(From left) Sylvester Ng, Ignatius Low, Cynthia Handriani Wijaya Victor Tan, Dr Kenneth Goh (Photo: ICON Singapore)

Three up-and-coming business leaders were lauded for their sustainability efforts that have propelled their family businesses in the hospitality, mining and paper industries at The Next ICON Awards last night. 

The inaugural award is organised by Chinese luxury magazine ICON Singapore, which also threw a society gala event ICON Ball at Shangri-La Singapore yesterday. 

The winners were Ho Ren Yung, 37, Senior Vice-President of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts; Victor Tan, 37, Chief Executive Officer of TOP International Holdings and Cynthia Handriani Wijaya, 29, VP of Business Development & Investor Relations, Daya Selaras Group.

The Next Icon Awards celebrates innovation, excellence, and leadership among the next-generation entrepreneurs and family businesses both in Singapore and across the region. 

Sylvester Ng, Editor-in-Chief of ICON Singapore, says: “We are proud to recognise these exceptional individuals who are driving sustainable initiatives in their family businesses. Their dedication and leadership are a testament to the spirit of innovation and excellence that the award embodies. We are confident that their success will inspire and empower the next generation of business leaders.”

Related: Top female business leaders on equity, diversity and inclusion

Ho Ren Yung, Senior Vice-President, Banyan Tree Hotels And Resorts
Ho Ren Yung, Senior Vice-President, Banyan Tree Hotels And Resorts (Photo: ICON Singapore)

Initiatives that earned Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts’ Ho Ren Yung the accolade include the successful launch of Banyan Tree Escape, an eco-friendly retreat in Bali and an offshoot of her family’s Banyan Tree brand that was launched last year. Banyan Tree Escape’s sustainable features include the use of solar power, rainwater harvesting and organic gardens at the resort. The resort also supports local communities by employing local staff, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms, and using materials from the area to craft its 16 luxury villas. 

Ho is also actively involved in the Singapore chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative, signifying her dedication to thwarting climate change and promoting sustainability in her industry.

Related: Why Ho Renyung’s favourite trip is an inwards retreat

Victor Tan, Chief Executive Officer, TOP International Holdings
Victor Tan, Chief Executive Officer, TOP International Holdings (Photo: ICON Singapore)

For Victor Tan of TOP International Holdings, he has established himself as a pioneer in sustainable mining practices over the years. Tan transformed his bauxite mining company radically to strengthen its business resilience and drive profitability, without losing sight of the environment. 

One standout initiative is the company’s land rehabilitation programme, which restores land impacted by their mining activities. The company planted over 270,000 trees in 2021 alone, thereby providing locals with an alternative source of food and income. 

TOP International Holdings is also endeavouring to minimise greenhouse gas emissions by leveraging on green technology like surface miners. It is also spearheading both employee awareness activities – think waterway clean-ups and nature reserve outings – and other eco-friendly initiatives, like recycling programmes and sustainable fuel purchases when traveling for business.

Cynthia Handriani Wijaya, Head of Business Development & Investor Relations, Daya Seleras Group
Cynthia Handriani Wijaya, VP of Business Development & Investor Relations, Daya Selaras Group (Photo: ICON Singapore)

Rounding out the trio of winners is Cynthia Handriani Wijaya of Daya Seleras, a sustainable industrial hub based in Java, Indonesia. She focuses on creating a circular value chain in the industrial paper industry, manufacturing fully recyclable carton packaging while recovering domestic paper waste with the help of partners and affiliates.

Candidates were shortlisted based on their efforts to drive sustainability within their respective family businesses. They were also below 40 years of age, with a minimum of five years working in their family businesses of two generations or more.

The winners were jointly selected by ICON Singapore and the Singapore Management University’s Business Families Institute (BFI), which was the event’s Knowledge Partner. BFI was founded with the goal of helping business families establish sustainable enterprises that drive impact across generations.

Associate Professor Dr Kenneth Goh, BFI’s Academic Director, says: “We are delighted to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and innovation of the next generation leaders, and acknowledge the contributions they have made to their family businesses’ success. I am confident these awards will inspire and motivate all next gen leaders to pursue new ideas and take their companies to greater heights.”