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27 Singaporean Entrepreneurs Win Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016

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Twenty-seven prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders from Singapore were named awardees of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 at a glittering gala dinner at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel.

Over 300 attendees were present at the by-invitation only event, comprising of industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs and dignitaries including Mr. Seah Kian Peng, Member of Parliament, His Excellency Mr. Nimal Weeraratne, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore, Mr. Victorio Mario M Dimagiba, Jr., Consul General of the Philippines, Tan Sri Dr. Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia, and Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, or APEA, is a regional recognition program organized by Enterprise Asia, the region’s foremost association and think-tank for entrepreneurship. The Awards are presented to a handful of entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific each year, with award ceremonies held in over twelve countries every year.

The Awards are often compared to the Olympics for the stringent entry criteria and highly competitive judging parameters. Nominations of the Awards itself is by invitation, either by past and current awardees, a supporting trade association or the executive committee of Enterprise Asia. Nominees are then subjected to a series of rigorous tests, including financial verification by an appointed audit firm and a compulsory physical site audit and interview, culminating in a secret balloting process by Enterprise Asia’s executive committee.

Awardees are expected to be torchbearers of entrepreneurship and business leaders in their representing industries of respective countries, and adhere to a strict standard of personal and business ethics.

“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like none others. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience in one of the toughest contests in the world, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the highest standards of entrepreneurship, which includes allegiance to the two founding pillars of Enterprise Asia, namely Investment in People and Responsible Entrepreneurship”, says Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

Recipients join over a thousand other alumni from across Asia Pacific, including Indonesia’s Ciputra, Chairul Tanjung and Mochtar Riady, Singapore’s Sam Goi and Yao Hsiao-Tung, Malaysia’s Teh Hong Piow and Yeoh Tiong Lay, Hong Kong’s Lui Che-woo and Lawrence Ho, China’s Jiang Xipei, Thailand’s Rit Thirakomen and India’s Adi Godrej, Rahul Bajaj and Brijmohan Lall Munjal.

Mr Joselito D. Campos, Jr. of Del Monte Pacific, who was named Entrepreneur Of The Year, said, “I am very honoured to be bestowed the APEA in recognition of our efforts in entrepreneurship and nation building. To harvest good fruit, we need to sow good seed and nurture it.”

“Receiving the APEA award is a recognition of our past efforts; a sign for trying even harder in the future”, said Mr Su Chung Jye, Executive Chairman, Regal International Group Limited.

“APEA lights the path to a healthy entrepreneurial spirit in Asia”, shared by Dr Jau- Fei Chen, Founder of E.Excel International Group.

“To take the company to another level, you need a bold vision, an ambition or even a dream. The dream has to be big and exciting enough and requires your full commitment. Then you will put your whole heart into achieving it”, said Dr Andy Adhiwana, Group CEO of Auric Pacific Group Limited.

“Success is not final. For continued success, a successful company must innovate everyday”, said Ms Shalini Kamal Sharma, Group MD of Formula One Furniche Pte Ltd.

The recipients in Singapore were selected from among 100 shortlisted candidates, ranging from talented young entrepreneurs to experienced industrialists.

Ng explained, “The APEA is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. Beyond recognizing the efforts of these entrepreneurs, we hope to encourage them to continue taking their businesses to the next level, and in the process, providing more job opportunities to the people in the region, and help to drive the economy forward”.

RECIPIENT LIST OF ASIA PACIFIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARDS 2016 SINGAPORE:

Consumer Goods

  • Dr. Andy Adhiwana, Group CEO, Auric Pacific Group Limited

Education & Training

  • Dr. Jau-Fei Chen, Founder, E.Excel International Group
  • David Kwee, Chief Executive Director, Training Vision Institute Pte Ltd
  • Png Bee Hin, Chief Executive Officer/ Founder, LDR Technology Pte Ltd

Engineering

  • Eric Phua, Managing Director, TEE International Limited

Financial Services

  • Dr. Tan Chong Koay, Founder/CEO/Chief Strategist, Pheim Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd
  • Andrew Au, Founder & CEO, AG Delta Pte Ltd

Food & Beverage

  • Entrepreneur Of The Year
    Joselito D. Campos, Jr., Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, Del Monte Pacific Limited
  • Aillyn Ang, Director, 320 Below Pte Ltd

Healthcare & Pharmaceutical

  • Anuj Khosla, Founder/ Chief Strategy Officer, KK Labs Pte Ltd

Hospitality, Food Service & Tourism Industry

  • Arun Madhok, Chief Executive Officer, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

Industrial & Commercial Products

  • Shalini Kamal Sharma, Group Managing Director, Formula One Furniche Pte Ltd
  • Philip Lee Tze Yong, Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, RAM SMAG Lifting Technologies Pte Ltd
  • Kenny Liu ZhenQi, Managing Director, The Super Group

IT. Internet & Telecommunications

  • Johnny Huang Shih Chia, Group MD, MAKA GPS Technologies Pte Ltd
  • Shashank Dixit, Chief Executive Officer, Deskera Holdings Ltd

Media & Entertainment

  • Giulio Dorrucci, Founder and Group CEO, PGK Media Group Pte Ltd Oil & Gas
  • Jonathan Lee, Managing Director, McPEC Marine and Offshore Engineering Pte Ltd

Professional & Business Services

  • Teo Jin Lee, Managing Director, ODE Consulting Pte Ltd
  • Ravi Arumugam, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, RT LLP & RT Group of Companies

Property Development

  • Su Chung Jye, Chief Executive Officer/ Founder/ Executive Chairman, Regal International Group Limited
  • Dato’ Colin Tan, Group Managing Director, Hatten International Pte Ltd

Retail

  • Dr. Michael Tien, Founder & Chairman, Atlas Sound & Vision Pte Ltd

Trading & Wholesaling

  • Shu Setogawa, Director, MTG Pacific Pte Ltd
  • Doris Wee Hui Cheen, Chief Executive Officer, Wendell Trading Company
  • Peh Yeng Yok, Chairman, Yok Impex Pte Ltd

Transportation & Logistic

  • Danny Lo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Watt Wah Petroleum Haulage Pte Ltd

Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Minette Navarrete, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, and President of Kickstart Ventures

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is our interview with Minette Navarrete, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, and President of Kickstart Ventures. Kickstart is an investment firm that funds early-stage digital startups, providing capital, incubation and mentoring, and market access.  Minette has held CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from Philippine startups to iconic multinationals.

