Building Back a Better Future

About AWLS 2021

UN Women has adopted “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” as a theme for 2021. The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Singapore has adopted 2021 as a year of “celebrating women”.
Female leaders have been praised for their roles in response to COVID-19, but remain under-represented in decision-making.

Women have been dis proportionately affected by the pandemic; working from home and closure of schools gave them one another role: teacher and educator. This pandemic affected service industries that led to higher job losses among women. The resulting marked increase in inequity – in income and wealth – creates further challenges, especially for women.
As we rebuild a better future, can women leaders play a bigger role?

As the humanity heals from the trauma of the pandemic and prepares to the next global crisis- the climate crisis, Women Leaders can bring new perspectives and lead the society with compassion and empathy to a better, shared future.

We will also discuss if younger women executive can play a more active role in creating new enterprises including sustainable and green businesses and how more venture capital can be channelized to the promising young women entrepreneurs.

AWLS 2021 provides a credible platform for senior executives, business leaders and policy makers to exchange ideas on how they are overcoming the challenges and encouraging women leaders to play a bigger role in rebuilding a better future.

AWLS 2020 virtual summit was attended by nearly 800 attendees from over 20 countries across a range of industries.

Dr. C J Meadows

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

SP Jain

Mohammad Naciri

Regional Director

UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacifics

Simona Catanescu

Director of Securities Strategy


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Ruth Seah

Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Global Field Services

Schneider Electric
As the VP of Strategy and Business Development globally, Ruth leads the formulation of Services business strategy, chart the transformation roadmap and drive growth initiatives with global stakeholders, regional and countries leadership teams. Her mission is to inject innovation, differentiation and digital as the critical paths to accelerate Services growth and contribution.

Prior to this role, Ruth was the VP of Field Services across 9 countries in Schneider Electric East Asia and Japan region. During her 3-year tenure, Ruth has been instrumental to grow the Field Services business, increase the branding, build the blueprint foundations in sales and execution, and drove digital transformation.

Prior to joining Schneider Electric, Ruth had extensive experience in the IT industry for 20+ years at Microsoft and IBM. Her forte is in the Services business, where her role and experience spans Sales, Delivery, Marketing, Strategy, Operations and Management. Ruth’s passion is in talent development especially with young talents, often advocating to harness the power of all generation. She is active in driving the cause of Diversity and Inclusion, championing in many Asian countries the Women in Schneider Electric (WISE) program and mentoring future leaders.

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Sciences from the National University of Singapore. She is married, has 3 young-adult children, and enjoys exercising and journaling. She has a heart for the less fortunate, loves working with children and youth in Singapore and neighbouring countries through mission and social work.

Renee McGowan

President, AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa)

Renee McGowan is the CEO, Asia for Mercer. She is responsible for Mercer’s rapidly growing business in Asia. She has led businesses and lived and worked in different locations including Indonesia, Singapore, London, Sydney, Melbourne, New York and now Hong Kong. Renee has a passion for growing businesses and changing the lives of individuals.

Over an 18-year career at Mercer, Renee has been responsible for leading functions and business and delivering profitable growth strategies. Her notable roles span Product Development, CMO, CXO, global strategy in addition to general business management roles with extensive P&L responsibility. Prior to joining Mercer, Renee benefited from experiences with a small number of leading consulting and financial services firms in the Asia Pacific region.

A proud supporter of women in leadership, Renee has been recognized as an Employee Benefits Top Women in Benefit Advising (US). She has been nominated and awarded various Women in Leadership awards for her work in financial services and retirement savings. For her work leading marketing and customer service teams, Renee was voted in the Top 10 CMOs in Australia two years in a row. She plays a mentoring role with entrepreneurs in developing nations as part of the Cherie Blaire Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Program and was an active supporter of Plan International’s “Because I am a girl” campaign. Renee was awarded a Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal by the Australian Government for delivering humanitarian services overseas.

Mercer is a leading consulting firm that works to improve the health, wealth and careers of employees around the world. A global organization, Mercer has 25,000 employees and operates in over 40 countries around the world. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC).

Valdirene Bastos Licht

President Asia Pacific and Global Business Head of Pharma and Personal Care


Valdirene Licht is currently President Asia Pacific and Global Business Head of Pharma and Personal Care at Ingredion. Based in Singapore, she is responsible for 10 plants across 11 countries in the region. As a Brazilian national, she began her career with BASF where she spent 23 years in various positions of increasing complexity in IT, operational and strategic Supply Chain, Global Strategic and Operational Marketing. Her last role in BASF was Vice President and General Manager, BASF South America. In 2012, Valdirene moved to Solvay Specialty Chemicals as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Latin America before she moved to Singapore as Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific of Solvay’s Novecare Operations.

