Mr. Arun Madhok

Enter Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore and a visionary leader with a compelling foresight for the MICE business, widely recognised as the driving force behind the World’s Leading Convention & Exhibition Centre. Having won various prestigious awards, each of them recognises his exemplary leadership and instrumental role in spearheading the success of this best-in-class events venue.

Why him? It isn’t uncommon to encounter a million “whys” in one’s interactions with Mr Madhok, who never shuns from asking “why this” or more importantly, the contrarian “why not”. His inquisitive nature and persistence towards perfection motivates him to break barriers and defy convention.

“When I initially shared my ideas about digitalising the Centre and offering free WiFi across the venue, they were deemed unrealistic, true to an age where customers were expected to pay for Internet access. Today, complimentary high-speed, high-density WiFi service is available throughout Suntec Singapore while other venues are still charging for slower and sometimes less reliable service,” said Mr Madhok.

Certainly, his ability to anticipate the needs of the industry has paid ample dividends for the venue. Since he took reign as CEO, Suntec Singapore has hosted more than 8,000 events including some of the world’s premier exhibitions and conventions. From pharmaceutical seminars to technology-driven mega shows, over 1,500 events choose Suntec Singapore as their preferred venue annually. Signalling a strong 2018, the Centre has demonstrated an unparalleled versatility to host experiences across a wide spectrum of industries and complexities.

DIGITAL DISRUPTOR

Mr Madhok sets himself apart by adopting a growth hacker’s mindset. A strong proponent of technological enablement, he encourages R&D in the centre to identify the most efficient way to continually grow the business. He was also focal in the Centre’s major modernisation programme in 2012 which was subsequently completed the following year. The affable CEO brought to the table his multifaceted expertise where he not only reshaped, but also re-defined the potential of a convention and exhibition centre.

He introduced a slew of innovative features that have greatly empowered their customers. For example, the use of big data to track customer’s insights. Suntec Singapore’s state-of-the-art WiFi-based location analytics provide event organisers with an in-depth outlook into the behavioural patterns of attendees connected to the WiFi network.

Other features incorporated during the modernisation programme was ‘The Big Picture’, which is a HD video wall stretching 62 metres in length and the Immersive AV suite that can house cutting-edge AV systems for eclectic and futuristic showcases. These game changers demonstrate Mr Madhok’s innate ability to grasp how technology can be innovatively used in the business to  drive change. The sterling result is a Centre that combines everything enabled by technology, from F&B created in sustainable kitchens to ergonomically designed systems to successful CRM to full-fledged conference facilities powered by free high-speed, high-density WiFi.

GROWING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH IN 2018

One of the highlights for Suntec Singapore is the ASEAN Summit, which will be held in the venue later in the year.

“I’ve always prided myself on being one who avoids groupthink like the plague. In order to move up the market and displace competition, we have to think out of the box. Just as the future of computing lies in quantum computers– incredibly powerful machines that take a new approach to processing information – we have chosen to see through a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient way to continually grow our business,” voiced Mr Madhok.

Together with his exceptional team, Mr Madhok resolutely stays ahead of the pack, leading a sophisticated conference and exhibition market that is set for exponential growth. Other prestigious events to be held in the venue include the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCO) World Congress.

“My amazing team and I have launched the business very successfully and established it as the best in the region and I am very proud of our success. I get to do what I’m basically good at, which is leading change and transforming businesses. The formula to success is to get the best people on your team, point them in the right direction and strive for excellence with unwavering passion. Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” Mr Madhok shared.

THE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF A SELF-MADE MAN

Born into a naval family, Mr Madhok’s family travelled extensively and he developed an interest in exploring the world and the accompanying opportunities to interact  with the people he met. As the eldest child, he was also driven by the desire to help out and provide for his family from  a young age. While still pursuing his education  in Pune, India, he took on his first job as a door-to- door salesman and sold clothes drying racks on his bicycle from one housing estate to another. It was from such humble beginnings that he learnt to understand customers’ mindset and the art of closing a deal. This experience would prove invaluable for his future.

“TOGETHER WITH HIS EXCEPTIONAL TEAM, MR MADHOK RESOLUTELY STAYS AHEAD OF THE PACK, LEADING A SOPHISTICATED CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION MARKET THAT IS SET FOR EXPONENTIAL GROWTH”

As he embarked on his career and moved to Europe, Mr Madhok was thrust into various leadership positions, including Area Manager of 42 airports across Europe for British Airways. At the airline, he displayed his mettle when he had the opportunity to drive the strategy of restructuring the airport teams in a highly unionised environment and led the introduction of a new technology. This resulted in streamlined costs and the best punctuality across the British Airways network. The experience cemented his belief in the importance of having team members who wanted to excel. He also had the opportunity to refine his business skills through postgraduate management studies at the Oxford University and a strategic planning course at the Ashridge Business School.

Under his wing, Suntec Singapore has taken flight and received numerous accolades and awards in the areas of innovation, service excellence, talent recruitment and retention strategies, workplace and building safety, as well as in-house culinary offerings. In 2015, Suntec Singapore achieved its highest financial performance in the company’s 20-year history.

Mr Madhok is passionate about inspiring positive next-generation changes through Suntec  Singapore by reforming how people approach the  convention and exhibition business. He believes resolutely that  for robust change to materialise, one must focus on the customer experience and encourage a relentless pursuit of excellence, be unwilling to accept mediocrity, recognise the contributions of individuals and celebrate success together. This is what establishes Suntec Singapore’s reputation as ‘The Preferred Place to Meet’ in Asia and beyond.

Dr. Kamini A. Rao

She has not only helped reduce cases of infertility as an ailment, she has also worked towards minimizing the physiological, psychological and sociological implications of this condition, which is still considered a stigma in the Indian society.

