Companies

I started at Unity Group Singapore in September of 2016 after initially relocating from Australia with my husband to head up HR for Rio Tinto across Asia.

After four years and following a restructure, I ended my time at Rio Tinto.

After some well-earned time off, I began to think about a new position and the kind of company I’d like to be a part of.

After persevering with applications, an offer from Unity Group landed at my doorstep after a few months.

Having decided on a change from the traditional Multinational (MNC) I was used to, I decided to jump at the offer.

It has now been five months since I started at Unity Group and I’m proud to say the move was a success. I truly love my new role and the organisation. 

The business has grown dramatically from five to 50 employees. I have developed an HR and IT Strategy, rolled out an organisational structure, implemented a payroll system, established the onboarding process, proposed a performance management and bonus system, and I am about to announce a health insurance benefits programme.

The key reasons I enjoy working in an SME compared to an MNC include:

  • Full ownership over responsibilities
  • Hierarchy doesn’t get in the way of efficiency
  • Ego is left at the door
  • A close-knit team
  • Entrepreneurship

Unity Group is a dynamic entrepreneurial organisation, the CEO and founder Jeremy Harbour, his business partner Callum Laing, and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Wong are entrepreneurs building a business to help SME’s scale.

All of these factors have created a heightened professional connectedness where I am a true HR Business Partner, and nothing beats that.


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