Swati Pandey, Co-Founder & CEO
Swati is the CEO and Co-founder of Arboreal – an award winning plant biotechnology company focused on creating a diabetes free world. Arboreal has combined advanced scientific R&D and proprietary innovations with a traceable, sustainable and scalable supply chain to reinvent Stevia – a 100% natural, zero calorie sweetener that comes from a plant source.
Arboreal’s strength lies at the intersection of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Food Technology, and is currently focused on industrial scale production and marketing of its proprietary range of Stevia extracts and formulations globally. Arboreal is backed by a clutch of leading investors and angels from UK, Ireland, France, US, Indonesia and India. Swati’s prior professional experience includes international stints in VC, Investments, Consulting and O&G sectors in EU, UK, Singapore and India.
Earlier last year, Swati was announced as the Asia-Pacific Laureate at Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards in Singapore from amongst 2900+ high quality women led ventures, from 130+ countries, which were adjudged by Cartier, McKinsey and INSEAD Business School. She is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad and holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy from Imperial College London, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an EIT Climate-KIC Scholar.
Her areas of active interest are Sustainability, Plant Biotechnology, Agri Tech and Clean Tech.
Michelle Yong, Director
Aurum (Woh Hup Group)
Michelle is a 4th generation family business leader in Woh Hup and Director at Aurum Land, a subsidiary and real estate development company. In 2016, she started Collision 8, a co-working space and innovation community that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, and family business owners in downtown Singapore. Collision 8 has now merged with Found., and is now known as Found8.
Following on from Found8, she started a new business concept, Core Collective, which is a collaborative health and wellness community and coworking centre that fosters entrepreneurship and facilitates cross-sharing of knowledge within a curated environment. She has also most recently launched a corporate venture fund, Aurum Investments, which invests in startups that have synergies with the group’s core businesses.
Michelle triggers corporate innovation from within, and has brought to Aurum the innovative mindset, attention to detail, and rigor that she learned as a consultant, and has since grown it to an award winning $100 million+ business.
Now as the founder of Found8 and Core Collective, Michelle is transforming Aurum into a space and business innovator with a focus on the future of people. In a time of increasing connectivity, where customer experience is the gold standard, Aurum is the core of a trusted network of communities, creating opportunities across diverse industries for businesses, professionals and individuals seeking growth in Singapore and beyond.
Ever on the go, Michelle is the mother of three young children, and a foodie at heart. She strongly believes that great food makes both life and business better.
Michelle Peh, Chief Brand Officer & Group GM
One of the pioneers of MindChamps, Michelle is the brand champion spearheading MindChamps’ global image and positioning over the last 14 years.
She is responsible for driving the visibility, values and strength of the brand across all touch-points in Singapore and across the world.
Michelle has been instrumental in making MindChamps, the number one brand position in the highly-competitive Singapore premium preschool space, with an impressive market share of 38.5%. This was followed by a successful listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange in 2017, leading to the creation of a globally-recognised preschool brand.
Under her dynamic leadership, MindChamps received the following branding and marketing accolades:
- The only preschool to be inducted into the Influential Brands® Hall of Fame for winning the Top Brand award for five consecutive years, 2014 – 2018
- The only preschool to be awarded the Superbrands® Mark of Distinction for five consecutive years, 2014 – 2018
- The Established Brand – Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2011, organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Chinese Newspaper Lianhe Zaobao
- 2018 Influential Brands® Top Employer and
- 2019 Asia’s Greatest Brands award presented by AsiaOne Magazine & PricewaterhouseCoopers
Violet Lim, CEO & Co-Founder
Lunch Actually Group
Violet Lim is the heart and soul of Lunch Actually – a matchmaking company that she founded with her then-fiancé, now-husband Jamie Lee back in 2004. Her inspiration came from observing her friends and colleagues who did not have time to date, due to their busy lives around work.
Today, Lunch Actually is Asia’s biggest premier lunch dating company with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Jakarta and Bangkok. Together with Jamie, Violet also founded esync to fill the gap in the market for trusted online and offline dating service platforms, LunchClick, the dating app for serious singles to help them meet offline as soon as possible, as well as Lunch Actually Academy, the date coaching service to maximize singles’ dating
success. Her most recent venture is Viola.AI – the world’s first blockchain-powered lifelong love AI to help singles and couples across their relationship stages.
