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As another week has quickly passed us by, we are getting closer to the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) Gala Night this coming September! Last week, I shared with you the Philippine finalists chosen by the Philippine deliberation steering committee.
Through the help of ASEAN Business Advisory Council members, each member country identified a national gateway or the point person who promoted and pursued applicants from their country to each category of the ABA 2017. Aside from encouraging applications from their country, each national gateway appointed an independent judge who became part of the regional committee which chose the rightful winner per category. The process was backed up with score sheets and deliberations were collegial and quite thorough. The entire process was transparent and diligently observed by the ABA Secretariat and the KPMG, our strategic partner.
Like any other awards, the elimination process was one grueling task. But our regional judges were able to identify the outstanding companies which can best represent ASEAN in the various categories to be awarded on Sept. 6.
For the SME Growth category, five finalists made it: Dato’ Lee Wai Kok of Savan Pacifica Development Co., Ltd. (Laos), Noor Mohd Helmi Bin Nong Hadzmi of IX Telecom Sbn Bhd (Malaysia), Dr. Thein Naing of Zenith Treasure Trading Co., Ltd. (Myanmar), Dr. Maynoll Montalbo of Mont Albo Wellness Corp. (Philippines), and Nasha Jungkankul of Kunna Groceries Co. Ltd. (Thailand).
For the SME Corporate Social Responsibility category, five finalists made it: Ramasamy Aravendashan of VG Offshore Containers International (Malaysia), Zarni Htwe of Adventure Myanmar Tours and Incentives (Myanmar), Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corp. (Philippines) and Fang Koh Look of Absolute Kinetics Consultancy (AKC) Pte. Lt (Singapore).
SME Employment category has identified finalists including Hong Leang Y of Lotus Green Team Co., Ltd. (Cambodia), Vernon Tee of Natural Health Farm Marketing (Malaysia), Dr. Aung Kyaw Win of Jewel Collection Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Myanmar), John Titan of Titan Barong of Lumban (Philippines), and Dato Jasudasen Thambynathan of Zico Holdings Inc., (Singapore).
Vantha Kheng of Biz Solution Inc., (Cambodia), Sirina Hervy of Sinouk Coffee (Laos), Dato’ Zakri Abdullah Kuah of Builders Biomass Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), Dr. Khin Maung Lwin of FAME Pharmaceuticals Industry Co.Ltd. (Myanmar), Lester Yu of Fruitas Group (Philippines), and Sarapee Yuadyong of Chiwadi Product Co., Ltd., (Thailand) are all finalists to the SME Innovation category.
Seven thriving young entrepreneurs made it as regional finalists. While there may be more than one country representative like in the Philippines, only one made it as regional representative. Young entrepreneurs vying for the award include Okhna Sok Piseth of G Gear Co. Ltd. (Cambodia), Kevyn Mcgraw of ASEAN Contact Center (Laos), Raj Ridvan Singh of Science of Life Systems 247 Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), Aung Zaw Oo of Aung Naing Yoma Thitsar Co.(Myanmar), Dennis Uy of Udenna Corp. (Philippines), Chew Boon Thong of Chew Group Holding Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), and Asada Thepyos of Quality Plus Aesthetic International (Thailand).
Seven passionate women entrepreneurs will compete to get the ASEAN Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award. These includes Seng Takakneary of Sentosa Silk (Cambodia), Sirina Hervy of Sinouk Coffee (Laos), Dr. Jessie Chung of Natural Health Farm Marketing Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), Htet Yie Win of Brand You Co. Ltd., (Myanmar), Evelyn Palomo of Great Image Service Corp. (Philippines), Juthamad Yangyuen of DE Empress (Thailand), and Dang Thi Thanh Van of Savvycom Joint Stock Co. (Vietnam).
Three small enterprises and three big enterprises made it as finalists to the Inclusive Business category. Small enterprises such as Batik Boutique of Amy Blair (Malaysia), Coffee for Peace of Felicitas Pantoja (Philippines), and Siam Organic of Peetachai Dejkraisak (Thailand) will compete with big enterprises including KP Co. Ltd. of Sunepha Detvongsa (Laos), Erikagen Inc. of Teodoro Ferrer (Philippines), and Olam International of Neelamani Muthukumar (Singapore) for the Inclusive Business Award.
Five most promising companies of ASEAN will also be awarded including Printmartz Advertising of Adrian Tan Vui Shung (Brunei), Wing Ltd. Specialised Bank of Jojo Malolos (Cambodia), Phouvong Jewelry of Phouvong Phamisith (Laos), Myanmar ComBiz Trading Co of Aung Soe Tha (Myanmar), and Nghia Nippers Corporation of Thi Thu Huang Nguyen (Vietnam).
Three companies will be recognized as Friends of ASEAN: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group led by Anna Green (Australia), Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte. Ltd. led by Martin Hayes (Germany), and Prudential Corp. Asia led by Nicolaos Nicandrou (Hong Kong).
One company will also be given a recognition for integrating environment-friendly practice in their business model.
We are also recognizing legacy entrepreneurs who have made a positive impact to the ASEAN community, have surpassed challenges and have inspired others towards prosperity. Rattana Pathomvan of EDL Generation Public Co. from Lao PDR, Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis Limited, Aung Ko Win of Kanbawza Bank of Myanmar, Wee Cho Yaw of United Overseas Bank of Singapore, Sakchai Unchittikul of Srichiengmai Industry Co. of Thailand and our very own John Gokongwei Jr. of JG Summit Holdings Inc. I will share with you Mr. Gokongwei’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey next week.
Eight companies made it as finalists to the Priority Integration Sector categories. This includes DeClout Limited of Kok Khun Wong (Singapore), Asian Marine Transport Corp. of Paul Rodriguez (Philippines), Nature’s Legacy Eximport of Peter Delantar (Philippines), Kossan Rubber Industries of Kuang Sia Lim (Malaysia), Destileria Limtuaco & Co. of Olivia Limpe-Aw (Philippines), PT Kalbe Farma of Vidjongtius (Indonesia), Air Asia of Tony Fernandes (Malaysia), and Golden ABC of Bernie Liu (Philippines).
The trophy which will be given to all the winners and special awardees is specially sculpted by award-winning and well-known artist Jaime Nepomuceno. The masterpiece which we call “hand-in-hand” signifies the connection of all companies in the ASEAN region. We are after all brothers in the industry working together to provide prosperity for all. Like big brothers to their small brothers, the companies who will be recognized during the ABA Gala Night will be mentors and serve as inspiration to aspiring micro and small entrepreneurs across the region.
I’m sure all of you are excited to know who are this year’s batch of ASEAN Business Awardees. On Sept. 6, we invite you all to watch out for the winners.