ALL DRESSED UP

JYOTI SINGH

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FOUNDER

JO KILDA PTE LTD

(STELLAR Category Promising Entrepreneur)

“Your business has to have a purpose and you need to be clear about that purpose. Ensure that your product creates value in the eye of the customer.”

In the field of affordable luxury, Jo Kilda is a name that shines. The two-year-old boutique is the brainchild of proprietor Jyoti Singh, who founded the company in 2016 with a focus not merely on fashion retail but to offer an experience where women are empowered to feel classic and stylish.

With a vision to grow across Asia, Jyoti, 40, aims to expand its distribution through multiple stores and outlets, while retaining the charm of Jo Kilda’s retail as well as online experience. Her passion for dressing women stands uncompromised, with an eye toward continual evolution and development that would allow the business to be scaled and make its presence felt across the leading fashion capitals of the world.

Tell us more about what you do.

Jo Kilda distributes through its flagship retail store FlyingSolo in New York located on one of the most prestigious addresses, West Broadway in Soho, as well as an e-commerce platform. The origins of JK can be traced back to my global travels, living in Singapore, Australia and London. It probably goes even beyond that, back to my childhood. I loved the sheer satisfaction that people got when I dressed them up. The inflection point was in Melbourne, Australia, where it was probably one of the most amazing assignment relocations we had as a family. Rohan my husband was posted to Melbourne from 2011-2015, and it was here that I studied fashion. Melbourne will always be Australia’s style capital. From the “Paris end” of Collins Street to the labyrinth of laneways, style is inherent in the city’s design and psyche. I found Melbourne really astonishing with broad streets full of interesting shops and crowded with bustling well-dressed people. The glitzy week of Melbourne spring carnival, the most elaborate cheese boards, and the aroma of coffee beans in gorgeous cafes never disappoint.

What are some unique features of Jo Kilda? What makes it stand out?

JK is all about a lifestyle experience. We want to give every woman that experience, which is why price is key. We are uniquely positioned in a manner that it occupies the space between mass fashion and high-end luxury. It has its own distinctive active style through its fabrics and styling, and is viewed as a mid-luxury label in the eyes of the consumer. My personal involvement with the brand also means that the consumer is not associated with mass fashion, but rather a real and living brand. The consumers associate with the brand right from seamstresses to ateliers, thereby experiencing Jo Kilda as an experience rather than just a product.

To what would you attribute your success? What mindset do you adopt?

A brand has to deliver a meaning to its buyer, and JK does that. JK’s passion for dressing women is a key attribute and one we never compromise on. The other attribute is grit or sheer perseverance. JK has faced many challenges in its journey but continues to progress.

What advice would you give to a fledgling entrepreneur?

Your business has to have a purpose and you need to be clear about that purpose. Ensure that your product creates value in the eye of the customer, beyond competing products. Know what is different about your product. Be passionate and true to your brand; this will rub off on customers, staff, suppliers, the industry and so on.

What motivates you?

There is nothing more powerful than reading and hearing about positive reviews of JK — it tells me that the brand is delivering on its promise and this motivates me to do more.

How do you spend your free time?

Besides spending precious time with my family and friends, I engage in my guilty pleasure, Netflix.

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

The key to developing a sound business foundation is cost management and brand awareness. I am constantly active with my brand management through e-marketing but equally, I ensure that costs are always scrutinised and carefully managed.

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

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

Head, Operations System & Control

MAPLETREE INVESTMENTS

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.

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.