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Certis CEO Paul Chong: A Pioneer in Singapore's Security Revolution

This recent recognition celebrates Chong's pivotal role in digitally transforming Singapore's security industry, guiding Certis and its extensive workforce of over 27,000 employees globally.

Established in 1958, Certis has a rich heritage in security and a commitment to advancing applied AI solutions, consistently setting new industry standards, and driving innovation in business services.

Paul Chong, a University of Cambridge graduate with an honours degree in Economics and Operations Research, joined Certis as its founding CEO in 2004, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise. His extensive career path includes spearheading a broadband/multimedia company and serving as SingTel’s vice president for consumer sales, where he orchestrated the rollout of Singapore’s first nationwide broadband network and more notably, transformed Globe Telecom into a leading mobile telecom operator in the Philippines.

Chong's former leadership stint in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as head of joint communications and electronics further underscored his prowess in varied sectors.

Under his leadership, Certis has undergone a remarkable evolution. He transformed Certis from a statutory board to a privatised entity, facilitating its growth to become an integrated multi-disciplinary security provider with a global presence.

The company has expanded more than fivefold and diversified into new business areas, such as facilities management, concierge services, and command-and-control systems for major properties. In addition, Certis has ventured overseas and established itself as the third-largest player in the industry in Australia, having entered the market only in 2016.

His achievement was sparked by embarking on a groundbreaking digital transformation journey, revolutionising the security sector in Singapore. In an industry traditionally characterised by manual labour, Paul's bold vision has driven Certis to leverage robotics, big data, analytics, and AI, setting new standards for the security industry.

In the face of daunting challenges over the past two years, including labour shortages, rising costs, and tighter budgets, Paul led the charge in embracing technology to enhance productivity and deliver superior operational outcomes. Certis deployed a digital workforce management , Optimax, at the FIFA World Cup 2022, streamlining operations and significantly boosting efficiency.

Another remarkable achievement was the implementation of the multi-service orchestration platform, Mozart, at the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board. This innovative platform leveraged AI-enabled sensors and video analytics to provide real-time insights and enhance security, resulting in a remarkable 20% reduction in manpower and a substantial 66% improvement in incident response time.

Paul's commitment extends beyond technology; he is equally dedicated to upskilling Certis' 20,000-strong workforce through initiatives like the "Citizen Developer" movement, empowering employees to create their own applications and enhance work productivity.

His leadership also touches the hearts of the community. Certis’ partnership with the Disabled People's Association (DPA) to map barrier-free accessibility routes in Singapore is a testament to its dedication to supporting persons with disabilities (PWD) and disadvantaged children, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society.

As a result of these groundbreaking efforts, Certis President and Group CEO Paul Chong won the Executive of the Year accolade under the Business Services category at the recently held SBR Management Excellence Awards. Now in its ninth year, the prestigious awards programme honours individuals or teams who have greatly contributed to the companies’ success and Singapore’s growth.

The SBR Management Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's employee engagements and management initiatives, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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