H.E.R Asia 2018 Speakers

Speakers’ & Advisors’ Profile

May Ooi, ONE Athlete and Former Olympian, ONE Championship

A multiple-time gold medalist representing Singapore in swimming, May Ooi is a former Olympian, having competed at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. However, two pivotal moments would change her life forever, and transform the elite swimmer into a dedicated martial artist.

First was an encounter with capoeira in 2007 while she was in Brazil. Enthralled by the beauty and athleticism of the Brazilian art, she began training with a coach who also happened to be a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. That was where she became inspired to learn, progress, and evolve, and committed herself to both capoeira and BJJ with the same tenacity as she did with swimming.

After Muay Thai and boxing into her arsenal, she met BJJ legend Royler Gracie, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue a professional career. That was the final push she needed, and she made her cage debut in 2014. Now competing under the bright lights of ONE Championship, her experience with elite competition and the lifetime of discipline it ingrained in her should serve her well as she faces the best martial artists in the world.

Jutta Kleinschmidt, Founder, Green Energy Wallet
Only Woman Dakar Rally Car Racing Winner

Jutta, who competes in offroad Carsmotive racing, is the first and so far only woman to have claimed victory in the Dakar rally, known as the longest and toughest rally in the world. She graduated as a Dipl.-Ing. Physics and academically trained as an engineer, starting out at the research and development department of BMW before leaving her job to focus on motorsport. After 17 Dakar participations that included an outright victory in the 2001 event, she now shares her experiences with others as a motivational speaker and instructor for established companies while freelancing as a professional cross country rally driver.

Today, she is involved in a project she set up, known as the “WIMC – QMMF Women’s Cross Country Selection” which is the first driver selection camp with the intention of pushing more women to enter motor sport.

Anna Lim, Founder, The Soup Spoon

Anna is the co-founder of The Soup Spoon, a local homegrown soup chain with 26 outlets offering wholesome soup meals for all occasions. All of The Soup Spoon’s healthy and wholesome recipes are the masterpieces by SouperChef Anna, who carefully hand-crafts each soup with love and care. A self-taught cook who strongly believes in clean eating, her recipes are mostly inspired from her travels and experiences across the globe.

Since founding the company in 2002, Anna has constantly been injecting new ideas, new concepts and implemented new ways of doing things to keep the business fresh and relevant to the ever-changing consumer landscape.

As General Manager, Anna is not only accountable for the day-to-day management, she is also responsible for the innovation of the ready-to-eat meals and product development for The Soup Spoon. Being liable for the daily operations, she manages the process flows and ensures customers get the best quality. Anna believes good process flows and product designs can offer her deserving customers better culinary experiences, and is actively improving such aspects in the company.

Prior to this, she was a clinical embryologist at Singapore General Hospital. Her background in embryology has taught her to combine both the science and art of culinary to innovate the dining experience. Anna was a recipient of the Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2004 and is an advocator of Design Thinking and healthy cooking.

Syafiq Yussoff, CEO, Riverwood

Syafiq Yussoff, aged 34, is the young visionary CEO who founded Riverwood Pte Ltd in 2010. Syafiq had a digital hunch, acted upon it and Riverwood became Amazon Prime logistics partner in Singapore. Riverwood was set up in his parents humble home. He knows that digitalisation of retail was only a matter of time. Riverwood’s clients include Singapore post, logistics giant DHL and the digital arm of cosmetics retailer Sephora. The company provides integrated logistics solutions to SMEs and MNCs locally and is focusing on internationalisation as part of their expansion plans.

Steen Puggaard, Former CEO, The 4FINGERS Group of Companies

Steen Puggaard has been the CEO of 4FINGERS since February 2013. He has been central in facilitating 4FINGERS through a change of ownership in 2014, securing funding for expansion, growing the business from one to 13 stores in Singapore as well as overseeing the launch of 4FINGERS in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand (May 2018). It is expected that 4FINGERS will have grown to 30 stores by the end of 2018, one of which will be its first store in the US. Also, serving as a Board member of 4FINGERS, Steen drives the overall business strategy, which focuses on building a scalable business with an international brand that is recognized for a great customer experience.

A resident of Singapore since 1999, Steen brings with him over 20 years of experience with several international blue-chip F&B brands like McDonald’s, Burger King and Baskin Robbins as well as the Singapore-based, Michelinstarred restaurant group, The Les Amis Group. Since leaving his native country, Denmark in 1992, to pursue an international career, he has held various senior marketing and general management roles across Europe and Asia Pacific.

Steen believes in always putting the customer first. He has a fascination with the F&B industry and the unique abundance of opportunities it represents – more than any other industry – to serve customers every day. Importantly, he recognises the need to continuously innovate, disrupt and challenge the status quo in order to ensure that a brand stays relevant to its target consumers.

Steen is a Mentor of the Restaurant Association of Singapore’s mentorship program, supported by SPRING. The mentorship program is aimed at assisting SMEs in the F&B industry, helping them to improve productivity, profitability and scalability.

Steen sits on the Board of Advisors of Institute of Service Excellence, Singapore Management University and is an Executive Committee Member at the Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore.

