15th Annual Business Awards: Celebrating Business Excellence in Singapore

Eight deserving companies took home the coveted Business Awards at the 15th Annual Business Awards held at the Shangri-La Hotel on 1 Oct 2014.
The Annual Business Awards, which have become a feature in the Singapore business calendar, saw a strong showing of local entries this year, with several submissions coming from local organisations. Despite changing the categories this year, the Awards had a total of 58 submissions for all eight categories. In all, the Annual Business Awards Committee shortlisted 18 organisations and six individuals, of which 10 nominations were from local firms.
Winners received their awards from Guest of Honour Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources at the Gala Dinner, which had an attendance of more than 400 guests.
In his speech, Dr Balakrishnan encouraged companies to take a long-term view and consider long-term impacts on the people and environment in which they operate. “The fundamental problem is not the environment; the fundamental problem is that there are misaligned economic interests,” he said.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, was the evening’s keynote speaker. His speech echoed the Minister’s thoughts: “Business should be running in a sustainable manner and not just focus on quarterly fiscal performance.” He also said that there is a huge challenge ahead of us in meeting the demands of the fast-growing population of the world.
Rudi Geerdink, Country Executive of RBS Singapore and Chairman of the 15th Annual Business Awards Committee, said, “We saw some strong contenders for this year’s awards, and it was a close call between the finalists. The winners were chosen based on merit; in some cases, Singapore corporates are comparable to global MNCs and on a similar level playing field. It is this availability of talent, dynamism and excellent business practices that continue to contribute to Singapore’s economic success.”
Established in 1999, the Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements across the various business sectors. It has since grown in stature to become one of Singapore’s most prestigious accolades, garnering the continued support of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore Business Federation (SBF) as well as UKTI, British High Commission and EuroCham. 
Every year, 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.
The new categories launched this year and their winners:

Leadership in Customer Focus

British Club

Category judge Mike Barclay – Chief Executive Officer, Sentosa Development Corporation commented “The British Club’s submission demonstrates a commendable clarity of purpose, with a strong focus on customer service and a strong commitment to the quality of the Club’s key offerings. The British Club measures and tracks the effectiveness of these initiatives and demonstrates good outcomes in terms of customer satisfaction, membership retention, membership growth and improved financial performance.”

Leadership in Diversity


Category judge Penny Burtt – Director of Public Affairs and External Relations for Asia, McKinsey & Company commented “BP has made a distinctive public commitment to leadership in diversity at the very highest level of the organisation, and explicitly recognise that the success of BP depends on a culture that not only promotes business creativity, but celebrates diversity. It has an explicit target of 30% women in leadership positions by 2020. Consistently tracking its progress on diversity and inclusion, BP has an ecosystem of measures designed to drive diversity at every level of the organisation.”

Leadership in Innovation & Productivity


Category judge Bruce Poh – Director & CEO of Institute of Technical Education commented “IECO’s leadership has implemented comprehensive and pervasive innovation and productivity improvements throughout the company. Its relentless quest for improvements include capability development of multi-skilled technical workforce, flexible work schedule, continuous improvement initiatives, capital investments in systems and processes, innovation in new repair development and customer support. These have resulted in tangible outcomes, enabling IECO to attract and retain customers with lower pricing and better service, pay their employees higher wages and generate better profits for the company.”

Leadership in Sustainability


Category judge Ynse de Boer – Managing Director, Strategy & Sustainability, ASEAN, Accenture commented “Sindicatum is an excellent example of corporate sustainability. By building a profitable business on renewable energy, Sindicatum not just maximises its positive impact on the environment and society today, but also ensures the longevity and growth of this positive impact. After all, profitable business still is among society’s strongest and most powerful forces for action.
The challenge for every business is to find or to innovate one or two existing or new parts of their business that could become a next engine for profitable growth, while at the same time addressing a societal or environmental issue at scale.“

Success in Business

Reading Room

Category judge Jonathan Asherson – Regional Director, ASEAN and Pacific, Rolls-Royce PLC commented “A very clear strategy, proven success and strong growth. Substantial recognition in the marketplace and a motivated workforce mean that Reading Room has a strong base from which to grow.”

Small Business Rising Star

Collective Works

Category judge Danielle Warner – CEO, Expat Insurance commented “Collective Works established its concept and brought its vision to life in such a short time that it is to be highly commended. The growth in its concept and client base, and commitment to members clearly demonstrate strong business acumen that has provided ongoing and significant success. Implementation of innovative member engagement strategies and social media campaigns have established Collective Works as a true market leader in its sector. Measurable results and an outline of long-term plans make Collective Works a small business to congratulate and watch.”

Young Professional of the Year

Miles Gooseman

Category judge British High Commissioner HE Antony Phillipson commented “Miles Gooseman has demonstrated the strongest combination of an impressive business record over many years, and in different companies, with a consistent focus on customer delivery and business development. At the same time, he has made an outstanding contribution to the Chamber through the Young Chamber initiative. There is a clear sense of purpose and direction around his future plans. Miles had the best all round submission, and a longer back-story.”

Community Star

Andrew Colyer
Category judge Mr Eugene Yong Kon Yoon – Executive Director, Woh Hup Holdings Pte Ltd commented “Having been a member of the organisation committee and participated in the Wheels For Change programme in the UK since 2011, Andrew Colyer, Head of Commercial Legal, Asia in Barclays continues to show passion and leadership by bringing the Wheels For Change programme to Singapore after moving here last year. It must have taken a lot of hard work and planning to organise this event in Batam, Indonesia, with so many participants from different corporations. By working with the Singapore Disability Sports Council, the programme benefits the wider disabled community in Singapore. His future plans to promote this event internationally is commendable, and in continuing to work with the Singapore Disability Sports Council to explore other ways of partnership and fundraising, the programme will raise the profile of sports for the disabled community in Singapore.
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. Initially focused on British companies investing in Singapore, the Awards were opened in 2012 to all companies registered in Singapore, with submissions focused on excellence in business in Singapore. As well as significantly increasing the number of nominations, we have also seen more Singaporean companies winning awards, taking six of the nine categories last year.
For the last 60 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 more companies to participate in the 16th Annual Business Awards, which has grown to become a not-to-be-missed event.