Valdirene has lived in and managed businesses in Latin America, Germany, the United States and Asia-Pacific, holding both regional and global roles. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a licensing degree in mathematics from Fundação Santo André in Brazil and a master’s of science degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in the United States.

Julie Raneda


Schellenberg Wittmer

Julie Raneda is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s international arbitration practice in Singapore. She represents clients in international commercial, investment and sports arbitration matters.

Julie has been involved as counsel and arbitrator in complex arbitrations seated in civil and common law jurisdictions under different laws and various arbitration rules (in particular ICC, SIAC, SCAI, UNCITRAL, CAS, VIAC). Her main areas of expertise include construction and engineering, energy, pharmaceutical/life sciences, manufacturing and international sales. She also advises clients on international trade sanctions.

Examples of Julie’s expertise in arbitration include representing an Asian state-owned company in ICC proceedings seated in Switzerland related to a dispute in the engineering and construction sector; representing a leading pharmaceutical company in a dispute arising from a manufacturing and supply agreement; representing an Asian company in a high-value, multi-party and multi-contract dispute; and representing a state in several investment arbitrations.

After completing a degree in international relations at the Graduate Institute Geneva, Julie graduated with a law degree from the University of Geneva. Julie Raneda joined Schellenberg Wittmer in 2008. She also practiced at a leading international law firm in London in 2014–2015.

Julie regularly speaks on topics related to arbitration. She is the chair of the ASA South East Asia chapter and vice chair of the IPBA Next Generation Committee. Julie is AIJA’s National Representative in Singapore and a co-founder of the Women’s Business Society established in Geneva in 2012.

Michael Jenkins

Chief Executive Officer

Expert Humans

Michael was born and spent his early years in Malaysia. He graduated from Durham University in Chinese followed by postgraduate studies in Japanese language, politics and economics at Nanzan University in Nagoya, after which he worked for Toyota Motor Corporation as an analyst.

Returning to the UK in 1988, Michael worked at the University of Bath as Director of the Foreign Languages Centre. In 2001, he returned to Asia as Director of INSEAD Executive Education in Singapore and subsequently joined CCL Asia Pacific as Managing Director. In 2009 Michael took on the role of CEO, Roffey Park Institute (UK). In 2018 Michael joined the Human Capital Leadership Institute in Singapore as CEO in July 2018 before moving to setting up Expert Humans in April 2020.

The UK’s HR Magazine named Michael as one of the UK’s Most Influential Thinkers in HR in 2013 and 2016 and Michael has recently joined the UK-based FutureWork Forum as a Partner. He is a regular speaker, writer and conference moderator on humanising the workplace, new thinking in leadership development, the Future of Work and sustainability. Michael is the author of a forthcoming book for Emerald Group – Expert Humans: Critical Leadership Skills for a Disrupted World.

Vinika Rao

Executive Director


Dr Vinika Rao is the Executive Director of the INSEAD Gender Initiative & Emerging Markets Institute, and Director of the Hoffman Global Institute for Business & Society, Asia. She started her career with an MNC bank and went on to become the Managing Director of an Indonesian conglomerate, before a serendipitous transition to education. Prior to INSEAD, she was Associate Professor of Strategy at the S.P. Jain Centre of Management, Singapore. Her research is in gender diversity in corporate leadership, specifically, the impact of male support on the self-regulating focus of female managers; as well as millennials & multigenerational influences in the workplace. She is frequently invited to speak on related topics and is quoted / published in leading business publications. She has an MBA from IIM Bangalore and a doctorate from the Singapore Management University. She currently sits on the boards of a non- profit organization and a think tank.

Vinika is passionate about supporting women managers to make fulfilling work-life decisions, aiming to do this through active sponsorship rather than mentorship alone. She strives to engage both men and women in the effort to foster gender balance and create equity, diversity and inclusion in their organizations and communities.

Sanjeev Chatrath

Global Executive and Business Leader

Sanjeev is a Global Executive and Business Leader. He has worked in Financial and Information Services Industries for over 25 years with multi-national firms including Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Thomson Reuters, and IBM. Sanjeev has a proven track record of building, and leading diverse, high-performing teams while delivering pioneering solutions.

