Keynote Speakers

Navigating the 2H19 Outlook

Selena Ling is the Chief Economist for OCBC Bank. As Head of Treasury Research & Strategy, she leads a research team that is responsible for Treasury market research, forecasts and trading recommendations for the bank, covering fixed income, interest rates, corporate credit, foreign exchange and macroeconomic commentary.

Selena is a member of the OCBC Wealth Panel for Singapore and Malaysia, as well as a council member for the Economic Society of Singapore. She was conferred the Institute of Banking & Finance Fellow Award in Financial Markets in 2017.

Prior to joining OCBC in August 2000, Selena was with the Fiscal Policy Unit under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Economics Department in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). She received her Bachelor of Science (Economics) from the London School of Economics and her Masters in Applied Economics from the National University of Singapore.

SME Sharing: NewGen Retail - The Reality Today

Since joining Honestbee in 2015, Varian has held a variety of roles in the organisation, from heading its Hong Kong business, overseeing operations in Singapore, leading its people function, to launching special projects such as habitat by Honestbee and driving corporate strategy.

Before joining the startup, Varian began his career in the Singapore civil service, focusing on policy and strategy for the creative industries. Following which, he spent several years in management consulting before pursuing an entrepreneurial path in F&B and entertainment.

Varian holds a Master's degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. He enjoys reading, swimming and running in his spare time.

SME Sharing: Growing a Business with a Champion Mindset

As Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of MindChamps PreSchool, David Chiem's approach of always 'staying ahead of the curve' has taken the organisation to the number one brand position in the highly-competitive Singapore premium preschool space. This was followed by a successful listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange in 2017.

MindChamps PreSchool has today expanded into Australia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and very soon China and Malaysia.

Under David’s leadership, MindChamps PreSchool has also been honoured with some of the most sought-after awards. These include being the only preschool to be inducted into the Influential Brands® Hall of Fame for winning the Top Brand award for five consecutive years (2014 – 2018), Superbrands® Mark of Distinction from 2014 – 2018 and Singapore SME 100, ranked top 1% of 70,000 companies for five consecutive years (2011 – 2015) by DP Information Group.

SME Sharing: Ingredients for Success - Innovating with Technology

Since its inception in 2002, The Soup Spoon has expanded close to 30 The Soup Spoon and The Soup Spoon Union outlets, serving up innovative, fresh and nutritious meals that cater to the diverse dining needs of patrons.

The spark of the brand, Anna Lim is responsible for the creating and innovating of soups. She advocates healthy cooking and her background in embryology have taught her to combine both the science and art of culinary to innovate the dining experience.

Constantly inspired by her travels and conversations with people, Anna brings creativity and variety to the soup table, something The Soup Spoon fans have recognized as being part of the brand identity.

Panel Moderator

Ho Noi Chuen, Charles
Chairman, SME Centre@SCCCI
and Vice President, SCCCI
SCCCI and SME Centre@SCCCI

Ho Nai Chuen, Charles is the Chairman of SME Centre@SCCCI. He is also the Managing Director of On Cheong Jewellery, a 83-year old Singapore Quality Class (SQC People and Service Niche) certified heritage jeweller in Singapore.

Charles is currently the Vice-President of SCCCI’s 60th Council and President of the Singapore Jewellers Association. Beyond his business portfolio, he is also an active volunteer in many government and civic organisations. Charles graduated from the University of Singapore with a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy, read his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the United Kingdom, a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA). He received the Public Service Star (BBM) as well as the SkillsFuture Fellowships award in 2018.

Digitalisation Track

Digital Transformation : Innovation Strategies for SMEs

Associate Professor Neo Kok Beng is an award-winning engineer, educator and entrepreneur. He has received President’s Design Award, US Veteran Affairs Innovation Initiative, and also Honorary Fellowship of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations.

Kok Beng has served in the innovation faculty of Harvard, Stanford, Tsinghua, Indian School of Business and National University of Singapore.

He has also co-founded technology ventures in info-security, medical technology, aerospace and sustainable environment. He is currently designing the first Urban Mobility Vehicle (“Flying Car”) in Singapore.

Data – The Pot of Gold at the End of the Digital Rainbow

Mr Melvyn Low is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience. Mr Low has held senior positions in sales and product management, transaction services, cash management, trade, and securities and fund services, including spending 18 years with Citibank N.A., where he was the ASEAN Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions.

Melvyn also served as Director of the Singapore Clearing House Association from 2010 to 2013, where he was a key contributor to the G3 (Fast and Secure Transfers or FAST) platform.  In conjunction with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, he developed the world's first full-credit course on transaction banking for undergraduates in 2012. Melvyn is an IBF Distinguished Fellow and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Digital Transformation : Innovation Strategies for SMEs

Dylan Ng is the co-founder and CEO of SuperSteam Asia Pacific.

Together with his wife, they have built up SuperSteam from scratch to become Singapore’s leading professional cleaning equipment and chemicals supplier with a dominant market share in indoor machines, chemicals and consumables.

Dylan is a much sought-after speaker on professional cleaning technology and sales in many countries, including Sweden, China and Singapore.

Dylan won the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award in 1994. He is also serving on the governing council of Workforce Advancement Federation Ltd (WAF).

Dylan is a graduate of Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Digital Solution Journey

Established in 1989, D&C, Design & Comfort has become Singapore’s second biggest shoes and bags retailer with 21 stores island wide as of 2017.

D&C’s motto is predicated on its STEPS (Sustainability, Trendy, Economical, Prestige, Support) principle to its customers.

Nicholas has effectively managed data and refined his workflow processes by embracing digitalization.

Alongside local market presence, D&C is also present in Myanmar and Indonesia, with 5 stores and 1 store respectively.

