Overcoming the Odds

Overcoming the Odds

Jess Hew was determined not to let her humble beginnings set the tone for the rest of her life. She focused on creating a meaningful life and building a successful business. Today, she is the founder of a multi-million-ringgit business and a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs. In an interview with Top 10 of Asia, she gives an insight into her journey in establishing her company, Biotech Filtration Sdn Bhd and the challenges she faced. 

Jess Hew was born into a large family with tight finances. The youngest of five children, she learned early in life to value what she had and earn money to survive. When she was just a child, her mother only gave her RM40 a month to pay for the car fare to go to the tuition centre and for meal expenses. 

That was insufficient and she had to do part-time work to get some extra income to meet her needs. She recalls that even buying a bowl of noodles needed serious consideration. However, these difficulties made her realise that every sen counts and she learnt to live on a budget while growing up. 

Reflecting back on her 16-year entrepreneurial journey, she believes that the first factor for her company’s success is a solid and efficient team that works well together. Besides that, she and her colleagues also focus on values such as integrity and professionalism and take a customer-centric approach in their business. Jess firmly believes that only with quality assurance can the company continue to grow bigger and last longer.

“At Biotech Filtration Sdn Bhd, we provide both outright purchase and rental plans of water dispensers for office and home users, water coolers for factories and schools, as well as vending machines for corporate customers. On top of that, we offer professional services including product consultancy, installation, and after-sales service and maintenance,” says Jess, describing the nature of her business.

Besides that, the company has expanded to offer Office Coffee Service (OCS), providing a variety of services to offices such as coffee, tea and other beverages to enhance the customers’ work environment. Their services include regularly scheduled visitations, free inspection and clean up. This support system and top-notch service have given them an edge over ‘one-and-done’ businesses that merely sell the products.

“In 2014, we entered into the OCS business through a joint venture with a Japanese listed company. Their total sales that year reached USD200 million. So far, it has served 500,000 corporate customers globally,” shares Jess. 

Jess notes that the most notable challenge in entrepreneurship is the price war. “In today’s internet age, customers can buy products at even cheaper prices online. So, why should they buy from you?” says Jess. “I believe that only good service can generate value for their products. Ultimately, good products at good prices plus outstanding service will attract and retain customers for the long term.” 

Jess believes in being a democratic leader. She will listen to the opinions and suggestions of her partners. In addition, every employee with ideas has the right to speak, so that more comprehensive decisions can be made. She thinks the traditional authoritarian model is no longer suitable in this era.

“I am very concerned about the prospects of employees, and I am also willing to share profits with them. Since I started my business, I have a core team that put their trust in me and supports me all the way, which I appreciate very much. The most important thing about a company is not how many customers you have, but how many people are around to help and be with you. In addition, the more value our company brings to others, the higher its value will be. Our profit has its source in customer satisfaction,” says Jess.

“Do one thing well in ten years, and don’t do ten things in one year. This is persistence, and persistence is the cornerstone of success. Success depends not on rhetoric, but down-to-earth and continuous efforts to implement your dreams,” concludes Jess.

Toast To a Year of Progress with the Glen Grant’s Limited Edition Lunar New Year Gift Sets

Toast To a Year of Progress with the Glen Grant’s Limited Edition Lunar New Year Gift Sets

Inspired by the Azure Dragon, this year’s series conveys The Glen Grant’s new branding with auspicious elements for a gift that represents new beginnings

The Glen Grant, the historic Scotch whisky hailing from the heart of Speyside ushers 2024 – the year of the dragon – with the return of its limited edition Lunar New Year sets. Adorned with thoughtfully considered visuals for the perfect gift to convey significant progress, this year’s series juxtaposes the Azure Dragon and the distillery’s ever flourishing Garden of Splendours across its principal collection covering 10,12, 15 and 18 years that will be available for purchase starting the 1st week of January 2024 – just ahead of celebration season.

A Whimsical Gift with an Evocative Journey

An ongoing series that has dazzled whisky lovers and The Glen Grant collectors over the years, this year’s edition invites drinkers into the Garden of Splendours enchanted by a majestic dragon.

