The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is an annual awards program that honors Singapore’s top entrepreneurs for their contributions to the economy and society. For more than a decade, EY has been committed to supporting the entrepreneurial cause in Singapore, coinciding with the government's focus on fostering entrepreneurship and grooming local entrepreneurs to take on the world market.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 category winners
Chia Yoong Hui and Sia Teck Chong
Ascenz founder, Mr. Chia Yoong Hui has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since the company’s inception in 2008. An innovator in the operational intelligence industry, Mr. Chia provides strategic direction to Ascenz as it leads the international market in the delivery of its Shipulse solutions.
Under his leadership, Ascenz has grown to an award-winning company, well recognized in the industry for its innovation. He has pioneered ship data analytics on the world stage to further the company’s growth.
Together with Mr. Sia Teck Chong, Co-founder, Chief Technical Officer and Director of Ascenz, they managed to grow from a two-man outfit to a strong team. More than 70% of its business transactions are conducted internationally.
Being a new entrant in the industry, they built a product from ground zero with limited resources and created the demand, which allowed them to go international. Even in times of uncertainty, Ascenz continues to expand their market beyond Asia.
Mr. Lennon Tan started his career as an engineer in the petrochemical industry before spending 10 years with 3M, an American multinational corporation. His last assignment at 3M was managing and developing the company’s business across 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2001, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and started Able Group in China. Mr. Tan lived in China to focus on developing his business. He started his business through distribution and professional services in the area of document security products.
His affinity for technologies and innovation led him to venture into product development and manufacturing. Through the years, Mr. Tan grew the business organically and through M&As. The company is now known as JK Tech Group, with its headquarters based in Singapore. The company has made significant achievements, supported by private equity investors.
Dr. Shi Xu
In 1991, Dr. Shi obtained his PhD in Thin Film Technology from the University of Reading, UK. In 1994, he started research in filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) technology when he was a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
During his tenure of 9 years at NTU, Dr. Shi published over 100 research papers and filed 5 key inventive patents. Dr. Shi founded Nanofilm based on the award winning FCVA technology and patented this technology in 1999. Since the spin-off, Nanofilm has developed strong capabilities in production, quality assurance, engineering and R&D.
Under Dr. Shi’s leadership, Nanofilm has grown into a multinational technology and manufacturing group with over 1,400 employees, providing unique solutions to many industrial partners in various industry sectors.
Mr. Derrick Yap began his career with the engineering sales team at PBA before leading the group’s sales team in Singapore and Malaysia. Subsequently, he headed the global distribution and trading arm, linear motor engineering team, and pioneered the group’s contract manufacturing capability to produce ultrahigh precision machines for multinational corporations.
Under his leadership, PBA Group has grown into a large enterprise with over 22 companies and 500 staff, across 13 countries.
Mr. Yap founded the Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence as an industrial platform to drive the adoption of Industry 4.0 across Southeast Asia. In 2017, he started an incubation lab with the vision to groom the next generation of young leaders in manufacturing, engineering and robotics.
Mr. Yap graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He is a member of the Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity Committee and a council member in South West CDC.