Make Going Digital Simple For SMEs

Shaik Umar leads a team that promotes and drives the adoption of digital solutions to help SMEs build their digital capabilities.

Over the past 20 years with IMDA and its predecessors, Shaik has led various teams in Sector Transformation, International Operations and Accreditation@IMDA.

He helped then-IDA establish and operate its Middle East Office as its Centre Director for nearly five years, based out of Doha, Qatar. He had an enriching 3-year stint in the private sector as the Regional Business Development Director for the Middle East with CrimsonLogic.

Internationalisation Track

Overview of the Region and Opportunities (with focus on SEA)

Chew Hwee Yong is Director, Global Markets, Southeast Asia at Enterprise Singapore. He works closely with local enterprises to expand into Southeast Asia and oversees eight overseas centres based in the region.

Hwee Yong has been working mainly in the area of economic development, including industry development work at Singapore Economic Development Board. He was actively involved in industry revitalisation measures to ensure Singapore firms remained competitive during the 08/09 global financial recession, and also worked closely with marine & offshore players to address the industry downturn in 2017.

Hwee Yong also has a proven track record in the private sector. He helmed different roles such as organisational development, business development and administration, and also held senior management positions such as subsidiary managing director role with P/L responsibility.

His public and private sector experience in Asia spans over 10 years, including a three-year posting as Consul at Singapore Consulate-General in Osaka, Japan.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from University of Tokyo and a Master of Engineering from Princeton University.

When Is The Right Time? - Identifying Your Readiness for Internationalisation

Low Boon Seong is the Founder and MD of Align Group. He is a Practising Management Consultant (PMC) specialising in HR for SMEs growth which defines Align Group’s thought leadership in the market. He is a regular speaker in Singapore and the region, being featured in Channel NewsAsia, Capital 95.8FM, International Well-Being Symposium, and many regional conferences. He is also a mentor for the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs’ Network.

Align Group is the brain behind Singapore’s National Workplace Happiness Survey, and appointed as programme partners to various agencies including Enterprise Singapore (ESG), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), SBF and SNEF.

Its unique business partnership and future-focused model has helped to reposition many growing enterprises for positive transformation and growth.

How Cross-Border E-Commerce Changes the Game for Retailers Going Into China

Kawee Chong has over 20 years of experience driving sales growth in the health and beauty industry.

As the Co-Founder and CEO of Kinofy, Kawee is responsible for running all facets of the business. He leads the Kinofy team in crafting an all-rounded and seamless shopping experience through online and offline channels, ensuring that modern consumers benefit from a holistic customer journey.

The company helps SMEs with their expansion into China through the Kinofy China Market Entry Programme. A feature in the 2018 publication, Future of ASEAN – 50 Success Stories of Digitalisation of ASEAN MSMEs detailed the success of Kinofy as a smart digital retail solutions platform.

A well-respected thought leader among the entrepreneurial community, Kawee has contributed as a keynote speaker in over 20 conventions, symposiums and seminars worldwide.

Internationalisation : Opportunities and Challenges

Bonnie Wong has had a burning passion for running a business from young, inspired by her father Anthony Wong, founder and CEO of Creative Eateries.

Having graduated with a double degree in accountancy and business management from the Singapore Management University in 2011, Bonnie started her career as an auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She later joined Creative Eateries in 2013, starting out as a Marketing Manager. Bonnie had to learn fast, and was quickly given multiple roles, including Finance Manager of the group. In less than two years, as the company’s footprint expanded, so did Bonnie’s portfolio. Today, with up to 50 outlets in the region, Bonnie helms the operations, sales and marketing departments at Creative Eateries as the Chief Operating Officer.

Since 2016, Bonnie has been on the Management Committee of the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), Singapore’s pioneer F&B association. She has recently been appointed a board member of the Singapore Chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) as well.

To Bonnie, business is a passion, and requires strength of character. “We don’t aim for an absence of fear. We aim for the presence of courage.”

Scale your Business Overseas with Trade Finance

Yap Kwee Hong joined OCBC Bank in 2013 and is currently appointed as the Head of Global Trade Finance. She is responsible for the bank’s regional initiatives in Trade Finance and Supply Chain. She has more than 20 years of Trade Finance experience and enjoys taking on new challenges and pioneering product innovations.

Kwee Hong started her career at the Ministry of Finance. She spearheaded the setup of Tourist Refund Scheme following the implementation of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and was a key contributor to the digitalisation of trade declarations via TradeNet for the Singapore Customs.

Prior to joining OCBC Bank, she spent 17 years in Citibank assuming various Trade Finance roles in sales and product management. She was the driver for strategic initiatives in eTrade solutions and Network Trade and held an instrumental role in launching Citibank’s Regional Trade Hub in Asia Pacific.

Panellist

Sarath Menon is the Managing Director of Orissa International Pte Ltd, a market entry consultancy firm headquartered in Singapore with offices throughout South East Asia. Since 1997, Orissa International provides a range of market entry services to companies and trade promotion agencies to help them execute their export strategy in South East Asia.

Many companies are referred to Orissa International for assistance by export agencies. They include ten state government export agencies in the US, the Canadian province of Ontario, Swiss Global Enterprise, and Invest Northern Ireland, amongst others. Orissa International is one of Enterprise Singapore’s Plug & Play Network in-market partners providing internationalisation assistance to companies expanding overseas.

Prior to founding Orissa International, Sarath was the Country Director of the US-Asia Environmental Partnership (USAEP) program in Singapore. His achievements in the USAEP program were recognised in 1997 when he received the Distinguished Service Award from the US Government for his work in promoting the exports of American products and services to Asia.