What makes you do what you do?
I’m keenly interested in innovation and ecosystem development, and committed to contributing to nation-building. I love that my job combines all of that, and allows me to leverage all my past experiences into a new role that creates value for founders and fund-providers alike.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Counter-intuitively! I don’t have a background in tech; nor do I have a long history of venture investing. My skill sets are in strategy, general management, and marketing; and my experience has largely been in innovation and business turnaround. But I have a broad range of work experience (FMCG, apparel, property, and online game publishing in a startup), and that has helped inform my views. More than anything, though, Kickstart has made this progress because of the trust of our principals, and the initiative of a wonderful team. Truly, people make the difference.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
All throughout my career, I’ve only taken on difficult roles. There’s little growth in a role that is easy; and the challenges are what makes a role worth doing.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I’ve had the benefit of a number of good mentors through my career.

How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him/her?
First off: I have had both male and female mentors. Generally, I’ve met mentors in work situations: i.e. they started out being an immediate superior, or being on my Board of Directors. The close work association evolved as both sides found the experience productive, intellectually satisfying, and fun.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
Mostly through the same process: nothing compares to actually working together. That said, with more and more experience, I think people develop a sharper instinct about talent, and the potential for development. It’s also important to build the relationship over time, and to invest in actively supporting talent by both seeing things through their eyes as well as helping them find other lenses with which to view the situation they find themselves in.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
Yes, we care about diversity, although the primary filter for Kickstart is always ability and performance. Many studies have shown that diverse teams are closely correlated to better results; and given the kind of work we do, it’s important that we all sharpen our ability to deal with varied types of people and situations.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
It’s important to be trustworthy, especially given that venture investing deals with the highest-risk asset class. Trust is earned through competence, diligence, honesty, clarity, and courage.

Advice for others?
I say this a lot: Build strong foundations. Be clear about your values, principles, and priorities. Volunteer for the toughest jobs. Do the unsexy stuff. And work with conviction, commitment, courage, and honour. None of this is particularly glamorous, and they don’t deliver instantaneous results, but the value-creation is real, authentic, and sustainable over a longer period.


If you’d like to get in touch with Minette Navarrete, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/minettenavarrete/

To learn more about Kickstart Ventures , please click here.

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Callum Connects

Joelle Ung, Founder of Treasure Unity

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Joelle’s entrepreneurial journey has been an interesting one, leading her to the world of network marketing, enabling her to help other entrepreneurs succeed.

What’s your story?
The sense of wanting to make an impact, of needing to add value to ‘something,’ be it focused on business or peoples’ lives, has led me, through many failures, to where I am now, the food and beverage manufacturing industry. My entrepreneurial journey began as a wedding planner. Then, having tasted initial success, my desire to find meaningful business mentors brought me to the world of network marketing.
Having benefited from the teachings of my mentor, plus the time I spent growing up as the daughter of a great father, I realised that the urge to ‘pay it forward,’ by mentoring future entrepreneurs and helping my colleagues, other entrepreneurs to succeed, had become a personal mission.
The Honest Living Program, owned by my current company, Treasure Unity, is a realisation of that dream. The program opens up learning opportunities for women under duress, underprivileged women and single mothers. It provides a platform from which I am able to teach, imparting people skills and the art of presentation through the day-to-day program. It is absolutely free.

What excites you most about your industry?
To be able to keep adding values to others. On stage or off, it doesn’t matter. I enjoy every call I receive, every appointment that is set up, every individual I have met, and have yet to meet. There is only one agenda, and that is to add value to the person I am speaking to.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Having lived in Singapore and Malaysia for the past 39 years, my heart is impacting the people in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Because of the people who live there, and because there are no barriers to communication for me.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t make any decision out of confusion, disappointment or anger. Decisions should always be made with a restful heart.

Who inspires you?
Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
My husband is an ‘overcomer’ who had a near fatal stroke 18 years ago. He lost the ability to practice his dream career as a medical doctor, yet he chose to be a prisoner of hope rather than be a prisoner within his body, and he has never indulged in self-pity.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Lately, I have learned to be still when an opponent strikes at me. It works! You do not need to immediately rebut an opponent. He, or she, will most probably be waiting for a reaction. When they don’t get one, when you remain still and unmoved, you become unpredictable. They do not know your next move.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have sought advice from more wise counsellors before making major decisions, especially if finance or investments were involved.

How do you unwind?
Sometimes I like to take a short getaway or, on a daily basis, I read bible verses that I find uplifting.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Penang. It is close to home and you can get a premium service at an affordable cost. Also, I can pack light, and it is easy to find anything and everything there.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Like a Virgin, by Richard Branson

Shameless plug for your business:
Become an irresistible woman with substance! We will bring out your natural leadership skills through the Honest Living Program.

How can people connect with you?
They can connect with me by email [email protected], through WhatsApp 92300071, or they can call me on my mobile.

Twitter handle?
My twitter account is inactive. @ungjoelle @treasureunity

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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