Young Lions of Singapore
As Southeast Asia’s foremost commercial hub, Singapore is a financial force to be reckoned with. Its unprecedented continuous economic growth every year is an authentication to the superpower’s commitment to extraordinary evolvement. The development of a nation, however, will not be possible without its army of entrepreneurs, the group of businesspeople who run various enterprises profiting the nation and without whom the country’s rapid development will most certainly grind to a halt. Top10Lifestyles.com identifies the island nation’s young crop of entrepreneurs raring to contribute to its economy and growth.
Founder of Singapore’s leading memory training company, Sancy Suraj is currently the proud holder of Guinness Book of World Record’s record for the ‘Longest Colour Sequence Memorised’ – he was able to memorise 160 randomly-generated colours that was shown every two seconds. Tapping into his prowess, Sancy formed his facility in late 2011 and now functions as the Chief Memory Improvement Trainer with a group of skilfully motivated professionals that specialise in teaching effective memorisation and knowledge storing techniques. Besides having represented his country in the World Memory Championship in 2011, the intellect is also fully certified in Advance Training and Assessment by the Institute for Adult Learning.
Boasting extensive experience in sales and management, Nick Sim is a strong believer in life-long learning as he continuously attends upgrading courses to improve himself further. For the past few years, however, Nick has been managing WhizHeartz Edu-Centre – a one-stop all-inclusive training company for parents, children, government agencies and corporate companies. Whilst running two different businesses simultaneously, Nick also sits on Singapore Polytechnic Alumni’s board to help evaluate businesses proposals of aspiring entrepreneurs and is also the Vice-President for Singapore Polytechnic Entrepreneurs Club (SPEC). A relentless multi-tasker, the young occasional-radio broadcaster is a seminar translator as well and has translated for many world-renowned speakers.
As the co-founder and Managing Director of Timbre Group, Edward’s main mission is to develop the Singapore music scene by cultivating the talent of local musicians and garnering them a loyal fan base. Under his helm, the Group has developed to become a holistic music lifestyle company with a diverse portfolio of businesses ranging from food and beverage, concert and festivals promotion and music education. Besides focusing on his company, Edward serves on various committees as well, such as the Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR), where he reviews strategies for attracting, developing and retaining creative talent in Singapore. Since 2013, this creative entrepreneur is also a board member of the National Arts Council and National Museum of Singapore.
Being a prolific drummer with a passion for teaching, starting his own drumming school was a natural progression for the astute musician. Graduating with a First Class Honours from Nanyang Technological University – where he was on the Dean’s List for three consecutive years – James decided to put his entrepreneurial skills to good use by starting My Drum School, a specialised music school that prioritises a good curriculum and love for music. Recognising his management skills, the Business Times has featured him twice on its magazine as a ‘Successful Entrepreneur under 30’, while Computer Times ran a piece on him for his innovation in using technology for his business.
The risky path of entrepreneurship may not be everyone’s preferred course, but for those who do to take up the challenge, the rewards are aplenty. One such risk-taker is Neeraj, who set up his own company Comwerks at 21 years of age using just S$5,000 with his partner Keith Tan. After realigning the company as a digital agency, Comwerks managed to lure in numerous high-profile clients, namely Microsoft, Starbucks, 3M, Procter and Gamble, and most importantly the Singaporean government. The winner of EYA for Social Contribution in the 25th Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Neeraj has also helped set up Zed Academy, a training facility which aims to prepare students for the digital and mobile industries.
Loyal Reliance Pte Ltd is now one of the most prominent business consultancy firms for SMEs in both Singapore and Malaysia thanks to its founder and Group Managing Director, Jeffrey Koh. A champion of the SME community, Jeffrey has spearheaded the development of various new services catering to local businesses, for which he was conferred the Honouree of the Spirit of Enterprise awards in 2013 while Loyal Reliance was presented with the Top 25 Prestige Brand Award in 2014. An avid philanthropist, the activist has even initiated a bursary fund worth S$250,000 at Nanyang Technological University to help less fortunate students with their education.
Graduating at the top of her class from the School of Fashion Studies at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) should have been a presage of Grace’s ability to achieve great things in life. The founder and creative director of Awesome Costumes, the revolutionary designer has crafted works that have been seen at various high-profile events such as the Chingay Parades, the Youth Olympic Games 2010 and President’s Star Charity 2011. Specialising in creating costumes for theatre, dance and other entertainment events, Awesome Costumes has garnered Grace the third place at Yahoo Singapore’s prestigious 9 Awards under the business category held as part of National Day 2012.
As the Managing Director of Q’son Kitchen Equipment, Sally Chua is responsible for day-to-day management decisions, overall strategic preparation and expansion plans of the homegrown company. A well-known name in the kitchen equipment industry, Q’son has been in business for more than 15 years, all the while serving some of Singapore’s best known restaurants and 5-star hotels. Utilising her insightful entrepreneurial skills, Sally has transformed Q’son over the years from a budding three-person outfit to a company with staff strength of more than 150 today. Her recent achievements include being selected as one of the nine Established Entrepreneurs of 213 by the Association of SMEs (ASME).
Kimberley Furniture was founded almost twenty years ago in 1985 by Justin Wu when it was still known as Plymart Timber Pte Ltd. The company started out mainly dealing with import and export of sawn timber to the international market, before moving towards manufacturing high-quality furniture, guided by the visionary Justin. Selecting only the best kiln dried hardwood species such as teak and iron wood, the furniture ranges are then crafted to meet the different needs and wants of various customers. K. Kimberley is now not only established in Asia and Europe but is also progressing into United States and Africa.
Nicholas Chan may look green but don’t let his youthful looks fool you; he is already the head of two major companies – a venture capitalist fund that invests in aspiring startups called Azione Capital and a maritime info-communications firm. Graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) where he did a diploma in film, sound and video, Nicholas regards Soon Choo Teck, the former chief executive officer of Sim Lim Co. Pte Ltd as his mentor. His brainchild, Azione Capital, has achieved far more than any other Singaporean startup business incubators and is currently looking to invest beyond its shorelines.