Designed with a modern elegance, the box depicts the garden that starts with a waterfall that gradually cascades into a trial of garden florals till it arrives at the Glass House and Distillery as a reflection of its prized resource and new beginnings. As the gold foil river flows, elements such as hanging lanterns and a central Azure Dragon that symbolizes growth and enthusiasm add an auspicious touch that continues as the sleeves are expanded, alongside a greeting that beckons the wondrous tasting journey ahead.

Making its return to the delight of collectors is an auspice stopper – in a geometric dragon head – that has been a hallmark feature since The Glen Grant’s debut Lunar New Year release in 2021. In a bid to entice whisky drinkers of all levels, the seasonal theme is applied across its 10-, 12-, 15- and 18-years bottles, each in its corresponding colour scheme from its original packaging.



Guocoland wins Best Developer (Asia) while developers from Indonesia triumph with the most regional wins.

PropertyGuru Group announced the winners of the 18th Annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final, presented by Kohler and supported by Dongpeng Ceramic and Subzero Wolf, at The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok. 

Winners from 13 vibrant property markets across Asia competed for the highest marks of excellence in real estate development, construction, architecture, and design at the finale of the 2023 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards series. More than 50 golden statuettes, accolading the finest developers and projects in the region, were presented at the black-tie gala dinner and presentation ceremony. 

GuocoLand won the biggest award of the year, Best Developer (Asia), for the third time in the history of the Awards. It marks one of five regional wins for developers from Singapore, with Frasers Property Singapore winning the Best Mixed Use Developer (Asia) award and UOL Group Limited and Pan Pacific Hotels Group winning the Best Hospitality Developer (Asia) award. UOL Group Limited also won the Best Sustainable Developer (Asia) award while EL Development Pte Ltd won the Best Hospitality Interior Design (Asia) award. 

Developers from Indonesia gained eight regional wins, the most of any country. PT Sinar Mitbana Mas garnered the Best Breakthrough Developer (Asia) title, with parent company Sinar Mas Land and subsidiary PT. BSD Diamond Development also receiving regional wins. Various projects by Agung Sedayu Group & Salim Group; Summarecon Agung; and Summarecon Serpong collected regional wins. 





The Philippines was represented with seven regional wins, with Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates winning both the Best Industrial Developer (Asia) and Best Industrial Development (Asia) awards. RLC Residences; Robinsons Hotels and Resorts; North Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Inc.; Shang Robinsons Properties, Inc.; and Sunshine Fort North Bonifacio Realty Development Corporation received golden statuettes for a wide range of projects.

Developers from Vietnam received six regional wins, led by SonKim Land Corporation, which won both the Best Luxury Developer (Asia) and Best Boutique Mixed Use Development (Asia) awards. Regional winners include ParkCity Group, which won the Best Completed Condo Development (Asia) award.

Andaman Asset Solution won the Best Boutique Developer (Asia) award in one of six regional wins for developers from Thailand. KingBridge Tower by KingBridge Tower Company Limited (Saha Pathana Inter-Holding Public Company Limited) alone earned three regional wins for the kingdom while Rawayana by Phuket9 scored two regional wins. 

Salvo was named Best Lifestyle Developer (Asia), one of five regional wins for developers from Australia. Regional winners from the country include projects by Capital Luxury Residences; Monaco Property Group; R.Corporation; and Third.i Group.

Malaysia and Cambodia each gained four regional wins. Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) was hailed Best Affordable Homes Developer (Asia), with projects by Eastern & Oriental Berhad; Eupe Corporation Berhad; and Sime Darby Property also representing Malaysia with regional titles. Projects by OCIC Group and RM Commercial Co., Ltd. each clinched a regional win for Cambodia as Sir Stamford Raffles (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. gained two regional wins for the project Marum Estate.

Hanacreek by Apex Property and Aki Niseko by Takuetsu Co., Ltd. represented Greater Niseko as regional winners from the renowned Japanese skiing destination. 

The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong by Sino Land Company Limited and M8 by China Construction Engineering (Macau) Company Limited garnered two regional wins for Hong Kong and Macau. New Bund 31 by Shun Tak Qiantan (Shanghai) Cultural and Real Estate Company Limited was named Best Mixed Use Development (Asia), a regional win for Mainland China.

The Grand Final drew one of the most iconic personalities in the Hong Kong real estate industry. Dr. Allan Zeman, founder and chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, came to accept the Icon Award from the editorial team of Property Report by PropertyGuru, the official magazine.  


