RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

NOVIE DJAYAYANTI TJOA

MANAGING DIRECTOR

EATZ GROUP PTE LTD

(Pulsar Category Winner 2019)

“I always tell my staff they are all my business partners. Loyalty, honesty, and harmony within the organisation are the building blocks of the company”

From its origins as a modest eatery back in 2003 to the full-service halal-certified caterer with ISO22000 certification that it is today, Eatz Catering is a story of vision and tenacity.

The company’s founder, Novie Djayayanti Tjoa, close to 40, relates that she came from humble beginnings and did not have much money. But she knew that she needed to prove her worth, and eventually came to show her true mettle when she pushed herself to realise her dream of starting her own business. Novie’s goal was simple: To give her parents a better quality of life.

Little by little she built her food enterprise, garnering the praise and approval of clients including MNCs, government statutory boards, government offices, local SMEs, tertiary institutions, universities, schools, and so on. But Novie has her feet firmly on the ground, recalling often that her early days were once very trying.

What spurred you to enter the F&B industry?

Personally, I felt it was an industry that didn’t have particularly high barriers to entry. I wasn’t the best student back in school. And at the time, I was working in F&B, so I wanted to start somewhere within my capabilities.

How is Eatz unique from its peers?

Our flexibility, services, culture, our prices, and our wide range of food products. I believe these are our ingredients of success.

What’s your guiding philosophy in ensuring the continued success of the business?

First, integrity. I always insist on doing the right thing all the time in any given situation. Second, respect. Due respect is given to even the lowest ranking staff in the company. We recognise that everyone is important and responsible for his or her work. Third, innovation. The company believes in constant innovation so that our processes can be streamlined. Fourth, drive. The company possesses the drive and the energy and that rubs off on the staff. And finally, discipline. Discipline and perseverance have propelled the company to where it is today.

To what would you attribute your success?

I believe in sheer determination and hard work. The “I can do it and I will do it” mindset enables me to propel forward. I always surround myself with people who believe in me and bring positive impact.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your entrepreneurial journey?

I don’t think I want to change anything. I have no regrets.

What motivates you?

At first, I was motivated to do well for my parents. If we had money back then, my father might have gotten better medical care. So I promised myself I would give my parents a better life, I want to make them happy. That determination and grit to achieve success brought us to where we now stand. Today, nothing has changed. I still want to give the best that I can for my parents, but also for my kids because I am already grooming my son, as I hope to handover the business to my children.

How do you generate new ideas for your products and services?

I’m a self-driven leader. And we are very open to the market cycle and trends and keep ourselves updated. Very often, I have open conversations with my peers in the industry, And when I travel, my eyes and mind are open to anything that could be of interest to my industry — it could be an idea, a concept, or even a simple thing like placement of tableware.

Tell us about your more difficult challenges and how you overcame them.

When I was schooling, I never disciplined myself and I didn’t do well in my studies, I lacked self-discipline. But I managed to change myself. I believe strongly that being self-disciplined is the single most important quality for success in life and business.

Finding staff is also a challenge. When we were small, I had fewer employees. I continued to struggle for a few years in the beginning, working more than 16 hours a day. I felt left out in my social circles, but at the same time I was afraid of failure. I could not let my business fail. I would do everything to prevent that from happening.

Does Eatz get involved in community projects?

We have been doing CSR activities with Singapore Children Society, Promise Land, Habitat, Assisi Hospice Care, and Ren Ci Hospital. In fact, we just got recognised for the third consecutive year contributing to Singapore Children Society. The company has also embarked on a dollar-for-dollar donation matching to encourage our staff to give back. Most recently, the company has also gone on a blood donation drive.

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

I love to read, and I enjoy watching inspirational and business-related videos to improve my knowledge. I spend time with my two kids at home or at attractions around Singapore and overseas travels, when time permits.

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.