TERAS Recent News
Congratulations to Tengku Omar Zainal Abidin on Award Received from LLM
We at TERAS are extremely proud with our very own Head of Technology, Tengku Omar Zainal Abidin, being selected as one of the award recipients at the recent Majlis Anugerah Kecemerlangan Personel Industri Lebuh Raya 2021. The event celebrates individuals with the most important contributions to the Malaysian highway industry and recognizes the recipients’ ability to adapt to ever-evolving market dynamics, possessing the positivity and professional discipline in managing the challenges they face in their respective areas of expertise.
From our perspective, Tengku Omar receiving this award is the perfect achievement to inspiring the TERAS team, and the industry, towards inculcating our professional commitment and drive for innovation within the highway industry.
Tengku Omar joined TERAS in Feb 2001, right out of completing his tertiary education. Yes, you read that right, TERAS is Tengku Omar’s first job and he’s been with TERAS for over 20 years now! Starting as a junior software developer responsible for key highway toll collection projects – such as grand opening of numerous highways (AKLEH, Sprint, NPE, LKSA, SMART etc), and privileged in some international initiatives such as Kalyan Bhiwandi-Shilpatha Highway (Mumbai) and Cikopo-Palimanan Toll Road (West Java) – Tengku Omar has continued to clock multiple notable delivery milestones and gained strong trust from everyone in the industry, eventually taking the helm of TERAS’ Head of Technology responsible for leading a 34-strong technology team in driving strategic innovations for the business.
We got the opportunity to sit down with Tengku Omar for a short chat, to capture his perspectives on the state of the technology space within the highway industry.
Question: How was the landscape of the highway industry when you first started at TERAS, and how different is it now?
Tengku Omar: Back in the early 2000s, the industry was much simpler and more predictable, toll projects were internally organised and planned, and they rarely overlap in delivery timing. Even the systems technology was much more straightforward to implement with minimal technical debt and within budget. I guess, today the transportation technology industry is not excluded from the world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity).
Q: What are some of the transportation technology evolutions that you are most excited about?
Tengku Omar: We are seeing IR4.0 technologies being embraced throughout PLUS. I would have never expected Cloud Technology, Big Data and AI / Machine Learning to be implemented so fast within the industry, but we are seeing these technologies coming to life in our projects today. As a result, we at TERAS are also learning new skills to adapt and implement these technologies in our daily work.
Q: What do you feel are some of the more important factors for technology teams to keep in mind, to do well in this continuously evolving technology landscape?
Tengku Omar: I feel that we must first mentally prepare ourselves to see change as the new normal, especially in our ways of work. Always be humble in admitting what we don’t know, embrace discovering things, not being afraid in asking for help, and remember that this is a journey that we are all in as a team. Unpredictability is now part of our day-to-day, and there is a continuous need for creative problem solving. Technology will help but constant teamwork will make it less painful.
Q: Do you have any advice you can offer to the next generation of technology leaders and young engineers entering the transportation and expressway industry?
Tengku Omar: Always be brave in making mistakes and learn not to repeat them. Be sincere and clear on what you know, what you don’t know, and most importantly what you are doing to continue learning. In other words, it is an endless journey of learning and experimenting through curiosity. Endless sharing of knowledge with your peers and your future subordinates will make you known as an effective and trusted partner not only within your organisation, but also throughout the industry, especially with stakeholders and regulators. Maintaining a positive rapport with everyone you work with will get you farther in this industry.
And there you go, priceless advice from Tengku Omar based on his learning and experience being in the industry in the past 20 years. We at TERAS are all excited to follow his lead into the high-growth transportation industry powered by IR4.0 technologies today.