Sanjeev has lead start-up businesses and also managed P&L of over USD 2 billion per annum. Sanjeev is a thought leader in Financial, Data, and Technology industries. He is passionate about the role of businesses in building a sustainable, and inclusive future for everyone.

Sanjeev is a founding member of the Male Allies initiative of The Women’s Foundation, and member of 30% Club HK. He is a development committee member at Habitat for Humanity, HK.

Sanjeev was previously a member of ExCom and Board for AMCHAM HK, and also a Board Member of ASIFMA (Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association).

Brian Henderson

Principal Partner

Your Board

Brian founded Whole Business Wellness in 2020 to provide multi-disciplinary wellness services to organisations using yoga, mindfulness, resilience building, culture change, design thinking and 30 years of business leadership experience to build wellness management capabilities at individual, team and organizational level. Previously, Brian was Chief Operating Officer at Baker McKenzie for 8 years and before that spent 13 years at Linklaters in a variety of global leadership roles. Brian is a board member of The Women’s Foundation and was co-founding Chair of the Male Allies initiative. He was recognised for this as the 2017 American Chamber of Commerce Champion for the Advancement of Women. Brian is a Principal Partner in YourBoard, providing board level advice and consulting to SMEs.

Brian was born in Belfast and has previously lived and worked in London and Paris. He is a qualified lawyer, has an MBA from Cranfield University and is an accredited MBTI practitioner, Mental Health First Aider and Smart Collaboration Accelerator accredited partner. Brian and Mary have two adult children living and working in the UK and a West Highland terrier living with them in Hong Kong. Brian enjoys yoga, meditation and watersports.

Gustavo Palerosi Carneiro

VP - Agricultural Solutions Asia Pacific, Chairman of BASF’s “Women in BASF” initiative


Summary of qualifications

  • Leader with experience in Chemical and Agricultural Industries in Business Management, Finance & Controlling, Business Services, Strategy and M&A
  • Experience in leading diverse teams in different regions
  • Passionate about customers, digitalization, sustainability, and team culture
Working experience at BASF Group

  • Senior Vice President BASF Agricultural Solutions Asia Pacific, Singapore, Jan’16 – present
  • Vice President Global Planning, Controlling & Information Technology for BASF Agricultural Solutions division, Limburgerhof/ Germany, Sep’10 – Jan’16
  • Finance and Administration Director for BASF in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, located in Buenos Aires/ Argentina, Dec’07 – Sep’10
  • Corporate Controlling Manager BASF South America, Sao Paulo/ Brazil, May’05 – Dec’07
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Manager BASF group, Ludwigshafen/ Germany, May’03 – May’05
  • Regional Strategic and Controlling BASF South America, Sao Paulo/ Brazil, Jun’99 – May’03

  • MBA Controller, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo/ Brazil, 2003-2004
  • Finance Specialist, Sheridan College, Toronto/ Canada, 1998-1999
  • Bachelor’s in Business Administration, FAAP, Sao Paulo/ Brazil, 1994-1999

Other activities

  • Executive Sponsor Woman in BASF Asia-Pacific Employee Resource Group since Jan’20
  • President of Crop Life Asia since Mar’21

  • Shruti Swaroop


    Embrace Consulting

    With over two decades of international Human Resources management experience across US, UK, and India, Shruti Swaroop brings a global perspective to her Inclusion interventions, coaching practices, and consulting engagements.

    As a certified coach, she has worked closely with various CEOs, HR heads, women professionals and mid-level executives and has mentored a significant number of women entrepreneurs across geographies through her association with the SSE, India (a PWC initiative), NEN, India, BeyonDiversity, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, UK.

    She works with the senior management and Board of Directors to bring about transformational and cultural change through programs on Transformational Coaching for Leaders and Coaching to improve performance. Her clients include Indian conglomerates, strategy consulting firms, MNC’s, telecom majors, and PSU’s.

    Shruti is a TEDX speaker and facilitator of behaviour-based learning programmes. Her coaching and inclusion framework – EMBRACE® which stands on the pillars of uniqueness, belonginess and psychological safety enables individuals and organisations to move to the next level of clarity and acceptance. Shruti runs “Find Your Voice Campaign” which focuses on creating awareness about Emotional Abuse and Mental Well-Being. She also teaches HR & OB at various B schools.

