Founder, Executive Chairman and Group CEO
Executive chairman and group CEO of Hyflux Group, Olivia Lum was last year appointed to the board of International Enterprise Singapore, the government agency that promotes trade and spearheads the overseas growth of Singapore companies. The two-year appointment was effective May and came as Hyflux itself was actively exploring new markets, including in Africa where selective markets are reviving development plans to address the scarcity of water. Starting corporate life as chemist at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Lum sold her car and apartment in 1989 to fund the water treatment company that later became Hyflux. Today, she oversees one of the world's leading suppliers of water desalination equipment and an order book that had doubled to a record $2.7 billion at the end of June 2013. In 2011, she became the first woman to be named Ernst & Young's World Entrepreneur of the Year. Despite a 25 percent fall in group revenue in the second quarter, Hyflux posted a two percent rise in net profit to $17.7 million.