ASIA EDITOR’S PICK
Forbes Asia’s November 2022 edition includes this article.
This year, the post-pandemic period of the Asia-Pacific region has largely begun as governments, citizens, and businesses adjust to life with COVID-19. This shift raises the following issue: How do you recover from disruptions that have affected practically every industry for close to three years?
The 20 female entrepreneurs who made the list of 2022 Asia’s Power Businesswomen each developed a unique strategy that enabled their companies to flourish despite the uncertainty of the new normal. While some continue to innovate in industries like IT, pharmaceuticals, and commodities, others work in industries that have been hard-impacted, like shipping, real estate, and construction.
The women included this year, as they have since 2019, are new additions to the list, thus extending our network of female trailblazers in the area. They were chosen for their career-long leadership qualities and successes in managing a company with significant revenue in their current position.
Watson, Rana Wehbe, edited
Jonathan Burgos, Russell Flannery, Gloria Haraito, John Kang, Phisanu Phromchanya, Anuradha Raghunathan, Yessar Rosendar, James Simms, Jessica Tan, Yue Wang, and Ardian Wibisono all participated in the research and reporting.
Co-founder and Honasa Consumer’s principal innovator
India • Age: 34
GRATIS HONASA CONSUMER
Alagh’s company—which houses personal care brands Mamaearth, The Derma Co., Aqualogica, and Ayuga—became a unicorn in early January when it closed a $52 million funding round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India, valuing it at $1.2 billion. She co-founded the Gurgaon-based company with her husband, Varun, who is CEO, in 2016.
Alagh first started exploring chemical-free substitutes for their young son’s skin problem. She writes in an email, “We couldn’t discover solutions that were readily available in India.” We “decided to start Mamaearth and explore toxin-free baby care products” after identifying a gap. The business, which debuted with seven items that included shampoo and baby wash, has since grown to include cosmetics and skincare. It acquired shares in the women’s content platform Momspresso, the salon company BBLUNT, and the cosmetics company Dr. Sheth during the course of the previous year.
For the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2022, Honasa Consumer’s online and in-store sales generated nearly 10 billion rupees ($121 million), a nearly 2-fold increase in revenue. Honasa, a combination of “honest,” “natural,” and “safe,” made a profit for the first time in fiscal 2021 of 250 million rupees and anticipates doing so again this year.
Director, Souke Hanabi Kagiya
52 years old; Japanese
Amano is not only the first woman to lead any fireworks manufacturer in Japan but also the first woman to lead her family’s Souke Hanabi Kagiya, where the art of creating and firing pyrotechnics has been passed down for nearly 360 years. In one of the oldest industries in Japan, Souke Hanabi Kagiya is among the most illustrious businesses. Its history dates back to 1659, and since 1733, it has been a part of the yearly fireworks display over Tokyo’s Sumida River, one of the most important cultural fireworks displays in Japan.
When Amano took over for her father at the Tokyo-based company in 2000, she became the 15th generation of her family to hold the position of director. She reportedly insisted on studying her trade at other fireworks producers so she would not receive preferential treatment by working at her family’s business in order to prepare herself for the role that she took at age 29.
She obtained a Ph.D. in the arts from Nihon University in 2009 to further her skills, where she focused on the psychological effects of fireworks. She explains in a video chat that it combines the visual and audible aspects and that pyrotechnic professionals can alter spectator impressions by changing those two.
She was formerly a member of the Japanese national judo team and was the first Japanese woman to officiate judo matches at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. At Tokyo’s pandemic-postponed 2020 games in 2021, Amano officiated once more. She attained the highest degree of judo expertise, the title of seventh dan black belt, in 2019. Her family also runs a judo school, and both her father and she serve as directors.
Amano hopes that her daughter, who is currently a student, will assume leadership of the company as the 16th generation, although she believes the choice is hers. The company’s chief urges employees to keep in mind that fireworks aren’t just for show. I don’t want our people to forget that, whether it’s 20 or 30 years from now.
Founder and CEO of Bubs Australia
Age: 49; Australia
Carr founded Bubs Australia in 2006 after overcoming her daughter’s food allergies and the difficult first few months of motherhood. To help her daughter transition from breast milk, a former marketing executive with Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong created a goat milk formula. Bubs is currently a popular seller in Australian shops like Coles and Woolworths. It is also causing a stir in China and the United States. Carr claims, “I’ve always been really entrepreneurial.” I had a lot of lemonade stands when I was a youngster.
