Fourteen of Singapore’s finest entrepreneurs were honored recently with the ‘Oscars’ of entrepreneurship. The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards or APEA, organised by Enterprise Asia since 2007 are the most prestigious awards for entrepreneurship. The Awards are presented to a handful of entrepreneurs across Asia and the Pacific each year, with award ceremonies held in over 12 countries every year.
This year’s recipients in Singapore are selected from among 125 shortlisted candidates, ranging from promising young entrepreneurs to seasoned industrialists. The final 14 was announced by Enterprise Asia at a glittering ceremony, and presented their trophies and certificates by Enterprise Asia’s chairman, Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn.
The judging framework of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship remains one of the toughest in the word. This includes pre-screening by Enterprise Asia’s team of analysts, compulsory site audits and interviews with each of the 125 shortlisted candidates and verification by the official auditors Deloitte.
Dr Fong explained that, “the APEA recognises the importance of investment in people and responsible entrepreneurship within businesses. The benchmark for entrepreneurial success has evolved from measuring financial achievements to quantifying the social and economic impacts of businesses run by entrepreneurs”.
He said, “this year heralds a new start to the APEA, as the entire framework is being overhauled to move away from measuring organisational performance to measuring the social impact and entrepreneurial footprint of nominees. How do you quantify innovations? Or measure achievements? The new APEA scorecard is designed with numerous mile markers in place, and incorporates our database of 200,000 leading businesses and a decade worth of proprietary studies on entrepreneurs. That’s both new and revolutionary!”
People: The Key to Success
The unifying theme among the recipients is that their success is the result of the continuous support and collective efforts of their team members.
“Winning the Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2014 is an affirmation that our dreams are coming true. Investing in the welfare and development of employees indicates commitment to success, and this in turn commits them to the success of Chang Cheng Group”, says Dato’ Sri Ricky Kok Kuan Hwa of Chang Cheng Group, one of the recipients.
Deepakjit Singh of Encompass Digital Media Asia concurred, saying “I am honoured to have received this award, which I see as a reflection of how much Encompass Digital Media has grown over the past few years. This would not have been possible without a committed team working alongside me in bringing the broadcast industry to the next generation.”
Ong Chih Ching of KOP Limited, summarised this common belief that people is at the heart of entrepreneurial success by saying, “this is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all KOP employees, to which this award belongs.”
Stepping Stone to Greater Success
“What truly sets APEA apart is the network of successful entrepreneurs who form the alumni of the Awards. For many of the recipients, winning the APEA is a stepping stone to greater success,” says Enterprise Asia’s Fong.
Abdul Aleem of Unipro Group of Companies says, “winning this award would give me more recognition in the industry, locally and regionally for a more robust growth. Unipro has already started operations in four markets including Malaysia, and we now plan to market our products in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Bangladesh”.
Nicholas Goh of Verztec Consulting Pvt Ltd notes that the APEA serves as “a testimony that we have been going in the right direction all this time as a team – that serving our customers well and contributing back to the less privileged in our community is the right thing to do.”
To the young, budding entrepreneurs of today the recipients of this year’s APEA has many inspirational words to say. “Never stop learning and do not be afraid of hard work to achieve your dreams”, says Desmond Teo, Gaylin Holdings Ltd.
Paul R Lim of The Project Group Pte Ltd. agrees and says, “always be ahead of the game and do not take things for granted”.
“Believe in your dream, drive with passion… and make it happen”, says Oliver Tian, HutCabb Consulting Pte Ltd.
Full Recipient List of Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2014 Singapore
Most Promising Category
Dato’ Sri Ricky Kok Kuan Hwa
Chang Cheng Group Pte Ltd
Mr Sim Eng Tong
Biomax Technologies Pte Ltd
Mr Casey Lee Kok Cheong
DCF Engineering Pte Ltd
Mr Lai Meng
Carclub Pte Ltd
Mr Deepakjit Singh
Encompass Digital Media ( Asia) Pte Ltd
Mr Oliver Tian
HutCabb Consulting Pte Ltd
Mr Desmond Teo
Gaylin Holdings Ltd
Mr Brandon Ng
Micro 2000 Technology Pte Ltd
Ms Ong Chih Ching
Mr Paul R Lim
The Project group Pte Ltd
Mr Winston Chia Wing Keong
Serrano Holdings Pte Ltd
Ms Michelle Liew
Trillion Credit Solutions Pte Ltd
Mr Nicholas Goh
Verztec Consulting Pte Ltd
Mr Iqbal Abdul Aleem
Unipro Group of Companies