Naeema Ismail

Managing Partner, Singapore

Professional Experience

An experience that bubbles to the top of my career stories is helping to launch one of the most talked-about products of my generation, Viagra. Coming from Asia and a fairly conservative culture, facilitating a national discussion around erectile dysfunction was an early defining moment in my career. From there, I went on to work at IBM to navigate e-business during the dotcom boom (and bust) and demonstrate the potential of digital media. I then returned to agency-side to do my bit of national service by supporting the Media Development Authority of Singapore, and Singapore Tourism Board in their communications post-SARS. In 2008, I was asked by Yin Ching, whom I met in IBM, to help her and Allan build a full-service PR division in her non-agency-like B2B communications agency, Ying Communications, which then became a part of Finn Partners in April 2017.

It takes humility to reconsider our past commitments, doubt to question our present decisions, and curiosity to reimagine our future plans. What we discover along the way can free us from the shackles of our familiar surroundings and our former selves.

How'd you get here?

My oldest friends tell me that I have a special knack for getting myself and those around me really excited about any recent discovery. This came in handy when I started in the PR industry as a media pitch-horse, trying to interest jaded editors in stories that they just had to cover. And this is why I became hooked to working in PR, especially in an agency setting. Only in PR could I find the excitement that comes with the never-ending onslaught of new discoveries every day, and get paid for it, too! Over a 20-plus-year career, I’ve been fortunate to work with some of industry’s innovators in product design, technology, services and destination marketing, always on the search for new ways and audiences to relate to. And in recent years, I’ve found a new calling in building passionate teams with a sense of shared purpose.