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41 Malaysian Entrepreneurs Win Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016

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Forty-One prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders from Malaysia were awarded at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 at a glittering gala dinner at Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur.

Over 700 attendees were present at the event, comprising of industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs and dignitaries including Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Minister of International Trade & Industry II, Tan Sri Dr. Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia, Congresswoman Gwendolyn Garcia, Deputy Speaker of the Philippines, Dr Eugene Chien, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, and Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

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

Nominations of the Awards itself is by-invitation, from past and current awardees, a supporting trade association or the organizing committee of Enterprise Asia. Nominees are then subjected to a series of rigorous tests, including financial verification and a compulsory site-audit and interview, culminating in a confidential balloting process.

“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like no other. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the high standards, 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.

The recipients in Malaysia were selected from among 180 shortlisted candidates, ranging from talented young entrepreneurs to experienced industrialists. Among the successors in the respective industries, pioneering the transportation and logistics industry,Datuk Kumar Prabakaran, the Founder and Managing Director of Giga Shipping Sdn Bhd said “Winning the prestigious APEA is an honour for me and GMG to deeply cherish; as it is a recognition of our success in pioneering Malaysian Automotive Logistics”.

When he sets his mind on an endeavour, he dedicates his efforts in ensuring success. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Low Keng Huat also quoted ” Determination and hard work are essential criteria to become a successful entrepreneur”. The Executive Chairman of Low Keng Huat Berhad believes that the employees are the company’s source of strength.

“Winning APEA will put Phyto Science success story as an icon in the MLM industry” said Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Lai Teck Peng, Founder of Phyto Science Sdn Bhd. he believes years of patience and perseverance are the essential attributes of success. Dato’ Sri Dr. Eric Yap, Chief Executive Officer of Technology Revolution On-Net Sdn Bhd (TRON) said, “Winning the APEA, personally it gives me added confidence to continue with my creativity and forward growth within my industry. Professionally it gives credibility to our business especially when exploring our markets internationally”. He takes pride in being able to give back to the society and CSR activities, being the first in the region to embark on such a journey.

RECIPIENT LIST:

Agriculture

Ricky Chey Ee, Farmcochem Sdn. Bhd.

Janet Lee, Jalex Sdn. Bhd.

Construction

Chong Chee Hing, Corporate Excelsior (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Patrick Lim, Chuan Huat Resources Berhad

Francis Liew Kim Choong, Bina PYK (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd.

Building Materials

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Low Keng Huat, Low Keng Huat Berhad

Dato’ Choo Beng Kai, Masmeyer Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Syed Abdul Aziz Syed Hassan, Rakyat Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Consumer Goods

[Entrepreneur Of The Year]

Tan Sri Datuk Tiong Su Kouk, CCK Consolidated Holdings Berhad

Direct Selling

[Entrepreneur Of The Year]

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Lai Teck Peng., Phyto Science Sdn. Bhd.

Education & Training

Kalaiarasu Malayandi, CUCMS Education Sdn. Bhd.

Energy

Ken Ong Thuan Ming, Helios Photovoltaic Sdn. Bhd.

Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit, Sarawak Energy Berhad

Financial Services

[Entrepreneur Of The Year]

Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, Permodalan Nasional Berhad

Anusha Thavarajah, AIA Bhd

Kol (K) Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Haji Mohd Shukor bin Hj. Mahfar, Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri

Dato’ Sri Dr. Sherwin Chew, Potential Excelerate Group Ltd.

Food & Beverage

Sydney Quays, Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Dr. John William Xavier, The Big Rajah Food Caterers Sdn. Bhd.

Healthcare & Pharmaceutical

Muru Annamalai, Abbvie Sdn. Bhd.

Dr. David Khoo Sin Keat, iHeal Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Dr. Pa Nok Ching, Jin Bin Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Ivan Lim Thain Huat, ORB Corporate Sdn. Bhd.

Adnan bin Md Noh, Utas Maju Sdn. Bhd.

Industrial & Commercial Products

Nelson Ch’ng Huat Seng, Volcano Name Plate Sdn. Bhd.

