Chiau Haw Choon youngest EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winner in award’s 16-year history in Malaysia

  • Described as exemplary role model for modern entrepreneurship
  • Four other awards presented for entrepreneurial excellence


CHIAU Haw Choon, group managing director of Chin Hin Group Bhd, was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2017 Malaysia last week at a gala event. At 33, Chiau, who was picked from among the 16 top nominees vying for the title, has also created history by being the youngest winner in the 16 years the award has been running in Malaysia. This is also only the second time that someone outside of the Master Entrepreneur category has been chosen country winner.

Chiau 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 Monte Carlo next year.

Chiau impressed the judging committee (see below for list of judges) with the rapid growth of the company since taking over from his father, fresh out from university in 2007.

The company was a regular cement trader at that point with annual revenue of US$96 million (RM392 million) and a total staff strength of 70 people. Driven by passion, conviction and courage, Chiau innovated the business and within a span of 10 years, grew it to become the country’s only building materials conglomerate that offers solutions across the value chain, employing over 1,000 employees and generating  revenue of over US$319 million (RM1.3 billion). It was listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia in 2016.

Philip Rao, Partner, Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd and EOY Malaysia Programme Director hailed Chiau’s entrepreneurial acumen and verve. “Chiau is an exemplary role model for modern entrepreneurship. Despite his youth and inexperience, he courageously rose to the challenge to shoulder the enormous responsibility of leading his family business upon completing his studies. He encountered obstacles and hostilities, but remained undeterred from his vision and goals.”

Within a period of 10 years, Chiau successfully transformed a traditional, small, family-run cement trading company into the country’s only public-listed integrated business materials’ specialist.

Rao also highlighted the strong giving back nature of Chiau. “Chiau is also deeply committed and actively involved in giving back to the community, particularly in building the skills and capabilities of the younger generation.” 

According to Rao, the panel of judges was unanimous in its decision and agreed that Chiau has built a purpose-driven enterprise that has positively impacted its business, its people, its community and other stakeholders. “We have no doubt that Chiau will do us proud in Monte Carlo next year,” added Rao.

Acknowledging the importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, Abdul Rauf Rashid, Malaysia Managing Partner, EY said, “Entrepreneurs are extraordinary men and women who see beyond the present, defy all odds and go on to define and build a future that impact not only themselves, but also their people, their communities and the economy at large. They trail-blaze new frontiers in their respective fields, driving growth and prosperity, and inspire change. Entrepreneurs are legacy builders who help build a better working world.”

In his address at the event, Ong Ka Chuan, Second Minister of International Trade and Industry reaffirmed the Government’s support and encouragement of entrepreneurship. “The Government will continue to provide the necessary support and resources to create a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. We will also further promote the growth of an entrepreneurial culture in this country, particularly amongst the younger generation.”

Ong also emphasized the need for all parties to work together to develop and equip the nation’s workforce with the necessary skills and competencies to advance the country’s economic transformation agenda through innovation.

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 2017 Malaysia – Chiau Haw Choon, Group Managing Director, Chin Hin Group Bhd

•       EY Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Malaysia – Tan Ging Hoon, Managing Director, Alliancecorp Manufacturing Sdn Bhd

•       EY Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Malaysia – Sharala Axryd, Managing Director, The Center of Applied Data Science Sdn Bhd

•       EY Master Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Malaysia – Adrian Ng, Group CEO, Mega Fortris (Malaysia) 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 2017 Malaysia panel of judges comprised:

•         Selvarany Rasiah – Chief Commercial Officer, Bursa Malaysia Bhd

•         MK Goh – CEO, Karex Bhd and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Malaysia

•         Azmil Zahruddin – Executive Director, Investments and Overseeing Executive Director of Khazanah Americas Inc, Khazanah Nasional Bhd

•        Hizam Kadir – Vice President, Growth Ecosystem Development Division, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation

•         J Jayasiri – Secretary General, Ministry of International Trade and Industry

•         Jean-Christophe Marti – Senior Partner, Navis Capital

•         Noraini Soltan – Founder, Sipro Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd and EY Woman Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Malaysia

 For more information about the EOY Malaysia programme, please visit

Keyword(s) :
Author Name :
Download Digerati50 2020-2021 PDF

Digerati50 2020-2021

Get and download a digital copy of Digerati50 2020-2021