Mr Devadas Krishnadas lamented the fact that young people in Singapore are not hungry to create value but prefer the easier path of "accessing" value ("Why a safe job is risky business for Singapore"; July 24) - and it is not difficult to understand why.
Creating value, such as in building up a company from scratch, is tough, high-risk, low-paying (at least at first), fraught with huge challenges, and has a high chance of failure.
Accessing value, as in working for the Government or a large corporation, is safe and comfortable, with good compensation and ample opportunities for advancement along a well-trodden career path.
He is right that Singapore's over-reliance on multinationals poses a systemic economic risk.
Although the foreign direct investment strategy had served Singapore well when it was a Third World nation hungry for any kind of jobs, the benefits of such a strategy are now less certain in the complex and globalised economy in which Singapore competes.
While calling for a mindset change among the young, Mr Krishnadas must have realised that his prospective hire was merely behaving pragmatically.
Why would she trade a comfortable, well-paid job in a big corporation for a hard slog in a low-paying small and medium-sized enterprise just to be able to create value for the SME?
But if she has an entrepreneurial mindset, she might just do that, provided that she has a stake in the company.
Company equity is a powerful motivator. It is the currency for start-ups in Silicon Valley and other entrepreneurial hot spots.
Singapore aspires to be an entrepreneurial hub and, thus far, developments have been positive ("Growing band of tech start-up millionaires"; Feb 22).
We now see many bright young graduates from our universities forgoing lucrative careers with the McKinseys and IBMs of the world for a chance to build a start-up.
This is a good development for the nation, as a robust economy should have both large corporations for stability and resilience as well as numerous fast-growing start-ups, for agility, dynamism and renewal.
SMEs seeking top talent can learn from the start-up world by giving equity to key employees.
If Mr Krishnadas had done that, the outcome of his interview may well have turned out differently.
Francis Yeoh (Dr)