Dr. Zeman, who won the Real Estate Personality of the Year title in 2015, said: “It is an honour to be awarded the 2023 Icon Award. Lan Kwai Fong has become a great brand in HK and throughout the world. This is very important to us and to our partner.”

Hari V. Krishnan, CEO and managing director of PropertyGuru Group, said: “The culmination of this year’s PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards series is a fitting celebration of the changemakers who are contributing to shaping tomorrow’s cities. From lively capitals to sprawling metropolises and well-planned townships, the future of cities in Asia is in the capable hands of these fine developers, lighting the way for a more sustainable, equitable and innovative industry in their respective countries. To all the winners – we celebrate your success and look forward to what you create next.”

Jules Kay, GM of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events, said: “Recognising and awarding excellence in 2023 led us on an insightful journey through the diverse property markets of Asia. Celebrating real estate from the cities of tomorrow, we rediscovered a shared aspiration for quality among developers, buyers, and builders, and a growing commitment to sustainability among residential, commercial, and industrial developers. The finest places to live and work in Asia have become shining examples of quality, clearly showing that this region remains focused on raising development standards, redefining design, and revitalising economies. Congratulations to all the Best in Asia winners as you continue to drive positive change and innovation.”

Jules Kay, GM of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events

The regional winners were chosen by an independent jury, composed of the head judges of participating markets in the Awards: Thien Duong, chairperson of the Grand Final and general director, Group GSA (Vietnam); Ajai A Kapoor, CEO, 360 degrees – Real Estate Services (India); Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president of TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group Inc. (Philippines); Eddie Guillemette, CEO, Midori no Ki (Greater Niseko); Datuk Ar. Ezumi Harzani Ismail, president, Malaysian Institute of Architects: 2020-2022 (Malaysia); Ken Ip, assistant general manager and group head of marketing, B.S.C. Group (Mainland China); Kristin Thorsteins, head of partnership growth for APAC at IWG PLC (Singapore); Lui Violanti, regional manager for Western Australia, Inhabit Group (Australia); Paul Tse, president, board of directors, Macao Association of Building Contractors and Developers (Hong Kong and Macau); Sorn Seap, executive vice president, Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (Cambodia); Suphin Mechuchep, CEO, Sen X Group PCL (Thailand); and Vivin Harsanto, senior director and head of advisory, JLL Indonesia (Indonesia).

HLB, the leading international accounting and advisory firm, ensured that the selection process was fair and transparent, under the supervision of Paul Ashburn of HLB International Real Estate Group.

Organised by PropertyGuru Group, the 18th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final is supported by platinum sponsor Kohler; silver sponsors Dongpeng Ceramic and Subzero Wolf; official portal partner PropertyGuru; official magazine Property Report by PropertyGuru; official publicity partner Artemis Associates; media partners Bridges, d+a Magazine, Housing.com, Manila Bulletin, Powderlife, and The Manila Times; official beverage partner Fah Mai Holdings; supporting partners REHDA Institute and IFC-EDGE; and official supervisor HLB.

AVANTÉ Hotel Ushers In 2nd Year with Appreciation Dinner

AVANTÉ Hotel Ushers In 2nd Year with Appreciation Dinner

AVANTÉ Hotel ushered in its 2nd year, with an appreciation dinner welcoming over 350 esteemed corporate, travel and media guests, as a thank-you for their continuous support and trust in AVANTÉ as their preferred hotel.

Gracing the Appreciation Dinner were the Guest of Honour: YBhg. Dato Dr Ammar Abd. Ghapar, Director General of Tourism Malaysia; Director of AVANTÉ Hotel, YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Teo Chiang Liang with Puan Sri Luan Teo; and General Manager of AVANTÉ Hotel, Mr David Oh together with distinguished VVIPs and esteemed guests, kickstarting the evening with an opening ceremony, followed by a cake cutting, showcasing a massive cake made by the hotel’s Pastry Chef and culinary team, topped with a 15kg sculpture of the hotel’s logo – the whole showpiece weighing a total of 30kg!

In his welcoming speech, Mr David Oh thanked Tourism Malaysia for their continuous support, and highlighted the hotel’s aim of moving forward, working hand in hand for Visit Malaysia Year 2026, while also hinting at new upcoming facilities in the works for the hotel.

