You are here

Newcomers feature among E50 winners

(From left) Christopher Yeo, managing director of Borden Company; Connie Wu, executive director of Sunray Woodcraft Construction; and Teo Yeow Soon, managing director of Vigcon Construction.

Our E50 supplement features the stars of the 2014 E50 Awards. Read it here.


ALMOST half the winners honoured at the Enterprise 50 Awards dinner were fresh faces, upping the ante at what has become one of the most prestigious award evenings on the corporate calendar.

While there are more than a few awards for local enterprises, E50, which entered its 20th year in style last night at Resorts World Sentosa, remains a key attraction.

First-time winners in the top 10 were Sunray Woodcraft Construction, No 2, and Huationg Holdings, No 10. Other first-time winners include industrial products distributor Chee Fatt Co, security and risk consultancy Soverus, and Aalst Chocolate, the first chocolate manufacturer to be fully owned and managed by Singaporeans.

Of course, familiar faces also featured at last night's dinner, which was graced by Lim Swee Say, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

Trading company Wee Tiong was awarded the 10-year Award, the first time in the history of the E50 Awards. This is the 10th consecutive year Wee Tiong has netted the E50 Award. Seiko Architectural Wall Systems and Aik Moh Paints & Chemicals were given the 5-year Award.

Meanwhile, homegrown pharmaceutical manufacturer Borden Company, perhaps better known for its emerald green Eagle Brand medicated oil, jumped two spots to top the E50 list this year. Sunray Woodcraft Construction was in second position, followed by Vigcon Construction.

Underscoring the sectors' productivity growth rates this year, there were more E50 companies from the export-oriented sectors such as manufacturing, engineering services, and wholesale trade, with the industry composition for wholesale trade doubling to 16 per cent.

But while export-oriented sectors posted healthy productivity growth, overall productivity was dragged down by productivity declines in the domestically oriented sectors such as retail trade and construction.

Indeed, many companies are struggling to cope with the tightening manpower supply, and are facing challenges in improving their work processes and moving up the value chain.

Said Owi Kek Hean, deputy managing partner and head of enterprise market segment at KPMG in Singapore: "I believe this situation will improve as companies are increasingly taking up the productivity incentive schemes. This year, many of our winners have tapped these schemes to restructure and strengthen productivity amid a tight labour market. The restructuring journey will not be easy, but will be beneficial to all enterprises."

Applicants this year were evaluated and ranked using both quantitative and qualitative criteria. Quantitative factors include financial performance indicators such as operating profit before tax, turnover and profit growth. The qualitative criteria include management and marketing strategies such as the applicants' business model and their innovations, management ideals and governance, market branding and overall potential.

Said Alvin Tay, editor of The Business Times: "The E50 Awards acknowledges the contributions of our local enterprises to Singapore's growth and development. The Business Times is supportive of our SMEs and has championed their achievements through its dedicated editorial coverage. Having benchmarked themselves against the rigorous criteria set, this year's 50 winners are well-positioned to thrive in today's challenging economic conditions and in the years ahead."

The E50 Awards is jointly organised by The Business Times and KPMG in Singapore, and sponsored by OCBC Bank for the ninth year. Supporters of the awards include the Singapore Business Federation, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and Spring Singapore.

Our E50 supplement features the stars of the 2014 E50 Awards. Read it here.