IT. Internet & Telecommunications

Johney Thoong, GigaTera (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Lim Tau Yee, Batch Technologies Sdn. Bhd.

Georg Chmiel, iProperty Group

Tan Tuan Khai, Qinetics Solutions Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Eric Yap, Technology Revolution On-Net Sdn. Bhd.

Manufacturing

Normah binti Ibrahim, Red Profile Sdn. Bhd.

Professional & Business Services

Dato’ Azemi bin Abu Bakar, Golden Ecosystem Sdn. Bhd.

Property Development

Low Fang Kai, Agensi Pekerjaan VHR Consultancy Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Vincent Tiew, Andaman Property Management Sdn. Bhd.

Dato’ Edwin Tan Ping Huang, Hatten Group

Datuk Wira Joey Lim Hock Guan, LBS Bina Group Berhad

Retail

[Entrepreneur Of The Year]

Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong, SOGO Department Store Sdn. Bhd.

Tan Sri Zainul Azman, Dimensi Eksklusid (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Jeffrey Sia, Everrise Group

Choong Kar Weng, Minlon Group of Companies

Transportation & Logistic

Datuk Kumar Prabakaran, Giga Shipping Sdn. Bhd.

Callum Connects

Trung Nguyen, Founder & Managing Director of Advertising Vietnam

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Having initial success with his first start up in the ad industry, Trung Nguyen went on to start other ventures in the ad world in Vietnam. He now has the largest agency community in Vietnam.

What’s your story?
Three years ago I got my first job in the advertising industry. I worked for a local agency in town, and I fell in love with the creative industry. In June 2015, I founded Agency Life Community in Vietnam. It quickly became the most engaging community in the ad industry. The main content focuses on entertainment. After six months we had over 30,000 organic followers, now we have 120,000 followers.

Because the industry had been good to me, I decided I had to something for the industry to help the industry be better. So, I opened http://AdvertisingVietnam.com – a creative industry ad site which keeps advertising informative, creative and inspiring.

After more than a year in the ads industry in Vietnam, I figured the industry needed a better solution for the recruitment of good staff. Given I own the largest advertising community platform, why don’t I utilise Agency Life to help connect talent with ad agencies. So, I founded job site, AdJob.Asia in January 2017.

What excites you most about your industry?
The ad industry is a creative one with very passionate people who are always challenging themselves. The exciting part for creatives, in the morning they might be working on a baby brand and in the afternoon they are answering a beer brief. There is so much diversity. Every day is the new journey.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Vietnamese.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Thailand. The Thais are the kings of the creative industry in SEA. Thai ads are very smart and creative.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do what you love.

Who inspires you?
My friend, mentor and partner Mr Nghi Nguyen, founder of BrandsVietnam.com. We started our businesses at a similar time. He doesn’t see us as a competitor but rather, he believes that we share the same passion and we are working to provide better knowledge for the ad community.
Mr Nghi also guided me a lot when I first opened the business. I am inspired by his vision to make our marketing industry better.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Our business is a startup company and as a founder I do everything from operations, business development, planning and strategy. However, this is not the good way grow our business. You have to share the workload – find a co-founder or hire a great employee to help share the workload. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Quit my full time job sooner.
During the first year of running my business, I was still working as an ad manager for an agency. However I lacked focus at work due to the overload of work and it affected the company I used to work for. I strongly recommend people who have an idea to start their own business, quit their job early on and focus 100% on it from the get go!

How do you unwind?
Play with my cat.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love to travel throughout all of Asia. I enjoy new places and meeting new people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Carpenter: A story about the greatest success strategies of all.

Shameless plug for your business:
AdvertisingVietnam.com is a site where you can quickly update yourself on the advertising news in Vietnam. We have 15,000 unique monthly readers who are professional people in the advertising and communications industries.

The Agency Life, https://www.facebook.com/agencylife is largest agency community in Vietnam. This is the right place for ad agencies to share their creative work.

AdJob.Asia now has more than 160 agencies in Vietnam who use our services. We are a leading recruitment service for the advertising industry in Vietnam.

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trungnx26
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trungnx26/

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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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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