What Is MedTech and Why Does Asia Need It?

In a bid to classify the hordes of tech-reliant startups that have popped up in the past decade, exotic blended words such as “Edtech” and “Fintech” have come into existence in order to label education- and finance-related startups. Naturally, “MedTech” refers to the business of medical technologies.

Biotechin.Asia reports that by 2020, the Asia-Pacific region “is expected to pass the European Union as the world’s second-largest MedTech market”. The market demands in the Asia-Pacific region is highly diverse even within a single country in the region. Leading MedTech companies have lagged behind other industries in serving the region, creating gaps in patient services and bypassing significant opportunities.

The difficulties faced by the MedTech industry in the Asia-Pacific region include frugal spending habits, multi-segment markets, inadequate infrastructure, regulatory and reimbursement complexity, and intense competition. Conquering the MedTech market in any Asian country presents its own unique set of challenges.

Attempting to crack this challenge is CXA, a HR/MedTech startup that handles benefits and wellness for employers and employees through an online platform. 2-year-old ConneXionsAsia hit an impressive revenue of $6 million within its first year and raised $8 million in Series A funding in January.

ConneXionsAsia provides personalized benefits to employees so that health benefits given through employer-sponsored insurance don’t go to waste. Their portal lets employees choose benefits based on their needs, instead of a traditional one-size-fits-all scheme.

Speaking to Tech In Asia, founder Rosaline Koo describes CXA’s imperative. “There’s a lot of waste in how employers are spending on staff benefits,” she says. “If you’re single, you typically don’t need that much insurance coverage, but working couples often get duplicated coverage, so why not use that for something that the employee values?”

Since the startup launched in March 2014, CXA has had significant market success, working with over 500 corporate clients, including over 40 Fortune 500 companies.

CXA is hiring: Come work at this dynamic startup as a Web Developer! More details on our HackerTrail listing here: https://www.hackertrail.com/cxa?sc=blog


Images taken from CXA’s official website

What Do Some Of The Best Companies To Work For Have In Common?

Mention “best employer” and most people would immediately cast their thoughts towards Google. The omnipresent tech/platform giant has built an unshakeable reputation for itself as the premier employer of the best talent in the world. Operating in 70 offices in more than 40 countries around the globe, Google’s legendary perks and unconventional office interiors have made its company culture a hot search topic on… Google.

With employee benefits such as an 18-week maternity leave, a $150,000 reimbursement cap as part of its “Global Education Leave” programme, and, get this, free gourmet meals every day of the week, it’s not hard to see why a large portion of their workforce are enamoured with the company.

But what lies behind Google and other employee-centric companies? Fortune’s Geoff Colvin draws the argument away from the freebies and the niceties by declaring, “It’s personal – not perkonal. It’s relationship-based, not transaction-based.” This is especially significant in the tech sector, where hiring a quality employee – a costly and time-consuming process – accounts for only half of the total effort. Equally as important is keeping your new hire satisfied – content enough that they wouldn’t be tempted to work for one of your many rivals instead.

Ryan Scott of Forbes pinpoints the main source of employee satisfaction as “the opportunity to be part of a company that places a premium on giving back”. Citing Detroit-based Quicken Loans as an example, the retail lender has offered tens of thousands of volunteer work hours and donated more than $10 million towards downtown revitalisation, beautification and safety improvements in areas where team members live, and supporting programs that provide technology-focused skills training and entrepreneurship opportunities for startups in Detroit. It’s no wonder, then, that the company ranked #12 in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For 2015”.

Echoing the need for corporate philanthropy and volunteerism, Stanley Bing of Fortune lists “A conviction of “rightness”” among other yellow brick road traits, such as:

• A strong leader
• A strong hierarchy with a clear reporting structure
• Clear goals that everybody in the organisation understands and buys into
• Accountability for assigned tasks
• Victory always defined and within reach
• Camaraderie
• An open-office plan to facilitate communication and democracy
• High stakes, with even a hint of danger

All these traits will come together to form a solid company culture, but only if executives and leaders walk the talk.

