Nurturing By Design

Yvon Bock

FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR

HEGEN PTE LTD

(Nova Category Overall Winner 2018)

"The entrepreneurial journey is a humbling one in which you will encounter many obstacles. It is very important to accept change and remain positive. If you do what you love and love what you do, it will reap countless benefits."

Named after the German phrase which means “to cherish and nurture”, Hegen was established in Singapore in 2015, designed to create sustainable, practical and high-quality breastfeeding products that meet the different needs of a growing child, and provide an integrated solution for breastfeeding, from expressing to storing and feeding for mothers.

Its award-winning and revolutionary Express-Store-Feed system reimagines the milk bottle in a practical way while remaining efficient, simple to use and functional. All Hegen feeding and storage containers are made of PPSU, a high-performing mouldable plastic that resists high temperature, making it a top choice for products requiring repeated steam sterilisation.

Hegen’s parent company, Fitson, is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM and ODM) that produces baby care products for global baby product brands.

Currently retailing in Singapore, the United States, China, Russia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Cambodia, Hegen aims to launch in at least 35 markets by 2020.

Yvon Bock grew up in an environment that made her no stranger to running one’s own business. Her parents are both entrepreneurs, so becoming one seemed like a natural route for her to take when she entered adulthood. Her parents had always encouraged her to be creative in every aspect of life, urging her to seize opportunities to be inventive. Her love for design and craft, coupled with a thoughtful nurturing outlook, prepared her for the leadership role that she would assume later on in life.

Today, Yvon is the founder and managing director of Hegen Pte Ltd, which the 39-year-old runs while juggling her role as a mother of four children. A regular speaker and panellist at forums for women and mothers, she engages actively with a community of like-minded women across the world who understand and identify with the struggles she faced during her breastfeeding journey.

What is your role as the key driver of the Hegen business?

I am very involved in the research and development process, from conceptualising to sketching, down to the production line. I am also Hegen’s brand spokesperson and represent the company at talks and symposiums on precision engineering, as well as at various motherhood-related seminars in Singapore, China and Southeast Asia.

How are Hegen’s products different from those of your peers?

One of Hegen’s key tenets is “Hegen Grows with Your Child”. All of Hegen’s bottles are made with interchangeable spouts, teats, lids and more. This allows one to keep the Hegen bottle after a child has been weaned, by replacing the teat with a spout to create a drinking bottle. In addition, all Hegen bottles come without a screw thread closure, allowing you to close the bottle without the added hassle of twisting the cover. This revolutionary design is a departure from the traditional baby bottles and is one of the first of its kind in the mother and baby care product market.

What mindset, mentality or habits do you think contributes to making you a successful entrepreneur?

It is important to stay positive, as the entrepreneurial journey is a humbling one where you will encounter countless hurdles. Embrace change as a constant and stay focused.

Were there mistakes you made that left a deep impression?

In 2008, when I was 29 years old, Fitson won the contract for a big account. To accommodate the increase in business, we tripled our headcount and expanded our factory within 12 months. However, shortly after 18 months, the client terminated the contract prematurely. I was at a loss and I felt an immense responsibility to our team, I was also worried about any irreversible impact this might have on the company; I wanted to retain all our employees, so I started exploring new business opportunities. From that incident, I learned that we need to plan ahead and control our own circumstances, which is why I started Hegen, because having a brand we can call our own is very important.

Does Hegen get involved in community projects?

Yes. From 2018, Hegen has sponsored annually up to 10,000 sets of manual breast pumps and breast milk storage containers, in a collaborative effort with Thomson Medical Centre to encourage mothers to breastfeed.

Currently, we are partnering KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to create an exclusive product line for babies with cleft palates. The first clinical trial was a success, resulting in a range of Hegen teats suitable for feeding these babies.

Ultimately, through these initiatives, we hope to impact change within the mother and baby care industry in whatever way we can.

Share with us your thoughts and observations on female entrepreneurs.

The female entrepreneur who juggles motherhood and domestic responsibilities alongside building a business may often feel quite lonely on her journey. Having a strong support system, especially from her family and team, can help her succeed.

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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.