SME tier: Gideon Lam, CEO of Shalom International Movers; Narenda Wicaksono, CEO of Dicoding Indonesia; Mr. Predee Daochai, Chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association; Simonette V. Gusi, General Manager of Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel
Outstanding businesses that have shown significant progress in contributing to ASEAN’s economic growth and prosperity were recognised once again for their achievements at the ASEAN Business Award 2019 gala night, which took place on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit on November 2, 2019 at IMPACT Exhibition Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The prestigious annual ASEAN Business Award included for the first time a Skills Development Award to recognise enterprises that have demonstrated leadership in the development of a skilled workforce for a competitive and dynamic ASEAN economic community. The addition of the award at this time highlights the rising concerns for quality human capital as a catalyst for business growth in times of technological disruption.
The very first ASEAN-wide winners of the Skills Development Award are Dicoding Indonesia in the SME tier and Sea Lion Co. Ltd. (Myanmar) in the large corporate tier. Both companies have contributed significantly to human capital development in a way that benefits not only their company but the societies in which they operate.
Dicoding Indonesia is a tech startup that has successfully built up and is nurturing the programmer and developer ecosystem in Indonesia. Dicoding is utilising a creative and innovative business approach to achieve its mission of building an IT industry in Indonesia with the best developer talent in the market. In just over 4 years, Dicoding has established a network of 180,000 developers from 470 cities across Indonesia, and over 100,000 students and learners have studied in its online academy, including many disadvantaged groups. Through the use of hackathons and competitions, Dicoding creates a fun and challenging learning environment for students and young people to hone their future skills. “We believe that learning skills not only open opportunities, but also empower individuals. Coding, in particular, is an essential skill to thrive in the digital era,” noted Narenda Wicaksono, CEO of Dicoding Indonesia. “It is our hope that through the Dicoding Academy, we can increase coding literacy in Indonesia and accelerate regional competitiveness in the global digital economy.”
“Sea Lion is humbled and honoured to receive the ASEAN Business Award 2019 in the skills development category for our contribution to skills development in Myanmar through the development of the School of Industrial Training and Education (SITE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education,” said Dr. Win Zaw Aung, Group CEO of Sea Lion. “One of the major challenges for foreign and local investors in Myanmar is the lack and shortage of skilled labour. As a responsible business, Sea Lion believes that it is a noble cause to make contributions out of our resources for skills development in the advanced and value-added manufacturing industry that will promote investment, foster economic development, increase the employment rate, and lift up the living standard of the citizens,” he added.
Sea Lion has made major investments to contribute to human capital development in healthcare and technical education and training in Myanmar. In 2018, Sea Lion mobilised a network of business partners that jointly invested US$1.2 million in the establishment of SITE. The school has already earned appreciation from industry and among young students. Sea Lion remains heavily involved in the running of the school to ensure its long-term sustainability and guarantee a high quality of training. The company also contributed training centres at Yangon General Hospital and Mandalay General Hospital for the skills development of healthcare professionals.
In addition to the ASEAN-wide winners, Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel Inc. from the Philippines and Shalom International Movers Pte. Ltd. from Singapore were recognised as country winners in the SME tier. Tsuneishi Technical Service from the Philippines and PTG Energy from Thailand were the country winners in the large tier.
The winners were selected from a total of 22 submissions by a jury of 10 judges representing the 10 ASEAN member states. The selection followed an intensive evaluation process conducted by regional and international experts in skills development. The evaluation process was led by the Regional Cooperation Programme in TVET in ASEAN (RECOTVET), which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für lnternationale Zusammenarbeit (GlZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
RECOTVET initiated the Skills Development Award together with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Franziska Seel, who manages RECOTVET’s work on private sector cooperation in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) explained. “It’s very exciting for us to congratulate the first winners of the ASEAN Skills Development Award! We developed and pitched the idea for this award to ASEAN-BAC, because ASEAN is facing enormous skills challenges which can only be tackled if the business community actively supports skills development efforts in cooperation with the public education system. By shining a light on companies – like Dicoding Indonesia and Sea Lion – that already make a contribution, we hope to inspire many others to do the same.”
The Skills Development Award was included in the ASEAN Business Award for the first time in 2019 by the Thai presidency of ASEAN-BAC. It underlines its flagship pillar “human capital development” under the overall theme of “Empowering ASEAN 4.0”. The award draws attention to the need to strengthen professional technical and vocational skills and to reskill and upskill ASEAN’s workforce in order to counter the expected impacts of the fourth industrial revolution for a competitive and dynamic ASEAN economic community.It was launched with the objective of identifying and recognising businesses that have demonstrated a significant contribution to skills development and to promote their efforts in order to inspire similar investments from businesses across the region. The activities of the winners and finalists of the Skills Development Award will be featured by RECOTVET on the TVET Platform for Southeast Asia, http://sea-vet.net, in the coming weeks.
About the ASEAN Business Award:
The ASEAN Business Awards was first launched by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) in 2007 to mark ASEAN’s 40th anniversary. The ABA has been running for over 10 years, recognising more than 100 outstanding ASEAN businesses that have shown significant progress in establishing and reinforcing their positions in various sectors and contributing to ASEAN’s economic growth and prosperity. In addition, the Awards bring to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the potential to become global economic players. ABA also serves as a platform to promote regional integration.