Since Carr started selling organic baby food out of the back of her station wagon at weekend markets in the Sydney suburb of Newport, where she lives with her husband and three daughters, bubs (Australian slang for newborns) have come a long way. The Sydney-based business, which debuted on the ASX in 2017, saw revenue more than double to a record A$89 million ($57 million) in its most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30. This was made possible in part by the lucrative Daigou sales channel, which involves shopping agents in Australia who make purchases for Chinese customers and send goods by airmail to the mainland.
Bubs is preparing for even faster expansion after the United States, in collaboration with foreign manufacturers, launched Operation Fly Formula to solve a dire national shortage earlier this year. “I’ve got more excellent news: 27.5 million bottles of healthy infant formula manufactured by Bubs Australia are heading to the United States,” U.S. President Joe Biden tweeted in May. In a deal that is anticipated to generate more than $55 million in sales over the course of six months, his administration chartered flights to transport Bubs’ products across the Pacific Ocean.
According to a research note published by Australian brokerage PAC Partners in August, Bubs’ revenue is expected to increase by over 80% to A$162 million in the year ending June 2023 and to reach A$217 million the following year with the first contributions from the U.S.
Early in October, Bubs formally requested the Food & Drug Administration’s permission to secure ongoing access to the world’s largest economy, seeing the U.S. market as a fresh source of growth. The business is collaborating with merchants to distribute its goods in 6,500 stores in 42 states across the United States. Bubs sold shares to institutional and retail investors in July to raise $63 million in working capital and triple its production capacity in order to keep up with demand.” I had aspirations of having a $1 million company,” says Carr. “I’m wondering what comes next now.” At $1 billion, we’ll be considering what comes after. And I believe that is now feasible.
41 years old; from South Korea
After the chaebols Samsung, SK, Hyundai, and LG, Choi was named to the head position at the largest internet company in South Korea (by market valuation) and the fifth-largest organization in the nation in March. Han Seong-sook, Naver’s first female leader, who was 55 years old, handed over the keys to her.
Choi, who formerly oversaw Naver’s global business support, is charged with driving the company’s expansion outside of Asia, where it already runs Line, one of Asia’s most well-liked messaging apps, and South Korea’s dominant search engine, which is used daily by over 30 million people, or nearly 60% of the country’s population. In Choi’s first significant move as CEO, Naver announced in October that it would pay approximately $1.2 billion to acquire the California-based used-clothing marketplace Poshmark, which has more than 80 million registered users. The shopping service, once completed and integrated with Naver’s e-commerce platforms, will be the company’s largest acquisition to date.
Naver’s CEO is a millennial with big hopes for the company. She set the objective of more than doubling her yearly income to 15 trillion won (about $12 billion) within five years in April, only one month into her new position. In a statement announcing the goal, Choi stated that “Naver’s business portfolio, technological leadership, and extensive alliances in Korea and abroad will create synergies to enable us to develop multiple times over.” Naver’s sales increased by 23% year over year to 2 trillion won in the second quarter of this year, driven by a more than 136% increase in its web comic business. Sales increased by almost 29% to $6.8 trillion last year.
Naver stated in April that it would keep making content-related acquisitions to strengthen its webtoon platform, similar to the $600 million deal it struck with Toronto-based Wattpad last year to acquire the online book platform. Aside from investing in related industries like virtual reality and online gaming, the company also intends to expand Zepeto, its metaverse platform, globally.
Before joining Naver in 2019, Choi worked as a lawyer at Yulchon, one of South Korea’s biggest legal firms. Choi graduated from Harvard Law School and Yonsei University Law School in Seoul. Choi is the second lawyer to lead Naver after Kim Sang-hun, a former judge who came before Han, even though it’s unusual for a lawyer to lead a big tech business. Earlier in her career, Choi worked in marketing and communications at NHN, which in 2013 split into two businesses: Navier and an online game developer called NHN Entertainment.
CEO and managing director, CSR
Australia Just before the COVID-19 outbreak wreaked havoc on the world economy in September 2019, Coates became the CEO of building products manufacturer CSR. She guided the Sydney-based company through the supply chain disruption of the previous two years by drawing on her decades of expertise managing logistics and business transformation at Australian retail giant Woolworths Group and managing food maker Goodman Fielder.
After Coates reorganized the company and centralized its logistics platform, the 167-year-old company—which supplies residential and commercial projects throughout Australia and New Zealand—is currently benefiting from a rise in construction material demand as well as leaner operations. In the fiscal year that ended in March 2022, CSR’s net profit before exceptional items increased 20% to A$193 million ($126 million), surpassing pre-pandemic levels, while revenue increased 9% to A$2.3 billion.
