Sarab Singh

Chief Executive Officer

To heck with the traditional bios, I’m feeling brave to reveal who I really am.

Let’s just start with a 15 year old boy who came to Australia with his parents and siblings in the 80’s. My first recollections of that time was just how different I looked. Wearing a ‘Patka turban’ on my head, with a tuft of hair on my chin, and having to rehearse everything I said in English before I uttered a word.

I was a ‘nice guy’ at school, a ‘try hard’ at studies, and not that good with girls – a typical average chicken.

After the initial struggles of a migrant family and compounded with mental illness that dad suffered from the late 80’s and early 90’s, my undergrad was no fun. That was until I got my lucky break where I joined the Australian Customs Service in the mid 90’s.

I found my identity as a Customs Officer which I still hold onto dearly. Not because of the decade and a half I spent growing up there, but the gratitude I have for the leaders in that organisation. I am a product of their generosity.

Nearly everything I know in life, I have learnt through my years in Customs and Border Protection. The discipline, the tenacity, the orientation towards learning, and even my sense of right and wrong.

Most importantly, it triggered in me a deep sense of curiosity for why we think the way we think and why we behave the way we behave. I have not let that go ever since.

It propelled me to become ever so conscious and ever so curious to keep discovering the deep secrets of human behaviour. This led to the exploration of research and studies in the space of leadership, neuroscience, and innovation through Australian National University and Harvard Business School.

So I now find myself being described as a human behaviour expert, which doesn’t sit well. Firstly, because the 15 year old boy who came to Australia and was comfortable in the knowledge that he’s just an average chicken, still lives inside of me.

Secondly, I have grown up enough to realise that:

    • When you are growing up, you think there is so much to learn.
    • When you grow up, you think you’ve not learned anything.
    • And if that’s all you have learnt, that is everything you ever needed to learn.

What you will find in me is a good friend who will be kind, but perhaps not always ‘nice’. Because I’m still different and I have no qualms about challenging norms, or you.