While most would dismiss “company culture” as either an overworked cliché or an unattainable unicorn, the C-word is usually more pervasive than imagined. It is the way people (in this case, employees) behave from moment to moment without being told. This is of paramount importance, especially in the service-leaning industries. Thankfully, more employers are seeing the connection from culture and relationships to workplace greatness to business success. Audit and consultancy firm Deloitte surveyed 3,300 executives in 106 countries and discovered that top management place culture as the most important issue they face, trumping other more conventional concerns such as leadership, workforce capability, performance management, and others.

Analysing the “100 Best”, Geoff Colvin of Fortune describes the four key elements of company culture as:

Mission: These companies are pursuing a larger purpose, and company leaders make sure no one forgets it. When employees are all pursuing a mission they believe in, relationships get stronger.

Colleagues: Several of the “100 Best” also appear on lists of companies where it’s hardest to get hired. Organisations like Twitter, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and The Container Store, attract more than 100 applicants for every job opening. Those companies can hire the cream of the crop, creating a self-reinforcing cycle; the best people want to go where the best people are.

Trust: Show people that you consider them trustworthy, and they’ll generally prove you right. Many of the “100 Best” let employees work whenever they want, and they work far more than if they were punching a clock. Riot Games, creator of the hit game “League of Legends”, even offers unlimited paid vacation. Strong relationships prevent employees from abusing the policy.

Caring: Every company says it value employees. The “100 Best” don’t say it; they show it. This is where some of those celebrated perks do count. A true culture of caring goes beyond perks and includes daily behaviour.

So, will your workplace be the next Google?



“Best to work for, yes! But why?” by Stanley Bing, 7 March 2015

“How to build the perfect workplace” by Geoff Colvin, 5 March 2015

“Why Are These 100 Companies The Best to Work For?” by Ryan Scott, 6 April 2015

“100 Best Companies to Work For” by Forbes

Get Ready & Get Hired: 5 Things To Remember At Your Interview

So you’ve cracked one of HackerTrail’s coding challenges and the employer’s keen on meeting you “for a chat”. What now?

We all know “a chat” is never just a chat, so before you even start dreaming about what your office desk is gonna look like, you’ve got to clear the obvious hurdle ahead of you: the interview. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.

1) Verbal & Body Language

It’s all about confidence. Speak firmly, pausing between sentences if you need to collect your thoughts. Remember: this isn’t a game show; it’s not about how many words you can cram into a minute.

Using words like “firstly”, “secondly” etc. to front your points will help sort your thinking and keep you from rambling on and on. It also buys you some time, which is always a plus.

“Firstly… I feel that my years of background in this field gives me an advantage.

Secondly… I have handled tasks of a similar profile such as organizing the Academy Awards in 2014.”

Even when you’re not speaking, your body language may be broadcasting your thoughts and attitudes for everyone to see. The goal here is to project a sense of being relaxed but confident. Just compare the four seated postures below.

2) Attire

Dress to impress! Dressing up for a formal interview conveys the message that you can and do look good when you should. The degree of formal wear that is appropriate may vary according to the position you’re interviewing for, but the most basic rules of a shirt and slacks/jeans for the guys and a modest blouse + skirt combo for the girls still apply, even for “informal interviews” held at a Starbucks.

Do take note though: it’s always safer to ask around before the day of the interview. Different companies have different policies.

3) What To Avoid

It should be common sense that profanities are big no-no in interviews; also unwelcome are threatening and aggressive patterns of speech. When asking questions or clarifying certain details, avoid brusque single-word replies such as “Where?”. Instead, phrase your query in a gentler manner, such as “Where should I submit that document?”

You should never criticize your previous employer(s). The interviewer might be baiting you to reveal your displeasure for another workplace, but in many cases this is a test to see if you would do the same to the job in question at your next interview.

Always be nice. Remember: in those 30 minutes or less you are presenting yourself as the most skilled, enthusiastic, and angelic worker in the whole world.

4) What To Say

Imagine you’re purchasing a pre-owned car. Being told about the many places it has travelled to is great, but it doesn’t answer your most pressing question: does it still work?

Similarly, do bring up some of your personal, academic, and career-related successes, but remember that it’s not about what you’ve done but what you can do for the company that’s the most important thing here.

Before the interview, you should also prepare yourself for questions that you think you might be presented with. If you’re applying to be a programmer, for example, you might be asked to briefly describe how you would overcome certain specific coding challenges.

