Balancing the Grind with Edward Ling, Country General Manager at Doctor Anywhere Malaysia

Edward Ling is the Country General Manager at Doctor Anywhere Malaysia, a company disrupting the healthcare industry by developing innovative solutions to bridge gaps in the healthcare ecosystem.

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To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m an IT engineer by training, and so started off my career tinkering with network systems with a bigger dream about technology’s potential to change society.

I spent two decades across various roles at Google, Fujitsu, LinkedIn, and Waze, before taking on the role of Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal, where I spearheaded the company’s e-commerce expansion in Malaysia. I also had the opportunity to start my own business with a startup that was funded with pre-seed funding.

Currently, I’m leading Doctor Anywhere Malaysia’s business as Country General Manager, with a focus on deepening DA’s local presence, building strategic collaborations, and bringing DA’s regional health-tech innovation and know-how to Malaysia to enable high-quality, affordable, and holistic health offerings for all. 

What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I cherish every moment with my family, and start my day by waking up  at 620 am to bring my daughter to school and then return home for a quick breakfast before heading off to work on my e-scooter.

At DA Malaysia, it’s a cosy office with a small team where everyone really punches above their weight. I make it a point to catch up with my team members every so often – I believe that being a good leader not only requires one to lead from the front, but sometimes also cheering from the back, and also along one’s side through life (e.g. helping to overcome roadblocks).

What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I believe in work-life harmony rather than a “work-life balance” because to me the term balance is usually associated with a 50-50, in which IMHO is highly improbable.

Work-life harmony for me means – how do I integrate my work into my life so that both work and life can be prioritised? For example, if I want to spend quality time with my family I may clock off earlier at 5, bring the kids to the park and clock in again at 10pm after lullabying the kids to bed.

There are times when I may have to work the weekend because of an urgent project and with this, technology has allowed us to be contactable and work from anywhere (if you are in a corporate job). However with this, for sustainability, I have built a mindset to be able to ‘switch-off’ and rest.  

For me, my switch-off moment is when I get on my road bike with my mates and cycle long distance cycling (100 km+) into remote roads. Interestingly, the sport I love not only grows physical strength, but builds mental strength and many life lessons, which is key to a successful career as well. 

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In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I used to be active in sports but with kids and my career growing, taking care of my physical self took a back seat. Investing in my road bike 12 months ago has encouraged me to routinely exercise at least once a week, which is something that has almost become part of my weekly routine. 

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

My favourite book is Becoming Hannah – about the journey of Malaysia’s current Youth and Sports Minister, Hannah Yeoh . It is about her ongoing spiritual journey of self-discovery of becoming who she is today, including the challenges of leadership and staying true to one’s values with a heart for those you lead.

I listen to BFM 89.9 (Business FM) both live and via their podcasts, they have great content and I learn a lot from the sharings of the speakers and topics that they discuss on their radio programs. It’s one way that I keep up with the latest developments about the industry but also learn more about the issues and conversations close to the heart of the current and future generations. 

If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Mike Gamson, former SVP of Global Solutions at LinkedIn and current CEO of Relativity. I recall one key challenge he faced when taking on his promotion at LinkedIn was the struggle between his career progression and his young family – both of which required his presence and responsibility.

As he aptly shared about achieving a work-life balance, “Trying to balance the two is a fool’s errand”. With the support of his CEO, and also his wife, he set out to achieve harmony instead – with meticulous planning of his business trips and taking the opportunity to travel/live on the road as a family – a once in a life adventure surely for his very young ones! 

One of the important aspects that inspires me is the one that debunks traditional stereotypes of sacrificing your family for your career – in today’s modern era and with digital technology, we can make it happen. 

Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Think work-life harmony, not balance. Many times young professionals enter the “grind” in pursuit of a fast career progression, and end up burnt out and disgruntled with their lives. In the grand scheme of things, think about what you would like to achieve with your life – a fulfilling and rewarding career (that you love) can only happen if you first find your purpose and harmony with life.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.