From security to bak kut teh, awards recognise local businesses

At the Entrepreneur of the Year Award ceremony on Thursday were (from left) Rotary Club of Singapore president Keith Harrison, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, Ademco Security Group managing director Toby Koh, the overall winner in the Established Entrepreneur category, and Asme president Kurt Wee. PHOTO: ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

Two go-getters from the security sector and another from the food and beverage industry ruled the roost at this year's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Mr Toby Koh, managing director of Ademco Security Group, was named overall winner in the Established Entrepreneur category.

The company is a leading innovative service provider of security and business management solutions, with the largest fire Decentralised Central Alarm Monitoring centre in the country.

Mr Koh, 47, was the first to introduce the autonomous Security Patrol Robot service backed by a 24-hour central monitoring and command centre.

The robots report on security breaches, enabling officers to focus on higher-skilled duties and ease manpower challenges in the sector.

The two other overall winners, Mr Jason Lim from Old Street Bak Kut Teh, and Mr Simon Ng from Leacov Singapore, won under the New Entrepreneur category.

Mr Lim, 52, owns one of the largest chains of bak kut teh restaurants in Singapore and was the first to introduce the dish into shopping malls.

The chain has 15 outlets here and several in Malaysia, Indonesia and China, with plans to continue expanding regionally and globally.

Mr Ng, meanwhile, has built a one-stop training centre for security professionals. Leacov offers a full spectrum of courses on areas such as security, customer service, fire safety and first aid.

He also introduced blended learning in the courses to allow learners to experience "mixed reality" study together with class lessons.

Mr Ng intends to explore using augmented reality, virtual reality and kinetic coaching technology in his training courses.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is in its 29th year,was co-organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme) and the Rotary Club of Singapore.

Asme president Kurt Wee said at the ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore on Thursday night: "Singapore's rapidly transforming business landscape calls for business owners to continually assess their business model, and rethink how technology adoption and integration can enable them to be better positioned for the future.

"Showing keen vision and strong determination to transform and adapt, the winners have proved their strength to achieve entrepreneurial success."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline From security to bak kut teh, awards recognise local businesses. Subscribe