You can find out more about how to prepare for an interview at a start-up in our other post here.

5) What To Bring

In addition to a simple pen, do bring along a hard copy of your résumé or portfolio, which includes certificates or material that you think are of interest to the interviewer. If you’re a chronic worrywart (a good thing sometimes), you may choose to prepare a photocopied set of every document, collated separately.

For job interviewees in the tropics (e.g. Singapore), a small handkerchief or a pack of tissues will come in handy. You never know what the weather would be like outdoors, and you certainly don’t want to appear red-faced and sweating in front of your potential superiors.

We leave you with this quote from former American journalist Jim Lehrer:

“There’s only one interview technique that matters… Do your homework so you can listen to the answers and react to them and ask follow-ups. Do your homework, prepare.”


4 Questions Fresh Graduates Should Ask Before Joining An MNC

It’s a confusing world out there after your graduation. Degree in hand, many questions are bound to pop up in your head. “Should I work at a large company or a startup?” “Will I learn enough or will I get bored of the job after a month?” “What if I don’t find something relevant to my major?”

Why not let a fresh grad offer per perspectives on corporate life? Brendal Chung recently joined Capgemini, one of the world’s largest consulting, technology, and outsourcing companies. Find out more about Capgemini and the company’s admirable culture, through the words of a new graduate!

Brendal Chung, Associate Consultant, Capgemini

I joined the Capgemini Graduate Program in September 2015. During my time in the program I worked onsite with a client for a project and was also in the solution team for RFP (request for proposal) responses and bid management.

  1. Why did you join the Capgemini graduate program?

Capgemini is a global company and is growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region. The interview process was very informative, and I also met a lot of people from different backgrounds who were very engaging and experienced. I joined the program because I wanted to work with people who are experienced, and I felt that Capgemini was where I wanted to start my career as a graduate.

  1. How has the graduate program benefited you?

During the program I worked both on a project and for solutions team, and I felt that I managed to cover both breadth and depth in my work. Breadth-wise; working in solutions has given me countless insights into a wide range as I am working on opportunities from different industries, different technologies, and in different countries. Depth-wise; working onsite and offsite for a project has really helped me understand different aspects of the project, such as budgeting, financials, and PMO (project management office) activities. It’s been very rewarding so far!

  1. What do you enjoy the most about working for Capgemini?

The responsibility. Even as a new member of the company, I feel that I don’t really do admin or ad-hoc tasks and that I am actually of value when contributing to both teams and Capgemini as a whole. I am working directly with the client on issues such as billing and approvals. I am the bid manager for a wide variety of opportunities. And I am working with colleagues ranging up till the Vice-President level collaborating on tasks such as revenue forecast and project resourcing.

  1. Tell us about the culture at Capgemini and what you like about it.

The diversity at Capgemini is great; I work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, countries, and levels!

I feel comfortable talking to anyone and working with them. I don’t feel like I’m just a graduate. Everyone is very supportive regardless of what level they are within the organisation, and are willing to offer guidance and help you achieve your personal career goals!

Come excel in this affirming company culture with over 180,000 potential colleagues in 40 countries! Apply to Capgemini’s Technology Graduate Program, Singapore 2016 batch now:

For Business Consultants: https://www.hackertrail.com/capgemini-business

For Technology Consultants: https://www.hackertrail.com/capgemini-tech

A Fresh Grad At Her First Job

What’s it like working for a multi-national company with over 180,000 employees? Find out from one of the new employees at Capgemini, one of the world’s largest consulting, technology, and outsourcing companies. If you’re a fresh graduate hoping to land your first job, read on:

Gabrielle Fourmoy, Associate Consultant, Capgemini

1) What is it like working at client site as part of the Capgemini Graduate Program?

What is remarkable about working at the client site is that you start working from Day 1. You will contribute to the project right away, regardless the team you join. You get to collaborate with a skilled and knowledgeable team dedicated to achieve the same goal: deliver the project to the client’s expectations in terms of time, quality, and budget.

In addition, although we do not work face-to-face with our colleagues when we are on the client site, we still get constant support from them whenever needed.

2) What is one of your most valuable experiences so far?