In this competitive era of image building, where people shy away from openly talking about their past failures, Dr. Kamini Rao – a recipient of Padma Sri award – modestly and smilingly shares her preference for spending time with friends rather than occupying herself with grueling study hours in her childhood. However, if she has achieved extraordinary success in the medical profession, obviously she committed herself to be one of the best doctors in the nation with sheer dedication, focus and immense hard work, induced by her teachers and mother. She also regarded her father as her role model, who was one of the most respected doctors of Karnataka, and at an early age decided to follow his footsteps.

TOUCHING A TOUCHY ISSUE

Choosing the IVF segment of medical profession as her career, she has given an altogether new direction to IVF treatment in India with her visionary and pioneering work. At the same time, she understands that India hasn’t fully grown to accept IVF as a modern and safe remedy to infertility. Therefore, she has devoted herself to bring significant positive changes in the IVF segment in India.

“Lifestyle changes, increased levels of stress, environmental factors and dietary fads have all contributed to the increased incidence of infertility,” she explains. However, because of the extreme societal pressures in India, infertility can be truly traumatic. Couples have been known to go to any extent to bear a child, and there is an urgent need for awareness and an increasing demand for the newer treatment options.

She very well understands that “Infertility is not merely a physical condition, it is an emotional and social condition as well, carrying with it intense feelings of anger, frustration, isolation, depression and grief. Infertility in India carries the burden of social stigma and a feeling of personal failure.” She has been regularly sharing at various national and international platforms the need to consider infertility treatments as medically necessary.

GLIMMER OF HOPE

Dr. Kamini Rao shares, “India faces a high burden of infertility, with 22 to 33 million couples in the reproductive age suffering from lifetime infertility. With a very large and increasing population in child-bearing age group and no hope for alleviation in risk factors, it is imperative for the stakeholders of Indian healthcare to address this issue that has serious implications for the individual and the society.”

Definitely, there has been advancement in medical science; however, a lot needs to be done especially in the rural sector of India. At the social level, awareness, affordability, access and assurance are still large issues that need to be addressed urgently.

REFORMATIVE STREAK

She is part of the Expert Committee to formulate National Guidelines on “Accreditation, Supervision, and Regulation of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) Clinics in India” set up by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, along with the Indian Council of Medical Research. As part of this committee, she has been involved along with other medical practitioners, scientists, lawyers, social activists, etc. in extensive deliberations with the aim of seeing some system of regulatory control on ART established in India at the earliest. Both the national and state governments have been largely supportive, and have been making efforts to bring IVF treatments in the insurance schemes on the lines of heart and kidney surgeries. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Amendment Bill 2016 should also bring further positive changes in the current condition of IVF.

At her level, Dr. Kamini Rao has consistently worked for decades to improve facilities and infrastructure in the medical sector of India. She has a deep understanding of how to bring that coveted change in the society and the medical profession, which may bring back the nobility and high respect of doctors. She firmly believes that reforms are the need of the hour, and a lot of aspects need revision of perception. “There is a huge shortage of trained medical specialists in rural areas and if shortage of doctors is one problem, their unwillingness to work in the rural hinterland is another,” she shares. Increasingly doctors have started to choose their calling not because of the noble intentions of healing and helping people, but because of the money involved. Young medical professionals have a starry-eyed image of the profession, and they are reluctant to face the realities and challenges of working in rural India, which still forms a formidable part of our nation. Though telemedicine and remote treatment of patients have developed in the past few years, the technology has to be refined considerably as per Indian conditions.

Dr. Kamini Rao suggests solutions to the various issues prevalent in the medical sector in India: “More incentives to doctors to practice in villages, making the medical insurance sector easily available and affordable, and a sea-change in the mentality of people throughout our society would help improve the status quo.” She feels that the large IVF fraternity should not be secretive and should share its knowledge and data. All clinics should mandatorily report statistics related to treatment with the National ART registry of India, which should be published to ensure transparency and to monitor outcomes.

BEING HUMAN

She shows concern for the deteriorating patient-doctor relationship, which has become highly commercialized. “In the olden days, patients did not sue their doctors. Physicians were highly respected in the community. Poor outcomes to treatment were considered misfortunes,” she deplores. She further suggests, “This must change for the better of all, especially patients, who are almost always at the receiving end. The ‘sky rocketing’ medical costs, which finally are to be borne by the patients, and the degradation of once sacred doctorpatient relationship will endanger not only our fraternity but also patient care at large.”

She has been credited with many firsts in India, including the birth of India’s first SIFT baby, and South India’s first babies born through ICSI and Laser Assisted Hatching. She is committed to revamp the ART segment in India, in terms of technology and awareness. She maintains, “We are contributing to ART as much as any other country in the world. We have the best of clinics and our results are comparable globally. However, we still need to reach out to the masses. Today, we have reached out to maybe 5% of the population, the balance 95% needs to be reached now.” She further states, “On one hand we have a very expensive technology, and on the other we have a large segment of the population that can’t afford it. This mismatch has to be bridged and I think, the biggest challenge today, for ART in India, is to bridge this gap.”

She has won several prestigious awards in her illustrious career, which have made her humble and have brought a renewed sense of responsibility. Thus, she has at personal and professional levels, contributed immensely towards CSR. Milann’s strong educational vertical – International Institute for Training & Research in Reproductive Health (IIRRH) – has invested heavily into training of clinicians and embryologists to provide an avenue for both research scientists and clinicians to enter the field of reproductive biology, and for those who are already familiar with this area, an opportunity to gain a greater appreciation for the processes involved in the manipulation of fertility.

