Monday, June 6, 2011


MS OLIVIA Lum of Singapore firm Hyflux has trumped 48 other prominent business innovators from around the world to clinch this year's Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year (WEOY) award.
Ms Lum, 50, is the first woman entrepreneur to represent Singapore. She is also the first woman to win the prestigious award.
Now in its 11th year, the WEOY aims to identify entreprenuerial role models for the next generation of business leaders.
Ms Lum was recognised for her role in turning Hyflux from a small water-treatment start-up with just $20,000 initial capital into one of the world's leading desalination suppliers.
The company began as a three-man outfit in 1989, and has since grown into a 2,300-strong firm with a suite of integrated services in water and renewable-resource operations in South-east Asia, China, India, the Middle East and North Africa.
Hyflux has a market capitalisation of about $1.8 billion, and is listed on the Singapore Exchange.
Ms Lum received her award at a gala dinner in Monte Carlo, Monaco, last Saturday night.
"It is a great honour to be selected from such a fantastic group of entrepreneurs," said the bachelorette, who comes from humble beginnings.
"For me, this reinforces (the fact) that there are no difficulties you can't overcome when you have faced the challenges of hunger and poverty."
The Ernst & Young entrepreneur programme saw a record of six female finalists this year.
"This is Singapore's first WEOY win, and Olivia is a wonderful role model for both entrepreneurs and women across Asia and the world," said Mr Steven Phan, Ernst & Young's country managing partner for Singapore.