SINGAPORE - "I hope everyone is having a very 'Happy Meal'", McDonald's China CEO Kenneth Chan said to the audience of 700.
From good food and fine wine, to the company of Singapore's most distinguished business leaders, their spouses, associates and friends, the Singapore Business Awards 2014 delivered a Happy Meal indeed - many times upsized.
The night of celebration on April 3 marked the 29th edition of Singapore's oldest and most prestigious annual business awards, jointly organised by The Business Times and DHL Express Singapore.
Named the Outstanding CEO (Overseas) 2013, Mr Chan recalled how overwhelmed he was when he first arrived in 2009 in Shanghai, a city of 23 million people. Despite his "yi ban yi ban" or "half-half" Mandarin, Mr Chan went on to double the number of outlets McDonald's has in China and its revenue.
Mencast Holdings made an impression for its big hairy audacious goal of achieving $1 billion in market capitalisation, or $50 million in profit, by 2020.
The propeller manufacturer turned maintenance, repair and overhaul player for the oil and gas industry received the Enterprise of the Year award.
ST Engineering chief Tan Pheng Hock took home the CEO of the Year award, which was clinched by the company for the second time.
"Beyond the individuals, this speaks a lot for ST Engineering. Our success is built on three things: resilience, disciplined processes and engineering expertise which includes innovation," he said.
Popiah King Sam Goi was given the Businessman of the Year accolade.
Despite his halting Singlish, the chairman of Tee Yih Jia, a popiah skin manufacturer, left the audience in stitches. Recounting how friends had asked why he had not followed the government's family policy then to stop at two, he said he did.
"I stop at two. And then get up again at 2.30am."
This article was published on April 17 in The Business Times.
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