Two S'porean businesswomen who make their mark globally lauded by Her World magazine

Ms Jessica Tan (left), co-chief executive and executive director at Ping An Group, and Ms Lin Fengru, CEO and co-founder of TurtleTree.
Ms Jessica Tan (left), co-chief executive and executive director at Ping An Group, and Ms Lin Fengru, CEO and co-founder of TurtleTree.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JESSICA TAN, COURTESY OF LIN FENGRU

SINGAPORE - Two Singaporean businesswomen who have been pushing the boundaries of innovation have received Her World magazine's annual top awards in recognition of outstanding women.

Ms Jessica Tan, co-chief executive and executive director at Chinese insurance company Ping An Group, was named Her World Woman of the Year 2021, while Ms Lin Fengru, CEO and co-founder of Singapore biotech firm TurtleTree, received the Her World Young Woman Achiever 2021 award.

Ms Ng Yi Lian, editor at Her World Singapore, a publication by Singapore Press Holdings, said the awards have often celebrated Singaporean women who have made local inputs.

"But this year, we recognise the importance of Jessica's and Fengru's international contributions as we're all global citizens," she said.

The magazine said on Friday (Oct 15) that the duo are trailblazers and innovators who have been driving digital transformation.

Ms Tan, 44, was ranked second on Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women International list among businesses outside the United States in 2020.

She started a 13-year career at consulting firm McKinsey & Company after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a computer engineering degree.

She then joined Ping An as its group chief information officer and was behind numerous technology breakthroughs that boosted the company's growth.

This includes developing a telehealth app offering free online medical consultations during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020.

Ms Tan, who is married with two daughters, said: "I've dedicated the past 8½ years of my career working in China, with our teams at Ping An, to use financial services and technology to improve the lives of our 600 million customers."

She works in China, but shuttles back to Singapore to spend weekends with family.

"It has been a very fulfilling ride, and I'm glad that the work that we've done is recognised," she said.

Ms Lin, 33, a Singapore Management University graduate, co-founded TurtleTree with chief strategist Max Rye three years ago.

TurtleTree is now the first company to be able to produce both animal milk and human milk in their full composition through patented stem cell technology.

It raised US$3.2 million (S$4.3 million) in seed funding in June last year, and also received $1 million from the Temasek Foundation.

Ms Lin spends much of her time in Singapore, the US and the United Arab Emirates. She goes cycling with her sister, Jean, every Sunday when she is in Singapore.

She said she is a firm believer of "it's never about whether you can but whether you want to", adding that she wanted to encourage future young women achievers to pursue their passions.

"At TurtleTree, we will continue working on our mission to uplift the world by providing a new generation of nutrition that's better for the planet, better for the animals and better for people everywhere," she said.

Said Her World's Ms Ng of the two award recipients: "They make Singapore proud with their impact on millions of lives around the world, whether it's through medical accessibility and financial security or milk sustainability via biotechnology.

"With Covid-19 still a prevalent global issue, we've come to realise, now more than ever, how the entire world is truly connected and that no matter where we come from, we have the ability to make a difference to the world as exemplified by both our winners."

Since 1991, the annual Her World Woman of the Year award has paid tribute to outstanding women who have made breakthroughs in their industries and left a positive and long-lasting impact both locally and overseas.

The Her World Young Woman Achiever award was introduced in 1999 to recognise women aged 35 and below "whose achievements have surpassed existing boundaries, inspired those around them and paved the way for aspiring young females".