Coates, a trailblazer in the predominately male construction sector, stated in an interview in September that CSR has put rules in place to enhance the number of women employed at the company. Coates began her career as a high school math teacher. She is one of three women on the executive leadership team of CSR, which consists of nine people.
Age: 59; Australia
Since taking over as Tesla’s board chair in 2018, Denholm, whose first job was reportedly pumping gas at her parents’ service station in Sydney, has guided the company’s fortunes. Since 2014, the Australian has served as an independent director at Tesla, the most valuable automaker in the world with a market value of about $714 billion. Four years ago, he took over as chairman from Tesla founder Elon Musk. Under her leadership, the largest electric car manufacturer in the world—with a roughly 14% worldwide market share—enjoyed its second year of profitability in 2021, with net income jumping 665% to $5.5 billion on a 71% increase in revenue to $53.8 billion.
She held finance and operational positions at Toyota, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, and Telstra before joining Tesla. Telstra is Australia’s largest telecom firm. Denholm is the managing partner of the venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures and the chair of the Technology Council of Australia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Sydney and a master’s degree in business from the University of New South Wales. She joined a select group of Australian women’s sports team investors in March when her family office, Wollemi Capital Group, acquired a 30% stake in the company that owns the Sydney Kings men’s basketball team and the Sydney Flames women’s basketball team.
CEO, Vale Indonesia’s president, and director
Age: 45; Indonesian
One of the few women in the world who is in charge of a significant mining operation is Eddy. She was appointed president, director, and CEO of nickel miner Vale Indonesia last year. Vale is the world’s largest producer and is situated in Brazil.
She studied accounting and business, not geology, on her way to becoming the first female miner’s head in Indonesia. Eddy holds a bachelor’s degree from Universitas Indonesia and an M.B.A. from a collaborative program of the National University of Singapore and UCLA Anderson School of Management. She was employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was given clients in the mining and energy industries. Eddy says, “I didn’t choose it in the beginning, but I chose to stay.” “I’ve spent 15 years in this amazing industry.”
She worked with Valerie for 2.5 years in Brisbane, Australia, where she was in charge of operations in Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and China. She served as the deputy CEO and chief financial officer of Vale Indonesia prior to her present position. The company reported $953 million in revenue last year, a 24% increase from the year before, and $165 million in net profit.
Eddy is a strong proponent of getting more women into the mining industry, which she calls “so crucial for human life.” In order to see more men “motivated to support more women to work in mining,” she wants more people to take on the challenge.
The Sillo Maritime Perdana president director
Age 56; Indonesia
Herjati has more than quadrupled Sillo Maritime’s top line in the five years since she assumed management, increasing sales to $101 million by the end of 2021. It’s now full steam ahead, and Herjati wants to increase sales by at least 10% more this year.
In 2022, the owner of the most offshore vessels for Indonesia’s oil and gas industry began a $100 million expansion drive, largely to meet increased demand for the nation’s natural liquefied gas reserves. Sillo Maritime added a 145,000-cubic-meter LNG tanker in September through its subsidiary, Golden Prima Maritim, with plans to purchase more in the coming years, Herjati stated at the time, bringing the company’s total fleet to 23.
Herjati, who goes by just one name like many Indonesians, graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting from Jakarta’s Trisakti University. She began working for Sillo Maritime in 2002 as the finance director, and a year after joining the company, she was named president and director. In 2016, the company listed for 70 billion rupiahs ($4.5 million) on the Indonesian stock exchange. She has experience in finance roles ranging from banking to oleochemicals. On the five-person Sillo Maritime board, she is the only female.
GlobalWafers’ president and chief executive officer
Age: 61; Taiwan
In an effort to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing, the United States passed the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act this year. Hsu picked up the phone. She is the CEO of GlobalWafers, one of the biggest suppliers of silicon wafers used in chip manufacturing. The business declared in June that it would spend up to $5 billion building a new wafer production facility in Sherman, Texas, which might result in the creation of up to 1,500 jobs.
Sino-American Silicon Products (SAP), a Taiwanese company, spun off the Hsinchu-based company in 2011, the same year Hsu was appointed chairman and CEO. As of late October, GlobalWafers traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange with a market cap of about NT$154.1 billion ($5 billion), owned 51% by SAS. Hsu also assumed the roles of SAS chairman and CEO in 2020. The long-term competitor in the boom-bust chip industry faces off against Shin-Etsu, Sumco, and Siltronic and counts United Microelectronics among its clients.
