Stockbroking pioneer Lim Hua Min, executive chairman of PhillipCapital Group, was named Businessman of the Year at this year's Singapore Business Awards.
He has helmed the group since 1975, using his personal savings and borrowings from the bank and partners to acquire a brokerage firm that had been suspended.
The veteran revolutionised the stockbroking industry here in 1996 when he introduced the first Internet trading platform, Poems. Over four decades, he has turned the company from a single-market and single-product firm into an Asian house with a global reach.
With its headquarters in Singapore, its operations span 17 countries, including the major financial hubs of Chicago, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The 72-year-old is not resting on his laurels. He told The Straits Times that the group is still pushing the envelope by introducing new products and channels and entering new markets.
"Today's competition is no longer products against products but platforms against platforms or ecosystems against ecosystems," Mr Lim said. "We'll be myopic to think that competition is just local rather than global. What makes you so sure that your traditional company will still have a place in the sun?"
Today's competition is no longer products against products but platforms against platforms or ecosystems against ecosystems. We'll be myopic to think that competition is just local rather than global. What makes you so sure that your traditional company will still have a place in the sun?
MR LIM HUA MIN, executive chairman of PhillipCapital Group, who was named Businessman of the Year at this year's Singapore Business Awards.
He added that the group will continue to ramp up in Asia, and make more inroads into the United States, Europe and Australia.
In its 33rd year, the Singapore Business Awards is jointly organised by The Business Times, a business daily published by Singapore Press Holdings, and global logistics giant DHL.
Outstanding CEO of the Year went to Changi Airport Group (CAG) chief executive Lee Seow Hiang for leading the continued development of Changi Airport.
Under his purview since 2009, CAG has also built on the success of Changi Airport to expand overseas, investing in and managing foreign airports through its subsidiary in major economies such as China, India, the Middle East, South America and Europe.
Mr Jaspal Singh of ComfortDelGro (UK & Ireland) won Outstanding Overseas Executive of the Year for his track record in expanding ComfortDelGro's operations and branding in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Mr Singh, a Singaporean, moved to Britain to assume this role in 2004 after 27 years in the civil service. He said he accepted the award on behalf of his "first-class management team and the 5,700 hard-working men and women in Metroline who work passionately around the clock in all weather conditions, to keep London moving".
Receiving The Enterprise Award was human resource consultancy firm HRnetGroup, which has punched above its weight in an industry dominated by foreign names. The Singapore-listed firm employs 1,000 full-time consultants in 10 cities and serves 2,000 clients.
Business Times editor Wong Wei Kong noted that the winners had continuously strived to achieve stellar results and proven themselves as market leaders in their fields.
Congratulating the winners, President Halimah Yacob said at the gala dinner that they "have exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship, resilience and visionary drive".
Flagging the changing complexion of business with technological disruptions and shifts in business conditions, she urged companies to innovate, internationalise, raise productivity through technology, and build human capital as a strategic asset. "To support businesses in coping and capitalising on these fundamental shifts, the Government will continue to invest for the longer term and foster conditions for growth and transformation of our businesses," she said.