IYUNO Media Group CEO David (Hyonmoo) Lee on Thursday was named the overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2019 Singapore by professional services organisation EY.

He will represent Singapore at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition to be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2020, competing against more than 50 other country winners for the world title.

“This award inspires me to keep doing what I do with an even stronger devotion,” said Mr Lee. “Yet I know that a growing and successful business can still be vulnerable. The bigger our company grows, the greater our responsibility to our employees, their families, our investors and the communities that we are a part of.

“I dedicate this award to fellow entrepreneurs who haven’t been discovered but continue to persevere in making their vision a reality.”

Mr Lee, who also received the EOY award under the Digital Media Supply Chain category, founded IYUNO in 2002 as a English-to-Korean subtitling service provider. He developed his own proprietary subtitling software and a cloud-based platform to manage massive multi-language projects, and IYUNO now offers not just subtitling but also multi-language services and end-to-end localisation, media processing and creative post-production services.

Ron Sim, executive chairman and CEO of V3 Group Limited, who served as the chairman of the judging panel, said: “Under the visionary leadership of David, what started as a passion for subtitling content has now flourished into one of the world’s largest global media service providers.

“Beyond commercial success, David has distinguished himself for his tenacity in riding out the disruptions in the industry through technology innovation, his agility in building a global footprint, and his belief in fulfilling the larger purpose of fostering inclusiveness by bridging cultures through quality localisation of the spoken word.”

The other four EOY category awards were also presented on Thursday, at the 18th EY EOY awards gala held at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. The guest-of-honour at the event was Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

Cityneon Holdings’ executive chairman and group CEO Ron Tan won the EOY award in the Media and Entertainment category, and EtonHouse founder and managing director Ng Gim Choo won the EOY award under the Education category.

JustCo founder and CEO Kong Wan Sing won the EOY award under the Workspace Solutions category, and ValueMax Group managing director and CEO Yeah Hiang Nam took home the EOY award for Financial Services.

The five were selected from close to 40 nominations by an independent judging panel. They were assessed on six criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance/value creation, strategic direction, national and global impact, innovation, and personal integrity/purpose-driven leadership.

Said Max Loh, Singapore managing partner at Ernst & Young LLP: “These winners are part of a special group – the ones who never give up and are unstoppable. They cut through the noise of this transformative age by breaking away from the pack, forging on no matter what difficulties they face, fuelled by their vision and passion, the trust that their families, stakeholders and employees place in them, and their belief in innovation to grow regardless of how long they have been in the business.”

Other awards presented at Thursday’s gala dinner included the EY Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence award, which went to Dennis Uy, chairman and president of Udenna Corporation, and the EY Family Business Award of Excellence, which went to Far East Organization.

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