Lilli Chi

Director, Ship Design Singapore & Shanghai, Wärtsilä Marine Business

Singapore, Singapore

5 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Germany


Future Ship Design

September 2017 was a memorable month for Wärtsilian Lilli Chi as she was appointed the Managing Director of Wärtsilä Ship Design organisation in Singapore.

“This appointment gave me the profit and loss responsibility over our Singapore branch. And on top of that, I’m currently managing Wärtsilä Ship Design in Shanghai,” Lilli describes her growing playground. “Commercially, I also have the overall responsibility for Wärtsilä’s gas carrier and merchant customer segment globally within Ship Design as well as area responsibility for Wärtsilä Ship Design Sales in the Middle East and Asia region,” she adds.

In such a wide-spread role, Lilli meets many interesting people – both her colleagues at Wärtsilä and people in other organisations. Even if these people often teach Lilli a lot of new things, she feels that working together with her team is still the best part of the job.

“What gets me excited is to sit down on the floor together with my team and to discuss all our technical proposals together. I also enjoy when I get to see those glimpses of enthusiasm on my colleagues’ faces,” she tells and continues,I believe the way we patiently built the team relationships, always respecting the variety of perspectives, has been a key to grow successfully together as a unit. It has been equally important to tell what I’m doing as well as to learn what my teammates are doing.”

In this process, Lilli’s enthusiasm and organised way of approaching things have surely been helpful. “I do have a good sense of humour and at the same time I’m thrilled to achieve results – I get energy for checking boxes off from my to-do list. I like to think my personality is helping me in this fast-paced industry; to coordinate projects, empower my team and to impress our customers with fast and out-of-the-box solutions,” she adds.

Recently, Lilli and her team faced an organisational change which enabled the sales activities to become more customer segment focused. According to Lilli, the new way of working has allowed the teams to be more efficient in executing their strategies throughout the organisation. “This was a great opportunity to reshuffle the core teams based on skill set, experience and interest for each segment. It also enabled new talents inside the company to enter the stage, so to speak,” Lilli describes the benefits of the transformation.

With the increased pace of economic and social changes, transformation that used to take centuries or decades could now be happening nearly overnight. “The definitions for all the time periods – short, mid- and long-range – are much shorter than what they used to be. Wärtsilä understands this – it’s shown in the determination with what we’re heading to an advanced digital era where our customers deserve fast and quality services and solutions from us,” Lilli tells.

With this in mind, Lilli wants to take part in building the leaner way of working needed for the future – where there is a high focus on quality, expertise and digitalised processes and offerings.

“I want to be leading this team towards its goal; to retain its role as a leading consultant of ship design and engineering services for the sustainable future,” she tells emphasising that the actions taken now will affect the future as well – as vessels designed today will be in operation still 25 years from now; they need to meet the sustainability standards not only at this moment but after decades.

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