There are some economies in the world which rely more on speed and efficiency than others, on the other hand there is Singapore economy which is said to be a highly developed and successful freemarket.
A land of cultural appropriation, Singapore enjoys an astonishingly open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. It majorly depends on exports, particularly of consumer electronics, information technology products, medical and optical devices, pharmaceuticals, and on its vibrant transportation, business, and financial services sectors.
In today’s world, successful economies are fluid and do not follow a traditional path, and as a result of the liberalization Singapore has a very low rate of unemployment. Being a strategic location to some of the most profit earning organizations, it is the world’s easiest place to do business as quoted by the World Bank. The Singapore economy contracted 0.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but has continued to grow since 2010 on the strength of renewed exports. With a view to boost many underrated industries of the country; the government is attempting to restructure Singapore’s economy by weaning its dependence on foreign labor, addressing weak productivity, and increasing Singaporean wages.
The highest profit-earning segments which have attracted most investments in the past couple of years are pharmaceuticals and medical technology production, and with this Singapore continue to strengthen its position as Southeast Asia’s leading financial and high-tech hub. Singapore is also a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations with the nine other ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, Singapore formed, with the other ASEAN members, the ASEAN Economic Community. Some known growth engines who have contributed to adorn Singapore’s skyline on the world map are as follows:
Mr. Gunit Chadha
Financial Answer Machine
Co-chief executive officer Asia Pacific and member of the group executive committee of Deutsche Bank, Mr. Gunit Chadha is pacing high in his professional life. Mr. Chadha has 26 years of Retail, Corporate & Investment Banking experience from USA and India. In the years 2000-2003, he was the CEO of IDBI Bank, where he was voted “The Banker of the Year” by Business Standard.
Prior to IDBI Bank, Mr. Chadha was with Citicorp Securities Inc., New York and earlier Head-Investment Banking for Citigroup-India, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. His hard work has earned him a lot of laurels amongst the locals of Singapore. Mr. Chadha has held senior positions in various industry forums – Board of Directors of Association of Merchant Bankers in India, Managing Committee of Indian Bankers Association, and member of RBI’s Technical Advisory Committees etc. Mr. Chadha enjoys sports and reading and is actively involved as a Board Director with several NGO’s focused on education.
Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board recently appointed Mr Chadha as a new member of the highly influential Group Executive Committee (GEC), which will be expanded from 12 to 18 members.
Making Singapore Interact
Since the legendary digital media expert incepted his first start-up, which he set up when he was still in university, was acquired by a Singapore-based company in 2004, the accelerator has invested in six companies in the digital media space and is CEO of Interactive SG.
An avid basketball fan, he is a shareholder of the Singapore Slingers professional basketball team and in his free time promotes his favorite hobby, turbans, through The Turbanizer – a mobile app that he has developed.
Mr. Singh holds an experience in diverse fields like Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Business Model Innovation and General Management. He has also led organizations through turn-around, start-up and high growth situations. His success in the field was noted by Business Week in 2009 as one of “Asia’s Top Young Entrepreneurs” and reiterated by the Economic Times in 2012 for having “built a solid reputation as one of the most successful serial entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia”. Over the past 15 years, Ash has focused on creating and bringing to market, applications and services in the mobile, trans-media, digital and Internet spaces.
Synchronizing Smart Money
Sameer Jain currently serves as the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Everstone Capital. Prior to co-founding Everstone Capital in 2006, Sameer spent eleven years at Goldman Sachs where he was a Managing Director in the Investment Management Division where he was Head of Institutional Wealth Management and the Special Investments Group (International). He has also spent eight years managing public market portfolios for Goldman Sachs clients, investing globally across asset classes. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Mumbai, a BBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an MBA from Cornell University.
Soon after completing his education in the US, he started working in UK, the US and India, he decided to move to Singapore in 2010. His business is largely India focused and Singapore provides the right combination of ease in setting up a business and a proper regulatory regime. It is also a tax-friendly regime and there’s no problem in attracting global talent.
Bhupendra Kumar Modi
Spicing up Singapore
The Chairman of Smart Global, Mr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi hailed from India to carve a niche in the spice world. Dr. Modi is ranked at 27th position in the overall rich list of Singapore’s billionaires. Eminent personalities like T Robert & Philip Ng and Kwek Leng Beng & family have been ranked on this list. Mr. Modi runs the business and the growth and business strategy of the company on future growth epicenters such as Singapore for Spice Global. Mr. Modi is looking at tapping the young global talent that Singapore is increasingly attracting. Bhupendra Kumar Modi, chairman of Smart Global, who hails from India and became a Singapore citizen in 2012, has been busy striking deals. His latest venture is to make electric vehicles in his native India with China’s BYD. Last October he sold a 51% stake in a Delhi hospital for $52 million to rival Max Healthcare, giving Max the option to buy the remaining shares for $45 million.
Recently Spice Global has made a strategic investment in Formation 8, a Silicon Valley based early-growth venture capital fund which is focused on investments in information technology and energy technology businesses. The Group has also been offering financial services through Wall Street Finance Limited, which has over 6,000 sub agents across the country.
