Maxim Tint, CEO of GTRIIP, did not get to where he is today without sheer hard work and determination. The entrepreneur comes from a humble background and a middle class family of civil servants born in Myanmar. He shared that he was too shy to speak English in public until he had turned 10!
His journey with Singapore began when he obtained a scholarship to attend Singapore Polytechnic (SP) at age 16.
“Back then my friends kept telling me being in a polytechnic was ‘not good’ and JC was ‘better’. I was like, hey dude, seriously, it’s so good here. You have computers! Getting a scholarship in Singapore was my dream. I was a guy literally trying to write code on paper! I was so thrilled that I got to study at SP.”
It is precisely this spirit and attitude that eventually saw Maxim attain success in the tech startup world. Maxim urges everyone to “try your best where you are” and believes that there are opportunities aplenty through education and meritocracy.
Fast forward many years and Maxim has now become a successful startup entrepreneur. He spent some years in the United States working on startups before moving back to Singapore again to start a family. He told us excitedly that his son was born at KK Hospital three years ago! In 2014, Maxim started GTRIIP in Singapore. GTRIIP is a company that specialises in an IT software which allows hotel guests to check-in simply through their smartphones.
One question that we had to ask Maxim was, “why would you pay for a union membership for all your staff?”
To that he answered, “I think labour unions are very different in Singapore. For example, in the US, many companies actually have policies that don’t allow their staff to be unionised. But in Singapore, the situation is different. The union leaders can’t make unreasonable demands and staff can’t just decide to go on strike. Singapore’s unions are both pro workers and employers…NTUC considers both sides because they know that companies have to be sustainable in order to hire workers. I am supportive of unions because I think tripartism allows for more open conversations between the company and staff.”
Supporting unions and startups
Maxim’s support for unions and startups is evident as he is also a volunteer at Tech Talent Assembly (TTAB). Via TTAB, he gives his time and shares his experience with other Infocommunication technology (ICT) professionals in Singapore. He was on the panel of webinars like the “Thought Leadership Series”, coaching aspiring entrepreneurs who want to build startups.
When asked why he volunteers, Maxim replied, “I believe in learning and employability. I worry when some lose their employability and are replaced by tech when they cannot catch up. I am willing to share my experience with these startups. Because when they get bigger, they will create a lot of jobs and that will help employability. Startups can help cushion economic slowdown by hiring some staff and every worker matters, every job matters.”
Wow. We definitely need more people who are like Maxim, for sure.