Capgemini gives you multiple opportunities to grow different skills. You will get to meet people from different countries and of diverse backgrounds. I’ve worked onsite in the delivery of project, as well as on bid management. Looking back on the past year, I would say that one of my most valuable experiences in Capgemini was the ASE (Accelerated Solution Environment) I got to work on. The work was really intense but fulfilling, as there was a real team spirit. In two words, it was fun and enriching.

3) How have you been supported as a graduate?

Although sometimes people may be busy with project deliverables, they are always willing to spare some time to lend a hand and share knowledge. When you have a question or when you encounter a hurdle, you just have to send an email, or call for a colleague to help you. In addition, each graduate is assigned to a mentor who will provide you with the guidance and support so you can be successful.

Capgemini will give you opportunities and support, and the rest is up to you.

4) What would be your advice to graduates?

Capgemini looks for people who share the same values and are collaborative thinkers!

Be proactive; don’t wait for things to happen. Just be committed to self-development and be determined to make the most of the on-the-job opportunities Capgemini has to offer!


Come excel in this affirming company culture! Apply to Capgemini’s Technology Graduate Program, Singapore 2016 batch now:

For Business Consultants: https://www.hackertrail.com/capgemini-business

For Technology Consultants: https://www.hackertrail.com/capgemini-tech

Why You Should Become An Android Developer

Living in the age of the web, it’s a great time to be alive. It’s also a great time to be an Android developer! With the Android operating system flourishing at three times the activation rate of the iOS, the Google-owned software has become a major platform in just 7 years.

The open-source nature of the Android operating system has been listed as one of its defining strengths, and its allowing for extensive customisation has made fans out of developers and companies alike. With tutorials and developer tools easily available over the Internet (such as this directory of Android generator tools), Android software developers have convenient access to information and guides online.

But what do Android developers work with? For starters, they have a good knowledge of:

  • The Android open source ecosystem, software and hardware,
  • Good open source libraries (like this one),
  • Java fundamentals,
  • The annoying issues referred to as “jank”,
  • Android’s many, many versions,
  • Android’s many, many screen sizes, resolutions, and pixel densities,

… and many other skills as well!

The Android platform is a playground for all. Here at HackerTrail, we’re upping the odds and making it a challenge for all. In collaboration with online grocery deliverer RedMart, our online coding challenge for Android developers is offering prizes such as a Parrot Jumping Sumo, Best Denki vouchers, and even a full-time job as an Android Engineer at RedMart!

Enter now. Challenge closes 13 February 2016!

Header image source: http://www.stgrdev.com/

How To Interview At A Startup

Photo: www.onesmartdollar.com


Interviews are a completely different ball game when meeting with a start-up.

Your interviewer wants to know how much you can contribute in two days, two months, and two years. He or she also wants to know how you’re going to fit in with a small staff and whether the current team members are going to want to sit next to you every day.

On your end, you need to figure out whether you’re going to enjoy working there enough to want to put in long hours for a likely under-market salary. You also need to gauge how likely you think the company is to succeed. Will your options be worth millions in five years, or will you be job hunting in five months?

Here are 3 things you can do to both position yourself as the right candidate, and let you decide if you are up for the job:

1. Use the Product

No matter what role you’re interviewing for—engineering, sales, marketing—you should always use the product before your first interview (and ideally, a few times). If hired, your goal will be to create value for the people who use that product, and being a user yourself is the first step. Doing this will also help you determine whether you can be passionate about the company and product as well as convey that passion to your interviewer.

If you really can’t use the product (e.g., it’s built for large corporations or costs several hundred dollars), you can make up for that by doing your research. Go through any available materials on the website, read news articles and reviews, and talk to anyone you know who has used it. And definitely understand who the company’s competitors are and why its product is superior.

2. Bring Your Ideas

Now that you’re familiar with the product, be ready with ideas for how you’d like to improve it in your role. What new features would you be most excited to build? How would you engage users (or re-engage existing ones)? How could the company increase conversions? How could customer service be improved?

You don’t need to have the company’s four-year strategy figured out, but you can share your thoughts, and more importantly, show how your interests and expertise would lend themselves to the job. Knowing what you’ve done in previous positions is helpful, but remember that the interviewer is trying to determine what you will do and how your skills will apply at his or her company. Start-ups are looking for people who can dive right in.

