On 16 Aug, leading women’s magazine Her World held its annual Her World Woman of the Year award ceremony at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. The event was graced by guest-of-honour Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs.

Since 1991, the awards have paid tribute to women who have charted breakthroughs in their industries while making an impact in Singapore and abroad.

Susan Chong, 49, founder and chief executive of eco-friendly packaging company Greenpac, was named Her World Woman of the Year while Annabelle Kwok, 26, founder and chief executive of artificial intelligence start-up NeuralBay walked away with the title of Young Woman Achiever, an accolade which lauds women below the age of 35 who have demonstrated potential for attaining a higher level of success in their fields.

A visionary, Chong founded Greenpac 17 years ago when few businesses cared about environmentally-friendly packaging or sustainability. By reengineering packaging design and using lesser materials in the process, Chong made a strong case for going green by helping customers to enjoy bottom-line cost savings. Today, her multi-million dollar business is one of Singapore’s leading packaging companies and counts some of the largest Fortune 500 companies as its clients.

(Related: The Peak Power List 2018: Susan Chong)

Susan joins the prestigious alumnae of past winners, which include Professor Chan Heng Chee (1991), Ms Jennie Chua (1999), President Halimah Yacob (2003), Professor Ivy Ng (2011/2012), Dr Sudha Nair (2016), Ms Angelene Chan (2017) and Ms Ng Ling Ling (2018).

While Chong has made her mark in eco-packaging, Kwok –  has made headway in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) with NeuralBay, an AI company she founded in 2017.

The two-year-old start-up develops AI software through image and video processing, operating on a ‘Robinhood’ model that takes from the rich and gives to the poor. “When developing AI software, there are certain things that can be recycled and repackaged without having to infringe on data privacy or patent laws,” says Chong, who’s driven by the desire to make technology accessible to those who need it the most.

(Related: Meet Ayesha Khanna, the Wall Street software engineer turned AI luminary)

Images: Courtesy of Her World