Violet was the first Asian to be certified by the Matchmaking Institute in New York City, and she is the pioneer in her field. She has appeared in over 4,000 media coverages in top local and international media such as FOX, Forbes, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Mashable, The Straits Times, ABC News 20|20, CNBC Asia and Radio Australia. She’s also a renowned public speaker, recently spoke at TEDxNTU in Singapore, PR Asia 2018, Southeast Asia CFO Vision, Asian Women in Leadership Summit, and more.
Ng Aik-Phong, Managing Director
Fave (Formerly Groupon)
Aik-Phong is the Managing Director of Fave Singapore, Southeast Asia’s leading Online-to-Offline and cashless payment startup. AP, as he is more commonly known, is a founding member of Fave. He currently heads out Fave’s Singapore business, focusing on growing the FavePay cashless payment and loyalty rewards solution amongst F&B and Retail merchants, as well as driving rapid customer adoption, crossing 1 Million FavePay transactions in Singapore within a year of launch.
He was previously the Head of National Accounts for Groupon APAC, building and driving a regional business unit that generated annual revenues in excess of $50 Million across 6 countries (Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia & Singapore).
AP is a former Team Singapore Fencer and a SEA Games medallist. At 16, he entered Carleton University in Canada, graduating with a degree in Electrical & Systems Engineering as one of the faculty’s youngest graduate.
In recognition of his business and organisational leadership, AP was The Leading CEO Award recipient at the prestigious 2018 Singapore HR Awards.
Grace Park, Co-Founder
Grace is the Co-Founder and President of DocDoc- Asia’s leading patient empowerment company.
She brings with her more than 19 years of leadership experience, nearly 13 of which were spent in international healthcare when she led large-scale teams of distributors and a direct-to-doctor, pan-Asian sales force for Fortune 500 companies. She joined the private healthcare sector with the vision to extend and enhance human lives. She strongly believes that it is possible to do good and do well at the same time.
Prior to DocDoc, Grace held leadership positions at Medtronic, most recently as the Managing Director for its ASEAN operations, leading the company to expand its footprint for medical technology in these markets. Over the years, she has also worked in companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb where she managed local grants of +US$100M to support women and children with HIV/AIDS in 10 African countries.
Grace arrived in Singapore as a Fulbright Fellow and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School alongside an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Formerly, she graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she was a four-time All American National Judo Champion. Highlights of her military career include leading a platoon, rappeling from helicopters and parachuting from planes to earn her badges in the Army’s Air Assault School and Airborne School, and completing her service as a Captain at the Pentagon.
An active philanthropist, Grace believes in contributing to charitable causes and has raised significant donations by running 250 kilometres across the Gobi Desert to benefit children’s heart surgery in Vietnam and China. She has also climbed Mount Fuji during the winter to donate funds to children’s diabetes research in Australia, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Singapore.
Alexander Pang, CEO
New Ubin Seafood Group
As of October 2018, Alexander took on the position of Chief Executive Officer and Chef of the New
Ubin Seafood Group.
Prior to this, Alexander was appointed as a director of the Group in September
2017. Alexander recently represented Singapore at the World Restaurant Awards in Paris (Feb, 2019)
(“WRA”) to prepare Singapore cuisine for over 500 chefs and F&B media at the WRA gala dinner.
The Group owns the New Ubin Seafood brand, and began as a homegrown, family-run business in
Its first outlet at Sin Ming, which has since moved to Hillview, has garnered multiple awards. In
particular, these include three consecutive Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand” from the inaugural year
the Guide was launched in Singapore in 2016, all the way through to 2018.
The Group presently owns and/or operates three separate outlets in Hillview, CHIJMES and Ramada
Hotel at Zhongshan Park, with the latter two outlets opening in February and December 2018
Alexander is married and father of two. He is also an avid photographer and specialises in street,
portraiture and landscape photography. Alexander also holds memberships with the Restaurant
Association of Singapore, the Insolvency Practitioner’s Association of Singapore, INSOL International,
the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association, the Singapore Institute of Directors, the Law Society
of Singapore and the Singapore Academy of Law.
Laura Verallo de Bertotto, CEO
Laura Verallo de Bertotto is the CEO of VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, a Philippine company whose mission is to save the world’s skin with the safest, most (proven!) effective care on the planet.
