SCALING GREATER HEIGHTS

Grace Wong

DIRECTOR SINGAPORE SEALICO

SEALICO GAS ENERGY PTE LTD

(Pulsar Category Winner 2017)

"Overcome challenges by turning adversity into opportunities"

When Grace Wong first entered the gas industry in the 1980s, she was stepping into unfamiliar territory but her interest and passion for this sector quickly became apparent. “I knew nothing about gases but my husband saw that I was capable in my work, so he roped me in to help with his business,” she recalls. Seizing every opportunity to acquire knowledge and experience, Wong familiarised herself with the industry’s trends, products and customer needs and requirements. In a very short time, her determination and persistence paid off, because she was leading Sealico Gas Energy as the company’s director with vigour and conviction.

The following years, however, saw a general decline in the oil and gas industry, a problem exacerbated by the weak economic climate. Facing stiff competition but with the foresight to secure better prospects for the company, Wong felt compelled to look for alternatives so that the company could weather the storm. Her search for a solution took her to Indonesia, where several companies from various industries had started to set up offices and facilities. Instantly identifying the potential in the market, she made inroads into Batam by establishing PT Bingas Manufacturing as a foreign investment company. Bingas’ own manufacturing and processing plant offers a range of speciality gases with full equipment and facilities to numerous industries, including the aerospace sector. “Although the company was set up in 1996, I went in much earlier to study the feasibility of the market,” says the 59-year-old, adding that the move turned out to be a sound decision that has paid off. Today, both Sealico and Bingas are ISO certified for their processes and products.

Emphasising the company’s promise of providing quality service, technical support, as well as maintaining good customer relations, Wong reiterates the need to define and implement a good corporate culture.

For now, Wong is considering the feasibility of venturing beyond Batam to other parts of Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Sumatra, Karimun and other parts of the Riau Islands. Growth, however, will be a measured and calculated process that depends on how the industry develops. “It is a matter of time and opportunity. We are also looking at Myanmar as a region with a lot of potential,” she says.

As Sealico and Bingas enjoy continued success, Wong endeavours to contribute to society in meaningful ways. For instance, the company actively organises and participates in charity drives. Wong also regularly makes outright donations in a personal capacity to needy families and institutions. “I think it’s more than just giving back to society,” she says. “If there is someone in need, we should, as fellow humans, offer help that stem from genuine, deep-seated sincerity and kindness.”

Wong’s eagerness to help extends to her business network — the entrepreneur enjoys sharing her experiences with fellow business people across all ages and fields.

There is no end to learning and self-discovery for her. From when she first started out in the speciality gas industry, Wong maintains to this day an open, inclusive mind, with her feet firmly on the ground and her sights set far ahead.

“Clichéd as it may sound, it is absolutely true that starting a business is hard, but sustaining it is harder,” Wong sums up. “But your courage and vision will see you through, as long as you are not afraid of failure. For without failure, there is no success.”

AWARD JUDGE

BG (NS) Chan Wing Kai

Director

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.

AWARD JUDGE

TIN PEI LING

Member of Parliament
CEO

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).

AWARD JUDGE

RYAN CHIOH

Managing Director

Faseastflora.com

Mr Ryan Chioh joined FEF.com 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 FEF.com’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.

AWARD JUDGE

NEO SING HWEE

Asia Pacific, Asean and Singapore Internal Audit Leader, Risk Advisory Services

Ernst & Young

Mr Neo Sing Hwee sits in the EY Asean Partner Governance Council and leads the Advisory (Risk) Internal Audit Practice in Ernst & Young Asia Pacific, Asean and Singapore.

He 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 organisations in the government and public sector such as ministries and statutory boards. He provides advice to Boards and Management on leading practices, insights as well as issues relating to corporate governance, risk management and internal controls.

AWARD JUDGE

DR LIM WEE KIAK, PBM

Member of Parliament
CEO

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.

AWARD JUDGE

Chew Mok Lee

Assistant Chief Executive
ICM & Digitalisation
Enterprise Services & New Industries

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.

AWARD JUDGE

CHIA KIM HUAT

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.

AWARD JUDGE

TAN WEE BENG

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.