Becoming a Neurodiverse Company
20 Apr 2020 | Gamuda Berhad

 Becoming a Neurodiverse CompanyEnabling Academy graduate and Junior Test Engineer, Jonathan Soo (second from right) with his Enabling Academy Job Coach, Catherine Chin (second from left) and SalesCandy CEO and Co-founder, Stanley Chee (first from right) and Chief Technology Officer, Reza Rosli (first from left).

SalesCandy is a SalesTech start-up that focuses on delivering cutting edge solutions to improve sales team performance. Their proprietary maiden app, SalesCandy® LMS, has helped their clients reduce their first response time from an average of 5.5 days to less than five minutes during routing hours.

Since their inception in 2016, they’ve set foot in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

On top of their regional expansion and vision to bridge gaps between various industry giants, the young company is also steadfast in making sure their work culture is diverse in more ways than one.

With a total of 33 full-time staff and two interns – with 10 nationalities represented, the Candyholics – that’s what they call themselves, pay more attention to how their work performance stacks up rather than labels. “We welcome everyone regardless of religious beliefs, ethnicity and sexual orientation. And now, we are finally becoming a neurodiverse company,” SalesCandy CEO and Co-founder, Stanley Chee expresses.



“We like to be able to have more viewpoints on all matters. As a company, we believe that gives us a better shot in getting any of our products right. There are more angles to look at one problem,” he added.

It all started when Stanley decided to attend a business event which coincidentally had a talk about hiring people on the autism spectrum. “I was very touched and in disbelief when I found out that a lot of people on the autism spectrum only stayed home even though they had professional capabilities and certificates. It was saddening to hear that they could get the jobs done but it was just the process of getting through the interviews that was their block,” he shares.

Becoming a Neurodiverse CompanySalesCandy CEO & Co-founder Stanley Chee is steadfast in creating a fully diverse work culture.

Stanley toyed with the idea for a little while before bringing it up to the company’s people. At first, the management was not sure solely because they were afraid that they may not be able to provide a conducive environment as they were a start-up. “Eventually, we realised there’s no time like now. Why don’t we just give it a shot? Can you believe it? There are people who are complaining about going to work but then there are also people on the autism spectrum who are looking for jobs to have a fully satisfying life.”

With no more time to wait, SalesCandy engaged the Enabling Academy, an initiative by Yayasan Gamuda, the Group’s foundation arm. Enabling Academy (EA) was established in 2017, aimed at preparing more young adults with autism for gainful sustainable employment in corporate companies. The Enabling Academy conducts a 3-month Employment Transition Programme for adults on the autism spectrum who are 21 years old and above. Training under the programme focuses on personal development, career development, soft-skills training and a simulated office environment. It was through this programme that SalesCandy found yet another gainful Candyholic, Jonathan Soo – the company’s Junior Test Engineer.

Becoming a Neurodiverse CompanySalesCandy Chief Technology Officer Reza Rosli works directly with Jonathan Soo as a supervisor at their office.

“We started off with a three-month internship and really, we liked what we saw in him. As soon as the internship was over, we offered him a full-time position,” Stanley says with a smile.

With Jonathan Soo, on their team since 2018, he’s seen to add value to their team. “It’s been quite an adventure working with Jonathan. He is a very talented person.”

Becoming a Neurodiverse CompanyJonathan Soo is a full-time Junior Test Engineer at SalesCandy.

With Jonathan around, the team is said to have expanded their ways of communication, making them a lot more clear and sensitive with communication. “Clarity and sensitivity is something we usually take for granted. So it really teaches us how to be more aware of how we are sending our messages,” the company’s CEO and Co-founder shares.

With more empathy and tolerance mutually experienced among the Candyholics, Stanley says that as a Partner Company of Enabling Academy, they’re more than ready to welcome more adults on the autism spectrum.

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