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PROMINENT category winner in the One Asia Awards 2015 is young entrepreneur Ritesh Bansal, managing director of Kams Singapore Pte Ltd. An international commodity trading company headquartered in Singapore, Kams was set up in 2003 with a mission to be a global link between producers and consumers in key agro-commodity markets.
"In less than a decade since we began, we became a reputed enterprise actively engaged in the supply of agricultural products. We also handle non-agro products like textile, raw materials, polymers and other petroleum products, and chemicals using our historical relationships and network," says Mr Bansal.
"We have morphed into one of the leading exporters and importers in the Asia-Pacific region with a strong market network and knowledge, operational efficiency and overall financial stability with an enviable reputation for business acumen, integrity and professionalism. We believe in steady growth by building on core strengths and nurturing partnerships along the way with in-depth information on price movements, commodity trends and market dynamics to both our customers and suppliers."
Unlike other trading houses, Kams Singapore keeps in constant touch with its suppliers and customers, evaluating their needs and searching for the opportunity to create a wining situation for all the stakeholders. Delivering a quality product in a contracted time frame irrespective of market conditions makes its customers choose Kams Singapore over its competitors.
The agriculture commodity market has always been a market of volatility where many reputed organisations have failed to execute a contract because of heavy price movements. But fulfilling a commitment irrespective of market conditions has become the unique value proposition Kams is working on, says Mr Bansal.
He recalls that when he started at the young age of 23 with a small investment, it was not easy to win the trust of bankers and buyers. But things are different now.
"After winning the One Asia Award, my company got recognition from banks so frankly banks are coming out to support us with more credit terms. Also buyers and suppliers are contacting us to meet and discuss opportunities, so I believe results will be seen very soon. More importantly, it has boosted the confidence of my team, which is the biggest advantage of winning the One Asia Award," says Mr Bansal.
For Jerry Tan Tjin Hong, chief executive officer of Wanin Industries Pte Ltd, his entrepreneurial journey started in the early 1980s when he was travelling around Europe and noticed a trend for bottled water. It was then that he struck upon the idea of bringing bottled water to Singapore.
Established in 1986 by a team of closely-knit family members, the Pere Ocean brand pioneered the bulk bottled water and cooler rental industry in Singapore. Originally commencing operations in Singapore, it started up its own factory in Johor in 1990, and expanded its marketing operations to Kuala Lumpur the following year.
For its pioneering work Wanin Industries Pte Ltd won the One Asia Award in the Distinguished category.
Currently, Pere Ocean is the only Singaporean-owned water company producing its own fresh natural mineral water from its own natural source, set in a clean and green environment. As providing quality water products to its customers is the company's main priority, Pere Ocean is committed to excellence throughout every facet of its production process, its logistical process and its customer services.
"These days, I set the direction with regard to expansion into new overseas markets, improvement of our factory and equipment. The world and technology is constantly evolving, so I read extensively and travel frequently to see what is new in the industry, then filter and bring the knowledge back to my company," says Mr Tan.
To achieve business growth, the company has been constantly investing in new technology and has made an effort to stay sensitive to customer needs through customer surveys conducted by third party survey firms.
"New technology may seem costly at the start, but with advances it has led to cost reduction and improvement in the quality of our products. These new additions also allowed us to expand our range of offerings such as different sizing formats and different flavouring types for the manufacturing side," says Mr Tan.
"As customers become more health conscious, even in developing countries, they pay more attention to the labels and ingredients used. If they believe a product is higher in quality and from a safe manufacturer, they are willing to pay a premium for that peace of mind."