    Industry Experience: FMCG, IT, ITES, BFSI, Public Sector, NGO, Architect, Legal, Strategy Consulting, PSU

    Deepali Khanna

    Managing Director of Asia Regional Office

    The Rockefeller Foundation

    Ms. Khanna oversees the Foundation’s policy, advocacy, grant-making, and partnerships in Asia. She leads The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to form strategic collaborations that advance development in Asia, as well as the wellbeing of humanity in the region and around the world.

    Ms. Khanna joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015. She most recently served as Director and managed one of the Foundation’s flagship initiatives in India, Smart Power for Rural Development (SPRD). In this role, she led the full range of activities, partners, and resources of the initiative to provide affordable and clean energy to over a million people in India.

    Prior to joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Ms. Khanna served as Director of Youth Learning with The MasterCard Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada. There, she led the global grant-making strategy across more than 50 projects within the portfolio and managed a budget of USD 800 million. Ms. Khanna also held multiple leadership positions with Plan International, including Country Director for Vietnam and Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, where she led overall strategic planning within the region and managed operations in 12 countries.

    Ms. Khanna earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Delhi University and holds a certificate from the Humanitarian Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

    Deepali is an often-invited speaker and panelist to global forums which address progress and issues in areas of development like Energy, Health, Food, Women, Gender Equality, climate, and sustainability. Most recently, she participated in the 3rd Global Re-Invest, Tech for Impact Asia, and China Development Forum.

    Deepali was also a panelist at the ADB webinar titled ‘The ethical dilemma of the Covid-19 crisis: Gender, Health and Systems’

    Ruby Rijal Lohani

    Founder & Melange Store

    Background: I am born in a well family, at 2nd largest city of Nepal, Biratnagar. I have completed my higher secondary level in my home town and moved to Kathmandu for higher education. I completed my Masters in Environment Science from Tribhuwan University. I am a proud mother of two beautiful kids and am leading an E-Commerce & a Retail Chain business in Nepal. Got married to an ICT business person Sailesh Lohani in year 2005, the one who introduced me to the field of business and made me a successful entrepreneur.

    Education: With a distinction on Environment Science, Master Degree, I am pursuing my professional carrier completely different to my education background, where I have nothing to do with environment studies. I had never though that I will do business which was never a field of interest for me. Despite of it, I had to dive into this ocean and now I am successfully leading various business since 2008.

    Turning Point – In year 2007, while I was on my 2nd year of Masters, dreaming of completing my studies and joining some INGOs or some international platforms, i met with deadly road accident, which changed my life forever. That accident caused serious injury on my knee. Doctors had no hope of full recovery of my leg, as stated by own uncle Dr. Saroj Rijal, senior consultant orthopedic surgeon. Knee was joined with steel implant with number of screws and above 50 stitches in leg muscles. There was chances of only 20 to 30% of bend in my knee, if recovered, and had advised me for complete bed rest for 6 to 9 months. In other hand, I had my baby 5 months old, breast feeding, not in condition to turn around without someone’s help. I used to wait until my husband come back home and take me to restroom, and still many other problems during menstruation period and so on. Nothing was possible for me without help of someone else. After 6 months of the accident, my husband however convinced me to join his business, just to avoid sitting lonely at home and to overcome the situation I agreed.

    Grace Park

    Co-Founder and President


    Grace is the Co-Founder and President of DocDoc – the world’s first patient intelligence 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.

    April Hu

    Founder, Swando, Zigen HK & Director

    Zigen Fund

    Born and raised in California, April focuses on how to leverage technology to offer affordable and transcendent experiences. A Chinese-American from a long lineage of educators, she has lived in Asia for over 30 years and travelled to over 60 countries. Comfortable in both Asian and Western environments, she has managed and mentored regional start-up NGOs and established multinationals such as IBM, Honeywell, McKinsey, Zigen Fund, and NextEd.

    A thread through her life is innovative education programs. Projects range from developing Asia’s largest distance-learning MBA program, to starting-up a global online alliance of 10 universities, to three decades of involvement in supporting rural education in China impacting 130,000 girls. She is currently involved in sustainable solutions in Southeast Asia and Greater China which include disruptive action projects include hydrogen fuel cells to leadership development with Virtual Reality (VR).

    April is currently based in Singapore and co-founded NINEby9 in 2021 to cascade strategic action for gender parity for sweet-spot working women in Asia. Women in management is good business and Eastern and Western balance is even better business. April holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Yale and MBA from Stanford. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese, loves ocean paddling, and has four children.

