Corenna Liu



(Pulsar Category Winner 2017)

"Through certified skincare products, Corenna Liu hopes to help people look good and feel confident about themselves"

When Corenna Liu first moved to Singapore in 1987 from her hometown Putien in the Fujian province of China, she spoke barely a word of English. In order to secure a foothold here, she signed up for English classes. Juggling studies and shift work in a German technology firm left her with an average of five hours of sleep every night, resulting in the development of various facial skin problems.

Fortunately, Liu met a classmate who happened to be in the skincare line. She sought treatment and started to implement a skincare routine, which improved her skin condition tremendously. “The improvement helped me gain back my confidence, and that was when I realised that skin issues aren’t just skin deep; they can cause some people to lose confidence in themselves,” Liu offers. “Having learnt from that incident, I wanted to bring to all women better skin and a sense of confidence, which also means a happier family environment.”

For a while, Liu offered her facial services to friends and customers out of her own home while still holding on to her position as sales consultant at Mode Circle, until 2001 when she left to set up Beaux Ex Bellus Trading, her first beauty trading and service centre. Derma Floral Beauty Academy was then established the following year. The latter saw a rebranding exercise in 2003 as well as a trademark of its product packaging. To further improve the quality of its offerings, Liu established an R&D department in 2004 with doctors and professors to conduct research on cells and skin, with a focus on using natural ingredients. The business expanded to a second outlet at Jurong East in 2005, adding to its first at Rochor.

In 2006, Liu purchased two units at Boon Lay Tradehub21 with a total floor area of 3,000 square feet, devoting the space to research, develop and manufacture her products.

December 2007 was a milestone year which saw Excel Cosmeceutical Industry established as a private limited company, enabling the company to specialise in the manufacture and wholesale of beauty and skincare products. DF2, the company’s series of products, was introduced in 2008, followed by MY’S and BioVita in 2009. Another series of products called Stem Cell was launched in 2010, adding more variety to the business’ product line.

Last year, the company was recognised at the Singapore Prestige Brand Awards, marking another chapter in the company’s growth. But Liu is not one to rest on her laurels. “In my mind, we are far from success. I would rather say that we have improved a lot,” Liu shares. “All these years, we have been improving our products and services as well as obtaining the relevant licences, permits and certifications.

As soon as everything is in order, we will truly be ready to grow. The fact that we can obtain the licences and permits here in Singapore where safety and quality control is extremely stringent speaks volumes about our controls, processes and products.”

Excel’s products are made in-house. Ingredients are imported from various suppliers and the company’s in-house R&D team is responsible for the development of the products, which are then manufactured at its own factory. To keep abreast of the latest trends and developments, Liu constantly travels to Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and China, among other countries. “My findings offer different perspectives, which allow me to develop more ideas on development and innovation of our products and services,” says the 53-year-old.

Assisted by her husband Koh Lu Siong, who left his job to join her in 2002, Liu oversees all aspects of running the business, from strategic planning of the company to employee training. Koh spends much of his time in Malaysia, where the company also has a production facility.

Liu says her mission for the company is simple: “To create the best products to bring to all women, to all our partners in the industry, to improve the industry at large, and to give people greater confidence in themselves.”

As part of expansion plans, Liu hopes to take Excel to China, where she is currently applying for permits and licences. If everything goes well, she hopes to find trade partners and wholesalers with whom she can partner to sell the company’s products to stores.

When asked what has taken the company to where it is thus far, Liu puts it down to sound business practices and trustworthiness. “All these years, we’ve done little to no advertising or marketing, depending instead on word-of-mouth referrals or long-time customers who bring their daughters,” she says. Adhering to strict guidelines and protocols has also earned Excel reliability and credibility. “When we first started out, we ran into a lot of problems. It was a very arduous journey but when we finally got approval for our products and processes, it gave me great satisfaction and made a lot of things much easier. So now we really treasure every little bit of what we have.”

Liu currently oversees a team of 26 in Singapore (and about an additional six in Malaysia) but with expansion plans in the pipeline, she is looking to increase that number. “I have a lot of confidence in growing the business, especially in China,” she says. “We are able to give them products that no one else can offer. Yes, I expect there will be competition but we have quality products that cannot be beaten, and with our sound business principles, partners and customers can rest assured that they will be treated with integrity, honesty, trust and sincerity.” Excel also supplies to brands in other countries as OEM products.

Looking back on the company’s progress, Liu says that she has no regrets, and is thankful for every opportunity that she has been given. “Because of what I’ve gone through, I am more stable and measured in what I do,” she says. “I invest a lot in my own learning, which I think is the proper way to go. My three kids are also very supportive of me and I never have to worry about them; they are my best assets!”

The most important lesson she has learned, she says, is that there is nothing insurmountable. “After you have taken the long and winding road, you know that there is no hurdle you cannot overcome.”


BG (NS) Chan Wing Kai


Seed Global Investment

BG (NS) Chan Wing Kai spent 29 years in the Singapore Armed Forces as a military officer. He rose up to the Army’s top leadership and held numerous key appointments.

The years in the Armed Forces provided him a strong foundation in leadership, human capital management, operational planning, training development and critical diplomatic skills.

He retired from active military service in 2016 and is currently a Director with SEED Global Investment, a real estate investment firm. He oversees the company’s portfolio and business development in the US and UK. He holds a MSc in Applied Finance from the Singapore Management University, and is no stranger to corporate finance, portfolio management, equities, bonds and derivatives.