On your end, this will help you gut check that the day-to-day activities involved with the role interest you. You may love social media marketing, but find in your exercise that the company would benefit most from direct sales—and that’s definitely something to consider.

3. Be Ready to Interview Back

Most interviewers will save time at the end of your meeting to let you ask questions. And by all means, do! If you’re interviewing with a founder, ask about his or her vision for the company, how the company defines success, and how it plans to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask about the company’s business plan, funding situation, and potential roadblocks as well. If you’re talking with someone who will be your peer, ask about his or her favorite parts of the company, the biggest challenges he or she has faced, and what it’s like working with the team.

These conversations will not only give you helpful information to consider if you get an offer, they’ll show the interviewer that you’re seriously evaluating the company yourself (and not just trying to get the first start-up job that lands on your plate).

Content adapted from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2013/05/03/4-must-dos-when-youre-interviewing-with-a-start-up/


Company Compatibility: How To Pick The Right Company To Work For

Picking the right company is different from making sure that you love your job – it is making sure that you love the brand you are advocating and developing.

This could range from MNCs to SMEs to local startups, and finding the right company probably requires effort on your part to testing waters.

Consider past work experiences you’ve had, and narrow down the ones you like, can tolerate, or absolutely loathe. Narrow down the reasons why you think respectively of each company.

Now, you get a clear idea of what to actively seek for and what to stay away from.

Of course there is more to evaluation and reflection on personal experience when looking for the perfect company. You need to explore enough of the industry that you’re in, understand the spectrum of the type of companies in that environment and so on.

If you want to feel inspired, challenged, fulfilled, and happy with your work – and with the people you work with – you first must find the company you’ll love working for.


No culture is right or wrong – unless it’s right or wrong for you. For example, at HubSpot we have a three-word policy for just about everything: Use good judgment. If you like guidelines and lots of guard-rails, you may not like working at HubSpot. Our “policies” might feel too loose, too vague, or too fluid. That doesn’t mean we’re right or you’re right; all it means is the level of autonomy we provide may not be right for you.

And that’s all that matters.

Here are some ways you can get a great sense of a company’s culture:

1. Check out the leadership team.
A company tends to be a reflection (whether good or bad) of its leaders. Use the LinkedIn search tool to find people who work there. Check out their backgrounds. Take a look at their education, their career paths, their interests…

It’s pretty safe to assume that a leadership team filled with Six Sigma black belts will create a culture incredibly focused on process improvement. It’s safe to assume that a founder and CEO who has started five different companies in the last twelve years will value quick decisions, quick pivots, and an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s safe to assume that a company whose leaders rose through the ranks in a logical progression of roles will expect others to follow a similar career progression.

What we have done in the past informs our expectations and our actions; put yourself in the shoes of a company’s leadership team and think, “If I was one of them… what would I value?”

Then make sure those values align with your values.

2. Check out what its leaders say.

Most company leaders are active in some form of social media. (If they aren’t, that also tells you something about the company; whether that something is positive or negative is up to you to decide.)

Some communicate in a quasi-PR mode, their tweets, updates, and blog posts seemingly written by a corporate communications team. Others are more wide-ranging. (Again, neither is good or bad.)

Take Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer (disclosure: I’m an angel investor in Buffer). His personal blog covers a surprising range of professional and personal perspectives: His thoughts on transparency, on letting people go, on the power of taking time to reflect, on what he does to be happy… if you want to know what it will be like to work at Buffer his blog has many of the answers.

3. Find out what customers say. A company’s culture is ultimately reflected in its employees and its customers; after all, the proof of a culture’s pudding is not just how employees feel but how customers feel about the company.

See what mistakes the company has made, and even more important — what it has done in response. See how customers feel about its overall service. See how it is perceived in the marketplace. All of us want our work to make a difference; make sure the company is making a difference for its customers. A quick way to do a blind reference check is to search Google or twitter for “love <companyname>” or “hate <companyname>” Remember, you’ll often get some extreme positions (in either direction), but reading through a few comments will give you a general sense.

