A solar-leasing company, a boat manufacturer and a medical aesthetics firm emerged as the top winners in the annual Emerging Enterprise (EE) awards last Friday.

Aesthetic Medical Holdings, Five Aluminium Boat & Engineering and Sunseap Leasing had been among a field of 16 finalists in the award, jointly organised by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, which honours smaller companies. They each get $440,000 in prizes, including consultancy services and executive education programmes.

Aesthetic Medical Holdings has opened close to 30 clinics in three years under its PPP Laser Clinic brand, specialising in laser treatment for pores, pimples and pigmentation. It has also opened clinics in Vietnam, Shanghai and Jakarta.

The firm said it is committed to research and development,with an in-house team seeking the latest technologies and the best and safest methodologies.

Five Aluminium Boat & Engineering, which since 2008 has been designing and building aluminium boats for the oil and gas industry and the National Parks Board, is also expanding aggressively overseas. It was lauded for thinking creatively to overcome its labour crunch; it mass produces simpler boats in Malaysia, while making high-end boats here.

Managing director Edmund Long said the firm will use the prize money to engage marketing consultants to help it penetrate the international market more effectively, optimise production processes and reshape its corporate image. “Our years of hard work and dreams have been affirmed… The award recognises our work and business model, encouraging and propelling us further into the future,” he said.

Sunseap Leasing, Singapore’s largest solar-leasing company, counts among its customers multinationals such as Pratt & Whitney and schools such as Raffles Institution. It is also involved in government projects. One of its largest leasing contracts is for around 120 HDB blocks in Punggol.

The power generated is used to power common services such as lifts, corridor lights and water pumps.

Although the company’s focus is on leasing, it dedicates nearly 10 per cent of its revenue to research and development to boost the yield of its panels.

Other award winners last Friday night were life sciences company Austrianova Singapore and payment services firm Numoni, which received the SingTel Best Innovation Award, as well as ACM Biolabs, which won the inaugural Most Promising Start-up Award.

Mr Eric Ong, the head of emerging business at OCBC Bank, noted that more finalists in recent years have started out in non-conventional industries.

“Instead of embarking on the traditional trading or manufacturing businesses, these finalists have chosen to leverage on the benefits of technology and research and development to differentiate their business from the competition,” he said.

Article published by: The Straits Time, Rennie Whang