Following a strictly ethical practice herself, she invokes other doctors, the youth and women to understand their value as a national resource and work for the well being of the society. “It is a proven fact that unless women are empowered to decide and plan the size of their families, have access to education and employment outside the home, developmental programs cannot succeed. I look forward to incorporating the changing demographic profile into Women and Child Health Programs. We should aim for a more holistic view of health in our deliberations,” she suggests.

Mr. Li Ka-Shing

As the chairman of CK Asset Holdings and CK Hutchison Holdings, Mr Li is efficiently spearheading the organizations even at a ripe age of 89 and employs around 310,000 people in more than 50 nations. His personal
wealth is more than US$37.7 billion, making him one of the richest persons in Asia. Attributing the success of Cheung Kong, which he started with only about $50,000, to a willingness to learn the latest industry trends, Mr Li asserts that “the correlation between knowledge and business as the key to success is closer than ever.”
Even though Mr Li discontinued schooling at a young age and never received a university degree, owing to unfavorable circumstances at the personal front, he has always been a voracious reader and attributes much of his success to his ability to learn independently. This is quite explicit from the fact that he completed Cheung Kong’s accounting books in the company’s first year himself with no accounting experience as he simply taught himself from text books. Popularly known in Hong Kong as “Superman Li” for his ability to build empires out of ordinary businesses, Mr Li sold The Center in Central for HK$40.2 billion (US$5.14 billion) to a consortium of investors in what could be the world’s most expensive property transaction. He’s now become a major investor in disruptive technology
– one of the first big investors in Facebook, and his most recent big acquisition being the British telecom company, O2, which he purchased for $15 billion and has also invested in Siri and Spotify. According to Mr Li, it took him five minutes in December 2007 to decide to invest in Facebook, even though it barely had any revenues. His investments in stocks and start-ups have also performed well; a gaming hardware maker backed by Mr Li – Razer – was one of the most sought after initial public offerings in Hong Kong in 2017 and its share price shot up 18 per cent in its trading debut.

TOILING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS

Saddled with financial responsibility from a young age, Mr Li’s early leanings are replete with sweat and toil as his family migrated to Hong Kong from southern China during the Sino-Japanese war, and his father passed away after a long battle with tuberculosis. From being employed in a factory at a tender age of 16 to opening his own factory at the age of 22 and within a few years achieving great success as a manufacturer, property developer, business magnate, and investor — Mr Li is an alluring protagonist of an incredible rags-to-riches story.

His sincerity and deep commitment for his family can be assessed from the fact that he sent 90% of his pay to his mother for almost four years during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.

Perhaps his early success as a breadwinner taught him generous values which have made him famous for his philanthropy today.

“PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS WHICH HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO HIS SUCCESS IS THE PASSION WHICH HE FEELS FOR HIS WORK, AS HE PUTS IT, “THE MOST IMPORTANT ENJOYMENT FOR ME IS TO WORK HARD AND MAKE MORE PROFIT”

Being clearly influenced by his experience of working as a child, Mr Li asserts that “It doesn’t matter how strong or capable you are; if you don’t have a big heart, you will not succeed.” Showing promise as a leader and visionary, he opened his first factory in 1950 at a young age. The factory, Cheung Kong Industries, manufactured plastic flowers as he had rightly anticipated that plastics would become a booming industry.

A TRUE VISIONARY

Mr Li’s first visionary move was with plastics, though he was ahead of the curve again when he moved into property development in 1979 with the acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa – this set the stage for him to become a major real estate tycoon before Hong Kong’s global boom. Despite the fact that he is largely recognized as a property developer, his companies control 70% of port traffic and most electric utilities and telecommunications in Hong Kong and also owns a major stake in Husky Energy, a Canadian company. By diversifying his wealth and power across different industries and geographic areas, Mr Li exhibits that he is daring enough to learn and experiment in new areas. Arranging his holdings strategically to ensure his security despite the state of the economy, Mr Li is adept at anticipating economic highs and lows, as he himself puts it, “I do not get overly optimistic when the market is good, nor overly pessimistic when the market is down.”

The thriftiness which he maintained during his childhood has been successfully carried over into his current career as he adheres to a no-debt policy indicating that his companies operate using as little debt as possible, and he himself purchases all of his real estate using capital, in order to maintain zero personal debt. His good financial habits have given him the freedom to treat investment in technology as a “high stakes hobby,” through Horizons Ventures Ltd and his longtime friend, Ms Solina Chau, runs the tech fund.

Besides being one of the first big investors in Facebook, Mr Li has more recently invested in a startup that aims to replace eggs with a plant substitute as he believes in investing in technology that he considers as “disruptive” and would thereby provide a more cutting-edge to his holdings. This approach is consistent with his constant innovation in his businesses. Perhaps one of the most important factors which have contributed to his success is the passion which he feels for his work, as he puts it, “the most important enjoyment for me is to work hard and make more profit.”

A MAN OF HIS WORD

From his humble beginnings as a teacher’s son, a refugee, and later as a salesman, Mr Li provides a lesson in integrity and adaptability and through hard work, and a reputation for remaining true to his internal moral compass, he was able to establish an empire. Besides knowledge and industry insight, he considers loyalty and reputation to be keys to success, as he puts it, “Anytime I say ‘yes’ to someone, it is a contract.” A testimony to this fact is an incident when he once turned down an offer that would have given him an extra 30% profit on a sale (and would have enabled him to expand his factory) because he had already made a verbal agreement with another buyer in the year 1956. He still carries this principle of loyalty today, even when it amounts to losing money.

BENEVOLENCE PERSONIFIED

Revered as one of Asia’s most generous philanthropists, Mr Li has donated over US$2.56 billion to charity and various other philanthropic causes. Mr Li considers Li Ka-shing Foundation as his third son, which is working on its mission of “reshaping destiny through education and seeking efficient initiatives that can forever help those in need.” The Foundation is also serving humanity through its healthcare initiatives and has served 17 million patients comprising terminally ill cancer patients, cataract sufferers, patients belonging to the rural areas and amputees.