Member of Parliament
Board Member

Business China

Ms Tin Pei Ling is the Chief Executive Officer of Business China, a non-profit organisation that harnesses the support of the public sector & private enterprises to strengthen the ties between Singapore and China. Prior to joining Business China, Pei Ling was the Group Director of Corporate Strategy for Jing King Group.

Pei Ling is an elected Member of Parliament in Singapore since 2011 and currently serves on the Public Accounts Committee. She also serves on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications & Information (from 2018, Dy Chairperson) and Health (2011 – present) and previously for Law/Home Affairs (2011-2015) and Social & Family Development (2015 – 2018, Dy Chairperson).



Managing Director

Mr Ryan Chioh joined in 1998 as Executive Director of Far East Flora Holdings Pte Ltd.

Always a firm advocator for technology, Ryan identified the direction for e-commerce development and saw a business opportunity to offer’s extensive range of flowers and gifts online in 2001. Ryan blended his IT savviness and prudent business sense to steer the company’s website to become the leading portal for flowers and gifts. Ryan also brought the company to another level by spearheading the development of a CRM and ERP business solution, integrating the front-end and back-end operations so that there would be easier identification of customer base.



Head, Operations System & Control


Sing Hwee is the Head, Operations System & Control of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. He is responsible for the business processes and control functions, information systems and technology as well as Internal Audit and Risk Management.  He also takes ownership of the Group’s Delegation of Authority and Procurement Policy. 

Sing Hwee has more than 20 years of experience in providing risk management, performance improvement, internal controls and business advisory services to clients in various industries, including the real estate sector.  Being a thought leader and a recognised expert in this field, he used to sit in the Ernst & Young (EY) ASEAN Partner Governance Council and led the Advisory (Risk) Internal Audit Practice in Asia Pacific, ASEAN and Singapore covering 17 countries, 30 partners and 700 professionals.  Before joining EY, he had spent many years in risk consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Andersen.



Member of Parliament

Eagle Eye Centre

Dr Lim Wee Kiak, is an elected Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC since 2015 and serves as chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth. An Ophthalmologist, Dr Lim is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Eagle Eye Centre.

Dr Lim joined the Singapore Armed Forces as a medical officer in 1994 and completed subspecialty training in Ophthalmology in 1998, with a Master’s degree in Medicine and two post-graduate specialist qualifications in Ophthalmology. During his service in SAF, he led numerous humanitarian missions to neighbouring countries. He joined Singapore National Eye Centre and was awarded the MOH HMDP fellowship in 2003, doing one year of clinical and research Fellowship at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Dr Lim had been an active grassroots leader since 1998 before joining politics in 2006. For his active community involvement, he was awarded the Young Executive of the Year in 2000 and Public Service Medal (PBM) in 2003.


Chew Mok Lee

Enterprise Fellow

Enterprise Singapore

Ms Chew Mok Lee is the Assistant Chief Executive in charge of ICM & Digitalisation, Enterprise Services & New Industries in Enterprise Singapore, a government agency spearheading enterprise and industry development, reporting to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore. Enterprise Singapore is also the national Standards body in Singapore.

Prior to Enterprise Singapore, Mok Lee was with National Productivity Board (NPB), PSB and SPRING Singapore. She graduated from National University of Singapore, majoring in Economics and Statistics. She has a double Masters and is well versed in the area of enterprise promotion, industry development and partnership building, having been involved in various aspects of capability development, support for local enterprises, enabling a viable enterprise eco-system and entrepreneurship for 29 years. She also served as Secretariat to the Action Community for Entrepreneurship and was responsible for working with the Minister in Charge of Entrepreneurship and private sector members to foster entrepreneurship and support start-ups in Singapore.



Regional Head
Corporate and Transactional Practice

Rajah & Tann Singapore

Mr Chia Kim Huat has extensive experience in capital market, public and private mergers and acquisitions, cross-border joint ventures and private equity investments, both in Singapore and the region. He travels regularly in the Asia-Pacific region advising clients on a wide range of matters, including direct investments and infrastructure projects in China, major acquisitions in Korea, joint ventures in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan and cross-border mergers and acquisitions transactions. Kim Huat also advises foreign investors on their investments in Singapore, including listings on the Singapore Exchange, privatisations, secondary and dual listings.

He has been recognised as a leading lawyer in his field by International Financial Law Review 1000, Chambers Global “Leaders in their Field”, Asia Pacific Legal 500, “Eminent Practitioner” in Chambers Asia Pacific, Who’s Who Legal: Corporate – Merger & Acquisition/Capital Markets – Debt and Equity and Merger & Acquisition, ‘Leading Lawyer’ in Asialaw Profiles and Best Lawyers, 2017 Edition.



Deputy Chief Executive (Operations)
SkillsFuture Singapore

Wee Beng is the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). He leads the Business Technology Group (Operations Planning Division, Capability Development Division, Operations & Support Division, Security & Infrastructure Division), the Training, Manpower & Infrastructure Group (Manpower & Infrastructure Planning Division, Office of Lifelong Learning, and Institute of Adult Learning which comprises Learning and Professional Development Division, Research and Innovation Division, Learning Services and Support Division ) as well as the Business Services Group (Shared Services Management, Integrated Business Services Division &, Corporate Services Division).

Prior to joining SSG, Wee Beng was an officer with the Singapore Armed Forces, leading both large and small teams. His last appointment was Chief-of-Staff, Republic of Singapore Navy, overseeing a range of staff departments and ground commands. Other key appointments held were Head Naval Operations, Commander of Maritime Security Task Force and Commander, Naval Diving Unit. Wee Beng holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Physics from Oxford University, UK, and a Master of Science in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.