New kids on the block grab the top honours

Emerging Enterprise award winners show innovation, foresight

What a way for these enterprises to emerge!

Three of them, who were taking part in the Emerging Enterprise (EE) awards for the first time, managed to impress the judging panel enough to bag the top prize.

Ascenz Pte Ltd, East Asia Power Pte Ltd, and Tagit Pte Ltd beat 11 other high-quality finalists and can now count themselves among the brightest and most innovative small, young enterprises in Singapore. 

Each winner will receive $390,000 worth of prizes, including interest-free loans, professional services, training programmes, and support in capability development.

Another accolade, the SingTel Best Innovation Award, was won by engineering firms Hope Technik Pte Ltd and JCS-Vanetec Pte Ltd. The two winners received $30,000 worth of business infocomm technology solutions from SingTel.

The EE award is Singapore’s only annual entrepreneurial award that targets smaller businesses which are up to 10 years old with an annual sales turnover of $10 million or less.

Now into its fifth year, the award is jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank and is supported by Spring Singapore, NUS Extension, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, SingTel, and RSM Chio Lim – which is also the official auditor of EE2012.

The awards have rapidly become popular and this year saw a record number of applications – 10 times that received in 2008. 

The quality of the winners also drew praise. “The winners have proven that size does not matter in the pursuit of their dreams. They are bold in their imagination, innovative in executing their ideas, and versatile in adapting to market conditions,” said OCBC’s head of emerging business for global commercial banking, Tan Chor Sen.

Alvin Tay, editor of The Business Times, added: “This year’s winners share similar traits of past winners, demonstrating innovativeness, foresight, and sharp business acumen.”

The winners themselves were thrilled. Chief executive officer of Ascenz, Chia Yoong Hui said: “Team morale is extremely high and we are excited to move ahead and explore new markets in China and Europe.” The young company provides monitoring systems to the maritime industry.

East Asia Power, another winner, makes diesel generators for the oil and gas industry. 

Its managing director, Steven Loh, said that the award had provided “an invaluable recognition of the company’s efforts”. The company is looking to expand into Malaysia.

The third winner, Tagit, provides mobile commerce services and solutions. “Everyone likes to be part of a winning team,” said its chief technology officer Parikshit Paspulati.

Guest-of-honour and Minister of State for Trade & Industry Teo Ser Luck highlighted the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship from young.

Mr Teo said that the Entrepreneurship Education Taskforce had been set up to create a more structured approach to entrepreneurship learning “so that schools can nurture entrepreneurs from young”.

The taskforce will include educators and entrepreneurs. It is co-chaired by Spring Singapore and the Ministry of Education. 

Mr Teo told the finalists: “As successful leaders of emerging enterprises, I hope you can give back by contributing to the development of entrepreneurship in Singapore.

“All of you here are the inspiration for our youth who aspire to take the same path. Please share with them your journey, inspire them to think global, and be their role models.”