    Rana Karadsheh

    Regional Industry Director Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services - South Asia & East Asia and Pacific


    Ms. Karadsheh-Haddad has over 20 years of experience in the field of international investing and finance. She is currently Regional Industry Director – Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services, South Asia & East Asia and Pacific for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) where she is heading up Agribusiness & Forestry, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Construction Materials, Health & Education, Machinery, Manufacturing, Tourism, Retail, and Property, and managing a diverse team located in 16 offices in the both South Asia & East Asia and Pacific.

    Before taking on the role as Regional Industry Director, she was Country Manager leading IFC’s operations in Singapore, which includes infrastructure investments, infrastructure advisory, agribusiness, TMT/PE/Tech investments, IFC’s Asia Treasury Hub and three of IFC’s Asset Management Funds. She was also leading the infrastructure investment team covering Singapore and the Philippines. Prior to this, she was the Europe, Middle East and North Africa Head for the Global Chemicals Group, leading multi-disciplinary teams in executing capital intensive projects and leading IFC’s Global Fertilizer Strategy. Ms. Karadsheh-Haddad’s deals have included debt, equity, quasi-equity transactions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East for new ventures, expansions, operational turnarounds and acquisitions a range of sectors including infrastructure, fertilizer, chemical and petrochemical sectors. Earlier in her career at IFC, Ms. Karadsheh-Haddad was with the privatization transaction group, where she was involved in the sourcing, structuring, execution and closing of major privatization and restructuring transactions in various sectors.

    Ms. Karadsheh-Haddad holds an MBA and an MA in International Economics from The George Washington University and a BA in Economics and French from The University of Michigan.

    Srikripa Srinivasan

    Vice President

    Dell Global Analytics

    Srikripa brings with her more than 25 years of strong Finance and leadership experience in various industry sectors, having worked on both local and global assignments. Prior to Dell EMC she had a long tenure at Microsoft India, where she last served as Finance Controller for India. She joined Microsoft as India Compliance lead and was instrumental in setting up their Compliance Office. She was later responsible for bringing controllership to Microsoft worldwide standards including SOX 404, Statutory Accounting, Statutory, Tax and Policy Compliances, Payroll, management of Outsourced Partners, Treasury, to name a few.

    Prior to that, Srikripa was with GE Capital (later part as Genpact ) for another long stint as Vice president -Finance, where her major achievements include setting up of their Bangalore premise, heading Business Finance for the largest part of GE Capital revenue in India and driving budgets for all high-end CoEs. Srikripa started her career with Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Audit and Business Services group. A FMCG stint at Glaxo Smithkline (erstwhile Smithline Beecham) gave Srikripa exposure to areas ranging from Business/Factory operations to Financial Planning/Analysis, Accounting, Payroll and Taxation.

    In her current role She is responsible to lead business intelligence, reporting & analytics solutions and support for various business functions at Dell.

    Srikripa is a Chartered Accountant and a Cost Accountant from India. On the personal front, Srikripa is a proud mother of two girls – 13-year-old Niyati and 9-year-old Karuna, with whom she loves spending her free time. Outside of that, Srikripa unwinds by singing Indian classical music.

    Shrijeet Mishra

    Chief Innovation Officer & Head Group Services

    Aditya Birla Group

    Shrijeet joined the Aditya Birla Group, a fortune 500 league $46 Billion Conglomerate, in May 2018 and oversees multiple Innovation areas of Data & Analytics, Consumer-centric Innovations, Innovation fund ecosystems, Brand Development, Sustainability and IT for the Group. His team also works closely with the Leadership team on the latest Consumer, Technology trends and the resultant new Business opportunities for the Group.

    His forte is in bringing consumer & customer at the heart of most discussions and building ecosystem solutions to solve those. This, combined with his passion for driving businesses sustainably through collaborative research & modern technology has helped create many out-ofbox innovations across categories and services. During his 34-year global career spanning more than three decades across businesses, functions (P&L, Marketing, Supply chain, Venture) and across geographies ( Asia Pacific, Africa & Middle East), he has helped transform many brands and businesses. He works with leading global Universities such as MIT, Wharton , TiE and advises many State and national Governments on creating sustainable Innovation ecosystems.