Steen has been awarded the “Executive of the Year – Food & Beverage Award in the Singapore Business Review Management Excellence Awards 2016” and “Editors Choice Award for Individual Achievement 2018”, by the Singapore Business Review and the editorial bench of QSR Media at the QSR Media Asia Awards 2018 respectively.

A native of Denmark, Steen has two children, aged 7 and 10, and is a graduate of Copenhagen Business School with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is also a qualified advertising photographer, an avid amateur athlete and a private pilot. His pastimes include rowing, running, swimming and cycling.

Samira Shihab, CEO, Tinkerlust, Indonesia

Four years ago, Samira moved back to Indonesia after having spent twenty five years abroad. After graduating with her MBA from the United States, she moved back to Indonesia to begin her career as a tech entrepreneur building a SaaS for the hospitality industry. She then continued her career in a strategic role for a private equity consulting firm, in which she has been involved in setting up operations, management and marketing structures for newly invested businesses.

Samira promptly returned to the world of startups, in the form of Tinkerlust, Indonesia’s most stylish fashion e-commerce. Her leadership has enabled Tinkerlust to experience rocket speed growth since its inception. Her day to day involves is problem solving and creating the foundation of the business, from operations to marketing to product development. With her leadership, Samira aims to grow a profitable and sustainable business to contribute to the fashion sharing economy in the Indonesian retail ecosystem.

She has a BS in Economics, Psychology, and International Studies from Penn State and MBA from Santa Clara University.

Jamie Lim, Regional Marketing Director, Scanteak

Jamie graduated with a dual EMBA degree from UCLA-NUS. As Regional Marketing Director, Jamie spearheads Scanteak’s regional branding initiatives, manages overseas franchises, and oversees Scanteak Singapore’s business operations.

With her first job in Hollywood, Jamie made the switch from marketing films, to marketing the local furniture brand, Scanteak, in 2004. By 2006, the number of Scanteak showrooms had also doubled across the region.

Jamie believes a successful for-profit enterprise can impact customers, team-members, working partners and the society through strong business ethics, work excellence as well as social contributions. Besides continuing close partnerships with local tertiary institutes through internships and special projects, Jamie has also reinforced the importance of Design in the retail industry through collaborations with award-winning designers.

Under Jamie’s influence, Scanteak has won several brand awards, such as the Promising Brand Award (2005), CitiBusiness – SPBA Regional Brand Award (2006, 2013), SuperBrands (2009), the Singapore Good Design Award (2015), the Good Design Award (Japan) (2015), the IPOS Award for Design Innovation (2015) and the President’s Design Award Singapore (2015).

In 2010, Scanteak’s Taiwan operations became publicly listed in Taiwan. Scanteak Japan has been expanding steadily and in Singapore, the Scanteak group has 16 showrooms. The brand now has over 140 showrooms worldwide and is one of the biggest furniture retailers in Singapore and Taiwan. Jamie also led the initiative to start an E-commerce store for the Scanteak brand.

Jamie is the winner of the JCI TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World) Singapore Award 2012, and she currently serving as a member on the Future Economy Council, a council mooted by the government which advices on nation level initiatives.

Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc. 

When Sabrina first championed the idea of customised skincare, she was way ahead of her time. Most beauty giants were offering a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, or a few general ranges for women of particular age groups and skin types. And because many women have multiple skincare needs, they ended up with an arsenal of skin salves to answer their various needs.

Sabrina’s solution: To create a fuss-free and effective skin cocktail customised specifically for each woman’s skin.
Hence, she launched a bar of multi-coloured active serums that women could mix and match to create their daily dose of skincare.

Likening modularity in IT software, Sabrina believes skincare should be modular too in delivering active ingredients to the skin, for instant, visible results with just a handful of proven ingredients rather than the elaborate skincare regimens. Sabrina founded Skin Inc with the promise that skincare should be fun and fuss free with cutting edge self-diagnoses available at the client’s fingertips. Skin Inc empowers consumers to develop a routine that targets their skin concerns and does it so simply and effectively. It is “one size fits ME” and not one size fits all and it puts you back in control of your skincare.

Driven by this desire to solve women’s skincare grouses, Sabrina Tan established the world’s first skin supplement bar with her R&D facilities based in Japan, where skincare technology and ingredients are at their most cutting-edge. In two years, she led her team and developed 38 new product lines and 11 treatment protocols.
The IT-expert-turned-skincare-guru is personally involved in the development of all of Skin Inc’s unique skin
treatment protocols for face and body at all stages including research and development right up to a product launch.

Sabrina’s ultimate goal: Custom Beauty For Every You. To empower women all over the world to understand their skin identity and take control of their own skin.

Dr. Ong Siew Hwa,
Chaiman of BioSingapore,
Director & Chief Scientist, Acumen Research Laboratories

Dr Ong Siew Hwa is scientifically highly trained and experienced in multiple fields, including cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomics, and companion diagnostics and drug product development. Having transitioned into a career in the pharmaceuticals industry, she has worked both locally and in the US, and has subsequently founded a local molecular diagnostic company.

