Singapore's first female self-storage hub CEO wins big for outstanding leadership

General Storage Company’s Helen Ng was dubbed the ‘Queen of Self-Storage in Asia.’

Despite coming from a background focused on property development, Helen Ng became Singapore's first female self-storage hub Chief Executive Officer when she took over the Lock+Store business from real estate developer Mapletree in November 2010.

Prior to this, she was part of the Ang Oon Hue Pte Ltd senior management team which developed Greenview Mansion, a new property catering to long-term housing needs in the north of Singapore. Back then, she was in charge of Human Resources, Business Development, and Marketing.

Concurrently, the company took over the management of and turned around Sembawang Shopping Centre which was then sold to CapitalMall Trust in 2003. From 2004 to 2005, she oversaw the expansion of the Food and Beverage arm of the Comfort Perth City Hotel in Australia and the construction of an additional car park block. Today, it is a thriving three-star business hotel.

A self-storage opinion leader who is effectively bilingual, Helen has been quoted and featured extensively in regional print and broadcast media. She was a regular contributor to The Business Times’ “Views from the Top” weekly column. A firm believer in Corporate Social Responsibility, Helen has launched various CSR initiatives at Lock+Store Singapore, including the sponsorship of storage units for the online crowdfunding charity Ray of Hope and the Nature Society (Singapore). 

Currently, she is the CEO of General Storage Company, which operates a network of 14 self-storage facilities in Singapore and two facilities in Malaysia under the Lock+Store brand name. The company also operates four facilities in Hong Kong under the Store House brand name.

Helen spearheaded Lock+Store’s bold new green push in 2022 with the tagline “A green and caring tomorrow with self-storage." Under this initiative, the company has installed solar panels, EV charging bays, and recycling stations at its flagship Chai Chee facility in Singapore. They have also introduced edible gardens at the facility together with SG Gardens to optimise land use and support Singapore’s drive towards food self-sufficiency. 

Helen has been active in motivating and educating the youth. She has spoken twice at Singapore Management University as part of their CEO Talk series and twice at Young NTUC's motivational CROSSROADS series.

In November 2013, Helen received the Singapore Women's Weekly Great Women of Our Time award in the “Finance and Commerce” category.

By April 2014, Helen was appointed Deputy Chair of the inaugural Self-Storage Association Asia (SSAA), the first Singaporean to be appointed to a key Board position, then two years after in April 2016, she was appointed Chair of the SSAA.

For all these efforts, General Storage Company Pte. Ltd. was given the Executive of the Year - Building Services & Facilities award in the recently concluded Singapore Business Review Management Excellence Awards.

The awards programme recognises the most outstanding leaders in Singapore for their hard work and dedication that brought tangible contributions to their businesses. It also honours employee engagements and COVID management initiatives that have made a positive impact on its workforce or customers.

In granting the award, the judging panel took three major achievements into consideration. First is that Helen helped standardise industry standards in Singapore and regionally. Second is that it created investment and growth opportunities for operators, and lastly, Helen rose to the peak of a traditionally male-dominated industry in Singapore.

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 2023 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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