TURNING a small local firm into a regional giant won food tycoon Sam Goi the 2013 Businessman of the Year award on Thursday evening.
Known as the "popiah king", Mr Goi is the executive chairman of Tee Yih Jia Group, which markets frozen popiah skins, wanton wrappers and roti pratas across the globe.
He won the prize for his entrepreneurial spirit and far-sightedness in buying Tee Yih Jia in 1977 and building it into the popiah behemoth it is today, the organisers of the Singapore Business Awards said.
Mr Goi also built Yangzhou Yunhe Real Estate Group into one of the best property developers in southern China, they added.
Mr Goi received the award from Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin at a ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa.
Three other business leaders also took home trophies on Thursday night.
Mr Tan Pheng Hock, president and chief executive of ST Engineering, won the Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year 2013 award.
Another prize, for Outstanding Overseas Chief Executive, went to Mr Kenneth Chan, chief executive of McDonald's China.
The Enterprise Award 2013 went to energy services provider Mencast Holdings, run by Mr Glenndle Sim.
The Singapore Business Awards were jointly organised by The Business Times and DHL Express.
"All four winners have demonstrated leadership, vision and entrepreneurial qualities at their best," said Mr Alvin Tay, chairman of the awards organising committee and editor of The Business Times.
Mr Herbert Vongpusanachai, managing director, DHL Express Singapore, added: "A common denomination underlying their successes is constant innovation, which is the only way to compete in the vibrant global marketplace."