Meet Deel: Karen Ng, Country Leader, Asia (Excluding ANZ)
To successfully expand into a new region, you need someone who truly understands the complexities of international market entry. At Deel, that’s Karen Ng, whose career has taken her from the island of Mauritius to France, China, and beyond. Today, Karen is actively driving the expansion of Deel's presence as our Country Leader in Asia.
Here’s what she shared about her career path, working at Deel, and the latest regional hiring trends.
Tell me about your career journey. What led you to Deel?
Karen: I have a background in hospitality and my dad is a hotelier, so by default, I always knew what career I wanted. I studied hotel management in France and then had the opportunity to start my career in Shanghai, China. Little did I know that what should have been a six-month internship would become an eight-year journey.
I joined Compass Offices, a leading serviced offices company in Hong Kong, and led the sales team. From there, I met the founding team at a legal tech company and joined them for six years before moving down to Singapore. That was when I joined the HR tech world, leading a sales team in South East Asia.
One day during lockdown, I got a call from a very persistent headhunter (who is an avid advocate of Deel) and the rest is history!
Can you describe what you do as a country leader at Deel?
Karen: I look after the revenue of my region, ensuring we generate business from companies located in my patch. In the past six months, we’ve officially completed our launch in Malaysia and Indonesia, and we are excited to be exploring and launching Vietnam and India next.
I’m also an ambassador of Deel and work closely with our PR and marketing team to advocate for Deel in our region.
Which Deel values help you succeed in your role?
Karen: Genuine Care, Default Optimism, and Thoughtful Frugality.
What makes working at Deel special?
Karen: The freedom, dedication, and people—especially leadership like Olivier Elbaz, our Head of International Expansion.
I had never been in a remote role prior to Deel, but it completely enhanced my engagement and commitment. As I always remind my team, with more freedom and flexibility comes greater accountability. I joined Deel for its value proposition and the fact that I can spend more time with my family in Mauritius while still performing at my best.
What are some challenges you’ve encountered while scaling operations in APAC, and how has your team overcome them?
Karen: Since the region is so diverse, we had to craft local strategies and adapt to a very active and competitive landscape. We also had to juggle several different time zones, but we got a lot of support from the broader team.
What global hiring trends are you seeing in APAC?
Karen: I’ve found that companies in APAC are open to global hiring. We recently commissioned Rakuten Insights to conduct interviews with 900 business leaders across Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and the results showed that 91% of businesses are hiring or expanding outside of their primary jurisdiction.
A closer look at hiring trends in Malaysia
Karen was recently featured on the Malaysian broadcast channel Astro AWANI, where she shared additional insights into local hiring trends.
“We've seen companies in APAC, Europe, and the US wanting to tap into the talent pool in Malaysia and the region,” says Karen. “There are a few jobs that are very popular… Software engineers, graphic designers, and statisticians. These are the recurring roles that we see Malaysian talent being hired for by foreign companies.”
Karen is seeing especially high demand for Malaysian talent from companies in Hong Kong and China because of the workforce’s language skills, time zone friendliness, strong economy, and ease of doing business. Watch the interview below to learn more.
Interested in joining Deel’s globally dispersed team? Good news—we’re hiring! See Deel’s open positions.