Alvin Yuan is currently the Chief Executive Officer of HealthMetrics. He graduated as a pharmacist and spent the next years of his career in healthcare, financing, business management, economics, and technology.
He has been in the healthcare line all his life, along with his family, so healthcare is his blood. He worked alongside his family’s company, IHM, to learn about business management and was exposed to the healthcare industry. This is where he saw an incumbent problem which HealthMetrics is solving today that did not exist back then.
However, he held onto the idea of HealthMetrics for quite some time until he met our CTO, Advent, who helped draw the blueprints of what would become HealthMetrics.
He now manages the day-to-day operations of HealthMetrics and aims to become the leading provider of employee health benefits management platforms to companies by improving healthcare delivery through machine learning and data analytics.
Having been fascinated by Alvin’s journey, we have interviewed him for insights into life at HealthMetrics and any other advice he has for young talents.
What is your dream?
I would like to go to space. This is something I have been wanting to do since I was a kid.
I look forward to the nothingness and the calmness that cannot be attained anywhere else. From space, I truly believe the sort of troubles and preoccupations that once seemed important evaporates in a wider context.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am an introvert. People do not see it that way at times in terms of external appearances, but I enjoy being by myself the majority of the time.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I would not see it as a mistake, but rather having financial knowledge would have been an added advantage when growing this company. Learning from this experience, it has come to be a great asset for the company.
What behaviour or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
I believe that someone’s reliability can be more vital compared to their paper qualifications and it is this reliability that will take a company to the next level. For example, when HealthMetrics first started, we were a mixed bag of employees. The majority of people that were hired based on their willingness to learn and acquire new skills rather than just to decide based on their academic qualifications alone. This willingness shows me that they can be trusted and reliable in whatever goals that was entrusted to them. However, reliability goes both ways and it is equally important that my team can also count on reliability in bringing the company to the next level.
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Reliable, ambitious, and decisive.
What’s your role here at HealthMetrics?
My job as the CEO is to constantly work on the hardest problem at the moment. Not to be confused with tedious problems, as the hardest problem usually involves things that have not been done before, and thus it is my responsibility to pave the way for my employees by establishing the first steps of a project, which is usually the hardest.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
People think CEOs are the most laid-back people and can just order their employees to do menial tasks. As mentioned above, taking the first step is always the hardest part of any project. You have to take it upon yourself and make sure the first steps are done as this will show your team that the project can be done and they now have the confidence to carry on forward.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
I am always trying new things and learning new things. It can be draining at times but seeing the company thrive just by deciding to try is what keeps going me going.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I would say myself. The simple knowledge of me deciding that I can do something without having to conform to social norms has influenced my work ethic the most.
How do you measure success for your employees?
I consider employees to be successful if they achieve what they are looking for working at the company. Back when I was hiring employees, I always asked them what their dream was. Knowing someone’s dream upfront tells you more about that person than the words they share with you; if the person is a simple person, ambitious, or simply wants to help others.
Knowing this helps me determine how the company can help them achieve these dreams and if they will be a good fit for this company. I believe that if you nurture people to be successful on their own and they will be successful in nature, both personally and professionally.
How do you help new employees feel more comfortable and part of the team at HealthMetrics?
My way of making them feel comfortable is just to welcome them and just being myself.
How do you build positive relationships with your coworkers or employees?
I try my best to understand them, not just on their work issues but also understanding them as a person, their needs and wants. I also join in on various engagement activities to strengthen the relationship between my coworkers and employees as they will be able to see me as a person and not just their CEO.
Could you describe the growth of HealthMetrics?
The growth of HealthMetrics has been really amazing, especially these past 5 years since we actually came about. We received a lot of successes and have won multiple awards in the Human Resources category. We were also the first and only Malaysian company to have ever joined the “Google Global Accelerator Launchpad”.
What’s in store for the future of HealthMetrics?
HealthMetrics has come a long way and it is definitely scaling. We definitely want to expand the outreach to more clients, businesses and even to regional areas as well. We are constantly looking for talents and new blood to join and innovate with us.
Can you share one piece of advice to the people who are looking to join a fast-growing company such as HealthMetrics?
Do not feel bound to your paper qualifications. As long as you are reliable and would like to work with equally reliable people, this is the place to be, there should not be any fear to apply.
I truly value each one of my employees, and to quote our CTO, just do it.