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This article is contributed by John Raghavan, Chairman of Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative.

 

SGS Coop Chairman 2019
John Raghavan, Chairman of SGS Co-op

 

In June, we held our 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM). Close to 700 members turned up to catch up with one another and learnt about the latest happenings at the Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative (SGS Co-op). For the second time in 21 years, we held an election during the AGM as there was a seat contestation for our Committee of Management (COM).

Our four incumbent COM members each have between six to 12 years’ experience being in the board. The fifth candidate, a long serving member, was the contesting candidate. We view this contestation as a welcome respite as it suggests our members are taking an active interest to be part of our leadership and wish to contribute to our co-op instead of being passive members.

As the first and oldest co-operative registered on 7 October 1925, we believe that leadership renewal is crucial for our continuity. With just six years away before celebrating our 100th birthday, we hope to have more younger members coming forward to be part of our COM, as part of our ongoing efforts of leadership renewal.

The young are our future leaders and soon they will take over the reins and steer SGS Co-op forward. In the past four years, we have had two competent young members co-opted and elected into the COM. Both are below 35 years old, graduated with a bachelor’s degree and are currently working in the civil service. The young generation currently forms about 47% of our total membership and I hope to see more of them stepping up.

Our steady positive financial growth is not without surprise; it is the result of the diligent hard work of our leaders, management and staff in overseeing our day-to-day operations, in recognising opportunities and mitigating our Co-op through potential threats and risks in a fast-changing society. It requires hard work, time and energy to run a multi-million financial business to meet our annual targets, generate growth and ensure we have sufficient funds and surpluses for our members.

This explains why we have to ensure the appropriate candidates with sound experience and dedication join our Board. I have been in my role for the past 14 years and look forward to passing the baton to competent young leaders when they are ready.

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