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Champions of Asia
Entrepreneur of the Year
Jeffrey Goh Sim Ik
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Morganfield's
MAKING the journey from a budding dentist to founder and chief executive officer of a very successful group of eateries is bound to be an enriching experience filled with emotional growth and self-development. The 44-year-old Jeffrey Goh Sim Ik, born in Malacca and now enjoying the fruits of his labour as a force to be reckoned with in F&B, is making his mark beyond the borders of Malaysia.
Some of the challenges faced by Mr Goh and his Morganfield's team have been dealt with capably by innovative thinking, such as reducing their dependency on workers and incorporating equipment in their place. They have also used their creativity to find ways to drive traffic to their outlets when they were unable to get the prime location they desired.
As a leader, Mr Goh has all the necessary attributes, and as evidenced by the concrete success the Morganfield's group has achieved as a team and is enjoying, the company is a clear winner.
And the advice he imparts to a young person looking to start his or her own business, is to "start with a plan, start modestly but think big and always surround yourself with the right people".
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
Imelda Tio Sundoro
Founder, Sun Motor Group
IMELDA Sundoro's Sun Motor Group, is a success story in the male-dominated world of automotive distribution and dealerships. The 73-year-old female entrepreneur, whose business is based in her home region of Surakarta in Indonesia, stands out for having built her business empire steadily. While she attended lectures at the Faculty of Economics at Gajah Mada and took various courses such as flower arrangement, sewing and beauty, she felt that a formal education was a good foundation, but not necessarily an ironclad predictor of success. In her experience, success is achieved through hard work, passion, perseverance, integrity, the right strategies and strong implementation.
"There were times when I was discriminated against because I am a woman but I simply worked harder to gain acceptance; over time I proved that I could do even better than some of my male associates, and this was when men began to accept me."
Success, by Imelda's definition, can be seen in the ability of a leader to balance the pressures of business and family. It is not easy to succeed in both, she admits, but she expresses her gratitude and acknowledgement to her husband for having raised their children well.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Dr Nico Purnomo Po
Chief Executive Officer
Pollux Properti, Indonesia
POLLUX Properti Indonesia, a property group based in Indonesia with offices in the region, including Singapore, is headed by its chief executive officer Nico Purnomo Po. The company focuses on property development exclusively, with approximately more than 1,000 employees powering its operations at its headquarters and regionally. Its aim is to inspire better living through quality developments.
When asked what factors he considers to be important in measuring success other than doing well financially, Mr Po reveals that having great family relationships and exercising and maintaining a sense of social responsibility in helping the less fortunate, are his personal parameters. His commitment to social responsibility is entrenched as part of the corporate philosophy, where he feels the company has a responsibility to share its success with the community, in addition to sustaining a robust business for investors.
"Sustainability should be at the start of every venture, not at its end," he affirms.