Eduardo Saverin

The above-mentioned win by Saverin at the age of 13 is so stunning that even the International Chess Magazine (ICM) mentioned Saverin’s win in one of its articles. Today, this innocent boy is best known as the Co-founder of Facebook. He is also one of the richest persons in the world at a net worth of $7.9 billion (as of February 2017). He owns 53
million or 5% of Facebook shares (as of 2015), is a Brazilian Internet entrepreneur, an economist and an angel investor. He renounced his US citizenship in 2011, and now works and lives in Singapore

BORN TO BE BIG

Born in 1982 in Sao Paulo, Brazil to a wealthy Jewish Brazilian family, he went to Harvard University in 2006 and graduated in Economics (Honors). His father Roberto Saverin has several businesses in clothing, shipping and real estate, and his mother, Paula, works as a psychologist. His grandfather is the founder of Tip Top, a chain of kidswear retail shops. In his spare time, Eduardo likes to play chess and read about several things including meteorology.

Savvy, adaptable, and inherently strategic, Eduardo was the first investor of Facebook Inc., which started as any other company with a humble beginning but later rapidly emerged as one of the prodigiously successful companies of all time. He is considered the force that really made Facebook get off the ground, as he established Facebook’s first incomegenerating partnerships with Apple, Paramount Pictures, and others. He worked as Co-founder, Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager of Facebook.

Currently, Saverin makes seed, early-stage and growth technology investments as an angel investor and mentors a variety of companies from all parts of the world. The only thing he looks for in a company before investing in it is “passion for crossplatform people-centric innovation with pan-global ambitions.”

THE BILLION DOLLAR STORY

Saverin’s sensational exit from Facebook is still a matter of research and curiosity for the entire world. Everybody wanted to know what happened. Though people’s imagination has run wild on several theories all this time, there is much clarity now. Saverin calls the various stories about himself nothing but “Hollywood fantasy”; however, his reluctance to share the story of his founding of Facebook and then his exit is attributed to the non-disclosure contract he signed with the other Facebook shareholders.

At Harvard University, he made a friendship with Mark Zuckerberg and as both of them realized that a dedicated social networking website for Harvard students was lacking, together they created Facebook. That was 2004!

Zuckerberg found Saverin a prospective business client because of his rich family background, because of his Brazilian background where insider trading isn’t illegal, and because Saverin’s appearance at Harvard gave an impression to everyone that either he knew something about business or he was connected to the Brazilian mafia. Thus, in late 2003, Zuckerberg approached Saverin, his junior, with the proposal to invest money to handle servers for a site to be launched, which would be called The Facebook.com.

The Facebook.com was launched in February 2004 with Saverin taking care of the servers. Though initially it was launched exclusively for students of Harvard University, it was such a big success that very soon students from other institutes wanted it to be expanded for their use. Zuckerberg and Saverin were more than happy to expand. Within three months, by April 2004, based on Facebook’s exponential success, Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and the third co-founder – Dustin Muskovitz, established a full-fledged limited liability company under Florida law, by the name The Facebook. Just two months later, by June 2004, Harvard had accepted that thefacebook.com had achieved unprecedented popularity. Till this point, all the three co-founders had a fantastic relationship. Things started deteriorating soon.

Saverin was supposed to handle the business of Facebook, while Zuckerberg was building the product called Facebook. However, just six months after the launch of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz moved to Palo Alto, California where they took a rented house and worked on TheFacebook as they believed in the immense potential it held. Eduardo Saverin went to New York for an internship at Lehman Brothers. Saverin was supposed to set up the company, get funding, and make a business model. However, Saverin launched another start-up – a job boards site called Joboozle. Further, he started to run unauthorized ads of Joboozle on Facebook. Gradually, their relationship started to go south, and their communication narrowed down. Soon, Saverin started to feel left out, and he froze Facebook’s bank account. Zuckerberg needed funds to promote his company, and to find another way out to carry on with the funding of Facebook, he established a new company that acquired the old company, and the shares of the new company were distributed to everybody except Saverin. This not only reduced Saverin’s stake in the company, but also diluted his authority over the funding of Facebook.

However, the world of business is entirely different from the way we perceive and run other things in our life. It’s more of rules, precedents, and business laws. As it would happen in any similar case, even when Mark Zuckerberg wanted to dilute Eduardo Saverin’s stake in the company, there were legal constraints for him to do so. Though Zuckerberg had been advised by his lawyer that Saverin may claim breach of fiduciary duty later, that is exactly what happened. Saverin’s exit from Facebook as its co-founder was settled between Facebook and Saverin out of court after Saverin sued Facebook over breach of fiduciary duty. Though Saverin could walk away with only 4 to 5% shares of Facebook, that stake is worth approximately $5 billion currently.

Zuckerberg is the sole authority in Facebook now, is doing good, and the company is already worth $350 billion.

THE MAGNIFICENCE CONTINUES

Being one of the richest in the world, the humble Eduardo credits his grandparents for being his inspiration in life. He is proud of the fact that, “All of us, always, ended up doing something.” As a matter of fact, his “something” was one of the most successful companies in the world – Facebook, which was first registered as “Thefacebook” at his parents’ Miami home.

He married Elaine Andriejanssen in June 2015, a Chinese Indonesian woman educated at Raffles Girls’ School, whom he met while he was a student at Harvard. She also has several businesses in Massachusetts. Interestingly, Saverin broke the news of his marriage on Facebook!

When Eduardo decided to renounce his US citizenship, it was construed by most that he was doing it to avoid a lot of taxes. That changed his status from one of the most popular persons in the US to one of the most hated. However, leaving his past behind, he continues to be an excellent entrepreneur.

With the legacy of being a Co-founder of Facebook, Saverin kept a low profile for some time before launching an impressive business of assisting startups through angel investing, his business base being in Southeast Asia. Though Saverin likes to play safe on his investments, the interest of his investments has majorly been Asian tech companies as he has made about 20 personal investments in tech startups, which include Hampton Creek – a fraught egg-free-mayonnaise company, Orami – a female-focused e-commerce company, Redmart – a Singapore-based online retailer, etc. His other investments include Flightcar – a company that lets people who park at the airport rent their cars out to other travelers, and Silvercar – a company that only rents out silver Audi A4s.

His story has been a mystery for long, as he is reticent about his personal affairs. However, his story is also strikingly extraordinary as he was with Facebook for only a few months, yet he is one of the richest and one of the most successful persons in the world after his association with Facebook. The best thing about him is that he knows deep in his heart: “I’ve done it before; I can do it again”.

Madam Ho Ching

For most magnates, the inner circle comprises as a select group of only the most trusted ones, but for Madam it’s bigger, as there is a nation that believes that she is the Woman to Watch. Being the wife of the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Madam Ho Ching is the most looked upon personality of the Asian origin.

Madam Ho Ching is definitely the force to be reckoned with as she is a part of the Power Woman list every year and has recently helped guide her firm to a $266 billion portfolio last year.

SETTING HIGH STANDARDS

It’s no secret that Singapore is the most vibrant city of the Asian subcontinent when it comes to the diversity of people working there, in a fragile environment; she is taking the Singapore government’s investment firm, Temasek Holdings to great heights. She has scaled major investments including portfolios like major Chinese banks, Lloyds, Standard Chartered, Alibaba, Singapore Airlines etc.

Her not settling for less is now making Singapore discover new things about Madam Ho Ching. Just under a third of the brand portfolio is invested in Singapore, with 41 per cent in the rest of Asia and 24 per cent spread across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Starting in the early 1976, Madam Ho Ching kicked off as an engineer with the Ministry of Defence. A large part of her dedication towards Singaporeans comes from her serving as the Director, Defence Materiel Organisation, the defence procurement agency of the Ministry, and chaired the concurrent position of Deputy Director of Defence Science Organisation (DSO).

She went on to join the Singapore Technologies group in 1987 as Deputy Director of Engineering and took on various senior responsibilities, before becoming its President and CEO in 1997. The repositioning and steeping growth chart in the past five years is surely credited to her kitty. She played a vital role in the formation and listing of Singapore Technologies Engineering as the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia in 1997 and also became its first
Chairman.

SOURCING INSPIRATION

She is a woman known for her bold corporate decisions, which includes investing in Indian and Chinese telecom and banking firms. Ominously, underlying the market difficulties to set up both the brand and position the city as one of the most important ones in Asia, Madam Ho Ching surpassed every odd and served as the chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards & Industrial Research (SISIR), and as deputy chairman of the Productivity and Standards Board (PSB), and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

It was Madam Ho Ching’s dogged determination which helped expand Temasek’s investment vertical in tough business environment. Temasek, which is owned by the Ministry of Finance, reported a total shareholder return of 1.5 percent for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, down from 8.9 percent in the previous year and an average 16 percent a year since its inception in 1974. Its assets rose to a record S$223 billion ($163 billion), helped by an S$5 billion capital injection from the government.

One can see the clarity of perception by Madam Ho Ching, the CEO of the brand from it stating good governance and sustainability underpin as the things that they do as an investor, institution and steward. She strongly believes that sustainable long term returns depends on stable, well-functioning and well-governed social, environmental and economic systems.

This is why, aside from their role in investments, additionally they also have six non-profit foundations to focus on building a better world through education and innovation, caring and sharing, building bridges and promoting an Active, Beautiful & Clean world.

LEADING THE LADDER

It was the vision of Madam Ho Ching that the brand established 17 endowments from the day of its inception. These endowments and philanthropic entities aim to build people, build communities, build capabilities and rebuild lives. To date, they have touched the lives of more than 300,000 people in Singapore and Asia.

In 2003, a policy was to contribute a portion of the annual returns above risk-adjusted cost of capital to the communities. Madam Ho Ching made sure that this money is used to seed endowments, and also establish new ones from time to time to tackle emerging needs in the community.

It was under the esteemed guidance of Madam Ho Ching that the brand established Temasek Trust in 2007 to independently provide financial oversight and governance of Temasek’s philanthropic endowments and gifts. The Trust is responsible for the disciplined and sustainable disbursements of the endowments and gifts to Temasek’s six Foundations, which in turn are guided by their respective strategic thrusts and mandates to drive their community programmes.

The six Foundations are Temasek Foundation International, Temasek Foundation Cares, Temasek Foundation Connects, Temasek Foundation Nurtures, Temasek Foundation Innovates and Temasek Foundation Ecosperity.

Securing accord from a smarter world, Madam Ho Ching positioned Temasek to take concentrated positions with a long or short time horizon, invest, divest or remain liquid when it makes sense. Being a commercial investment company governed by the provisions of the Singapore Company Act, their governance framework emphasizes substance over form, and long term over short term, and put institution over self. It provides for accountability and a robust balance between
empowerment and compliance.

She as a poised leader has led Temasek to be an institution which has its stake in the well-being of our larger community. The brand recognizes that the environmental, social and governance factors which impact both long term sustainability of companies and businesses and the value of life.

TAKING THE RIGHT MOVE

The hardest decision taken by an entrepreneur is when it is tempting to stick with a run of financial success for as long as possible but it’s also important to understand what you will leave on the table if you wait too long to cash out, especially when the family needs you by the side.

But some people have a clear understanding of the situation and they take no more than a couple of minutes to take the right step. Madam Ho Ching began her sabbatical in April following the surgery in February of her husband, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lee’s father, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore’s first prime minister, died on March 23. She very gracefully stepped down to arrange the family affairs of the man
who led Singapore to independence in 1965.

After the sad dismissal of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the issue of leadership succession has come to the forefront.

It was Madam Ho Ching who stood strong at the time of family loss while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the importance of leadership renewal in his May Day Rally speech, stating that finding good future leaders for Singapore was the most crucial issue in the next general election.

The leave period was further extended till October and at the time of her absence, it was Temasek president Lee Theng Kiat, who had temporarily taken over her duties and continued to cover the company’s normal business. “She may be on sabbatical on paper, but she still makes the big decisions and gets consulted. It shows she has confidence in the team that’s currently in place to run Temasek day-to-day when she’s on leave”, stated an economist at CIMB Private Banking in Singapore.

Today what Madam Ho Ching has achieved is big, for she has managed to take her status of being a “leading lady in business” and write a success story which
is idolized.

There are so many firsts in what Madam Ho Ching has achieved by being the leading lady in business and then making it stick. To be desirable in the land filled with varied class and culture of people is perhaps even harder than to be successful in the trade fraternity. The philosophy of not compromising on the well-being of their citizens has made her different from several other preeminent compatriots who are doing good.

Lending the Hand that Cares

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. Businesses around the world are realizing the benefits from embedding it in their operations. Every company which incorporates Corporate Social responsibilty as its operations has to evolve the practices at regular intervals.

As an engine of social progress, CSR has helped companies live up to their responsibilities as global citizens and local neighbors in a fast-changing world. Acting in a socially responsible manner is more than just an ethical duty for a company, it is something that simply means giving back to the society.

WHEN A MARCH BECOMES A MOMENT

The term Corporate Social Responsibility was coined to create sensitivity amongst business houses towards the environmental and social responsibility of business. Today, the term is not only restricted to the office periphery but also describes the expansion of global movement, one that reflects the increasing alignment between the objectives of the international community and those of the private sector.

The Corporate World today is working on shared goals as building stable markets, combating corruption, safeguarding the environment and ensuring social inclusion, resulting in an unprecedented rise in partnerships between business, civil society, governments – and the United Nations. In fact in the present scenario funds and programmes are relying on business collaboration in one way or the other to address critical issues.

This new amalgamation of the society and the business fraternity is rooted with the notion that the corporate set-up of a developing nation like India should be made a part of the solution to global challenges.

At the same time it is very important for any economy to know if the CSR Strategies adopted by companies are aligned with the universal values urged by the society at large.

NURTURING THE LITTLE ONES

Through CSR Initiatives, the Corporates run a movement that captures the most fragile segment of the society, Children. Business impacts the wide range of children’s rights, which goes beyond child labor. But it also has enormous power to improve the rights of children and protect them from harm through the way in which it treats employees, operates its facilities, develops and markets its products, provides its services, and exerts its influence on economic and social development.

The concept of CSR goes way beyond philanthropy. Businesses today have the power to mould the lives for the most marginalized children. Despite the growth in corporate responsibility and the business and human rights agenda, children as stakeholders and their rights still are not being addressed explicitly within the private sector.

Some of the CSR initiatives which are completely Child-focused contribute to sustainable development, including the health and the welfare of children.

REPOSITIONING THE SOCIETY

Corporate Social Responsibility begins with a company’s value system and a principled approach to doing business. It then goes on to carry forward the operations in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Global Compact principles into strategies, policies & procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success.

The responsibility of private businesses in furthering inclusive development comes in the wake of the increasing role of market economy and globalization in the lives of the people in every society and nation.

WORLD ON WHEELS

It was a beautiful evening of November 19, 2016, when HP Inc. announced a commitment to build and deploy 48 self-contained, Internet-enabled digital inclusion and learning labs aimed at driving digital literacy, education programming, entrepreneurship training, and other community services in rural India.

Each 20-seat, IT-enabled HP WoW vehicle is equipped with HP computing and printing equipment, such as HP Thin Clients, an HP Workstation, and an HP office jet all-in-one printer, as well as software suites, cloud integration and e-learning tools, like HP Classroom Manager, HP video book & HP Life.

HP WoW opens doors to Digital Literacy Training, EDP Training for youth, E education for students (K-12), Common Citizenship Activities, Financial Inclusions; Video conferencing etc to citizens in the remotest part of the country. Over weekends, HP WoW also acts as a mobile Common Services Center, where people can access social services such as applying for an Aadhaar identification card, opening an online bank account, paying bills online, applying for licenses, obtaining records, and participating in e-commerce. The lab can further be used for audio and video conferencing services, such as maternal and child health sessions for expectant and new moms, agricultural training for farmers, career counselling for students and youth, and remote volunteering opportunities like mentoring and skill sharing.

On the environment part, the vehicles are designed with leading technology to reduce emissions and maximize energy efficiency. Each mobile lab is powered by 10 high-efficiency solar panels and battery packs, generating and storing enough power to sustain the lab’s daily energy requirements even during cloudy/rainy days. The vehicle also has a silent generator installed below the deck. Needless to mention, entire vehicle could be connected to direct AC supply wherever available.

HP World on Wheels (HP WoW), is a part of HP’s global initiative to create opportunities in underserved communities and empower people everywhere to build a better, more prosperous life. It also supports the Indian government’s Digital India initiative to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledgeable economy. The program is expected to serve about 6,400 Indian villages, impacting more than 15 million people in the next six years.”

CREATING A BETTER TOMORROW

Today, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India’s largest private sector enterprise with businesses across the energy and materials value chain and a strong presence in the rapidly expanding retail, telecommunications and media sectors.

RIL’s diverse projects and operations touch lives of people in many ways and create value by helping in overall and holistic development of communities across multiple geographies. Through its various initiatives, the group endeavors to play a relevant role by serving communities and projects that address gaps in basic societal requirements.

PROMISING CHANGE

As a responsible corporate citizen, RIL has embarked on several initiatives of scale in the education, healthcare and livelihood domains. RIL endeavors to continuously learn from its experiences and adapt its policies and implementation strategy on an ongoing basis.

Conscious business decisions by the group have directly and indirectly created value for multiple stakeholders and helped in improving lives of the people. RIL has always believed in creating societal value by providing affordable products and services which have assisted in the growth of relevant industries. Across all its areas of operations, there are inherent linkages and interconnections with the immediate and long term societal impact.

In addition, RIL impacts lives particularly of several hundreds of thousand underprivileged people through our CSR activities. RIL seeks to continue its contribution to the society through its distinct value proposition that meets the needs of millions of people, enhancing their lives through healthcare, improving quality of living by providing education and enabling livelihoods by creating employment opportunities-through the following:

  • For the Business- value created for the society through business.
  • By the Business- value created through CSR initiatives across different operating facilities with appropriate linkages to local communities in which they operate.
  • Beyond Business- value created through interventions for the communities in diverse geographies across India.

Building a Strong Bilateral Culture

The leading men of both India & UAE have often seen greeting each other with warm series of hugs, vigorous double-fisted handshakes and smiles at their visits
to each other’s territory. With the recent visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, a lot is expected to propel the ties with India to a higher level.

Though India and the UAE have had historical and close ties, no Indian Prime Minister had visited the Emirates in over three decades, the last one being by the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi in 1981. It was August, 2015 when Mr. Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in 34 years and set in motion a chain of events that would broaden the bilateral ties beyond being just a business relationship.

ACCELERATING MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP

The strategic nature of the bilateral relationship between these two traditionally friendly countries can be clearly anticipated with the nature of deals recently inked under the government-to-government partnership.

It’s also a partnership that New Delhi is pushing to move beyond just trade and people-to-people ties though this in no way undermines the role of the 2.5 million-strong Indian diaspora in the Emirates that sends valuable remittances home.

The Security Corporation amongst the two nations can definitely not be blinded as after agreeing to elevate the relationship to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ during Modi’s August 2015 visit to the UAE and looking ‘forward to the early signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement’ during Sheikh Mohammed’s February 2016 visit to India, both sides moved to draw up and finalize a framework agreement which was recently signed by both.

The countries seem to have clicked the right chord; with UAE focusing on knowledge based industries and with India emerging as world leaders in multiple sectors like space, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology etc there is a wide scope of corporation in technology transfer, R&D and for joint ventures.

India is the UAE’s largest trading partner, while the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after China and the US. Trade between the two countries during 2014-15 was around $59 billion and UAE’s Jebel Ali Free Zone is home to more than 800 leading Indian companies. Today, there are many opportunities emerging as the oil-based Gulf states are focused on diversifying their economies.

Countries in the region are estimated to be spending more than $4 trillion in developing economic infrastructure suitable for nurturing non-oil business activities. More importantly, Expo-2020, the world’s third largest global event after the Olympics, is going to be held in Dubai and will boost infrastructure-related activities in the UAE, opening opportunities for Indian investors.

JOINING HANDS AGAINST TERRORISM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, witnessed the exchange of the memorandums of understanding with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sprawling Hyderabad House in the heart of the Indian capital New Delhi.

This is the second visit in the past year and during this visit, everyone witnesses the presence of a tangible reflection of the common path the two nations have chosen to trend in making Middle East a region of peace.

The two nations reject extremism and any link between religion and terrorism. They condemn efforts, MR. Navdeep Suri- Ambassador of India to the UAE Receiving an Honour including by States, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They also deplore efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian color to political issues and disputes, including in West and South Asia, and use terrorism to pursue their aims.

In recent years, UAE, like Saudi Arabia, have embarked on a closer relationship with India on security and counter-terrorism in addition to growing business relations. Security experts who are keen observers of sub continental geopolitics say that the visit will further deepen the strategic partnership between India and the UAE. Clearly both countries seem eager to seize the opportunity to expand bilateral ties as they see growing synergies in a rapidly transforming world.

The UAE has also enjoyed a tremendous respect in the comity of nations and played the role of mentor and diplomat. Its voice of reason for a small country resonated loudly in the forums of the world especially in the GCC and the Middle East where its leaders have been accepted as fair and balanced mediators. This credibility factor has a major influence in New Delhi and now that the UAE endorses India’s right to protect its borders as it did after the Uri attack the relationship takes on a more positive dimension.

14 BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

The 14 bilateral agreements signed during His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s three-day visit underscores the breadth of engagement that now exists between the two countries. Agreements were signed for cooperation in defense, cyber, space technology, trade and investment, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others. The joint statement affirmed a commitment to a “comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century” and hoped to build on momentum from both Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015 and Zayed’s visit to India through regular high-level exchanges between the two countries.