With more than two decades’ experience in academia and the industry both locally and in the US and Canada, Dr. Ong has an impressive track record of translational and clinical research, innovation in biomedical products, and technology commercialisation, including licensing of IP (intellectual property) and strategic partnerships. She has attained several patents, including sepsis biomarkers and methods for cancer diagnosis.

Acumen Research Laboratories is a medical technology firm founded in 2010. It primarily focuses on molecular diagnostic test discovery and development, and has successfully pioneered a breakthrough host response-based sepsis diagnostic test.

Dr. Ong is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, since 2004. She is also the serving Chairman of BioSingapore and a cCouncil member of both the SMF (Singapore Manufacturing Federation), as well as the Biomedical and Health Standards Committee under the Singapore Standards Council (SPRING Singapore).

Due to her well-established broad-based career experience in the biomedical industry and experience in mentorship of junior scientific professionals, Dr. Ong is also frequently invited to speak at career development workshops, universities, and forums on human capital for the biomedical sciences industries.

Shura Ishak,
Senior Business Advisor,
SME Centre@SMCCI, SIngapore

After completing her degree in Islamic Law, Shura started her career with the SME Centre at SMCCI in 2007. During her tenure Shura has rendered business advice in Halal matters, financial Syariah compliant principles and general matters to more than 2800 SMEs including the aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Shura is passionate about helping SMEs grow their businesses and create a solid foundation for them to achieve success. She is a determined person who looks forward to serving SMEs unconditionally, especially to our Malay Muslim Businesses. She interacts regularly with SMEs from diverse social and cultural backgrounds with different temperaments. Her pleasant attitude plays a huge role in managing client relationships.

In the last 8 years as a Business Advisor she has achieved tremendous success where she was also awarded in 2013 with the “Best Business Advisor” Award by SPRING Singapore for the SME Centre at SMCCI. Since Oct 2016, Shura is a certified Practising Management Consultant (PMC).


Manisah Sapari,
Business Advisor,
SME Centre@SMCCI, SIngapore

Manisah is a graduate from Northumbria University, Bachelor of Arts in Business with Marketing Management (HONS), with Second Class Honours (Upper Division). She has more than 14 years of working experience from the private to government sectors and has gained diverse expertise from different industries such as: F&B, retail, tourism and events management.

Prior to this role, she managed a series of government led nationwide projects and community engagement work in the healthcare industry. She is an enthusiast in giving business solutions on the availability of programs and funding from Workforce Singapore (WSG), so that business owners and companies are aware and can leverage to meet the ongoing economic challenges.

She also believes that the human capital is the most valuable investment of a company and hence creating a fulfilling career of every individuals with progressive employers.

Wendy Ng,
Managing Director,
Bloomdale, Singapore

Wendy started her entrepreneurial journey at 25, helming the transformation of a traditional family business into a modern, tech savvy company.

Today, Bloomdale is a market leader in the Florist & Gift Hampers industry in Singapore with focus on a boutique customer shopping experience.

As Managing Director, she keeps her business relevant through product innovation, streamlining processes and embracing new technology.

Wendy is passionate about fashion and travel, and draws inspiration from her hobbies in the creation of new and interesting gift experiences for clients of Bloomdale.


Dr Anna Fong,
Intellectual Property Management(IPM) Consultant,
IPValueLab, Singapore

Anna is an IPM Consultant with IP ValueLab, carrying an extensive portfolio in engineering and intellectual property management. She has advised multinational companies on patent landscape analysis and deployment strategies covering highly technical areas such as wind turbine, semiconductor packaging, stem cell, big data and cloud computing.

Prior to IP ValueLab, she performed diverse job functions from Product Design to R&D Engineer and Patent Strategic Manager. Anna has also published in scientific papers and is a named inventor in a United States-granted patent for Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filter designs used in multimedia and mobile devices.

Passionate about intangible assets, she currently shares her knowledge at NUS as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in their postgraduate IP Management courses. Anna holds a PhD Engineering Technology and Patent Risks Management from NUS.


Ummi Abdullah,
Dapur Ummi Abdullah Dining Group, Singapore

She started her business by providing tingkat meal that are prepared right at her home kitchen in 2011. After 6 months operating from her home, she moved her F&B based venture to different locations like a coffee shop in Kelantan Lane, Tanah Merah Country Club and finally opened her central kitchen in Jalan Malu Malu in October 2013.

Since then Ummi Abdullah was featured in many media channels and published articles. Her business grew into her first restaurant known as Ambeng Café and later opened another restaurant Noosh Noodle Bar & Grill located at The Esplanade. She also own Anggerik Bakery as well as The Fab Five a pop up stall concept and Kakak Kentang and Potato Ball soup Franchise business.

A social media darling, she has more than 150K follower on FB.


Moderator’ Profile

Peter Quek,
Regional Sales Director,
NetSuite, Singapore

Peter is a sales management professional with more than 15 years of experience in field sales and inside sales management and Information Technology solution selling and managing B2B digital sales across industries.

He has extensive experience in cross-cultural management across Asia Pacific, ASEAN and highly skilled at talent acquisition, coaching and maximizing team performance.