YBhg. Tan Sri Dato Dr Teo Chiang Liang also went on to thank all for their unwavering support, particularly when the hotel first opened its lobby doors on 26 November 2021. After which Tan Sri presented a memento to the Guest of Honour.




Guests then enjoyed a sumptuous 8-course dinner by the hotel’s culinary brigade, accompanied by renowned guest performances — Raw Note String Quartet and master impressionist and standup comedian Dato Leonard Tan.

There was also a special lucky draw session with amazing prizes for guests, including vouchers for the delectable Weekend Hi-Tea Buffet, Surf & Turf Buffet Dinner, Superior & Deluxe Room Stay with breakfast for 2 persons. And for the Top 3 Grand Prizes: Studio Suite Room Stay with breakfast and set dinner for 2; Executive Suite Room Stay with breakfast and set dinner for 2 and the Grand Prize — Premium 2-bedroom Suite Stay with breakfast and set dinner for 4 persons. Truly an evening to remember at the ideal place to be — AVANTÉ Hotel, Bandar Utama!



From retail to resort developments, award recipients represent the most outstanding cross-section of real estate in Thailand. 

PropertyGuru Group, Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company, announced the Winners and Highly Commended recipients of the 18th PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards, presented by Mitsubishi Elevator (Thailand) and supported by gold sponsor JLL.

The black-tie gala dinner and presentation ceremony laureled the kingdom’s most illustrious, innovative developers across 63 categories at The Athenee Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok. This year’s award recipients represent an outstanding cross-section of real estate in Thailand, representing development firms from Greater Bangkok, Phuket, the Eastern Seaboard, Hua Hin, Khao Yai and more. 

Sena Development won the most competitive accolade of the night, the Best Developer award, for the first time in the 18-year history of the Awards. Habitat Group Co., Ltd. garnered the most wins, which include the Best Lifestyle Developer award; the sought-after Best Condo Development (Thailand) award for its project Wyndham Grand Residences Wongamat Pattaya; and a few titles for the project Highland Park Pool Villas Pattaya.

The prestigious Best Retail Developer title went to The EM District Co., Ltd. The EmSphere Shopping Complex, the latest phase of the shopping district that includes Emporium and EmQuartier, was honoured as Best Retail Development.

Phuket9 was another prolific winner, gaining the title of Best Developer (Phuket), in addition to wins for its project Rawayana. PNP Real Estate Co., Ltd. also rose to the top with several wins, such as the Best Breakthrough Developer (Hua Hin) award and various titles for the project La Felice Villa Hua Hin. 

Other winners in the Developer categories were Andaman Asset Solution, winner of the Best Boutique Developer (Phuket) award, supported by a win for The Residence Prime; Botanica Luxury Phuket Co., Ltd., winner of Best Luxury Developer (Phuket), with a win for Botanica Grand Avenue; MontAzure, winner of Best Mixed Use Developer (Phuket), with a win for MGallery Residences MontAzure by Kamala Beach Resort & Hotel Management Co., Ltd.; Patta Development Co., Ltd., winner of Best Housing Developer (Eastern Seaboard); The Riviera Group, winner of Best Condo Developer (Eastern Seaboard); and Wallaya Villas Development, winner of Best Housing Developer (Phuket).

Sammakorn Plus Company Limited and Sammakorn-JV1 Company Limited netted several wins for their projects, such as the sought-after Best Housing Development (Thailand) title for the former’s project, Park Heritage Pattanakarn. The latter also scored a couple of wins for the project Barnyard Khaoyai. 

Another big winner of the night was KingBridge Tower Company Limited (Saha Pathana Inter-Holding Public Company Limited), whose project, KingBridge Tower, also gained multiple wins. 

Thongma Vijitpongpun, vice chairman of the board of directors, Pruksa Holding Public Company Limited, accepted the Thailand Real Estate Personality of the Year award from the editorial team of Property Report by PropertyGuru, the official magazine. 

He said: “For the 2023 Thailand Real Estate Personality of the Year Award, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to PropertyGuru for taking part in conveying my intentions as well. This award is even more valuable because I have a companion moving towards the goal of creating better changes together.”

