SEA Gamer Mall corporate culture, esports growth and hiring plans

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[This is a sponsored post with SEA Gamer Mall.]

In 2010 when Tommy Chieng first job application to SEA Gamer Mall (SEAGM), founded in 2007, admitted that he is not even a player. During the interview, he also told the company founder that their website was far from impressive.

However, he continued with his research and ideas on how to improve the company’s operations. This impressed his future co-founder who hired him as a supervisor instead of instantly rejecting him.

A little over a decade has passed since that incident, but the values ​​Tommy showed and displayed at that time are the ones he still holds today as CEO of SEAGM.

That is to say, an open door policy, which embraces change, adapts to current developments, promotes a family-like culture, ensures work-life balance and more.

Tommy during his time at SEAGM / Image credit: SEAGM

Care as a fundamental value

At the heart of the way Tommy runs the business is care. It manifests itself in a variety of ways, from ensuring that its staff feel empowered to speak openly with the head of department to providing staff with the funds and tools to maintain their well-being.

For example, staff are entrusted with the plants to care for and are encouraged to share updates on SEAGM’s internal Facebook group. Then there is the company’s “Thanksgiving Month”, where employees are encouraged to actively show appreciation for their colleagues.

When Tommy was COO, he also introduced an initiative called “SEAGM 3F” to cover staff wellbeing in the family, fitness and finance aspects.

Based on this, the company began granting staff a daily allowance for family outings (FODA), with a quarterly allowance. This has been especially helpful for 24/7 customer service staff who work on rotating shifts and may not be able to spend time with their families normally.

Apart from these, the staff can also get an allowance on your account (RM250 / month) which allows them to purchase a higher speed internet service so that they can better WFH.

A workplace that nurtures talents that give back to the company / Image credit: SEAGM

Therefore, these allowances encourage staff to pamper their family whenever they can. Staff may also spend a certain allotted amount (at management’s discretion) on a gym membership, to rent a sports field, or to enjoy a Zumba class.

“The only one we haven’t kicked off yet is the financial side, but what we’re trying to do is also help our staff buy their first home, etc.” shared Tommy.

He explained that because the company is located in the small town of Sitiawan, many excellent students tend to go to KL to study and work, while those who have not achieved similar grades will be left behind.

These latter students are the ones that SEAGM then takes to cultivate from a young age. And, thanks to the values ​​of the company and its culture, 48 of 177 employees at SEAGM they remained in the company for over 5 years, starting in 2021.

This dedication to the company is why Tommy feels the need to give back to his staff, not only out of appreciation, but also out of a desire to see them grow further.

A company that speaks

Fifi, HR Manager at SEAGM, told Vulcan Post: “It is a decade since I have been working with SEAGM and that in itself says a lot about the positive and thriving work culture of the company which has always extended a feeling of comfort and a sense of family-oriented working environment. “

A close-knit team chasing the same dream / Image credit: SEAGM

He also shared that SEAGM is a place where both team and individual achievements and milestones are shared openly, not only with staff, but also with their family members.

But although successes are celebrated, that doesn’t mean mistakes and failures are avoided.

Raymond, SEAGM marketing manager since 2019, told Vulcan Post: “Compared to my previous companies, at SEAGM, we are allowed to make mistakes, to try new things even if we never have. [them] first. “

“But we are also required to keep exploring, keep optimizing and never [settling] for what we have done, even if it has been successful “.

He was also able to hone his ability to quickly adapt to ever-changing digital trends, which is critical to his work in identifying potential and profitable markets, tracking performance across regions, and staying up to date with game releases. .

Even one of SEAGM’s new hires, Olivia, who has been an E-Commerce Executive since May 2021, has already felt the impact of their corporate culture.

What particularly struck her was how visible and accessible her leaders were and how genuine their interactions and intentions were.

“After a few weeks, I can feel that our colleagues are not just colleagues, we build authentic connections as friends and we work better as a team as well.”

Who says work can’t be fun? / Image credit: SEAGM

Building a data-driven gaming ecosystem

Corporate culture aside, SEAGM’s ambitions are clear:

  • To be the best online gaming digital goods and services distribution platform globally,
  • It continues to be known as a customer-centric company,
  • And to allow players to make a living by playing.

While it’s important to constantly improve their UX and UI, Tommy shared his strategy for future-proofing the business: building better experiences and relationships with existing and future users.

These approaches also need to be data driven, which is why SEAGM is focusing on growing its data team and data capabilities this year. All of these efforts will serve to develop SEAGM’s gaming ecosystem plans.

It already has its own esports organization called SEM9 with teams competing internationally in games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and others.

Curiosity: Tommy shared that the “9” in SEM9 can be read as “?“(Jiu), which means longevity, and” SEM “actually stands for SEAGM Esports Malaysia.” SEM “are also the first letters of sembilan, “Nine” in Malay. At the same time, it embodies SEAGM’s goal of growing SEM9 in 8 other countries besides Malaysia.

Currently, SEAGM is in talks with Alex Yoong, a Malaysian professional racing driver who was in Formula 1, to also bring members of his simulator racing team aboard the SEM9.

Earlier this year, he also started his own custom PC and hardware company, GLADAX, with the aim of eventually building their own branded products.

The overall goal is for SEAGM to be at the heart of all gamers’ needs, whether it’s buying gaming goods, pursuing a career in esports, buying gaming PCs and hardware, and more.

Growing the SEAGM family

To fully realize these dreams, Tommy and the rest of SEAGM are now looking to hire more like-minded people who believe in their mission and vision.

Key roles they are looking to fill include data engineers, data analysts, a revenue manager, and a business development executive.

In the past 4-5 months, they have already hired more than 30 people while increasing the number of employees in their KL office.

Being an avid gamer is encouraged here / Image credit: SEAGM

A candidate would have an advantage if they can show that they are autonomous in what they do, and being a player is also a plus as it would take less time to understand the company.

Most importantly, Tommy prioritizes cultural adaptation. Skills matter, but he has learned that no matter how skilled a person is, it won’t work if they simply don’t align with the team’s core values.

This is very important to us so as not to disrupt the harmony of the company, because the disruptive characters will destroy whatever good things we have already built into our company culture.

Tommy Chieng, CEO of SEAGM.

  • Learn more about SEA Gamer Mall here and take a look at the open positions here.
  • Read what we have written about SEA Gamer Mall in the past here.

Featured image credit: SEAGM

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