Ragavan Ruthu Shree and Margaret Lim have stepped up over the years to take on a leading role in business engagements, in a male-dominated industry. Ruthu, key account manager of Cement Terminal, joined Jurong Port (JP) fresh out of school at the age of 22. She was introduced to delegates from JP when they visited her university in India to check out the simulation labs used to train sea-farers. Over the last 10 years, Ruthu has held various positions in JP, from operations, strategy planning, technology research collaborations to business development. This puts her in good stead to handle key accounts for bulk cargo, particularly in the cement supply chain, of which JP operates the world’s largest common-user Cement Terminal.
A well-rounded officer, Ruthu is a go-getter who thrives on adrenaline, enjoys learning new things and achieving new targets. She shared, “when I took on the role with Cement Terminal, I was unsure about the value I can bring to the table. The business had been set up to run efficiently over the years and could almost be on auto-pilot. However, after some months, we were able to identify areas for service level improvement such as dual unloading, that improves productivity of our handling and helps turn the vessels around quicker.”
Indeed, Covid-19 has disrupted Ruthu’s quarterly home visits to India. Although she misses her family back home, she is thankful for the support she received from her “work family” i.e., colleagues and customers in the cement terminal during these trying times. With the implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), Ruthu has managed to secure a flight home after 2 years and will take the opportunity to “Namaste!” before her next big projects. Outside of work, Ruthu loves to spend time practicing yoga and helping her friends advance in their yoga journeys as a certified Yoga teacher.
Working in the same business unit is Margaret Lim who was drawn to the job advertisement posted by Jurong Port and wanted to put her marketing skills to practise after a stint in procurement. The senior executive of breakbulk and lighters never expected that she would stay on the job for the next two decades. Margaret shared that she has been given plenty of opportunities to pick up new skills and take on more challenging tasks over the years and that have fuelled her passion and kept her going.
No two days are the same for Margaret. From train to animal shipments, the port is an exciting hub where she gets to witness first-hand different goods passing through. She was also involved in business transformation such as digitalising the stevedoring billing and building the steel eco-system. Margaret shared “I never thought I will see the steel business in a different light, it’s always been flat and boring. We are now working on the consolidated steel storage yard which will contribute to the steel ecosystem with anticipated reduction in manpower reliance, upskilling of local workforce, safety improvement, carbon reduction and sustained cost.”
A people-person, Margaret puts customers at the heart of service and strives to support their requests to her best ability. She said “constant engagement with our stakeholders helps us to anticipate their needs to prepare us for tomorrow. On top of that, I have a bunch of supportive and warm colleagues who never fail to make a tough day better.” It is also not surprising that Margaret is a grassroot leader who volunteers her time with Pioneer Women Executive Committee. A love for the outdoors, she regularly organises hiking and cycling trips with her family and colleagues during her free time.