He is honoured for at least three decades of leadership in the field of residential development as well as innovations in prefab and precast construction technologies, among other achievements.

Jeremy Williams, managing director, Marketplaces, PropertyGuru Group, said: “Thailand is a key market for us at PropertyGuru Group as we pursue our vision to power communities to live, work and thrive in tomorrow’s cities. The meticulous selection of these award winners aligns with our aim to promote trust in the real estate industry and infuse confidence into the decisions of Thailand’s property seekers, sellers and owners. From the dazzling skylines of the city to the idyllic coast and countryside, these great developers and projects have truly made a difference in the property sector and brought lasting, innovative, sustainable change to Thailand. Congratulations to all the recipients of the PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards. 

Jules Kay, GM of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events, said: “After nearly two decades, the PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards programme continues to support and elevate the standard of real estate development and design in the kingdom. Over the years, the Awards have adapted and evolved to reflect an ever-changing Thai market. As consumer preferences change and demand for real estate rebounds, we recognise the properties most sought after by today’s property seekers, and shine a light on Thailand’s most desirable investment opportunities. Whether in locations such as Bangkok’s urban hubs or the country’s bucolic coast and countryside, our award winners this year personify the optimism in Thailand’s real estate sector and give cause for celebration.” 

Jules Kay, GM of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events

The independent panel of judges who determined the list of awardees this year consist of Suphin Mechuchep, chairperson of the Awards in Thailand and CEO, Sen X Group PCL; Chaivut Saengaram, Ph.D., managing director, Chuchawal-Royal Haskoning, Dutch Design & Engineers Consulting Firm; Chaiyuth Pete Thirangoon, director, Akatan Company Limited; Leong Choong Peng, advisor, Mentabuild Limited, consultant, and chartered surveyor; Marciano Birjmohun, vice-chairman, The Singapore-Thai Chambers of Commerce; Dr. Phongthon Tharachai, CEO, Project Planning Service Public Company Limited; Precha Suphapetiporn, president, Thai Real Estate Sales and Marketing Association; Sasivimol Sinthawanarong, design principal, Jarken Co., Ltd.; and Professor Sonthya Vanichvatana, Ph.D, chairperson, the Department of Real Estate, MRICS, associate architect, MSME School of Management and Economics, Assumption University.

The regional panel of judges include specialists in the markets of Eastern Seaboard, Hua Hin, Phuket and Samui, and consist of Bobby Birt, managing director, Samui Island Realty; Bobby Brooks, founder/director/advisor director, Bobby Brooks Property Advisor Co. Ltd.; Clayton Wade, managing director, Premier Homes Real Estate Co., Ltd.; George Willoughby, managing director, Form Property; Jessica Green, owner, JG Development; Mattia Taminelli, marketing director & partner, T&S C. Furniture Co., Ltd.; Mesa Wongsida, managing director, North Shore Property Co., Ltd.; Khun Piti Suebwonglee, attorney & managing partner, Expat Pro; Robert Krupica, partner, Hughes Krupica Consulting Co., Ltd; Russ Downing, managing director, Hot Hua Hin Co. Ltd.; Sirikwan Tan, senior associate, Hughes Krupica Consulting Co., Ltd; and Torasingh ‘Tony’ Tangkuptanon, founder/managing director, Worldnance Co., Ltd.

HLB Thailand, member of HLB International Real Estate Group, supervised the judging and selection process under the leadership of co-managing partner Paul Ashburn with the assistance of Sakanphon Fueangwong.

Established in 2005, the PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards remain the longest-running awards programme of its kind in the country. Main country winners of the PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards will be eligible to compete in the 18th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final on Friday, 8 December, also in Bangkok, Thailand. The selected winners will contend for the Best in Asia regional honours against their peers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as Australia, India, Japan and China. 

Organised by PropertyGuru Group, the 18th PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards are supported by platinum sponsor Mitsubishi Elevator (Thailand); gold sponsor JLL; official portal partner DDproperty.com; official magazine Property Report by PropertyGuru; official publicity partner Infinity Communications; media partners Discover Pattaya, Hot Magazine, Prop2morrow, REm, Terra BKK, Think of Living, and Top 10 Thailand; official whiskey partner Fah Mai Holdings; supporting associations British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) and IFC – Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies; and official supervisor HLB.