With zero of all 109+ common allergens and over 75 clinical studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, there is no safer, more effective skincare or makeup brand out there. A multi-award winner and regular in global beauty, fashion, and health media, VMV HYPOALLERGENICS is present via omnichannel distribution in several countries, including Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, and the USA. VMV walks the kindness and inclusivity that it talks, boasting a diverse workforce that is over 71% women (leadership is 80%), and initiatives such as a small organic collective farm in Leyte, Philippines, that provides free education and community building.
Laura grew up in the Philippines and the US, is an active member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and was awarded PLDT SME Bossing (2015), Marie Claire Philippines’ 10 Women of the World (2006), and the Randolph Edmonds Young Scholars Award for scholarly writing (1993, Black Theatre Network). Laura previously worked in branding in Manhattan, and has a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University.
Rehan Amarasuriya, Executive Director
BP deSilva Group & The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.
Rehan Amarasuriya, the second son of Mr Sunil Amarasuriya, graduated in 2010 with a bachelor of finance degree from Monash University in Melbourne. Since then he has joined the family business, working very closely with the management and his team to grow the group as a whole.
Specifically, Rehan has focused on the BP de Silva Group’s tea business – The 1872 Clipper Tea Co., a local specialty tea company, and Tea Tang, a production arm supplying tea to quality-oriented markets, from Singapore, Japan and Europe. Rehan also co-founded Teapasar, a multi-brand tea marketplace, in
Despite his young age, Rehan has an innate flair for business, and is deeply passionate in his work. He is also involved in the tea blending process, working closely with master tea blenders at Tea Tang to concoct new and interesting blends that will pander to the local palate. Rehan also has an outgoing
personality and loves to share his passion and knowledge about tea.
Atchara Poomee, Founder & Managing Director
PAC Corporation (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Atchara is the founder and managing director of PAC Corporation (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the producer and developer of the innovative technologies; PAC energy saving water heaters and air conditioners. She holds a management position in the water heating and energy efficiency industry. She has more than 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and innovative products. She is also a guest lecturer in business innovation, Clean Technology & Green Innovation.
PAC Corporation (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is the producer and developer of the innovative technologies; PAC energy saving water heaters and air conditioners, such as heat recovery water heater, heat pump water heater, solar air conditioner. PAC believe energy is too valuable to be wasted. That’s why they want to minimize the impact on our environment and help their customers to reduce their energy costs. PAC continuously develops innovative products that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly, with focus on water heating and air conditioning systems. They are confident about their leadership in energy saving water heaters and air conditioners and are currently on the mission to spread their products to the global market.
Imelda Harsono, Director
Imelda Harsono serves on the Board of Directors of Samator Group, Indonesia’s largest industrial gas producing corporate group, where she is Director of Technology and Compliance and Executive Director of Aneka Gas Industri Tbk, Samator Group’s largest subsidiary company. Imelda also leads the Information Technology, Asset Management, Legal, and Procurement divisions.
In 2015 she founded Samudera Biru Internasional, a renewable energy company facilitating widescale adoption of solar projects throughout Indonesia. Her passion for improving the skills and education of working age Indonesians led her to join the Board of HarukaEdu, a company dedicated to providing technology platform solutions that enable affordable lifelong learning.
Imelda holds a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the National University of Singapore, a Master of Management from Universitas Pelita Harapan Graduate School of Business (Cum Lau de), and a Master of Laws in International Commercial Law from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She is currently enrolled at Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, a two year program designed to enhance the business skills of top world executives and entrepreneurs.
Imelda is the Chapter President for Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Indonesia East Chapter. EO is a global business network of 13,000+ business owners in 180 chapters and 57 countries. She has received several awards and recognitions, such as “99 Most Most Inspiring Women” by Globe Asia in 2019, chosen as Top 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen in Indonesia 2018 by Indonesia Tatler and Top 10 Indonesia Young Women Future Business Leaders 2014 by SWA Magazine.
Claire Sancelot , Director
Ever since, she has been a guest on many radio shows, featured on magazines and newspapers. People have been very excited about the concept and more and more people had been embracing the lifestyle. Claire has been giving cooperative talk since 2015 in Malaysia (L’Oreal, L’Occitane, World Health Organisation, Securities Commission Malaysia). The talk is light hearted people easily relate to it. The way Claire introduces zero waste lifestyle is through simple domestic examples although climate change is a very serious subject, Claire makes sustainable living fun and achievable.
