Singapore: The Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) announced that its Executive Committee and Board of Trustees has appointed Mr Kumaran Barathan, currently the Chief Executive of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), the new Chief Executive Officer of SINDA. The appointment will take effect on 1 July 2014. Mr Barathan will succeed Mr T Raja Segar, who has served admirably as SINDA’s CEO over the last five years and is moving on to pursue other personal interests.
Mr Barathan has had a distinguished career including a 25-year stint at the Economic Development Board, where he held senior positions in administration and a 5½ year term at the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), a National Research Institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), where he served as the Director of Corporate Services. He joined SICCI as CEO in 2013.
Mr Barathan says that he looks forward to his new appointment at SINDA: “I have always considered social and economic upward mobility through education as a lever. I hope my experiences in various fields such as public administration, research and with the business sector will enable me to work with community closely, especially our youth to develop the essential skills required for success in the future.
I also intend to carry on building on the success of the predecessors – to ensure that SINDA remains relevant to Singapore Indians and the larger community in Singapore, and continues to work closely with community partners and other organisations."
Ms Indranee Rajah, President of SINDA says: "We are happy to have Barathan join the SINDA team. His experience in public sector administration will be extremely valuable in bringing SINDA to new heights. SINDA has a strong relationship with SICCI and Barathan’s experience with SICCI will enhance this relationship and help extend SINDA’s community network." She adds that the Executive Committee looks forward to working with Mr Barathan to develop new programmes and initiatives to help Singaporean Indian students realise their fullest potential.
Current SINDA CEO Mr Raja Segar joined SINDA as Senior Director in June 2008 and was promoted as COO in June 2009 before taking over as CEO in Dec 2009. He oversaw the strategic review of the organisation in 2010/11, and was instrumental in restructuring the organisation to focus on the key challenges facing the community. He will step down on 30 June 2014.
On behalf of SINDA’s board, Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam paid tribute to Mr Raja Segar: "Raja has contributed greatly to SINDA and the broader community, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. He has provided steady and thoughtful leadership, and developed a talented and dynamic senior management team. Barathan will take over a strong organisation, which has to find every effective way to help those with disadvantages to develop confidence and stride forward."
Dr. R Theyvendran, the newly elected Chairman of SICCI says he and the SICCI Board support Barathan’s move to SINDA: “This decision is not sudden and has been calibrated over a considerable period of time before the new Board was elected. I am confident that SICCI will continue to engage and work closely with SINDA to reach out and develop the larger Indian community. On behalf of the new Board, I wish Barathan much success in lifting SINDA to greater heights and look forward to fostering closer ties with SINDA in the journey forward.”