Thirteen outstanding individuals or teams have qualified as top nominees for the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2021 Malaysia awards, it was announced in a virtual ceremony on Nov 22, which marks the second consecutive year that the nomination ceremony had to be held in such a setting because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winners of the four category awards — Emerging, Technology, Women and Master — as well as the coveted EOY 2021 Malaysia award will be announced at another virtual ceremony next February, as it is unlikely that a gala event on a pre-pandemic scale could be held.
Although a grand occasion to fete the winners would have been ideal, as this year happens to be the 20th year of the EOY programme in Malaysia, the calibre of all applicants and the tenacity of the final list of nominees remain more than worthy of celebration.
Commenting on the milestone, programme director Philip Rao, says, “As we mark the 20th anniversary of the EOY programme in Malaysia, we are gratified and honoured to have had the unique privilege to recognise and celebrate over 300 remarkable men and women across generations, industries and sectors. In the face of adversity, especially in recent months, these entrepreneurs continue to rise up to build a better working world.”
Rao expressed pride at being able to provide these industry leaders a platform to share with the rest of the world their success stories and “more importantly, their enduring legacy and far-reaching impact on surrounding communities and the country”.
“They are relentless in seeking better solutions to some of our biggest challenges and reinventing a future that transforms our lives. They have demonstrated their perseverance and ingenuity in steering their business and industries forward while supporting their employees and communities,” says Rao, who is also a Consulting Partner at Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd.
The nominees were decided by an independent panel of judges guided by a set of criteria that is consistently applied globally by the programme. This year, the panel comprises EOY alumni Hyrax Oil’s Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin, Aerodyne Group’s Kamarul
A Muhamed and Karex Bhd CEO Goh Mah Kiat, as well as other influential voices — Bursa Malaysia CEO Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, MDEC chief marketing officer Raymond Siva, Aeon Group chief merchandising officer Low Ngai Yuen — and executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Sta Maria.
Rao says the panel of judges had a challenging task in determining this year’s top nominees, as “every one of their persons, stories and journeys [is] inspiring, more so given the unprecedented challenges they had faced in the past months, and now stand[s] as testament to their accomplishments and success”.
The Malaysian EOY 2021 top entrepreneur will join fellow winners from around the globe in June 2022 to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year (WEOY) 2022 award.
Although the EOY programme has been running for two decades in Malaysia, there has never been a shortage of nominees, as entrepreneurship is part of the local culture, whether it is a neighbourhood stall selling nasi lemak in the morning or a multi-million-dollar conglomerate with a global presence. To build something of long-term value takes grit, persistence and a sense of ambition that is free of doubt or fear, and the EOY programme takes much joy in celebrating these unstoppable human beings, whose unbounded ambitions deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world.
Here are the nominees:
Emerging Entrepreneur category
• Ang Xing Xian, Darrel Ang, Dion Tan and Edwin Tan; Bay Group Holdings Sdn Bhd (CapBay)
• Vincent Lua, Cravito Holding Sdn Bhd
• Aizat Rahim and Lennise Ng, Macro Tech Ventures Sdn Bhd (Dropee)
• Henry Ting, Clickgaming Distribution Group Sdn Bhd (TTRacing)
Technology Entrepreneur category
• Datuk Foong Wei Kuong, JF Technology Bhd
• Dr Hanafiah Yussof, Robopreneur Sdn Bhd
• Yew Lip Sin, SRKK Group Sdn Bhd
Woman Entrepreneur category
• Ooi Lay Pheng, Berjayapak Sdn Bhd
• Norsharina Mohd Shahar, Gaia Plas Bhd
• Charmaine Tan Shwu Fen, Siang Pharmacy Sdn Bhd
Master Entrepreneur category
• Datuk Parmjit Singh, Asia Pacific University Sdn Bhd
• Jonathan Kan, ERS Energy Sdn Bhd
• Gan Thiam Chai, Kawan Food Bhd
This article first appeared on Nov 24, 2021 in The Edge, CEO Morning Brief.