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Source: Screen shot from BFM
Source: Screen shot from BFM

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Dealing with questions about your financials: Axiata Digital Service CEO shows the way

Business leaders love talking about their financial results - when they're good.

But when your business is losing money, you would obviously rather not talk about them. There are myriad other reasons to not discuss your financials, such as forward looking statements which get you into trouble with the stock exchange, or the fact that your business is privately owned or part of a bigger group which doesn't provide a breakdown of individual subsidiaries.

So when Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Axiata Digital Service (ADS) was asked exactly these questions on BFM's ‘The Breakfast Grille’, you might have thought he would squirm.

But he handled the questions with aplomb, and that's why we are nominating him for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards in the category of Best Broadcast Interview.

Scroll down for his four strengths.


The Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2019 resumes with our third round of nominations in Singapore and Malaysia in the following categories:

  • Best Broadcast Interview, in association with Meltwater
  • Best Online Interview, in association with Shootsta
  • Best Conference Presentation, in association with Dianomi
  • Best Live Webcast, in association with The Streaming Company

We launched the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards to recognise senior local leaders for their communications skills, and to showcase authentic and credible home-grown communicators.

These are shining examples for other local business leaders, and to build a culture of excellence in communication, to maximise the potential of Asian companies in the Asian Century.

Each week until November 30, 2019, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2019.

Click on the link below to enter yourself or another Senior Business Leader.


Here are four observations on his performance:

  1. Numbers – Providing data makes you sound more credible in interviews. But 'The Breakfast Grille' likes to ask all the uncomfortable questions, and so the presenter pressed him repeatedly on specifics. Abdullah had a breezy way of dealing with those questions, such as by talking about his active customer base using percentage and numbers. Can you spot the technique?
  2. Flagging – Formulating you key points like a bulleted list helps to make your key points more memorable. For example, Abdullah gave three key points to describe what Axiata is focusing on. Listen to the interview to see if you can spot this technique in action.
  3. Examples – Giving examples is a good tip to further engage your listeners. He provided examples about how his business is growing, who he closed deals with, and how they contributed to his business. Listen out for the story about lending money to pasar malams.
  4. Candour – Abdullah is candid and open about the company's journey. Surprisingly, he also talked about which part of his company is performing well and which department is earning the most. So, we didn't get the impression that he was being evasive, or that he was hiding something. But when you listen back, ask yourself how much he really revealed.

If you know Khairil Abdullah, share this article with him and congratulate him on being nominated for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2019.

If you have what it takes, nominate yourself or your senior business leader for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2019!




Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Director (+65) 6223 2249

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