Nanofilm CEO named EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Nanofilm Technologies' Dr Shi Xu won the award based on six criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction and global impact. He also won the Entrepreneur of the Year for Adv
Nanofilm Technologies' Dr Shi Xu won the award based on six criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction and global impact. He also won the Entrepreneur of the Year for Advanced Manufacturing.PHOTO: EY

Scientist by training started firm in 1999 with just $300k; it now has over 1,500 employees

Dr Shi Xu, chief executive of Nanofilm Technologies International, was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Singapore by professional services organisation EY at an awards gala dinner last Friday.

Dr Shi, who was also named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Advanced Manufacturing, will be Singapore's representative at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year event to be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in June next year.

He will compete against more than 60 nominees from other countries for the coveted world title.

Friday's other winners were:

•Mr Chia Yoong Hui, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, and Mr Sia Teck Chong, co-founder, director and chief technical officer, of Ascenz, for Entrepreneur of the Year - Maritime Technology Solutions;

•Mr Lennon Tan, group chairman of JK Tech Group, for Entrepreneur of the Year - Financial Services Technology Enablement; and

•Mr Derrick Yap, chief executive officer of PBA International ,for Entrepreneur of the Year - Diversified Engineering.

"It is a great honour to win this award this year. I thank my wife, my children and the rest of my family for their love and consistent support through the peaks and valleys in my entrepreneurial journey," Dr Shi said.

An independent judging panel selected Dr Shi as the winner based on six criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction and global impact.

Dr Shi set up Nanofilm Technologies International in 1999 with a start-up capital of $300,000.

Today, it is a significant player in coating technology and advanced manufacturing on the world stage, with multinational operations and more than 1,500 employees.

Judging panel chairman Robert Yap, who is also executive chairman of YCH Group, said: "Shi Xu has been able to both identify and realise opportunities, no matter what role or environment he is in. With his scientific background, he spotted existing limitations, invented a new technology and had the strong business acumen to take it from ideation to commercialisation.

"His belief in innovation continues to drive his investments in research and development."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Nanofilm CEO named EY Entrepreneur of the Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe