Harvard-trained accountant makes history for Singapore Sikhs

Sarjit Singh, a rising star in Singapore's financial sector, has been conferred The Public Service Star (Bar), the highest national honour presented to a Sikh in Singapore

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Sarjit Singh and wife Kiranjeet Kaur with their twins Ashlyn and Jaslyn

By Asia Samachar | Singapore |

Harvard-trained Sarjit Singh s/o Sarmukh Singh made history for the Sikh community in Singapore when he was conferred The Public Service Star (Bar), also referred to as the ‘Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Lintang)’ in conjunction with the republic’s national day celebration.

The award, presented by Singapore President Halimah Yacob on August 9, is the highest national honour presented to a Sikh in Singapore to date.

The Bar is awarded to those who make significant contributions after being awarded The Public Service Star. Instituted in 1963, the Public Service Star is awarded to someone who has rendered valuable public service to the people of Singapore, or who has distinguished himself or herself in the field of arts and letters, sports, the sciences, business, the professions and the labour movement.

This is Sarjit’s fourth award conferred by the President of the Republic of Singapore. The chartered accountant-turned-entrepreneur was previously conferred the Public Service Star in 2011; the Public Service Medal in 2007; and the SkillsFuture Fellowship in 2019, an award that honours individuals as masters of skills and mentors of future talent.

Sarjit is a rising star in Singapore’s financial sector, holding leadership positions in a Singapore-based regional company as well as a public accounting firm. On the community front, he plays a key role in Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA). 

But life did not start out so easy for the accountant-turned-entrepreneur. His family experienced a major setback when he was 10 years-old when his father, the sole family breadwinner, passed away. “My dad was my superhero. From him, I learnt the impact just one person can have on so many lives. His passion to serve the community and help others, stayed with me and inspired me to do the same,” he told Asia Samachar.

But he counts his lucky stars in having around him role models, including his siblings and their spouses, who guided him in his growing up years. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and went on to win an overseas post-graduate scholarship with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“I feel that I was able to do this because of Singapore’s meritocracy-based education system and I have a strong desire to give back to the education system and to the youth of our community,” he said.

The defining life experiences may also have led him to mentor and support everyone around him to achieve success in the way defined by them. Sarjit won the prestigious Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award in 2012 and was recognised by the Nanyang Technological University as a “financial industry talent and outstanding community leader”.

“I believe that having a good role model helps to inculcate the values of good citizenship in the youth as it did in me and I would like to share this passion with others to ensure that our youth are actively engaged and connected to the community,” he said.

Sarjit proved that this is no idle talk. Putting his money where his mouth is, Sarjit and his wife Kiranjeet Kaur created an endowment fund at Nanyang Technological University in 2010 to inspire outstanding students in Nanyang Business School. This is the couple’s way to leave a legacy to benefit future generations.

Sarjit is a senior director at Singapore-headquartered In.Corp Global Pte Ltd which provides professional corporate solutions for businesses with a wide presence in Asia. He also concurrently serves as the chairman of public accounting firm Kreston Ardent CAtrust PAC, the winner of the Best Practice Award at the Singapore Accountancy Awards in 2016.

He has built an extensive career in assurance and advisory, including 16 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to In.Corp, Sarjit was the CFO of AIA Singapore and Aviva Asia, where he was responsible for formulating and implementing the financial, investment and commercial strategies for AIA Singapore and Aviva’s diverse businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region respectively.

In May 2021, he was appointed as Vice President of SINDA, making him the first Sikh to be appointed to a key position at the Singapore Indian self-help group. The organisation is led by Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with Sarjit and his family in 2017. Lee shared the photo on his Facebook page with this caption: When I met District Councillor Sarjit Singh in March, he told me about his twin daughters. Today I met and carried Ashlyn and Jaslyn! Sarjit has been with Central Singapore CDC for 16 years, and he hopes that one day his daughters will become their youngest volunteers. (MCI Photo by Kenji Soon)

Sarjit also presently serves as a District Councillor and Chairman of the Finance Committee at the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC). 

He also holds several industry appointments, including Chairman of Singapore Accountancy Commission’s Chartered Accountancy Learning and Assessment Committee, and member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants Investigation and Disciplinary Panel. 

A huge believer in giving back, Sarjit was the President of the Nanyang Business School Alumni Association, Nanyang Technological University from 2006 to 2018.
 
Sarjit was appointed by the Singapore government in 2016 as a member of the Legal and Accounting Services Working Group to the Committee on the Future Economy, which aims to develop a vibrant and competitive legal and accounting services sector for Singapore in Asia. 

Sarjit is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of both the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). He is also a Chartered Valuer and Appraiser and a Financial Forensic Professional credential holder. Sarjit completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and is an alumni of Harvard University.

RELATED STORY:

Two Sikhs in centre ring of New York Stock Exchange (Asia Samachar, 29 July 2021)

You can do more, says Singapore accountant Sarjit Singh (Asia Samachar, 18 Feb 2020)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond.Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

2 COMMENTS

  1. Well Done Mundia…stay on the govt’s side and you’ll be fine.
    Mentor other young Sikhs and yes launch a Global brand associated with Sikhs and Sikhism around the Sikh mantra of kirat, naam and vand ( hardwork and diligence, devotion to God and sharing regardless more or less )…the universally applicable principle the whole world is waiting to rise up to and applaud !

  2. Heartiest congratulations to Sarjit.outstanding achievements. May Waheguru ji keep his hand of blessings on your n your families head.proud to b a Sikh.🙏🌹

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