    He has managed 3 M&A’s successfully and also mentors many start-up’s contributing to their exponential growth. At BCCL, he was instrumental in the $5 Billion AUM journey of Brand Capital and he currently manages the Innovation Fund mandate at ABG . He is passionate about Education , teaches across universities and has also launched a world class university, Bennett University with 4000 plus kids now.

    He holds a Graduate degree in Economics from Hindu College, and Post-graduate in Management from IIM Ahmedabad and Wharton. He has played an active role in key industry associations such as WBCSD, Bombay Chambers, FICCI, CII and ASCI

    Sailesh Lohani

    Founder & Melange Store

    Sailesh Lohani
    • 42Years Commerce Student heading Technical Jobin Entire Group
    • Founder of Megatech Group(1997)
    • Incepted Business with Just NPR 10000 in1997–98(Computer & Electronics Trading)
    • Megatech Group has above USD 50Million Group Turnover in 2020 & about 400+ Direct Employment
    Group Business Vertical
    • Computer & Electronics Product Import & Distribution
    • Communication & Power Product Import & Distribution
    • Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing(Nepal’s largest battery industry)
    • Poultry & Cattle Feed Manufacturing
    • Hatchery Industry
    • Online Shopping
    • Retail Chain of Fashion Products
    Area of Expertise (Business)

    Trading & Distribution: IT & Computer, Power Backup Product, Security & Telecom Product, Mobile & accessories.
    Manufacturing: Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing
    Tourism: Hospitality & Travel agency (2012 -2020)
    Online Trade: Online Shopping Business
    Retail Chain: Fashion Product

    Nandita Baruah

    Country Representative-India

    The Asia Foundation

    Nandita Baruah, is The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in New Delhi, India. She has over 25 years of experience working in the development sector in Asia. She has worked extensively in South and Southeast Asia with several multilateral and bilateral agencies, on programs related to gender equity and women’s empowerment, regional trade and connectivity, water governance, renewable energy, labour migration and human trafficking, among others.

    In 2010, Nandita was awarded the Prime Minister’s Gold Medal by the Royal Government of Cambodia for her technical support to the Cambodian Government for creation of victim protection policies and practices.

    Nandita holds an M.Phil and an MA degree in History and Political Economy from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

    Jamie Neo

    Director Ink Supplies Operations

    HP Inc.

    Jamie is the Director of Engineering responsible for product engineering and quality assurance of HP’s ink cartridges for Print. She drives the digital transformation of manufacturing, embracing the use of Industry 4.0 tools to bring about a step change in manufacturing efficiency and quality.

    She has worked in many functions in manufacturing – from wafer fabrication to assembly operations, quality assurance, new product transfer, competitive intelligence, and business insights. This diverse experience led her to initiate and set up SMARC – Smart Manufacturing Application & Research Center in Singapore to transform the way we do manufacturing.

    She has presented in international conferences and universities on Industry 4.0 adoption and the importance of diversity and job upskilling. A strong people advocate, she had led several initiatives on people development, mentorship, workforce upskilling and building a culture for innovation.

    She was named in Singapore 100 Women-in-Tech in 2020.

    Jamie holds several other positions external of HP. She is the President and sponsor for Society of Women Engineering (SWE) affiliate in Singapore, an exco member of SG WIT Chapter, (Singapore Women in Tech) for Singapore Computer Society and a member of the World Economic Forum’s New Generation Manufacturing Leader (NGML).

    Jamie graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master of Science in Chemistry and holds a Graduate Diploma in Financial Management from Singapore Institute of Management.

    Jacqueline CHUA

    Director of New Product Introductions (NPI)

    HP Inc.

    Jacqueline Chua heads HP’s Print Microfluidics, Technology & Operations (MTO) Research & Development and New Product Introductions (NPI) organization in Southeast Asia. She develops strategies and builds organization capabilities to bring new products to market: in particular, HP Inkjet cartridges.

    Jacqueline began her career at HP in 1995 after graduating from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical & Electronics. In her two decades at HP, she has led Quality, Customer Support and Research & Development teams within HP’s Print business. These include driving quality initiatives, setting up customer support readiness for each new product introduction, and leading development teams to bring HP’s Home Business printer products to market.

    Jacqueline is based in Singapore.

