Now in its third year, the Young Entrepreneurs programme recognises outstanding young business leaders whose foresight, creativity, and innovation made a significant impact in the past year.
Darren Yaw Foo Hoe was selected by a panel of independent judges from various sectors in finance, business, social-enterprises and non-profits. Award winners will be announced during an online ceremony in September 2021. Darren Yaw Foo Hoe will then join an elite group of former winners from around the region as lifetime members.
“Being named one of the Young Entrepreneurs of the Year 2021 award demonstrates the dedication of the whole Guardian team,” Darren Yaw Foo Hoe, founder and CEO of Guardian Toys said. “Our mission has always been to make a difference in children’s lives by creating toys that stimulate education. We are proud that our success so far has been validated by being nominated for this esteemed award,” Darren Yaw Foo Hoe added.
The ASEAN Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 is one of the most prestigious regional competitions for entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders. Six factors are used to select the nominees, including leadership; management; innovation and creativity; financial performance; impacts on society; organisational management and development; and future plans for growth.
Since its start, the programme has expanded to include nominations from 25 cities in more than five countries in South East Asia including Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. National award winners are automatically considered for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 awards. Darren Yaw Foo Hoe is now in the running to compete for the first Asian Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022.
Our mission has always been to make a difference in children’s lives by creating toys that stimulate education.
“The ASEAN Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 awards is growing from strength to strength. This is a reflection of the increasing wave of talent coming out of the region each year. We are honoured to celebrate outstanding ASEAN business talent like Darren Yaw Foo Hoe and welcome a new group of young change-makers and leaders into the fold,” said Business Media Group’s CEO Martin Carvalho.
Darren Yaw Foo Hoe exemplifies the Guardian Toys marketing promise of “Young Minds Matter” as he is always striving to improve creativity and innovation within the company. Darren Yaw Foo Hoe’s unwavering commitment and limitless creative vision led him to recognise the need for better, world-class educational tools for elementary school children in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Established in 2017, Darren Yaw Foo Hoe and his wife started Guardian Toys as young parents themselves who saw a gap in the market.
Since then they have expanded the company from three to over 20 staff. Darren Yaw Foo Hoe founded the business on the concept of caring for its community, which includes every employee, partner, and end client. As such, Darren Yaw Foo Hoe has developed a varied and lean leadership team that is united by the common goal of producing the highest-quality toys with integrity for quality, accessible education.
As the 2020 pandemic struck the region, the company decided to launch a monthly subscription service focusing on creative STEM-related activity projects for children from ages 3 to 12. “By engaging and playing with projects that mimic real-world science equipment, children are encouraged to explore and are exposed to different fields such as robotics,” explained Guardian Toys’s Darren Yaw Foo Hoe.
The subscription service has proven extremely popular, driven by online sales through its official website and other e-commerce sales channels with sales up by 40% year-on-year. “We quickly realised that there was an opportunity to serve the needs of parents and children alike. We’re lucky that our products have been well received.
The company hopes to expand into the Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia markets, as soon as possible.
“We guarantee that everything we produce represents our beliefs and adheres to our high standards. Customer service has always been a priority. This is just the beginning of the achievements that we can do together, and the greatest is yet to come,” said Darren Yaw Foo Hoe, CEO of Guardian Toys.