4. Check out employee career paths.

Now look for any employees, current and past. Where did they work before they joined the company? How long do they tend to stay? What jobs did they take when they left?

Spend a little time digging and you’ll quickly get a feel for the kinds of people the company hires, the kinds of people it retains, and for the opportunities and growth potential.

Content adapted from: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20131217153926-658789-how-to-find-a-company-you-ll-love-working-for



How To Know If Your Boss Is Doing Right By You

photo: thoughtcatalog.com


Let’s face it: How much you enjoy a job is not just determined by the scope or salary, but may really depend on the kind of boss you work for. There has to be the right compatibility in working styles, and willingness to be flexible. Your boss should also lead you while you work, not just throw tasks at you. But of course, there is no perfect perfect person nor boss.

How should you at least gauge if you are being treated fairly well by your boss? What should you look out for in a potential upper study for the next job that you are considering to take?

HackerTrail recommends:

3 parts to a fulfilling job:

  • Ample opportunity for skill update.
    You need an environment where you can implement what you’re good at, and hone your skills further.
  • Ability to learn new skills.
    This is done either organically on the job from peers, or via external training provided by the company.
  • Ability to experiment with your learnings
    Good companies encourage innovation, experimentation, making mistakes, and learning from co-workers.

Your boss should…

  • Help you settle in to your new role / new department / new company
  • Communicate the expectations of your role clearly, in a structured manner
  • Accept criticism regardless of whether the critic may be ‘junior’
  • Allow you enough wiggle room so you can perform optimally
  • Allow for open conversations on next stages of your career growth
  • Gratify you when you exceed expectations
  • Clearly flag opportunities for improvement in you

Always review if you’re working for the right person. Your boss can empower you to have a fulfilling career – and if they’re not doing so, it may be time for you to look elsewhere.

Scored yourself a developer-role interview at an MNC? Here’s what to expect.

Photo: graziadiovoice.pepperdine.edu


Good on you for scoring that interview at a developer position many coders are wide-eyed for! While MNCs are (obviously) companies that have thousands of employees, we know that getting an interview with them is still a huge deal. You’re one in a million, and we’re here to help you show exactly that.

This is what you need to be very aware of before the interview day, and the kind of questions you need to enquire before you begin this next phase of your career!

o   The roles at MNCs are specific, not generic.

You are expected to be a jack of a few trades, but essentially master of one. 

In a sense, this may be a good challenge for you to pick up new skills as well as hone existing ones that may have taken a back seat in previous jobs.

o   You will be interviewing for a specific business unit.

You need to understand how this department fits in with the company. Every business unit has a specific purpose, and is segregated for a reason. Research for your business unit’s significance, and how it works differently from the rest of the other business units within the MNCs.

o   You will be put through multiple interviews.

Some with technical people and others with business people. The number of interviews can range from 3 to 10, with most coming in at the 4 or 5 mark.

o   Try and get an understanding of the entire interview process, and the role of each interviewer.

The HR team should be able to help you with this information. Will the interviews require you to take aptitude tests? Do on-the-spot reaction scenarios, or require you to come back with proposals?

As for the interviewers, do a quick search of their names on LinkedIn, match their names to their faces so it’ll be easier for you to address them on the interview day.

You should also familiarise yourself with what each interviewer does in the company, so you get a gist of how you will work with them in the future. This is also your chance for you to show them how you can contribute to the team, lighten their workload, and so on.

o   Expect a fairly lengthy process.

This ranges from 2 to 6 weeks in most cases, and every round of interview matters. MNCs are well-known to shortlist candidates via elimination, so it’s a cut-throat competition and you have to be on your best at any point in time. Be well-prepared, learn to think quickly on your feet and you’re good to go! 

o   You should use the interview to understand the following:
  • Will your role be more front office (helping the business generate revenue) or back office (support internal business processes)?
  • What level of training will be provided to you?
  • Is this a replacement role or a brand new one?
  • Who will be your day to day line manager? Will you have other indirect managers as well
  • What is the growth trajectory of this role? Does it match your personal career aspirations?

Here, we’ve provided more than enough questions for you to ask them at the end of the interview. These questions will show them that you’ve properly thought through the job scope, and highlight to them that you’re indeed very serious about taking on a job at their MNC.