SINGAPORE - The pandemic threw most companies off guard but some like Reachfield Security and Safety Management were well-prepared to deal with the widespread disruptions - a level of foresight that was honoured on Friday (Dec 17).
That foresight led the security guards agency to immediately put in place pandemic response protocols that it crafted and tested during the 2003 Sars outbreak.
It used video analytics to boost productivity amid manpower disruptions, trained and re-deployed workers and continued to pay those who could not be re-deployed.
"The pandemic has validated our belief that employees are the bedrock of our business. They are the true heroes that help the company tide through the crisis," said managing director Alvin Lee.
The company took the top prize at the 27th Enterprise 50 (E50) awards, which were held in a hybrid format with 140 guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore on Friday.
The awards recognise top privately-held companies that have contributed to the country's economic development. This year's winners were lauded for their business excellence and proactively transforming their operational models to thrive amid the pandemic.
Second place went to welding solution provider AllAlloy, which has diversified into sustainable products for personal and environmental safety and wind energy fabricators.
Construction company Utracon Overseas came in third and also bagged a special mention in the area of sustainability for building methods that help reduce waste and enable environmentally sustainable projects.
Special awards were also conferred. The Internationalisation Award went to steel solutions provider Mlion Corporation for winning numerous projects across Asia while Oilfield Services and Supplies won both the Enterprise Transformation and five-Year Awards, which recognises companies that have been E50 awardees five times.
Chocolate manufacturer Aalst Chocolate and building and design services company QXY Resources also clinched a five-year award.
The ceremony featured a panel discussion including Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng, who said the pandemic has forced businesses to re-examine their operating models and be more sustainable.
"The green economy will present significantly new opportunities for Singapore, particularly in carbon services," he added.
"We are also keen for companies to develop renewable energy sources in countries with an abundance of renewable energy or decarbonisation potential."
Mr Wong Wei Kong, the editor of The Business Times, which co-organised the awards with KPMG, said this year's winners had to navigate the pandemic, were forced to adapt quickly and react forcefully and find new paths of growth.
"We hope their leadership, creativity and determination will inspire other companies to rise to the challenges of today's complex environment," said Mr Wong.
Mr Jonathan Ho, partner and head of private enterprise at KPMG in Singapore, said enterprises are placing more importance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG): "They consider what ESG means to them in terms of sustainable corporate growth and competitive advantage; and are rapidly building and scaling ways to solve business challenges while keeping the company agile."