Asia Pacific University's Parmjit Singh named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia

  • 2nd win in a row for a Digerati50, following Kamarul Muhamed in 2020
  • Programme celebrates 20th anniversary in M’sia via virtual ceremony

Asia Pacific University's Parmjit Singh named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia

Parmjit Singh, CEO of Asia Pacific University Sdn Bhd was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2021 Malaysia at a live virtual award ceremony hosted by EY earlier this evening. Parmjit, who also was the winner of the Master Entrepreneur category, was selected from among 13 Top Nominees vying for the title. The award programme also marks a momentous milestone, celebrating its 20th year in Malaysia this year.

Parmjit, 63, will represent Malaysia and join more than 60 other country winners to compete for the coveted EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year (WEOY) award at the annual WEOY event in June this year.

Led by his pioneering spirit, Parmjit conceptualized the establishment of Malaysia’s first technology focused institute – the Asia Pacific Institute of Technology & Innovation (APIIT) - in 1993. Under his visionary leadership, the APIIT Education Group has evolved into Malaysia’s leading education enterprise and a globally-recognised brand, boasting a portfolio of over 100 academic programmes and more than 13,000 students. Today, the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)’s global footprint extends to over 130 countries, attracting more than 6,000 international students.

Philip Rao, Partner, Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd and EOY Malaysia Programme Director said, “Parmjit’s story is one of inspiring vision, perseverance and determination. A pioneer in technology-focused education, he has successfully grown APU into an education powerhouse. Today, APU is recognised globally for significant talent output, skills development and high employability for the global digital economy. Parmjit also plays an instrumental role in advising and influencing Malaysia’s policies and strategies in the areas of technology, human resource and talent development in the higher education sector.”

Hazimah Zainuddin, Managing Director, Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd and Chief Judge of the EOY 2021 Malaysia judging panel said, “Parmjit is a transformative leader, who is committed to purpose, innovation and charting new paths not just for his business, but for the industry at large. The judging panel was impressed with his deep passion in education, technology and in developing the next generation of skilled talent. His dedication to the pursuit of purpose beyond profits and creating impact locally and far beyond our borders is a great example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur who is helping to build a better working world for all. We have no doubt that Parmjit will do Malaysia proud at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.”

“Overall, we were very impressed with the quality of the Top Nominees this year. They have shown great foresight, resilience and determination to pursue their purpose to build and grow their business sustainably despite the unprecedented challenges facing them today,” she added. 

Acknowledging the importance of the spirit of entrepreneurship, particularly during these disruptive times, Abdul Rauf Rashid, Malaysia Managing Partner, Ernst & Young PLT said, “Entrepreneurs have always been and will continue to be the backbone of our economy - always reframing our future and moving us toward a brighter tomorrow. That is why at EY, we strongly believe in and support the powerful purpose and impact of principled entrepreneurship.” [Ed: Note that PLT is the Malaysian definition of Limited Liability Partnership.]

“Looking back at the past 20 years, we are proud to have been able to seek out and celebrate some of Malaysia’s best entrepreneurs and their accomplishments on the national and global stage,” he added.

In addition to the top honour, EY also presented four other awards for entrepreneurial excellence to the following individuals:

  • EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia – Ang Xing Xian, Darrel Ang, Dion Tan and Edwin Tan, Bay Group Holdings Sdn Bhd (CapBay)       
  • EY Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia – Foong Wei Kuong, JF Technology Bhd
  • EY Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia – Ooi Lay Pheng, Berjayapak Sdn Bhd 
  • EY Master Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia – Parmjit Singh, Asia Pacific University Sdn Bhd  

The four recipients, as well as the overall country award recipient, were selected by an independent panel of judges guided by a set of global standard criteria. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Malaysia panel of judges comprised the following individuals:

  • Hazimah Zainuddin - Founder and Managing Director, Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd
  • Kamarul A Muhamed - Founder and Group CEO, Aerodyne Group
  • Dr Rebecca Sta Maria - Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat
  • Muhamad Umar Swift - CEO, Bursa Malaysia Bhd
  • Low Ngai Yuen - Chief Merchandising Officer, AEON Group | President, Kakiseni | Founder, WOMENgirls
  • Goh Miah Kiat - CEO, Karex Bhd
  • Raymond Siva - Head, Senior VP, Digital Investments, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) [Ed: An earlier version gave the wrong job designation for Raymond.]

Kamarul A Muhamed, founder and Group CEO of Aerodyne Group was the first DNA Digerati50 to win the coveted EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2020.


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