Q3 2023

Jan22686 May23633 Numerous government ministries have approached Global Catalyst to address policies issues to catalyze SMEs. These policies look towards developing catalysts to stimulate entrepreneurship, availability of equity finances, and operating loans to aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as proper business infrastructure for healthy growth of SMEs. Some look towards nurturing a sustaining entrepreneurship cycle with a national startup incubator and accelerator. Others were into establishing a technology research and development (R&D) laboratory to ensure businesses have differentiating intellectual properties and innovative products to compete globally. As a result, Global Catalyst operates an accelerator to nurture deep technology and sustainability-centric startups. It even invests further into startups, which it believes will be a game-changer to transform the industry. Some of the government Global Catalyst has advised span across ASEAN to the Middle East, which was into developing a low-tax regime and new vibrant industries for foreign direct investments (FDIs). One of the consultants within the company remarks, “The topics range across developing a biomedical industry, establishing a national quality, standards, and accreditation platform, nurturing an innovative ecosystem, erecting sandboxes for fintech companies, to establishing digital market regulations and licenses. There were never dull moments within our consulting projects.” Award-Winning Enterprise As a testimonial of its competence, Global Catalyst Advisory has won numerous awards in Asia in the past including Asia Sustainable Leadership Awards in both the Game Changer and Innovation categories, as well as the Brands for Good Awards. The Game Changer was notably awarded to recognize how he has helped to transform an NGO from being dependent on government grants and recurring fundraising initiatives towards a social enterprise with a sustainable business model of farm-to-plate restaurants generating revenue and giving employment to special needs individuals. Victor being the CEO was also awarded the US-based FinNext Excellence in Financial Leadership award for his lifelong career in providing financial advisory to strengthen SMEs, NGOs UN Global Compact, and charitable organizations. Pioneer and Trend Setter Looking back at Victor’s career history, it is not difficult to unravel his pioneering advocacy in sustainability. It was in 2005 when he established a new industry cluster, environmental and engineering services, at Enterprise Singapore, which is a government statutory board. He had then established numerous programmes to develop the environmental sector, including the Environmental Technologies Capability Development Programme at the Environmental Centre of Innovation. Later at the national chamber, Singapore Business Federation, where he was the acting CEO/ COO, he established the business community of Sustainability Development Business Group, Singapore Sustainability Alliance comprising of triple helix model of the Government, Research Institution, and Business Chambers. And to accelerate more sustainability movements, he established the Singapore Sustainability Awards to encourage more companies to develop environmental technologies, reduce carbon footprint, and to catalyze industry adoption. This culminated to his chairmanship at United Nations Global Compact Network Singapore. Fast forward to 2023, postCOP 26, and many are only beginning to get on the sustainability bandwagon, but Global Catalyst Advisory’s value is epitomized by its tagline, “Sustainability Catalyzed”. As a pioneer, Global Catalyst Advisory has essentially captured the firstmover advantage. Emphasis on People When asked about Victor’s emphasis on people, he comments, “In the medieval period, businesses were first conceived as a societal service so that the people could barter and exchange for goods and services. Naturally, the beneficiaries (people) are more important than the solutions. If we treat our employees well, naturally they will reciprocate to treat our clients as well. This becomes a virtuous cycle.” When his staff were interviewed, some of the feedback they gave on the CEO were: “Victor is staunch on principles and has a lot of integrity. He has great kindness and concern for the welfare of people around him. He is sharp, thinks well, and is strategically able to get the most mileage from any work assigned to him. His inputs always give a more strategic direction to work.” Figure 4: Receiving the Green Asia Leadership (GAIL) Awards for both Innovation and Gamechanger categories Figure 5: Receiving the Brands for Good Awards for Sustainability and Social Impact