2008 Enterprise 50 Awards opens doors to new opportunities

November 21, 2008

Click here to download the complete press release in PDF format (249kb)

Singapore's 50 most enterprising companies for 2008 were announced at the Enterprise 50 (E50) Award Presentation and Gala Dinner tonight. Leading the listing was home-grown company Franklin Offshore Holdings Pte Ltd. In second and third place respectively on this year's Enterprise 50 list were iFAST Corporation Pte. Ltd. and Tru-Marine Pte. Ltd.

The dinner was officiated by Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, who gave away the awards to the top 10 winning companies.

The remaining 40 companies on the listing received their awards earlier in the day from Mr Danny Teoh, Managing Partner of KPMG LLP (Singapore) at a separate ceremony.

Mr Teoh said: "KPMG congratulates the E50 winners. We are proud to be the co-organiser of this year's E50 Awards, recognising the achievements and contributions of Singapore's high performing enterprises. Our involvement takes our engagement with these enterprises to a new level, providing us with new avenues for assisting Singapore's enterprising companies in opening new doors to opportunities and growth."

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor, The Business Times said: "The Business Times congratulates the 50 companies in this year's E50 list, particularly the 32 first-time winners. The E50 Awards are an affirmation of our winners' compelling business models and sustainable growth potential. A strong SME sector is often the economic pulse of many great economies and a catalyst for growth. We recognise that and have devoted both resources and editorial space to covering that sector. This year's E50 Awards, set amid the current backdrop of global economic downturn, take on greater significance and underline the vital role that SMEs play in the development of the Singapore economy."

In recognition of their being on the E50 Awards list for five years consecutively, Gracezone Marketing Pte. Ltd., Binter & Co Pte. Ltd. and Teambuild Construction Pte. Ltd. received special awards this year.

Recognising Excellence across Sectors

In its 14th year, the E50 Awards identify, support, recognise and reward enterprising privately-owned, local companies across a broad spectrum of industries.

This year, the list comprises organisations from sectors such as business services (4.5 percent), information technology (6 percent), engineering services (12 percent), logistics (3 percent), hospitality and travel (1.5 percent), real estate and construction (7.5 percent), wholesale, retail and distribution (31.5 percent), manufacturing (9 percent) and others (25 percent).

The judging panel this year comprised senior management representatives from KPMG LLP (Singapore), The Business Times, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore. OCBC Bank is the sponsor.

To qualify for the E50 Award, companies must first be locally incorporated, have at least 30 percent local equity, three years audited financial records and must not be listed on any stock exchange. Companies were short-listed from the entries received and then ranked according to pre-defined criteria.

As a testimony to its importance, many past E50 Award recipients have used the ranking as a springboard for listing. To date, over a hundred companies which have received the award have gone on to list on the Singapore Exchange.

For a list of 2008 E50 Award winners please see Annex A.

New Hue to the Awards

From this year, professional services firm, KPMG LLP (Singapore) has collaborated with The Business Times as a co-organiser. This new collaboration has brought with it changes in the assessment criteria.

Promising companies which are not currently generating large revenues but have the potential for sustainable growth are now in a stronger position to win a position on the 2008 E50 Awards list. This is because while they are still evaluated on both qualitative and quantitative criteria, more weight is now given to qualitative factors.

Among others, quantitative factors took into consideration financial performance indicators such as operating profit before tax, turnover and profit growth. Qualitative aspects include management and marketing strategies such as the applicant's business model and their innovations, management ideals and governance, market branding and overall potential.

Mr Teoh said: "Our new collaboration with The Business Times sees an assessment approach which is more qualitative in nature, the idea being to create a more holistic and forward-looking judging process. In particular, the projected growth of applicants, rather than just their historical financial records, has been given greater weight."

He added: "Looking at the top 10 companies, they all share several common characteristics. These include an established strong financial track record, which underlines their business acumen and financial prudence."

A word from the Sponsor and Supporters

Other than the organisers, the Awards are also supported by International Enterprise Singapore, SPRING Singapore and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and sponsored by OCBC Bank.

Said Mr Linus Goh, Global Head of Enterprise Banking and Financial Institutions, OCBC Bank: "In its 14th year, the E50 Awards remain an important platform to showcase local enterprises which have emerged as leaders in their industries. These winners have succeeded through innovation, branding and overseas expansion to deliver growth consistently. Their success is a significant motivation for other enterprises in Singapore."

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RADM (NS) Ronnie Tay of the IDA said: "I congratulate this year's E50 winners on their success. It is encouraging to see more companies from diverse industries leveraging on infocomm technology for innovation and sustainability, and technology can indeed enable enterprises to differentiate their products and services in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Said Mr Chong Lit Cheong, CEO at International Enterprise (IE) Singapore: "IE Singapore congratulates this year's E50 winners. These are challenging times ahead for businesses, and our enterprises need to devise new strategies to deal with a changed environment. Singapore enterprises can view this as an opportunity to make themselves more competitive and continue to advance their plans for overseas markets. I believe that with a robust business model and forward-looking spirit, our enterprises will emerge as stronger global players. They will be well poised to forge ahead when the global economy recovers."

"SPRING congratulates this year's E50 winners. I am pleased to see that among the winners are SMEs from diverse industries. These SMEs have proven that they can compete against the best both locally and globally. Today's challenging climate is an opportunity for these companies to enhance their capabilities and strengthen their competitiveness for the upturn," said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore.

For further information please contact:
Yeo Siew Chi Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: +65 6319 1586 (direct) / 9749 5105 (mobile)
e-Mail: yeosc@sph.com.sg

Kelvin Lee Manager, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1534 (direct) / 8118 9400 (mobile)
e-Mail: kelvinlee1@kpmg.com.sg

Dawn Westerhout Director, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1538 (direct) / 8118 9920 (mobile)
e-Mail: dwesterhout@kpmg.com.sg

Click here to download the complete press release in PDF format (249kb)

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