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Sheng Siong founder Lim Hock Chee is SBA's Businessman of the Year

AFTER picking up the Enterprise Award of the Singapore Business Awards (SBA) in 2015, local supermarket chain Sheng Siong's founder and chief executive Lim Hock Chee was back at this year's SBA ceremony on Thursday where he was honoured with the coveted title of Businessman of the Year.

The 57-year-old was recognised at the 34th edition of the SBA for his vision and business acumen in developing the company from a modest business into Singapore's third-largest supermarket chain with a strong emphasis on customer service and choice.

Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, presented the award to Mr Lim at the gala dinner attended by 520 business leaders in The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.

Launched in 1985, the SBA is jointly organised by Singapore Press Holdings' publication The Business Times and DHL Express Singapore, the world's leading express and logistics company.

Besides the Businessman of the Year award, the other awards in the SBA roll of honour are the Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year, Outstanding Overseas Executive of the Year and The Enterprise Award.

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The head honcho of OCBC, Samuel Tsien, was named Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year. Under his leadership, the local bank has grown from strength to strength in the regional and domestic markets, as evident in its successful acquisition of Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, the expansion of its wealth management business, the digitalisation of banking services and building a leading position in SME (small- and medium-sized enterprises) banking.

A well-known name in the international venture capital sector, 46-year-old Singaporean Jenny Lee took home the Outstanding Overseas Executive of the Year Award. Flying the Singapore flag high, the Shanghai-based winner was honoured for blazing the trail in driving GGV Capital's growth in China, with eight initial public offerings and numerous mergers and acquisitions to her name in the last eight years, including some of China's biggest global success stories like social media platform YY and handphone maker Xiaomi.

Centurion Corporation bagged The Enterprise Award. It has successfully diversified into the workers and student accommodation business to become one of Singapore's largest owner-manager with workers accommodation assets in Singapore and Malaysia, and student accommodation assets in Singapore, Australia, South Korea, the UK and the US.

Wong Wei Kong, chairman of the SBA organising committee and editor of The Business Times, said: "The four winners of this year's Singapore Business Awards have all demonstrated amazing grit, persistence and flair in their respective businesses and SBA 2019 has recognised the efforts and contributions to each of their industries. A very heartfelt congratulations to these very well-deserved winners!"

Christopher Ong, managing director of DHL Express Singapore, said: "Through Singapore Business Awards, we hope to inspire the next generation of business leaders by sharing the best home-grown success stories. Beyond business, companies and leading executives have an ever more critical role to play in showing leadership and impacting society. Our winners have positively impacted those around them as well as our world at large by demonstrating resilience and innovative thinking. Their achievements will continue to shape Singapore's industries and economic development."

The winners for the four awards were decided by a panel of judges drawn from the business sector, official agencies and academia.

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