14th Annual Business Awards: Celebrating Business Excellence in Singapore

Now in its 14th year, the Annual Business Awards continued to celebrate business excellence in Singapore by awarding the Silver lady to nine deserving winners at a glitzy Gala Dinner on October 3 at the Shangri-la Hotel.


Following a rigorous and competitive few months, an air of excitement and anticipation enveloped the 27 finalists as the winners were revealed by BBC presenter Sharanjit Leyl in the presence of the Guest of Honour, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo; British High Commissioner, HE Antony Phillipson; and Chamber President Hugo Walkinshaw. Singapore companies swept four out of the nine award categories.



Keynote Speaker Lord David Puttnam, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, shared his thoughts on the need for genuine leaders for the future of businesses and the world.


Lord David Puttnam


We are delighted to have once again received support from Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore Business Federation (SBF), UKTI, British High Commission, EuroCham, as well as our Title sponsor, RBS, and Category sponsors, BP, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Cognita, Deloitte, Portfolio Builders and Standard Life.


For the second consecutive year, our Exclusive Media Partnership with The Straits Times resulted in a successful supplement published on October 4, 2013.


The Annual Business Awards have become a highly anticipated event on Singapore’s business calendar. The British Chamber of Commerce, Singapore (BCCS), takes the opportunity every year to recognise the very best in the business world—both companies and individuals. Entries are judged on the following points: a sound business plan, sales and marketing strategy, strong leadership, commitment to innovation, ambition to grow along with demonstrated growth, and financial performance.


Here are the winners:


Customer Service Excellence




Category Judge Diana Ee-Tan, Board Director, SHATEC Institutes, commented, “Brewerkz has demonstrated over the past 16 years that it has successfully put in place sustainable service strategies that are today the key to its reputation as a provider of excellent customer service. What also makes them a worthy winner is how they have created a rare employee learning programme involving opportunities for their crew to learn through informal post-work conversations, dining out, manager meal and staff pint programmes. In an industry where high staff turnover tends to be the norm, it is indeed impressive that Brewerkz has an average tenure of more than five years among its full-time crew, and lists 25 of its staff members as winners of the 2013 RAS Service Excellence Awards.”


Exceptional CSR Practice

Resorts World Sentosa 



Category Judge Dr Kenneth R Richards, Musim Mas Professor of Sustainability, National University of Singapore Business School, said, “Resorts World Sentosa has developed a strong, integrated CSR programme. While many companies paint a layer of CSR on to their existing operations, RSW has developed their operations around CSR. This is demonstrated in two aspects of their programme. First, they do not simply engage in philanthropy or encourage their employess to volunteer time in the community. Rather, they play to their core competencies, using their culinary facilities, their marine aquarium, and their family-oriented activities to serve the community through training programmes, educational outreach, and conservation of the marine environment. Second, their concept of CSR not only reaches out to the community, but works internally as well, showing up in their employment practices, their respect for guests, and their attention to energy efficiency. One can hope that the excellent attitude that they have developed will continue bear fruit as they continue to work on lowering their environmental impact and increasing their positive social impact.”


Education & Training Excellence

Stamford American



Category Judge Prof Arnoud De Meyer, President, Singapore Management University, said, “While SAIS have still a lot to achieve, it has made considerable progress since opening in Singapore in 2009. It performed better on all criteria than the runners-up. Its strategy is very clear and credible. Its implementation is supported by considerable human and technological resources. The performance evaluation systems are above par. SAIS has made a considerable commitment to Singapore. They also have a clear cut plan for the near future.”


Innovation in Business




Category Judge Arun Ulagaratchagan, General Manager, Server & Tools Business, Asia Pacific, Microsoft, commented, “The Rolls-Royce team took the initiative to take a part of their operation that was done pretty much the same way in most facilities around the world, and applied a radically different idea—to use an air cushion to safely and economically move a fully packed aircraft engine that weighs 12 tonnes. They were able to move from idea through implementation, to realise savings and increased safety for their company. Their out-of-the-box thinking and ability to drive practical results is commendable.”


Inspirational Creativity

Reading Room



Category Judge Simon Kahn, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia Pacific, Google, commented, “Excellent integration of creativity into all aspects of the business. Great mix of practical, business focuses with use of digital technologies to create inspirational work for their clients.”


Outstanding Professional Services

Kadence International



Category Judge Simon Chaly Mah, CEO, Deloitte Asia Pacific, said, “Kadence’s consultancy approach demonstrated a clear focus on providing compelling value for their clients, creating a strong business model based on bespoke methodology and customised client solutions and sustaining it through innovation. Based on the business results outlined in the submission paper, Kadence has delivered relevant and reliable data output and business analysis, which has enabled their clients—a number of which are well-known, established global companies—to tailor their marketing strategies more effectively. The ability to strongly align with their clients’ business objectives and play a pivotal role in clients’ business strategies has served Kadence well in building long-term client relationships, as evidenced by Kadence’s high percentage of repeat clientele. The low staff turnover and consistency in Kadence’s client servicing teams have, in turn, led to stronger client relationships, and speaks well of the commitment from Kadence to their people. Their recognition and reward for their staff is indicative of their belief in the business fundamental that people are key and important assets.”


Productivity & Improvement




Category Judge Douglas Foo, Founder & Chairman, Sakae Holdings, commented, “Clear demonstration of building innovation and productivity into the DNA of the organisation. Shown specified results of some implemented projects and insights into future projects.”


Small Business Rising Star

Portfolio Builders



Category Judge Max Loh, Managing Partner for Singapore & ASEAN, Ernst & Young, commented, “Client-centric approach to building the business; clearly articulated strategies to drive the business forward; focus on service excellence and targeted marketing.”


Young Professional of the Year

Jingle Chen



Category Judge Dr Tan Chi Chiu, Chairman of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore Management University, commented, “It is easy for an individual entrepreneur to say they have become successful. It is less common to see one that has made incredible leaps in personal development to produce not only high-quality products, but a company that reaches beyond mere commercial success. This entrepreneur has brought about an evolution of the design industry and changed the mindset in fundamental ways in engaging clients and understanding their needs. It has a lean and efficient team. It reaches out to aspiring professionals through an internship programme that creates opportunities for others, rather than just for herself and her company. Many of her interns have gone on to be successful themselves. It would have been nice to see more in the way of CSR integration within the company, but there are some aspects that are evident, such as in their progressive HR policies and, as mentioned, helping interns. Overall this young professional’s spectrum of achievements is the widest amongst the three.”


Through the awards, BCCS aims to raise the profile of businesses that participate and win, and to acknowledge significant achievements made in the previous year. Launched in 1999, the Annual Business Awards has evolved over the years. Since 2011, companies entering the Awards have been required to showcase Singaporecentric achievements. The Awards are open not only to British companies, but to all Singapore-registered companies regardless of membership to BCCS. For the last 59 years, BCCS has been a powerful catalyst for forging strong and sustainable business links between Singapore and Britain. We congratulate all our winners, and encourage companies to participate in the next Annual Business Awards.