Entrepreneurs’ Forum 2018

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is an annual event organised by the Entrepreneurship Committee of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Business. PHOTO: L Kousalya Devi

“Continue to believe in what you do.”

Revolving around this quote, the 2018 Entrepreneurs’ Forum concluded on July 14, 2018. Held at Temasek Polytechnic Auditorium 1, from 8.30am to 12.30pm, the annual forum was organised by the Entrepreneurship Committee, School of Business. Three successful entrepreneurs were invited to share their experiences as they ventured into the entrepreneurial world.


The first speaker, Mr Desmond Bernavey Lee, is the Founder and Business Development Director of Fresh Direct Pte Ltd. He established two subsidiaries, Kitchenomics and Bread & Better, upon recognising the market need for semi-processed food for commercial kitchens and restaurants. Currently, he continues to identify new business opportunities to expand beyond his existing three successful companies.


“[Entrepreneurship] is not a one-man job, but a whole team’s effort,” Mr Lee shared. Over the years, his enterprise has grown from a two-man team to a team consisting of people from different countries and across various age groups.


As iterated by Mr Lee, Fresh Direct Pte Ltd. will venture into the fields of urban farming, brand management, and centralised logistics distribution centre in the near future.


The second speaker, Mr Benjamin Yang, is the Founder and Managing Director at Novitee Pte Ltd. With an expansive clientele of Sakae Sushi, Maybank, FairPrice and more, Mr Yang is an internationally sought-after food and beverage profit strategist and an entrepreneur who won multiple awards such as Winner of The Successful Entrepreneur 2013, Singapore Excellence Awards, Promising SME 500, and Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand.


Confidence is a trait that Mr Yang believes strongly in, and he reiterated it throughout his speech during the forum.



Mr Benjamin Yang, the second speaker of the forum, speaking about how he started out having a HDB apartment as his office. PHOTO: L Kousalya Devi

“Once you lose confidence, it is a very, very difficult journey moving forward,” he said.


The third and final speaker of the forum was Mr Samuel Ang. Launching his career as a corporate employee with HP Singapore and Union Bank of Switzerland, Mr Ang is now the Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department at Temasek Polytechnic, working with students, alumni and staff to groom ideas into successful start-ups. His first start-up was in IT technical training and certification of Microsoft & CISCO technology, and his second start-up was in aircraft maintenance and repair which outsources aircraft engineers and technicians to major aerospace companies such as SIA Engineering and ST Aerospaces.


Travelling down the entrepreneurial route, Mr Ang faces many problems that come in different sizes and urgencies. “Finding energy to continue to solve problems everyday” is one thing Mr Ang said when asked about the challenges he faces when it comes to being an entrepreneur.


Following the speeches, the forum concluded with the three entrepreneurs sitting for a short Q&A session. Students from different business courses clarified their doubts regarding entrepreneurship and learnt more about the challenges faced by each entrepreneur.


“What is more important? Talent or hard work?”


That was one of the questions raised by the students that elicited a unanimous response from the three entrepreneurs.


“Without determination and hardwork, you cannot succeed,” revealed Mr Yang, who received approving nods and reiterations from Mr Ang and Mr Lee.


Mr Benjamin Yang accurately summarises the life of an entrepreneur. “People say entrepreneurs are brave, and in many ways, it’s true.”


By: L Kousalya Devi