22 November 2017, Kuala Lumpur – Mr. Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group, was bestowed the prestigious Business Person of the Year Award at the Sin Chew Business Excellence Awards 2017, organised by the Sin Chew Media Group, Malaysia and its subsidiary, MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam, Malaysia recently. Plaza Premium Lounge Malaysia also emerged triumphant from the adjudication by winning two other awards; the Business Service Excellence Award and the CIMB – Sin Chew Regional Excellence Award.
Mr. Song Hoi-see, who legendarily transformed the airport hospitality industry by establishing the world’s first pay-in airport lounge network for all travellers regardless of their airline or class of travel, created the business and the entire independent airport lounge industry from his poor travel experience. Commenting on the awards, “I am extremely humbled to be the recipient of the revered Business Person of the Year Award. And it is a great honour indeed that Plaza Premium Lounge Malaysia is acknowledged as the recipients of the Business Service Excellence Award and the CIMB – Sin Chew Regional Excellence Award at the same time. This is truly a testament to the company and my team. These awards are very much attributed to their dedication. Plaza Premium Lounge would not be what it is today without their full support and faith in sharing my vision.” he remarked.
The judging process was conducted in three phases by an independent panel comprising 23 distinguished personalities with senior industry-standing from various trade associations, business federations, national councils and top management representatives from Sin Chew Media Group and CIMB Group Malaysia, who is the award sponsor for the fifth year. Apart from a site visit to KL International Airport (KLIA) during the judging process to view the operations procedures, corporate structure, milestones and achievements, management philosophy and disciplines of Plaza Premium Lounge Malaysia, the details and nomination report was audited by Grant Thornton Malaysia, one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Song shared how he struggled to work effectively while on-the-go as an economy class traveller, after his career in investment banking where he previously enjoyed the first and business class facilities and services at the airports. Driven by a heartfelt desire “to do something for the majority”, he launched the world’s first independent airport lounge network in KLIA and Hong Kong International Airport in 1998. Through his initiative and vision, Mr. Song broke the stereotype that airport lounges are for premium travellers only. After 19 years of dedication and hard work, he continued to be personally involved in implementing new initiatives and driving innovation. “In this business world, I’d say change after change will survive, change with change will succeed, but companies that cause change will lead.” In his speech, he also encouraged younger generation to pursue their own dreams in fulfilling their aspirations. “[By winning this award,] I hope to inspire the young entrepreneurs and also bring pride to our Malaysian businessmen with my story; as long as you have a unique idea, courage, vision and passion, the world is your oyster,” he said.
Since 1998, Plaza Premium Lounge has evolved substantially into Plaza Premium Group, a global service brand offering premium airport services, with over 4,000 employees in more than 160 locations across 37 international airports, serving over 12 million passengers around the world annually.