Singapore, 26 February 2019 - They have done what most companies could only aspire to – achieving exceptional annual revenue growth that enables them to expand and get more business in just four years.
In all, 85 of these companies have been identified by The Straits Times as growth champions in Singapore in a corporate search last year that was aided by global research company Statista, which is based in Germany. The majority of these companies are privately run small and medium-sized enterprises.
To even make the cut, companies should have reported revenues of at least $150,000 in 2014 and $1.5 million in 2017, excluding any investment or fund injection. All submissions should be verified by the companies' top executives. The survey showed that these companies not only exceeded this minimum benchmark easily, some even produced an astounding revenue growth of more than 4,000 per cent between 2014 and 2017, with some others also achieving four-digit annual growth within this period as well.
Overall, the average compound annual growth (CAGR) of Singapore’s fastest-growing companies is 49 per cent. A number that is very impressive according to the project leader from Statista, Mr Thomas Clark. He said: “Everybody who runs a company knows exactly what it means to record an average sales increase of almost 50 per cent year by year over several years. It’s an achievement that deserves respect and applause.”
In the inaugural list, tech companies were at the forefront, and some of the best of them deal with IT security topics. However, it’s the variety of the companies that makes the list so interesting, with almost all industries being represented. This includes companies that deal with topics as varied as renewable energy, recycling, medical treatment, children’s education, food, consulting, finance or marketing.
While it might not come as a surprise to business experts in Singapore that tech companies are the most dominant, given the friendly and supportive environment for establishing such companies here, Statista noted these remarkable results were not a given and should be a cause for celebration by the tech industry here.
In Italy, for example, the biggest group of growth champions are those that deal with food while top-end consumer products are most strongly represented among the fastest-growing companies in France. In Europe, only Germany, Britain and emerging countries like Poland and Estonia come close to being as strongly represented in tech as in Singapore.
On unveiling the inaugural list of Singapore’s growth champions, Mr Warren Fernandez, the editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English, Malay and Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, said: "In a fast changing economy, companies which are growing rapidly have a special cache as everyone wants a piece of the action. We wanted to identify these players, and showcase how they were moving ahead. We are happy to work with our partners, Statista, on this project, given their good track record on data analytics projects of this sort with other leading media brands internationally. We look forward to working with them on more data related projects that will interest our audience in future."
Dr Friedrich Schwandt, CEO and founder of Statista, said: “To us, it was clear that we should start here, as we see Singapore as the gateway to the Asian market – also underlined by the fact that we have just opened an office here.” The Hamburg-based company with offices from New York and London to, now, Singapore, has done many research projects with renowned media companies around the world, from Forbes to the Financial Times. “In Singapore, it was a no brainer where to go to - it was The Straits Times with its fantastic reputation and excellent reach,” said Dr Schwandt.
Topping the chart with an annual growth rate of over 250 per cent was BR Metals, which the owners modestly described as a “very young company of five years that is involved in a very unsexy trade of industrial metal waste recycling”. Indeed, its founding managing director Frank Chen, who left his lucrative business consulting career to do this, hopes that its success will inspire and encourage other young entrepreneurs to buck conventions and follow their conviction and dreams. Mr Chen said: “Most importantly, we have proven to other industry players that being environmentally responsible and profitable can co-exist as attainable goals.” His company has plans to open offices in Vietnam and China.
Another company that made the chart is A-plus Automation, which specialises in cutting-edge parcel-handling systems for e-commerce platforms. Its managing director Rodney Ham noted that the key to doing well is to watch the competition closely. He said: “The e-commerce business of neighbouring countries has grown at a much faster pace than Singapore due to the large land space and population base. We are working with partners in the South-east Asia region to tap into the market and, with our wealth of knowledge, skill set and experience, we hope to catch the wave and expand our business in this area.“
If one needs someone to watch over a business closely, one can turn to Oneberry Technologies, which specialises in providing sophisticated security surveillance. The company, which was one of the security vendors in the recent Trump-Kim Summit, has plans to launch a new generation of security robots – to be powered by fuel cell technology. Its CEO Ken Pereira, said: “With our success in Singapore, we are also looking to venture overseas and have already had some interest from various markets across Asia-Pacific and Europe. With this momentum, we believe this would allow us to continue to be one of Singapore’s fastest-growing companies in years to come.”
Finally, if companies need innovative loan solutions, they can turn to Crawfort, a company set up by two brothers – Mr Jjohn Cheow and Mr James Cheow - to get to cater to those who require access to alternative credit facilities. In a statement, the brothers said: “As a business, we want to stay relevant to customers’ needs, and look for opportunities to move into new markets and to enlarge our sphere of influence and services. We strive to remain at the forefront of innovation and change in moneylending and keep the business and our offerings current and dynamic.”
During the research period, Statista’s analysts studied over a thousand companies, which included companies that registered via ST online. Submitted data was checked and had to be confirmed personally by the CFO or CEO of a given company. While the metric for determining the ranking was revenue growth in the years from 2014 to 2017, the list also had data on jobs growth and additional information.
Yet why 85 companies?
“Given that we were very strict in our analysis, making sure that only companies with substance, a sustainable track record and a truly independently run business could enter the ranking, it was not all that easy to enter the list,” said Mr Clark, who is also director of corporate development at Statista. “But I am confident that we can increase the size of the list next year and publish a Top 100 list.”
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