A name that is associated with the Kewalram Chanrai Group for more than three decades is familiar to many and also considered to be the leading man in business. Sunny Verghese, the Co‑Founder and Group CEO was appointed as one of the Board members in 1989.
Before joining the K.C. Group, he worked for Unilever in India. Sunny is currently the Chairman of the Human Capital Leadership Institute. He holds a postgraduate degree in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Sunny is presently the Chairman of the Board of the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI), Singapore. Sunny was appointed Director on the Board of International Enterprise Singapore in 2002, and served as its Chairman from 2008 to 2013. Sunny also served on the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 2009 to 2013. He was also the first Chairman of CitySpring Infrastructure Management Pte Ltd, a Singapore Main Board listed Infrastructure Investment Trust from 2006 to 2010. Sunny also served on the Main Economic Review Committee (ERC) set up by the Singapore Government to develop a long term economic blueprint for Singapore in Dec 2001.
Building Little India in Singapore
Mustaq Ahmad, the co-founder and managing director of Mustafa Centre, a popular 24-hour shopping centre in Little India frequented by many Singaporeans and tourists. The success of Mustafa Centre has earned Mustaq Ahmad accolades such as the Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2003. Business took off at Campbell Lane and within two years, the family was looking for new sites to expand their business. They were able to secure two locations, one at Campbell Lane, and the other at Serangoon Road.
The site at Campbell Lane was used to store their goods, while the site at Serangoon Road, which enjoyed heavier human traffic, functioned as its retail store. With the larger retail space, Mustaq decided to add electronic goods to its range of products to meet customers’ demands. Mustaq also made a pioneering decision to sell his products at fixed prices. This was an uncommon practice at that time. The move went well with customers who found the store’s products competitively priced, and that time could be saved by doing away with the bargaining process. Customer traffic continued to grow and the store soon extended to the rented space next door.
Robert Ng Chee Siong
one step ahead
At the age of 63, Robert Ng Chee Siong is an Executive Director since 1981 and Chairman of the Group since 1991, was called to the Bar in 1975. He has been actively engaged in property investment and development in Hong Kong during the last 39 years and is also a director of a number of subsidiaries and associated companies of the Company. Mr. Ng is the Chairman of Tsim Sha Tsui Properties Limited, the holding company, and the Chairman of Sino Hotels (Holdings) Limited. He is also a Director of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and a member of the 11th and 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Mr. Ng is the father of Mr. Daryl Ng Win Kong, an Executive Director of the Company, a son of the late substantial shareholder Mr. Ng Teng Fong and the brother of Mr. Philip Ng Chee Tat, the co-executor of the estate of the late Mr. Ng Teng Fong.
Brothers Robert and Philip Ng control Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest private property developer. Sluggish home market was offset by rising revenues reported by their Hong Kong arm, Sino Group, overseen by older sibling Robert and his son Daryl. Last year, the family donated $15 million to the National Gallery Singapore, a new visual arts institution that has named a roof garden exhibition space after their late father Ng Teng Fong.
Kwek Leng Beng
A Managing Director of Hong Leong Finance Limited (“Hong Leong Finance” or the “Company”) since 1 March 1979, Mr Kwek was appointed Chairman of the Company since 28 November 1984 and was last re-appointed as a Director on 24 April 2014 pursuant to Section 153(6) of the Companies Act, Chapter 50 (“Section 153(6)”). Mr Kwek is also chairman of the Executive Committee (“Exco”) and sits on the Risk Management Committee (“RMC”) and Nominating Committee (“NC”).
He is the Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd. (“HLIH”), the immediate and ultimate holding company of Hong Leong Finance, and City Developments Limited (“CDL”), and non-executive Chairman of Hong Leong Asia Ltd. (“HLA”) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (“M&C”). He is also Chairman and Managing Director of City e-Solutions Limited (“CES”).
Mr Kwek holds a law degree, LL.B. (London) and is also a fellow of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He has extensive experience in the finance business, having grown from day one with the original Hong Leong Finance Limited which has since merged its finance business with the Company. He also has vast experience in the real estate business, the hotel industry as well as the trading and manufacturing business.
Goh Cheng Liang
Living life king size
The founder of Nippon Paint South-East Asia Group (NIPSEA), Mr Goh Cheng Liang is Singapore’s richest man with a US$8.2 billion (S$10.8 billion) fortune, according to a Bloomberg report.
Mr Goh’s wealth puts him ahead of Mr Wee Cho Yaw, the largest shareholder of United Overseas Bank with a US$6.9 billion fortune, who was the richest individual Singaporean on Forbes 2014 list. Madam Tan Kim Choo, the widow of late property tycoon Ng Teng Fong, is next with a US$4.9 billion fortune. Her sons Philip and Robert Ng have fortunes of US$4.6 billion and US$4.5 billion, respectively, Bloomberg said.
Mr Goh, 87, and Osaka-based Nippon Paint Holdings jointly own Nipsea, with the billionaire recently boosting his stake in Nippon Paint to 39 per cent, making him the largest shareholder in Nipsea, Bloomberg reported. His stake in the joint venture is held through his private investment company, Wuthelam Holdings.