Koh Seng Choon, Executive Director
Mr Koh Seng Choon is the founder and
Managing Director of Dignity Kitchen, Singapore’s first hawker training centre for the disadvantaged and people with disabilities. The mission is to build and help these people regain a sense of dignity through their work.
Mr Koh Seng Choon has written three books – Elements of Success: Business, Elements of Success: Education and Elements of Success: Living – of which the first book mentioned is a best-seller in India. He is also the owner and management consultant of Christopher Benjamin Consultancy Services, and a professor at SP Jain School of Global Management.
Manisah Sapari, Business Advisor
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.
Kamlesh Mahtani, Sales Director (Asia)
Kamlesh Mahtani is currently the Sales Director for Emerging Markets for Asia with Oracle NetSuite based in Singapore.
In this role, Kamlesh is responsible for leading the Asian sales team Emerging segment.
With several leadership positions under his belt, Kamlesh has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry focused on accountants, marketing and direct and indirect sales.
Prior to joining Oracle, Kamlesh was Head of Sales, for the Start-up and Small Business (SSB) regional team at Sage Asia.
Before joining Sage, Kamlesh was with Intuit Singapore, where he held the position of Head of Business Development for Asia and the Middle East, after developing the Australian market for Intuit. Whist in Australia, he was in charge of developing new markets, leading revenue growth, channel partner development and led efforts for the bookkeepers channel.
Prior to that, Kamlesh was the Country Sales Manager for MYOB, a leading accounting software brand in Australia, where he was responsible for overall sales and channel partner management and also directed marketing campaigns for Asia.
Kamlesh also used to manage a garments distribution business and was also involved in the F&B industry.
Rebekah Woo, Managing Director
With degrees from LSE, Yale and CFA, CAIA professional designations, Rebekah has 20 years of investing and relationship management experience. Rebekah started her career with the the government of Singapore (EDB), in Singapore and New York.
She then spent more than 6 years with a multi-billion single family office in New York, investing across asset classes, with focus on emerging markets and philanthropy. She then joined J.P. Morgan Asset Management, first in New York before moving back to Singapore in a new role called Global Strategic Relationship Group. Headhunted into Canada’s 2nd largest pension plan, CDPQ, Rebekah became the 1st local employee when it opened its Asia Pacific HQ in Singapore, responsible for developing key partnerships with major families in emerging Asia, sourcing and executing direct and co-investments.
After a stint at Lufax, a leading fintech company by Ping An Group, Rebekah is now with Fosun, responsible for covering investments in the Maternal Infant & Family sector, focusing on fast growing regions such as Southeast Asia.
Joelle Chia, Board Member
Joelle is a board member of BANSEA, a leading angel investment network promoting the development of the angel investment community in Southeast Asia.
She is an early stage angel investor, and have personally as well as through syndicates invested in close to 10 startups in the healthcare, F&B, logistics and e-commerce verticals.
Joelle is also an expert in healthcare regulatory affairs and compliance in Asia-Pacific. She now runs Pharma To Market – Asia, a consulting company that helps healthcare companies access the fast-growing Asia markets with regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance services.
Over her career, Joelle has combined her pharmacist training with her knowledge of regulations to develop regulatory strategies, expedite approvals, establish and direct regulatory and ongoing compliance operations in 13 countries in the region. She has previously worked for pharma companies that range from small regional firms to huge multinationals; assisting to expand the market presence of their product portfolio. Her skill sets include facilitating interactions between companies and government authorities, negotiating terms in compliance situations, and representing company interests in trade associations.
Renee Tan, Founder & Managing Director
Rendeur (HER® Entrepreneur)
Renee Tan is an entrepreneur and trainer with a unique background of science, psychology and business in her past education and work. She started her career doing Stem Cell research. She left the laboratory to pursue a Double Major in Psychology and Marketing, joined a B2B media company handling several portfolios in multiple sectors such as Life Sciences, Healthcare, Mining, Energy, Supply Chain, Hedge Funds, Private Banking amongst many others; for the Asia Pacific business and led a team. Her network of clients include the government, MNCs, investors, institutions and associations. She is now the Founder and Managing Director of Rendeur Pte Ltd, providing training, consultancy, and seminars for corporate organisations and individuals.
She created HER Entrepreneur to provide women with the resources and platform to connect with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and learn from other aspiring entrepreneurs.