As EDB chairman, Leo Yip helms the lead government agency responsible for enhancing Singapore's position as a global business centre. Under his leadership, EDB successfully drew several significant names to Singapore's shores last year. Among them, Royal Philips, a global leader in health care, announced the official launch of its dedicated hospital-to-home (H2H) business for Asia-Pacific in Singapore. Just weeks earlier, Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology, officially opened its global Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Business Model Innovation in Singapore; while Dutch consumer giant Unilever launched its first and only global leadership development centre outside of the UK. At $80 million, Four Acres is also Unilever's single-largest investment in leadership development globally thus far. Meanwhile, EDB is itself working with companies to identify and develop local talent who could eventually take up top spots in the regional or global companies using Singapore as a business hub. Yip believes that Singapore's value proposition to these companies would not be complete without Singaporean skills and talent. Yip took up a Singapore Police Force overseas scholarship and began his career as a police officer on the ground in 1982 before working his way up the ranks. He went on to hold several positions within Singapore's civil service before joining the EDB as its Deputy Chairman in September 2008. He was appointed Chairman in July 2009. Having tackled several leadership challenges on the way up, including kick-starting the Workforce Development Agency in 2003, Yip says a key task of good leaders is to inspire. There must be “a sense of aspiration or a sense of stretch in the organisation, to attain, create or build something which is better for the people of Singapore,” he says. He also feels that good leaders ensure that people work with a sense of connection to something bigger and create a sense of belonging in the workplace where people find meaning and fulfilment.
Company:Economic Development Board