•  | Nov 16, 2015 03:13 PM

    Four named EY Entrepreneurs of the Year

    News: Four business leaders hailing from industries as diverse as healthcare and manufacturing have been named winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 awards.

    They are Dr Michael Tan, chief executive of Fullerton Healthcare Group; Mr Forrest Li, CEO of Internet and mobile firm Garena;

    Mr Neo Kah Kiat, CEO of catering firm Neo Group; and Mr Mark Lee, CEO of clothing manufacturer Sing Lun Holdings.

    Organised by professional services firm EY, the awards aim to recognise leaders who fulfil six judging criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, global or community impact, innovation and personal integrity and influence.

    The four winners were chosen from a pool of 40 nominees. The overall winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held next month.

    Mr Max Loh, EY's Asean and Singapore managing partner, said the four stood out for the way they constantly used innovation to distinguish their businesses.

    For example, he noted, Neo Group's Mr Neo has built a technology-enabled catering business in which the kitchen and management of customer orders are automated.

    This allows the firm to enhance productivity and ensure greater consistency in its products.

    Garena, meanwhile, operates in the fast-paced digital industry and Mr Li has innovated constantly to engage with customers by launching new extensions to the original Garena platform, Mr Loh said.

    Similarly, Sing Lun's Mr Lee ensured that Sing Lun automated its manufacturing facilities, resulting in enhanced design capabilities, improved productivity, increased capacities and new product offerings.

    And Fullerton Healthcare's Dr Tan has used technology to improve patients' experiences. The company, for example, now digitises X-ray results and has created a mobile application that serves as an alternative to the physical consultation card for medical appointments.

    One of these four winners will go on to be named the top EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Singapore next month. He will then represent Singapore at the annual EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award in Monte Carlo next year, where he will compete against contenders from more than 60 countries.

    EY conferred a special award this year, the EY Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence award, to Mr Franky Oesman Widjaja, chief executive of Golden Agri-Resources.

    "As one of the largest palm oil plantation groups in the world, Golden Agri-Resources provides opportunities for employment and trade across Singapore, Indonesia and the rest of the region," said EY's Mr Loh.

    "Additionally, the organisation's corporate responsibility efforts in education, infrastructure and job creation have benefited many communities in the region."

    Another honorary award is the EY-Barclays Family Business Award of Excellence. This year, the award has been given to Eu Yan Sang International, which Barclays said is "a prime example of a family business that has kept true to its roots and changed with the times to create a global brand".

    By Yasmine Yahya
    The Straits Times
    09 Sept 2015
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