Press release

3 Sep 2019 Singapore, SG

Five leading entrepreneurs named winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019 Singapore awards

SINGAPORE, 3 SEPTEMBER 2019 – Professional services organization EY today announced the five recipients of its 18th EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2019 Singapore awards

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  • Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence award for Dennis A. Uy of Udenna Corporation
  • Honorary family business award for Far East Organization

SINGAPORE, 3 SEPTEMBER 2019 – Professional services organization EY today announced the five recipients of its 18th EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2019 Singapore awards:

•      EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Media and Entertainment
Mr. Ron Tan, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Cityneon Holdings

•      EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Education 

Mrs. Ng Gim Choo, Founder and Managing Director, EtonHouse International Education Group

•      EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Digital Media Supply Chain  
Mr. David (Hyonmoo) Lee, CEO, IYUNO Media Group 

•      EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Workspace Solutions 
Mr. Kong Wan Sing, Founder and CEO, JustCo 

•      EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Financial Services 

Mr. Yeah Hiang Nam (PBM), Managing Director and CEO, ValueMax Group Limited

Please refer to Fact sheet A for profiles of the winners and their companies.

One of the winners will be named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 Singapore, and represent Singapore at the annual EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (WEOY) award in Monte Carlo in 2020 to compete with contenders from over 50 countries.

Singapore’s representative to the WEOY award will be announced at the EY EOY Awards Gala, to be held on 3 October 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. The Guest-of-Honor of the gala will be Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress, Mr. Ng Chee Meng.

The winners were selected from close to 40 nominations by an independent judging panel, based on their merits in fulfilling the six global judging criteria, namely entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance/value creation, strategic direction, national and global impact, innovation and personal integrity/purpose-driven leadership.

Please refer to Fact sheet B for members of the judging panel and details of the judging criteria.

Chairman of the judging panel, Mr. Ron Sim, also Executive Chairman and CEO of V3 Group Limited, comments on the winners this year:

“The class of award winners this year reflects diverse profiles: some are in established and traditional sectors, while others are in heavily disrupted or even new sectors that are brought forth by the digital and sharing economy. Yet, different as they are, they bear distinct similarities in their resilience despite market challengers, their ability to remain unfazed and seize opportunities in technological disruption, and their constant pursuit of innovation. What the winners have achieved is not just business excellence for their respective organizations but also changing the face of and lifting the industries they operate in.” 

Mr. Max Loh, Singapore Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, explains how the winning entrepreneurs embody this year’s theme of “Unstoppable – innovate, disrupt, transform”.

He says:
“Spotting a compelling business or market gap is important, but more so is seizing the opportunity at the right time and sustaining the initiative. True entrepreneurs forge on no matter what difficulties they face, fueled by their vision and passion, the trust that their families, stakeholders and employees place in them, and the belief in innovation to grow regardless of how long they have been in the business. These winners have also demonstrated how they are ready to keep disrupting themselves to upend their competition or grow in a fiercely competitive disrupted sector.”

On the qualities that have contributed to their success, the winning entrepreneurs share some of their notable learnings on their journeys. These include believing in the impossible, as well as having the passion and perseverance to pursue their vision, the courage to make difficult decisions, resilience to thrive through hardships, and agility to adapt to the changing environment.

Please refer to Fact sheet A for the winners’ quotes on winning the award and their learnings as an entrepreneur.

Two other honorary awards conferred for Asean entrepreneurial excellence and family business excellence

Mr. Dennis A. Uy, Chairman and President of Udenna Corporation has been named the winner of this year’s EY Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence award. The award is an honorary award that is presented on board the EOY platform (the award recipient does not compete for the EOY Singapore 2019 title) and recognizes successful Southeast Asian businesses that contribute to the economy and community in the region.

Please refer to Fact sheet C for winner profile. 

Mr. Loh says:

“From the setting up of Dencio’s Kamayan to the founding of Udenna Corporation, which today manages a highly successful portfolio of multiple business interests that span a variety of industries, Dennis’ entrepreneurial story is truly outstanding. His impact extends beyond job creation through his portfolio of companies to charity-driven ventures through the Udenna Foundation and Phoenix Philippines Foundation, bringing to life how successful corporates can contribute to the society and help build a better working world – and in his case, in the Philippines.”

In another honorary award, Far East Organization is named recipient of the EY Family Business Award of Excellence. The award recipient is jointly selected by knowledge partners, Business Families Institute @ Singapore Management University and the Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise, INSEAD.

Mr. Loh says:

“Family businesses are an important segment of our economy. We believe the legacy that Far East Organization has built over the decades, its commitment to an enduring set of family and enterprise values, and how it continues to grow from strength to strength, will serve as an inspiration for many family-run enterprises in their pursuit of harmonizing both family matters and business excellence.”

Please refer to Fact sheet D for winner profile, eligibility and selection criteria.

The official partners of the EOY awards are The Business Times and The Edge Singapore (official media partners) and Merrill Corporation (data partner). The supporters are Action Community for Entrepreneurship; Enterprise Singapore; Singapore Business Federation; and SkillsFuture Singapore.

The EY EOY awards program was launched in Singapore in 2002 to honor entrepreneurs who have created and sustained successful business ventures, as well as to coincide with the government’s focus on fostering entrepreneurship and grooming local entrepreneurs. Now in its 18th year, the awards has evolved into a leading business award in Singapore with an international presence and footprint. For more information about the EY EOY program, please visit ey.com/sg/eoy.

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