Mentoring and developing a talent ecosystem is ‘a marathon, not a sprint’

By Huawei

Charles Cheng, Managing Director of Huawei International, shared his thoughts about Huawei's role in nurturing talent through mentorship programmes such as industry-led initiatives supported by Mentoring SG, after receiving the inaugural Mentoring SG Corporate Excellence Award at the National Mentoring Summit 2023.

Sharing the stage for the Mentoring SG Corporate Excellence Award presentation were Kevin Kong, Executive Director, Mentoring SG; Charles Cheng, Managing Director, Huawei International; and Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry. Image: National Mentoring Summit 2023

“Mentoring and developing a talent ecosystem is a marathon, not a sprint,” according to Charles Cheng, Managing Director of Huawei International. 

He was speaking after Huawei was honoured at the National Mentoring Summit 2023, an annual event held in Singapore in support of the Forward Singapore movement (also known as Forward SG) and Mentoring Singapore (Mentoring SG) initiative.  

“As a global ICT leader, Huawei is very cognisant of our responsibility to share our knowledge and digital tools with the wider community towards a vibrant Singapore tech talent ecosystem – for the betterment of all of us,” Cheng added. 

The summit, which was held on 17 November, brings together mentoring practitioners, leaders, advocates, and stakeholders from across Singapore, and saw Huawei, a global information and communications technology leader, awarded the inaugural Mentoring SG Corporate Excellence Award. 

The prestigious accolade recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements by corporate organisations that have made notable contributions to the local mentoring community. 

Mentoring movement aims to promote mentoring culture  


Mentoring SG, an initiative of the National Youth Council Singapore and Mentoring Alliance Singapore, was launched in 2022 by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and supports the Forward SG movement. 

It seeks to promote a mentoring culture in Singapore and make it accessible to youth, and aims to ramp up efforts to engage more corporate partners and young people, as well as strengthen the ecosystem.  

Mentoring SG also aims to support youth development and school-to-work transitions. Through the support of mentors, young people can broaden their perspectives in their definition of success, and gain guidance, support and practical advice to navigate key transitions in life. 

Since its inception in 2019, the National Mentoring Summit has provided a platform for exchanging ideas, sharing best practices, and celebrating the transformative power of mentoring for youth. 

At this year’s event, Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry, who is also a steering committee member for Mentoring SG, presented the inaugural Mentoring SG Corporate Excellence Award to three companies: Huawei International, Micron Technology, and Timbre Group. 

The award recognises corporate organisations’ exceptional commitment to the mentoring community, both in-house and in the broader mentoring system. 

Cheng said that Huawei International was “deeply honoured to receive this award [as] it signals that we are moving in the right direction” and is committed to continue contributing to the mentoring community. 

“Moving forward, we will continue our efforts to nurture local talent, equipping them with necessary ICT skillsets as well as competitive opportunities to thrive, grow and realise their career aspirations, shine on global stage,” he said. 

Corporate partners support industry-led mentoring initiatives 

Going forward, Mentoring SG will partner more corporate partners on industry-led mentoring initiatives, including with Huawei Singapore’s flagship ideation competition, the Tech4City programme, which is slated to return in March 2024. 

September 2023 saw the conclusion of the latest edition of the Tech4City competition, which aims to empower local youth to build the Singapore of tomorrow through technological innovation and solutions that aim to solve real-world problems. 

This year’s edition focused on amalgamating technological breakthroughs with the creation of social impact for a more inclusive and sustainable country. More 370 participants formed 144 teams with 89 submitted proposals to address the themes of Well-being, Learning, Energy, Mobility and Finance.  

Among the youth projects featured at the competition finals on 13 September in Singapore were an AI-enhanced traffic crossing system, a digital and contactless payment system for the visually impaired, and a platform to help households monitor and reduce their energy consumption. 

Huawei also hosts a Cloud Incubator Programme that provides startups with mentorship and masterclasses by Huawei solution architects, veteran entrepreneurs and members of the venture capital community, in addition to resources that support startups in developing go-to-market, growth and funding strategies.