December 2016 \ Cover Story \ Cover Story: Interview with top Overseas Indian
"Always thought of being an entrepreneur, never getting employed"

Interview with Tan Sri Dato’ Dr R Palan Executive Chairman, SMR Group, Malaysia

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr R Palan is the Executive Chairman of the SMR Group in Malaysia. The Group specializes in education, technology and HR professional services. It runs the vastly popular Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS), and has developed several software and applications in human capital management, and business intelligence dashboards, among others. Dr Palan is also a renowned and sought-after speaker, but these days limits his speaking assignments for raising charity funds. He speaks to Editor Sayantan Chakravarty at his office in Cyberjaya in Selangor, Malaysia

Please tell us something about the SMR Group that you founded...

Many times people ask me what it stands for. It is Specialist Management Resources. When we started out we wanted to create a hub of specialist resources and professional services that would help large organizations, MNCs. We put together a network of special management resources, best in each area. In the area of human resource development we wanted to skill businesses and scale up. We developed a training software product, commonly known as competency management system. It became quite popular and we went public with it. Subsequently we went into education. So all these years, we’ve been in the business of education and learning. Today we have a training software company, a training professional services company, and a university. We have about a thousand people working. We also do English language training projects for the Government that has brought in about 150 resources from 25 countries across the world. The Asia HRD Congress Conference and Awards is another event that has been a defining moment in my entrepreneurial journey. The event is run by an independent committee, having been chaired by eminent personalities such as His Excellency Fidel Ramos, former President of the Republic of Philippines. It is a celebration of excellence in People Development. The event has been rotated to several Asian capitals and Awardees have included several eminent personalities from around the world. The acquisition of Asia Metropolitan University is another significant milestone as the University has six campuses around the country. That is a quick overview.