“Sir, I would like to talk to you about the Process Engineer position at Celanese Singapore. Is it convenient to talk now?” I said as I asked the recruiter.

“Sure. It’s convenient to speak now. Could you please repeat the name of the company?”

And thus began my journey with Celanese. My first experience with diversity at Celanese was when I met the team that came to Mumbai for job interviews. After the usual interview questions, I was given an opportunity to ask some questions. I remember asking: “Do you have someone from India working there?” I was told you’d be surprised – and you bet I was.

I realized our plant is a potpourri of people from seven countries, speaking at least 11 different languages, practicing various religions, and in a single year we celebrate four distinct cultural events

  • Chinese New Year
  • Hari Raya
  • Hungry Ghost Festival or Zhong Yuan Jie
  • Diwali

Each day you learn something new – it could about food, how we raise our kids, places to shop, social taboos, cultural traditions and working styles.

It amazes me, even now, how we function as one team and bring out the best in each other. It is diverse and equally inclusive.

Was it all smooth sailing for me? No, there were challenges. I would wonder why someone reacts in a particular way and not the way I would expect. Why would someone feel offended after asking for a frank opinion? Why were colleagues calling their bosses by their names and not using “Mr/Madam.” There were so many why.

I soon realized that this place is different because we (the Celanese Singapore plant) adopted and took the best of all the cultures and experiences; and now we have something very special going on here.

Where I came from, why I eat vegetarian food, or what my religious inclinations are never mattered.

The things that mattered were what I contributed, how much effort I put in, did it help someone solve a problem, did I learn something new, and could I identify our next challenge?

I would like take this opportunity to thank everyone here for giving me such an enriching experience – and now the onus is on me to continue our wonderful tradition and share this experience to all the new colleagues that will join us in the coming years.

Team Singapore – One Celanese.

Take a bow.