    Yolyn Ang

    Managing Director

    APAC Partnerships, Search, Geo, Commerce & Ads

    Yolyn is the Managing Director for APAC Partnerships for Search, Geo, Commerce, Ads and Assistant – she leads a team responsible for all the business development and partnerships to support these products. In this capacity, she has worked at the edge of a wide range of product partnerships ranging from maps, retail and payments, advertising and product distribution in this exciting region. She began working at Google in 2011 in a Strategy Operations role for Southeast Asia and thereafter moved to the business development team.

    She has had an unorthodox path into tech, starting her pre-Google career in the shipping industry with PSA International, one of the world’s largest port operators. At PSA, she was responsible for negotiating commercials with shipping lines, strategic planning and corporate finance and treasury, all important skillsets in a traditional and highly specialised industry that enabled a critical foundation and pathway to her role in Google.

    She is a proud Singaporean who believes her country has the best food and whose idea of the perfect weekend is watching Korean dramas with her husband over a good glass of wine.

    Khulangoo Amarsanaa


    Geru Application

    Khulangoo Amarsanaa is a founder of the Geru Application, the first e-commerce platform for women entrepreneurs that produces hand made products. She holds bachelor’s degree from the Mongolian Science and Technology University. Prior to launching the Geru App, she worked for MoSuKho Project as information and technology specialist, and Interactive BI LLC as a project manager. Following her passion to create an integrated e-commerce platform for the micro and informal women entrepreneurs operating in handicrafts, traditional clothing and souvenirs, she launched the first e-commerce platform dedicated for creative hand made products manufacturers in 2017. She graduated the Business Incubator Program of the Women`s Business Center of the Asia Foundation Mongolia in 2019 and redefined her business model with the knowledge and experience she gained during the four-month intensive business incubator program, which later resulted in expanding Geru App`s business potential.

    Geru App connects micro, small and medium women entrepreneurs, helps them to increase their market through the integrated logistics system offered by the app and support women owned small family businesses. The main features of the Geru App include an online shopping platform, goods order, inventory management and monitoring system, goods collection, and delivery logistics system. Geru App creates market space for 170 individual producers and companies, of which most of them are women entrepreneurs. Geru`s monthly sales revenue is 30-45 million MNT.

    Wanda Lee

    Director- Investments

    Cocoon Capital

    Wanda Lee is an Investment Director at Cocoon Capital, where she brings 9 years scaling tech startups as a VC investor & operations executive. In her previous role, Wanda advised on and executed M&A and capital raise transactions for software & services companies at Janney Montgomery Scott. She also has investment experience spanning Series A to C rounds of enterprise technology companies at Safeguard, $450m VC fund in the US. Most recently, Wanda was a Strategy & Operations executive at QuanticMind, venture-backed AI-powered data platform company in Silicon Valley, scaling company 5x in 2+ years.

    Sven Hansen


    Resilience Institute

    Inspire, educate and entertain. Sven will energise your event and deliver real skills to help people transform their lives and their work. Keynotes can be tailored to professional, executive and staff events.

    Life and work are better when we know how to bounce, grow, connect and find flow. The keynote explains both the theory and practices to build physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Participants will learn practical tips to make a meaningful difference to their lives and their work.

    7 Keys to Resilience

    Dr Sven Hansen, (MBChB, MBA) has been working to help business master mental health, wellbeing and resilience for the past 25 years. He has worked with multinationals, professionals, education, entrepreneurship and sports.

    With a background in Special Forces and Sports Medicine, Sven is the founder of the Resilience Institute with team in New Zealand, UK, Australia, Asia, Europe and the US. Based on their own research, they created a Resilience App to measure, learn achieve growth. Sven lives in Auckland and is a keen outdoor sports enthusiast.

    Contact Sven on +64 21 730 995 or [email protected]

    Maharshi Vaishnav

    Chief Operating Officer

    Educate Girls

    Maharshi Vaishnav is Educate Girls’ Chief Operating Officer. He leads a team of over 2,000 passionate changemakers across over 18,000 villages of India, who are committed to identifying and enrolling the most marginalized out-of-school girls, retaining them in schools, and ensuring that they learn well.

    Prior to Educate Girls, Maharshi was on a research fellowship with the Grameen Foundation in South-East Asia, where he evaluated mobile technology solutions for women micro-entrepreneurs. Before making a conscious switch to international development, Maharshi spent a decade in various roles across the private sector. Maharshi holds graduate degrees in Public Policy and Business.

    Farhan Syed

    Partner, Head of Advisory


    Professional experience

    Farhan is a Partner and head of advisory for Middle East and South Asia and Lower Gulf.