The list of the Bilateral Agreements is as follows:

  • Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and UAE
  • MoU between Ministry of Defence, India and Ministry of Defence, UAE on cooperation in the field of defence industry
  • MoU in Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport
  • MOU between Directorate General of Shipping, India and Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime, UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments
  • MoU between Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India and Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime, UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in road, transport and highways sector
  • MOU on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME), India
  • MoU between Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, India and Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, UAE in agriculture and Allied sectors
  • MOU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of diplomatic, special and official passports
  • MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in programme exchange
  • MoU between Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India and Ministry of Economy, UAE on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest
  • Agreement on Oil Storage And Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLC
  • MOU between National Security Council Secretariat, India and National Electronic Security Authority, UAE

TAKING IT AHEAD WITH VIBRANT GUJARAT

In the overall realignment of its foreign policy goals, India sees it relations with UAE central to its coordinated strategy in international relations spanning, economic, political and strategic interests. Shaikh Mohammad’s visit comes at a time when the Indian economy is opening up more sectors to foreign investments and is seen as among the few bright spots in a world economy that is witnessing a slowdown.

India’s economy is recovering strongly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said in its latest assessment of global growth, bumping up the country’s growth forecast for the current and next year as it warned of subdued global growth that could fuel protectionism.

A high-level delegation from the UAE is participating in the 8th eighth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which kicked off on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – under the theme of ‘Sustainable Economic & Social Development’ and will run until the 13th in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat state in Western India. The group is headed by H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister of State, and accompanied by H.E. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry and H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India. They discussed the promotion of mutual investments and ways to
deepen economic cooperation taking into consideration the development goals of the two countries during the summit’s opening day.

Senior Indian diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri, the new Indian Ambassador to UAE is now playing a vital role in strengthening the relationship. The UAE is participating as a country partner of the summit for the first time along with 12 other countries. The ongoing edition was opened by H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, with heads of state, leading government figures and experts set to discuss cooperative and investment opportunities in a number of areas, most notably manufacturing, innovation and technology, small and medium enterprises, renewable energy, and tourism, among others.

During the summit’s opening session, H.E. Dr. bin Fahad emphasized the importance of the historic ties between the UAE and the Republic of India, which he said are driven by deep and strategic economic ties and common interests and visions in many development sectors. He also referred to their countries’ close social H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Banna- UAE Ambassador to India and cultural bonds.

AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year 2018

AsiaOne Global Indian of the Year 2018

URS-AsiaOne has been consistently highlighting the real people behind the world’s growth engines: People who work on the base, who create that platform which the rest of the world uses to build their structures – business, social and political. They are primus inter pares: other leaders look up to them for guidance and inspiration.

AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year 2018 (Trademarked)

Under AsiaOne’s Intellectual Property Right (IPR) – AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year (GAOY), we feature those who are exclusive, exceptional and extraordinary. The level of grandeur at GAOY is unparalleled. It emblazons only the supreme in the real sense.

This is in addition to our World’s Greatest Brands & Leaders, Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders, and India’s Greatest Brands & Leaders IPRs!

AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year is a prestigious annual nomination & selection of the most prominent personalities from the Asian continent. It is entirely made of those who have really made an indelible mark for other leaders to follow and generations to admire. Only par excellence leaders from across Asia are worthy of being nominated & selected as AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year 2018, and in the past only the following 9 exclusive “AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year” have been felicitated at the “Indo-Singapore Business & Social Forum 2018 (29th January 2018 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore)” for their special work in the industry and society:

Sampradayanti Singh, Founder & Chairman, Alkem Laboratories

  • Harsh Goenka, Chairman, RPG Enterprises
  • Pranav Adani, Managing Director, Adani Realty
  • Mr. Arun Madhok – Chief Executive Officer, Suntec Singapore
  • Dr. P. Shyama Raju – Chancellor, REVA University
  • Prof. J. Kartikeyan, Chairman& CEO, Sreesastha Institute of Engineering & Technology
  • Mr. Nurallah K. Veljee, Managing Director, Space Deal Pvt Ltd. Goa
  • Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff – MD & CEO, Kalorex Group
  • Mr. Suneet Goenka – Group Managing Director, Red Apple Group

Now, for the Third Edition, we are nominating & selecting “AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year 2018” in the following 10 categories:

  • Global Asian of the Year – Political Leadership
  • Global Asian of the Year – Business Leadership
  • Global Asian of the Year – Community Leadership
  • Global Asian of the Year – Technology
  • Global Asian of the Year – Sports/Cinema
  • Global Asian of the Year – Global Leadership
  • Global Asian of the Year – Education
  • Global Asian of the Year – Healthcare
  • Global Asian of the Year – Start-ups
  • Global Asian of the Year – Editor’s Choice

Of these, Education, Healthcare and Start-ups are flexible categories, which may be changed every year.

How GAOY 2018 are Nominated?

Leaders who have made the most impact in a year, and consequently have made the world a better place in the aftermath, are nominated as Global Asians of the year. They may also have made a similar impact within a region of their activities in their specific category.

Thus, AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year is nominated annually and might be a newsmaker or generally highly admirable because of their highly innovative ideas, excellent business, political, or administrative acumen, or extraordinary contributions to the society – leaving an indelible mark in the process.

The list of nominated AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year is painstakingly created after months of intense research conducted by our research team with active help from our editorial team.

The Final Selection

The final selections are made on the basis of the following:

  1. We have introduced an online poll for reader’s/people’s choice, and a certain weightage is given to their scores.
  2. We send the “List of Nominated AsiaOne Global Asian of the Year” to our top ten “India’s Greatest Leaders 2017-18 – Third Edition – Process Reviewers PricewaterhouseCoopers P.L.” held on 10th Sep 2018 at Taj Lands End Mumbai and top ten “World’s Greatest Leaders 2017-18 – Process Reviewers PricewaterhouseCoopers PL held on 9th May 2018 at J W Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai for their advice on the selection. The advice of these eminent personalities is peremptory.
  3. After taking into account the scores of readers, and advice of top ten India’s Greatest Leaders and top ten World’s Greatest Leaders, the final selection is made by the Chief Editor of AsiaOne.