Tan Sri Dr. Palan’s work for the last 4 decades has been committed to helping people learn and perform. He has been focused on promoting affordable and quality education with a lifelong pursuit to ensure equitable access for all to quality education. He is committed to upholding the University’s core mission of quality education and research by ensuring high academic standards. Over the years, he has led efforts to build industry partnerships and build talent. As a social entrepreneur, he is enthusiastic about successful graduate outcomes and employability. His contributions to the world of work, education, healthcare and entrepreneurship have been significant.
He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Programme) and has studied in four different continents. He has a Bachelors in Science (Chemistry) and a Masters in Social Work (Medical & Psychiatry) from Madras School of Social Work, Madras University, India; a Masters in Psychology from Leicester University, U.K.; a PhD (Education) from Federation University, Australia and a PhD (Management) from California Coast University, Santa Ana, USA. He is certified and qualified to use a number of psychometric tools and facilitate several talent development programmes. He is a Certified Speaking Professional, the highest earned award from the National Association of Speakers, USA.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palan is an author of 20 books and several articles. He started his career as a lecturer in management studies and subsequently pursued his passion in human resources development. He has travelled globally to share his work with both the academic community and the business world. He is a keen researcher devoted to improving the quality of learning with his ‘FUN X Content = Results’ model. Currently, his principal research interest is in the area of Skills Gaps and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and individual well-being. His first doctoral thesis focused on Performance Management in Asian Cultures and his second doctoral thesis centred on Vocational Education in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. His Master’s theses were centred on the effectiveness of primary health care centres and Competency Management.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palan’s entrepreneurial success includes taking both his HR start up and education company public. He has served as Chairman of SMRT Holdings Berhad, a public listed company on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. He also served as Group Managing Director of Minda Global Berhad, a public listed company on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.
He stepped down as part of a succession plan in Jan 2022. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palan has significant expertise in Strategy and Corporate Governance having served in several Boards.
He has also been recognised for his contributions to society, having been appointed by the King of Malaysia to serve as an independent member of the Emergency Committee during the pandemic crisis.
He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, University Malaya Specialist Centre, Malaysia’s premier Quaternary Hospital, Director of University Malaya, Malaysia’s oldest University and Director of UM Holdings Berhad. He served two terms with the Human Resources Development Corporation and a term as the Council Member of the Malaysian Institute of Management and Chairman of the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce Working Committee on Human Resources Development.
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