Q3 2023

Jan22686 Most Influential Sustainable Business CEO 2023 (South East Asia): Victor Tay Boutique Strategic Advisory Firm Global Catalyst Advisory (Global Catalyst) was first conceived as a boutique strategic advisory firm with a unique blend of strategic advisory, investment banking, thought leadership, and academic rigor. It believes in a scientific and evident-based approach in analysing clients’ challenges, while proposing innovative but sustainable solutions. Global Catalyst Advisory has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Tianjin, serving clients across the Asia Pacific region. Global Catalyst Advisory serves numerous public, private sector, and non-governmental organization clientele. Some of these clients include: public sector policy makers such as Thailand Ministry of Industry, Myanmar Ministry of Commerce, Singapore Civil Service College, and Temasek Foundation; as well as private enterprises like telco operators, China Telecoms and Maxis; French conglomerate, Lafarge; and Malaysian real estate developer, Setia; Singapore’s top three F&B operator 1 group; and non-governmental organizations like OECD, Franchising and Licensing Association, and Association of Small Medium Enterprises. The spectrum of solutions provided by Global Catalyst includes strategic advisory, startup accelerator, business model reconfiguration, sustainability audit and reporting, sustainability technologies incorporation, revenue leakage identification, capital raising, impact investment, and carbon trading. Within the sustainability arena, Global Catalyst also helps to baseline sustainability practice; design sustainability projects; and provide monitoring, reporting and validation; as well as monetizing the carbon credits at carbon exchanges. Sustainability Project – Transforming Agricultural Practice One of its many sustainability projects helps to resolve the plight of small-hold farmers in Southeast Asia who are squeezed by the middle-man in profit, bullied by their landlord, and sinking into the poverty cycle. These farmers constitute 17% of the global workforce. With the initiative, Global Catalyst transforms traditional farms towards a closed-loop and zero-carbon footprint multi-ponics technologies (Figure 1). The project revolutionizes agricultural practices with containerised aquatic farming which irrigates the vegetables plot with its discharged water, while concurrently it fertilizes the soil with the poultry farm waste from farmed chickens, which is organic. All resources and waste within the farm are recycled without polluting the environment. The multi-ponics system leverages on racks and containers which facilitates modern farming at urban areas at rooftop and concrete ground. Each containerised aquatic tank is able to grow some three hundred 1.5kg fishes like groupers or cod fish. This provides a revenue model of poultry eggs on daily basis, vegetables harvesting in 21 days, and fish of around three months maturing at 1-1.5kg. May23633 “We first innovated this system leveraging on design thinking and systems tools when a Philippines mayor spoke to us on wasted farmland in its township, which requires huge capital to irrigate and establish power grid to resurrect the vast abandoned land,” Victor Tay, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Catalyst Advisory elucidates. “The mayor highlighted that the farmers become nomadic and abandon the land when the land loses its fertility or after long drought. Subsequently, the town dwindles in population with the big migration of the farmers. Because of the nomadic nature, the farmers and families are stuck in a vicious poverty loop.” The vertical farm comprises of racks for vegetables, and containerised aquatic farms pre-empting the issue of infertile land, since vegetation is grown from elevated racks disregarding the land. In fact, the worse the environment, the better the system is in reducing the carbon footprint and resolving issues of the nature. Given the multi-ponics systems and rejuvenated business model, as well as the ability to alleviate poverty, Global Catalyst proposes its project to University of Oxford under code name, “Plenitude”. Plenitude is the name of the Celtic God for abundance and wealth. The University of Oxford in turn proposes a farming platform to disintermediate middle-men and distributors to sell direct to the restaurants and F&B operators. In Southeast Asia, distributors were well known to take advantage of small farmers grossing huge margins while at times leaving farmers to sell at a loss. The improved system fulfilled some nine Figure 1: Close-loop and zero carbon footprint multi-ponics farm