CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Shin Wee Chuang, Co-Founder & CEO at

Shin Wee Chuang is the Co-Founder & CEO at, a start-up that builds AI-powered chatbots that make talking to a machine a lot more fun and engaging.

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

I’m the founder and CEO of We specialise in creating enterprise-grade AI Chatbots for financial institutions and large corporates to improve operational efficiency and increase marketing ROI. Our clients include Allianz, Bangkok Bank, CIMB Bank, Great Eastern, Kerry Logistics, Schroders and Tesco. I’m based in Singapore.

As a founder-CEO of a tech startup, I’m responsible for driving business growth as well as product roadmap. I spend a lot of time talking to clients, understanding what they need and what challenges they face, and then take their challenges back to my product and engineering teams where we brainstorm for innovative solutions to address these challenges.

Prior to starting, I was the Head of Digital Banking for Standard Chartered Bank in China. I spent 6 years living in Shanghai after obtaining my MBA in 2006. I have lived and worked in more than 7 countries across Asia, Europe and the United States.

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

I usually wake up around 7am to fix breakfast for my young kids, before sending them to school. If I’m not working from home, I usually arrive at the office around 8:30am, and start the day by holding a (virtual) stand-up meeting with different members of my team on different days. Thereafter, I will do some deep-thinking work for 2-3 hours before heading out for lunch.

The afternoon is usually packed with client meetings or our internal product review meetings. I also reserve at least one hour in the afternoon to clear my email. I stop work at 6pm most days and head home to have dinner with my kids.

After dinner, my wife and I will play with them before putting them to bed around 8pm. I will then spend another hour clearing my email before winding down the day. I usually go to bed before midnight so that I can get 7-8 hours of sleep each day.

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

To me, work-life balance means delivering results at the workplace, and building strong bonds with my loved ones at home. This is, however, not easy for a startup founder. So I have learned to be ruthlessly efficient with my time: most weekdays, I spend 10-12 hours on work related matters, and at least 2 hours with my kids.

But on weekends, I seldom work more than 2-3 hours per day, and spend most of the time hanging out with my family. I also arrange most of my social activities on weekends, and they are usually family-based activities.

However, I’m far from achieving work-life balance. My 7-year-old daughter still complains that I work too hard and do not spend enough time with her.

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

Yes, I started using a physical table calendar. Each morning when I wake up, I will take a pen to physically cross off the previous day on my table calendar. By doing so, I get an adrenaline rush that reminds me: time flies, and that makes me treasure every minute even more.

I also started writing an email to my entire team every Sunday night, as a reflection of what we did the previous week, and to communicate to everyone what we will be focusing on for the upcoming week. I spend about an hour composing each email, but it is time well spent because it helps me and my team to prioritise our work.

These 2 small steps help me to be more efficient with my time.

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

I recently started to read the MIT Technology Review. It is very high-quality journalism that examines the societal and economic impact of emerging technologies, complete with a heavy dose of investigative work. If you are interested in emerging technologies, you will enjoy it.

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

Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. He brought a tiny island with no natural resources from third world to first in one generation, while raising 3 hugely successful children.

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

I tell myself whilst my work and life may not be perfectly balanced all the time, I can still choose to enjoy both work and life everyday.

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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.