13th Annual Business Awards: Celebrating the Best in Business

Following a rigorous and competitive few months, an air of excitement and anticipation enveloped 27 finalists as winners of nine categories were revealed. In the presence of the Guest of Honour, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan; British High Commissioner, HE Antony Phillipson; and Chamber President Steve Puckett, nine deserving winners were awarded the Silver Lady at the BritCham 13th Annual Business Awards Gala Dinner, held at the Shangri-La Hotel on 4 October 2012.



Other esteemed guests who graced the evening were Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of Diplomatic Service for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the British Government, Simon Fraser CMG, and Guest Speaker Lord Chadlington, Chief Executive of Huntsworth plc.


Lord Chadlington’s speech centred on how crisis reveals the true character of a company. In his speech, he shared eight golden rules on how to manage a crisis. An excerpt of his speech, which shows companies just how to do so, is printed in the following pages.



Established in 1999, the Awards have grown to become one of Singapore’s most prestigiousaccolades. In 2011, the Awards became more inclusive by welcoming entries from any Singapore-registered company regardless of their membership with the Chamber. Each entry was required to submit achievements that are Singaporecentric. With initiatives such as these, the British Chamber of Commerce aims to further strengthen the legacy of the UK– Singapore relationship while recognising companies that have made significant contributions to the Singaporean business landscape.


Every year, the entries are judged on the following points: a sound business plan and sales and marketing strategy, strong leadership, commitment to innovation, ambition to grow along with demonstrated growth, and financial performance. This year, nine industry leaders who have achieved significant success and accolades were invited to judge each category. They are: Terry O’Connor, CEO of Courts Asia; Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President of Banyan Tree Holdings; Stephen Chang, Regional Managing Director of Deloitte Consulting; Valerio Nannini, Managing Director of Nestle Singapore Pte Ltd; James Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer of Diageo Asia Pacific; Annie Koh, Vice President for Business Development and External Relations at the Singapore Management University; Simon Birch, CEO of DirectAsia.com Group; John Nolan, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Global Markets at Unilever Singapore; and Ho Meng Kit, CEO of Singapore Business Federation.


This year, Andrew Thomas, Managing Director for Singapore and Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Ogilvy PR, treated all 27 finalists to a seminar on PR skills for television. This was followed by an interview with Sharajit Leyl, Producer/ Presenter of BBC World News. Select interview clippings were compiled and aired during the evening.


A total of 75 companies participated this year for nine categories. Here are the winners:


Customer Service Excellence

Brewerkz/Menu Group



“A very tight contest but Brewerkz/Menu Group has clearly gone beyond the extra mile in delivering service excellence and inculcating service culture in innovation and community service,” said category judge Terry O’Connor.


Exceptional CSR Practice

City Developments Ltd



Category judge Claire Chiang said, “City Developments Ltd’s [CDL] commitment to sustainability is impressive. Its programme is fully embedded into every aspect of the business and has been consistently implemented over a number of years.” “CDL’s efforts have resulted in it being listed in three of the world’s top sustainability indices for three consecutive years. It is the only developer to be awarded the inaugural Green Mark Platinum Award in 2011 and achieve 21 Green Mark Platinum Projects. Its holistic approach to environmental management is extremely comprehensive. Most impressive, however, is CDL’s bold commitment to achieve 22% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, backed by an integrated plan to achieve it. CDL is a shining example of a business that is both fully transparent and accountable for its practices. A worthy winner.”


Productivity Improvement




Stephen Chang, category judge, remarked, “This productivity improvement project demonstrates how strategic partnerships with its business associates and government agencies enabled a quantum leap in productivity improvement.” “Rolls-Royce (Direct Airside) must be credited for pushing for process change, working with government agencies and authorities. That these changes were pioneered and then accepted demonstrated Singapore’s superlative ‘ease of doing business’ environment that enables top-class competitiveness for companies located here. It also demonstrates that investing in strategic relationships and building trust can be a game-changer.”


Innovation in Business




“The impact of innovation by adopting technology (Manufacturing Execution System) has managed the sharing of knowledge and technical instruction to make the manufacturing process effective, efficient and accurate. The implementation of the technology across the organisation in all value streams is high,” said Valerio Nannini, who judged this category.


Inspirational Creativity

Singapore Repertory Theatre



Category judge James Thompson said that The Singapore Repertory Theatre had the most comprehensively explained set of goals and a great track record of achievements and continuous improvements. He also said that they were ambitious for the future with clear goals.


Education & Training Excellence

Tanglin Trust School



Annie Koh, category judge said, “Tanglin Trust School has over 85 years of history. For an academic institution, sustainability with quality is a key attribute. Most impressive is the inclusive learning and training oportunities for lifelong learning within and outside the Tanglin Trust community. Not difficult to see why it is the clear winner.”


Outstanding Professional Services

Faithful + Gould



“This finalist clearly understands the simple—but usually forgotten—link that happy employees make happy customers. By investing in employees and technology, they deliver an outstanding professional service. Faithful+Gould has laid out a very positive and values-based picture of their company, progress and innovations. It is clear that it has built outstanding customer loyalty through its commitment to innovating throughout the value chain,” said Simon Birch, who judged this category.


Young Professional of the Year

Danielle Warner



John Nolan commented, “Danielle has demonstrated remarkable vision, innovation and determination to establish a successful business in a very short period of time. Her creative approach and her ability to overcome obstacles to bring her vision to life is truly impressive.”


Small Business Rising Star

Aslan Pharmaceuticals



Ho Meng Kit said, “ASLAN Pharmaceuticals’ business model is innovative and unique, commecially viable and socially relevant. It clearly proves that size does not always matter. A clear and worthy winning SME Rising Star!”


The success of this event is a demonstration of the Chamber’s continued efforts in bridging business excellence between the UK and Singapore. This would be difficult to achieve without the support of sponsors: 


Title Sponsor: RBS
Category Sponsors: Allied Pickfords, BP, Brunel, Cognita, Deloitte, Grayling, Portfolio Builders, Roffey Park
Exclusive Media Partner: The Straits Times Supporting Organisations: Economic Development Board, Spring Singapore, Singapore Business Federation, UK Trade and Investment, EuroCham, BBC World News