(Nova Category Winner 2019)

“Having a good system, embracing technology, having a great team, and being prudent in spending is the key to building a strong business foundation.”

Possessing a regional presence with 14 offices in ten countries, AIMS has come a long way from its infancy back in 2006. As a specialist in immigrations, the company focuses on helping individuals and corporate professionals migrate and relocate to a destination of their choice — these include skilled migrants, business migration, investor migration, family visas, students’ education solutions, as well as corporate immigration and relocation.

Founded and owned by Elsie Liow, AIMS carves for itself a niche in the immigration sector. By partnering and engaging with locals, and amassing vast experience from dealing with numerous countries and thoroughly understanding their immigration policies, the company is able to distinguish itself from its industry peers, says the 40-year-old.

A second-time WEA award winner in less than three years, Liow is not one to rest on her laurels — she understands a lot more work has to be done to scale the business even further, and she is determined to increase AIMS’ presence in more countries around the world. To this end, she is steadfast in her journey, uncompromising in her ethics, and continuously find ways to overcome new market trends and challenges through brainstorming, embracing technology, and reviewing improvements from client experiences and feedback.

What spurred you to enter this line?

My partner, then-boyfriend and current husband, wanted to understand the kind of work I did as an employee, and during those times, he was very fascinated by how some foreigners came to Singapore, parked five million dollars into a policy, and obtained Singapore residence. Through his exposure in the finance industry and my exposure in immigration for more blue-collar workers, we decided to venture into our own business. We wanted to have a professional firm that offers these services ethically, and only accepts clients when they qualify.

How do you ensure the company’s continued growth and success?

Prudence, positivity, and perseverance. I continually broaden my vision, and quickly adapt in order to take the business to greater heights. But it’s also important to maintain stability while moving forward.

What advice would you give to a fledgling entrepreneur?

To be able to build and rebuild with a relentless attitude is what every budding aspiring entrepreneur must possess. Compartmentalise your emotions, find solutions to problems, and stay focused on efforts that increase the bottom line.

Tell us briefly about your company culture and how you establish and foster its growth and health.

We are truly inclusive and enforce that like-minded people stick to our core values. We cannot choose our parents but we can choose our bosses, so if AIMS is not for you, then it’s probably time for you to move on. Part with a smile, and never forget to remind each other how to improve.

What is a typical day for you like?

I start my day in the office at 8 am after dropping my son off at school, and I grab a quick breakfast. I enjoy the quiet part of the morning when the team is not yet in the office. By the time the teams come in at 9am, I go into short discussions with them. I usually grab a quick lunch in 15 minutes, thereafter I attend meetings on rebuilding and improving the CRM, and then have more meetings with my regional MDs as well as Consulting Directors. After 13 years of doing everything, the current team of managers have indeed helped me to offload a fair bit of my work. I now can focus on bigger things.  After meetings, I either have a quiet dinner or go for a jog with my colleagues, then head back to the office for some time alone or to go through my emails, or simply have more conference calls with our overseas vendors or partners.

What are your expansion plans for the business?

First is to wrap up our expansion plan in the Asia Pacific region, and continue to strengthen and systemise the company. After that, I’d like to take the company to IPO, perhaps some time in 2022.

How did AIMS achieve such stellar growth in such a short time?

I believe that “great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” Having a dependable team has always been the key definition of a successful business; they are the core strength of the company. With people who are willing to take responsibilities, collaborate effectively and go above and beyond, we get tasks accomplished effectively and efficiently. This is one of the fundamental reasons behind our rapid growth. We take pride in our company’s values and commitment to give our clients more than what they expect by making every experience memorable and credible. At AIMS, we abide by our “PUSHED” values; Professionalism, Utmost Integrity, Sincerity, Human Touch, Empathy and Dedication. These values are not only ingrained in the company but are also extensively exemplified in each and every staff. It is this trust and mutual understanding between our clients and us that allow us to expand our global footprints to 14 offices across Asia Pacific.

Why did you choose to reapply in WEA?

I chose to reapply in WEA as I want to share that the WEA platform has allowed me to gain more brand exposure and collaboration opportunities. WEA is a great platform for women to showcase their capabilities and flaunt their strengths, which essentially opens up an entire new world of business opportunities. This incredible platform serves as an engaging platform where women can share their business resources and provide support to one another in their respective business initiatives. WEA is indeed a meaningful association as it provides motivation for other women who are starting to craft their own entrepreneurial journey to look up to exemplary figures.

In your business, what risks do you face and how do you deal with them?

Our business is vulnerable when it comes to legislation changes as they could be disadvantageous to us. Some of our competitors shuttered when Canada decided to close their immigration visa option. To prevent that from happening to us, we diversify our product range by ensuring different programmes are available for all the different markets we are in. In every business, there is always a bottleneck. We need to assume high risk to go beyond our comfort zone and have the courage to spend more money for expansion. Marketing and expansion always involve huge investments.

Does AIMS get involved in community projects?

On a quarterly basis, the whole company is activated to do CSR activities such as cooking for the poor and needy. At our upcoming quarterly meeting, we would be delivering basic necessities to 2,500 poor families in Singapore.

Outside of work, how do you spend your free time?

I hardly get enough sleep, so I’d enjoy a good massage, and I love spending time with my family, especially my husband and my four beautiful toddlers. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey and I do not have much life as I am very focused, so outside of work I also try to catch up on sleep.

How do you build and maintain a good solid foundation upon which to build and develop the business?

I believe when one starts a business, it’s really about the health of its cash flow. I only started to expand the business when I saw that the cash flow has gotten into a healthy zone. Of course after each expansion, our financial health takes a dip, and so does my knee. Having a good system, embracing technology, having a great team, and being prudent in spending is the key to building a strong business foundation.

What in your opinion is the most critical success ingredient in building a sustainable enterprise?

Choose good people and set good values and principles. Have a good system in place.

Join us to empower women and share your success stories.
Call for nomination for 2020 edition opens October 2019.


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.