TAN Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan, fondly known as the “Flying Doctor” for blazing the tracks around Asia, received the Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 at the Young Indian Entrepreneurs Award (YIEA) 2015 in Istana Hotel.
Dr Jegathesan, who is also a pro-chancellor of University Sains Malaysia, was an Asian Games sprint champion in 1962 in Jakarta and 1966 in Bangkok.
Among the highlights of his career were winning three gold medals and making it to the semifinals of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964.
He was joined by the first Malaysian to climb Mount Everest and National Sports Council sports manager Datuk M. Magendran, who received a Special Achievement Award and Star Media Group Bhd senior writer Stuart Michael, who received the Journalism Excellence Award-English newspaper.
Other award recipients were Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center executive director and scientist Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan (Science Excellence Award – Bio Technology), Kuala Lumpur Post chief executive officer Kumareswaran Sinayah (Portal News Excellence Award) and artiste Balan Kashmir (Entertainment Excellence Award).
There were 22 categories but only three were picked for the top YIEA 2015 awards.
KnowledgeCom Corporation Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and director S.T Rubaneswaran, who was the Education and Training category winner, emerged as YIEA 2015 while Privatel Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Thiagaraj Tinakarun came in second and Ocean Flair Sdn Bhd director Navindran Karunakaran was third.
International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria and YIEA organising chairman Madhu Marimuthu presented the awards to the winners.
Dr Rebecca said this effort by the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs Cooperative (MIEC) would help improve competitiveness nationally and internationally.
“The government is fully aware that the role of SMEs is crucial in helping the nation achieve its goal of a high-income economy by 2020, as they comprise 90% of the businesses registered in Malaysia.
“MITI and its agencies – SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) – are always ready and willing to work with MIEC to improve the performance of SMEs,” she said.
Madhu said that the awards would provide businessmen a boost into foreign markets.
Organised by MIEC in collaboration with The Social Entrepreneur Network (SeNet), the award has been given to personalities such as Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara, Datuk Praba Thiagarajah and Kailesh Sheth in the past.
A panel of judges made up of businessmen, professionals and representatives of business associations evaluated and interview the nominees before selecting the winners.
The nominees needed to be in business for at least five years with a minimum turnover of RM5mil.
They were judged on their financial performance and growth of the company, innovative business model, leadership skills as well as social responsibility initiatives.
The guests at YIEA 2015 were serenaded by Malaysian artiste Jaclyn Victor.