Balancing the Grind with Zheng Gang Lim, Head of Operations at Kosmo

Zheng Gang Lim is the Head of Operations at Kosmo, which makes it easy to deliver anything by connecting businesses to the best last mile providers in your city.

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

I am currently the Head of Operations at Kosmo Tech, where I handle everything related to operations. As Kosmo is a new startup with a lean team, my responsibilities are varied and include helping the company achieve its business goals while ensuring that our daily operations are efficient and able to provide customer satisfaction.

Before joining Kosmo, I had a varied career. I started out as an operations manager at a security services company and have had several career changes since then, including a brief period in the automotive industry and three years managing last mile deliveries at Delivery Hero Singapore (foodpanda). 

I accepted the opportunity to join Kosmo when it was offered to me by the CEO, JJ Velaz, who was also one of my managers during my time at Delivery Hero Singapore. I was drawn to Kosmo because I wanted to work somewhere where my actions had a significant impact and the work environment was dynamic.

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

At Kosmo, we are fully remote and every day is different. I typically start my day at 9am by having a cup of coffee and catching up on emails and slack messages. After this, I make a list of my target tasks for the day to help me stay focused and make sure I have tangible deliverables. This is important to me because handling daily operations can sometimes cause me to lose sight of the bigger picture when I’m caught up in firefighting.

After completing my morning work, I take a run around the park and have lunch at around 12pm. We have a culture at Kosmo of making sure everyone has at least four hours of deep work each day, so communication is kept to a minimum in the mornings. In the afternoon, we have more dynamic discussions about the business. This works well for us because we have people in multiple countries and time zones, so it’s best to make the most of the time when everyone is online.

After my work day ends at 7pm, I usually prepare dinner for my family and make a conscious effort to spend time with my loved ones.

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

Achieving a good work-life balance is always a work in progress for me. To me, this means having time for both my work and personal life, and being able to do things I enjoy as well as spending time with loved ones.

In the past, I was quite a workaholic and would stay at the office until everything was done. However, after my father passed away a year ago, I made sure to always make time for my loved ones and be available to them when they need me.

It can be difficult to set clear boundaries between work and my personal life, especially since I am currently also handling live operations in the team. This means that there may be times when something happens on the weekends and I need to react to it. To maintain a healthy balance, I try to pace myself and ask for support from my team at Kosmo when I need it. They have been extremely supportive.

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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 smoke at least one pack of cigarettes per day, and this would increase when I was feeling stressed from work. It wasn’t an easy journey, but I’m glad that I quit smoking and now feel better than before. To stay active, I also started running at least four times a week.

Oh – I have also taken up gardening and find it to be very therapeutic.

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

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a good book. It was recommended to me by JJ. I also enjoy reading books about Singapore politics, like Hard Truth to Keep Singapore Going, as well as biographies like The Singapore Lion, which is about S. Rajaratnam. However, it has been some time since I last read a book. Maybe it’s a sign that I should choose a new book to read.

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

I’m not sure of any specific person, but I would like to hear from a leader who is in a similar situation as me, specifically someone who is managing live operations in a lean team.

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

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance takes effort. It’s important to focus on what is important to you and remember that things that won’t matter in five years probably don’t matter now.

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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.