    He joined KPMG to build the Digital, Technology and Innovation practice and has successfully build and scaled the business.

    He specializes in helping clients understand the implications of digital forces such as Mobile, Big Data, Social, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain and Cloud, determine the opportunities and threats, formulate the required strategy and change initiates to transform the business and bridge the performance and/or opportunity gap.

    He brings deep and practical transformation expertise having delivered numerous strategy, digital, technology and transformation projects in UAE, Saudi, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, UK, US, Sweden and India across a range of industries. He is also the member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the executive sponsor of the female diversity program in the firm.

    Prior to joining KPMG, he has held leadership positions with IBM Global Business Services where he led their Digital Consulting Practice for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa for the Banking Industry and the Business and Customer Strategy Consulting Practice for Australia and New Zealand.

    Selective relevant experience

    Sofia Shakil

    Empower Women Director-Economic Programs

    Asia Foundation

    Sofia Shakil serves as The Asia Foundation’s director for Economic Programs and brings to this role her extensive knowledge of and passion for Asia’s economic and social development. An experienced policy economist, Sofia brings nearly 25 years of experience in the development sector, with a focus on human development, public sector policy, and governance reform. She has held several positions with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and international NGOs, including as the country representative in Pakistan for The Asia Foundation.

    Sofia previously served as the principal knowledge management specialist for innovations within the Asian Development Bank’s East Asia Regional Department. In this role, she led the innovation agenda for East Asia and promoted knowledge and partnerships with diverse clients and innovation giants, and stimulated innovation in program design and approaches. In her earlier role at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as senior education specialist, Sofia led project operations and policy research and advisory work in human development in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Mongolia. Among her many achievements at the ADB, Sofia successfully designed and obtained approval for the first Results-Based Lending Program loan ($200 million) for ADB in Sri Lanka and introduced innovative financing approaches and programs in the PRC including a public-private partnership project for elderly care, prepared the education assessment and roadmap for the country partnership strategies for Sri Lanka, Mongolia, and the PRC, developed the human resource development strategy as part of the Tourism Master Plan for the Maldives, and led several projects and policy work in the areas of vocational education reform, elder care services, and graduate employment initiatives. She also served as a social sector focal point in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Prior to her appointment at ADB, she worked in the World Bank’s South Asia Human Development team.

    Sofia has spent a significant part of her career working in Pakistan and other countries across Asia, including as a senior education specialist for the World Bank, where she successfully designed and implemented an education sector results-based financing program for Punjab education reforms and many projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Indonesia. She has also served as program development manager for Save the Children and program manager for Policy and Research for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. She also worked as a freelance Education and Development Planning consultant.

    Education: Master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

    Vaishali Rastogi

    Global Head: Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice
    Senior Partner and Managing Director

    Boston Consulting Group

    Vaishali Rastogi heads BCG’s global Technology, Media and Telecommunications business. She has held a number of leadership positions at BCG, including heading BCG’s business in Southeast Asia as Managing Partner—covering all ASEAN markets and all lines of business—during which time she led a rapid expansion of the business into digital, analytics, and transformation to one of the highest in BCG overall.

    Vaishali has been a member of BCG’s Global Executive Committee responsible for the firm’s strategy and governance and has served on the Asia management team. She has also been the co-leader for BCG’s sales topic globally and the Asia Pacific leader for BCG’s Marketing, Sales & Pricing practice. She started her BCG career in the Mumbai office in 1997, as one of the first employees and subsequently moved to Singapore in 2001.

    Vaishali brings a unique blend of her global vantage on consumer tech and start up growth accelerations, with 20+ years of working in Indonesia. She set up the center for consumer insights in Indonesia and built the consumer business in the mid-2000s, both of which have grown rapidly. Under her global leadership of TMT, BCG has significantly grown our work with digital natives, and vertical tech (tech disruptors invading key industries) – today technology is one of the fastest growing sectors at BCG.

    Vaishali brings deep experience in driving technology led transformative change and growth in both local and global businesses. She has also helped build data and digital capabilities to disrupt and build fundamentally new businesses, as well as personally led multiple integrations across ASEAN. Vaishali has published several reports on digital transformation, go-to-market, and consumers in Southeast Asia and beyond.

    Vaishali has been an active leader at Women@BCG and remains deeply passionate about diversity and inclusion, mentoring young talent, as well as education efforts in emerging markets.