HRM Asia Watch List 2018: Norazlina Idris

Norazlina Idris, Head of HR & Development, Total E&P Borneo BV, has steadily worked her way up the HR ranks in Brunei.
By: | October 16, 2018

The HRM Asia Watch List 2018 (#hrmwatchlist), brought to you by Armstrong Craven, showcases the brightest next-generation HR leadership talent from across Southeast Asia.

Norazlina Idris has steadily worked her way up the HR ranks in Brunei, developing a particular specialty in the petrol industry. But HR hasn’t always been in her life plan.

HRM Asia Watch List

Norazlina Idris

Head of HR & Development, Total E&P Borneo BV

Based in: Brunei

HR focus area: Employee development

Favourite aspect of HR: “Being able to help people grow into their careers.”

Career-defining moment“Helping develop a strong company culture at my previous employer.”

As a university student, Norazlina was in fact more interested in accounting and finance – but upon dipping her toes into a HR Management course, as led by an enthusiastic lecturer, she found her interest piqued.

“Succeeding in HR takes a particular set of skills,” she notes. “You need to have empathy, and to be able to listen to people. Otherwise, you will not be able to effectively contribute, and may be excluded from the discussion.”

Upon graduating from university, she joined Brunei Shell Petroleum, where she was actively involved in developing localalised HR policies, and laying down a strong company culture.

After some seven years there, she headed over to Total Borneo BV in 2012, where she’s making her mark as the head of HR and development.

Her focus at the moment is on maintaining the tricky balance between employee aspirations and company needs – but in the future, she hopes to continue accruing experience across the various HR functions, and perhaps even look into becoming a specialist.

But ultimately, she says, it’s all about coming back to her main motivation and purpose in HR – to help people develop grow into their careers, and in so doing, help the organisation soar to greater heights as well.


The HRM Asia Watch List aims to showcase the up and coming generation of HR leadership talent in Southeast Asia. The list will be unveiled daily between September 27 and October 19, 2018. Check the dedicated archive for the latest updates, follow #hrmwatchlist on social media, or see below. 

Introduction | Welcome address by Tom Mason

Profile #1: Jaspreet Kakar | Profile #2: Dianne Goette | Profile #3: Chen Fong Tuan

Profile #4: Felicia Teh | Profile #5: Monica Oudang | Profile #6: Evangeline Chua

Profile #7: Agapol Na Songkhla | Profile #8: Clayton Tan | Profile #9: Tony Tan

Profile #10: Vanessa Mercado-Maningas | Profile #11: Jahja Soenarta | Profile #12: Minn Yan

Profile #13: Rudy Afandi | Profile #14: Norazlina Idris

Profile #15: Naveen Chhabra | Profile #16: Monir Azzouzi