SEELAN Paul Thurai, 38, is not one for steering his course with the help of quotes. But a gift of a fridge magnet with the words "Everyday we decide who we will be by the actions we take" got his attention.
Perhaps the message was a reminder of the act of kindness from his teacher, Teoh Boon Chai, who bought young Seelan a pair of running shoes, and forever strengthened the belief in the athlete that he should always be willing to extend a helping hand.
While Seelan, who is Media Prima Radio Networks chief executive officer, may not have a favourite saying, he looks up to personalities such as footballer David Beckham, Media Prima TV Networks chief operating officer Ahmad Izham Omar and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. "It is all about defying the odds and prevailing," says Seelan.
He started his career in radio at the bottom and worked his way up. He was a radio announcer before working behind the scenes in programming. "Then I stepped into the exciting world of management. It has been a fantastic journey working with great people.
"There are many fields that one can enter in the industry, such as marketing, production and promotion as well online interaction," he adds, dispelling the misconception that being a disc jockey is the only avenue. "People still return to radio to keep in touch with the community."
Media Prima Radio Networks consists of Hot Fm, Fly Fm and One Fm.
The father of three children, aged between 5 and 10, answers questions on his schooldays:
Yaqin: Which primary and secondary schools did you attend?
Seelan: SR Methodist, SM Methodist and SM Tunku Abdul Rahman (Form Six) in Nibong Tebal in Penang. They are great schools.
Yaqin: Did you have a favourite teacher and why did you like him/her?
Seelan: There were a few but one that I will never forget is Mr Teoh Boon Chai. He was our Arts/Physical Education teacher. He was friendly and also very helpful. He forked out his own money to buy running shoes for me since I couldn't afford them. That spurred me to practise and perform better at tournaments. It also helped me become a better person -- he was a great example of how we should pay it forward and help others.
Yaqin: What subject(s) did you like at school?
Seelan: I loved Biology.
Yaqin: Were you rewarded for good performance by your parents? If yes, in what way.
Seelan: I rarely had good performance... he,he... But my parents were very supportive and loving no matter what. I was a mummy's boy.
Yaqin: What was your best (and worst) school holiday?
Seelan: All school holidays were great especially spending time with my friends Nathan, Izral, Kim, Wati and my football teammates and schoolmates.
Yaqin: What hobbies did you have while at school?
Seelan: I spent a lot of time on sport but I also enjoyed watching movies and listening to music.
Yaqin: What was your ambition while schooling?
Seelan: I wanted to be an astronaut.
Yaqin: If you were to live your schooldays all over again, is there anything you would like to change?
Seelan: I won't change a single moment of my schooling in Nibong Tebal. I had amazing teachers and awesome schoolmates.