The native of Taiwan graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a master’s in computer science. The United States, mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Denmark, and Italy all have factories run by GlobalWafers.
Kwee Wei Lin
Pontiac Land Group’s hotel manager
Age: 46; Singaporean
Kwee had just assumed leadership of the Singapore Hotel Association when COVID-19 upended the tourism sector in March 2020. Its 160 members account for nearly 80% of the hotel rooms in the Lion City, which hosted millions of tourists each year before the pandemic slammed borders shut. Kwee’s first priority was shifting marketing and services to cater to the domestic market and staycations as fresh arrivals dropped to almost zero overnight. The preservation of jobs was our largest challenge, according to Kwee through email.
Kwee has been in charge of her family’s Pontiac Land-owned hotels’ hospitality division since 2017. She is responsible for six hotels with 3,000 employees—four at home and two in the Maldives. Gourmet meals, individualized shopping, and concierge services were all offered to visitors at the Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island during the height of the lockdowns. Restaurants near the Orchard Road shopping district, such as Regent Singapore, began offering takeout menus. Kwee claims, “We did not hide in our caves during the pandemic.” Instead, we made the most of the downtime to improve our training initiatives, upskill our employees, and renovate our hotels.
Singapore reopened in full in April, and in the first half of the year, there were 1.5 million visitors. By the end of the year, the Singapore Tourism Board estimates that up to 6 million people could have visited. According to Kwee, occupancy rates at Pontiac Land’s hotels in the city-state have increased to more than 80% of pre-pandemic levels with international events like the Singapore Grand Prix back in full gear. She aims to hire 300 more people within the next five years.
Chairperson, Steel Authority of India Ltd.
Age: 59; India
Since taking over as chair of the government-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) in 2021, the steelmaker has experienced record earnings growth. For the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2022, revenues increased by 50% to over 1.03 trillion rupees ($13.7 billion), while profits tripled to 120 billion rupees, driven by higher production as well as soaring demand for steel products like rods, plates, and bars. The business paid off debt totaling nearly 220 billion rupees during that time.
In order to increase production capacity this year while expanding the steelmaker’s distribution network in smaller Indian towns and cities, Mondal, who joined the board of directors in 2017, initiated an 80,000 million rupee initiative. She also coordinated the introduction of 11 new products in the construction and railroad sectors during the fiscal year 2022. SAIL is one of 11 state-owned businesses that make up the exclusive group known as “maharatnas,” which enjoy greater autonomy than other state-owned businesses.
Mondal has always been employed by the metals sector. She was raised in Bhubaneshwar in eastern India and graduated from the National Institute of Technology at Rourkela with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She joined the government-run National Aluminium Co. after graduating in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become a director there before joining SAIL.
President director, Murni Sadar Age: 64; Indonesia
The wake-up call that drove physician Mutiara (who goes by a single name) into entrepreneurship was losing both of her parents to lung cancer in 2004. “I was worn out after taking my parents around the world for two years in search of the greatest medicines before they passed away.” “I discovered that Indonesia needs cancer facilities so that patients won’t have to travel abroad for treatment,” Mutiara explains in her first-ever media interview, which she gave in September from her office at Murni Teguh Sudirman Hospital.
Before entering Pematang Siantar Public Hospital as a general practitioner in 2000, Mutiara started her career in North Sumatra as the chief medical officer of a state community health center. She cofounded Murni Sadar, a now six-hospital network, ten years later with the intention of providing specialized treatment for heart disease and cancer. According to the company’s IPO prospectus, her younger sisters Bertha and Thio Ida, her older brother Ganda, and her niece Jacqueline Sitorus are all cofounders. The younger brother of Mutiara, Martua Sitorus, is an Indonesian billionaire with holdings in the real estate, cement, and palm oil industries. Jacqueline is his daughter.
“As a physician, I am content if I only see one patient each day.” However, if I had my own hospital, I could see 500–1,000 patients every day. That’s a lot better, she says. Murni Sadar, which was founded by Mutiara’s parents, Murni Teguh and Sadar, is still a family-run business. Sons Clement Zichri Ang and Felix Vincent Ang serve as directors of Murni Sadar, which is headed by Mutiara’s husband, Tjhin Ten Chun. At the company’s flagship hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, Murni Teguh Memorial Hospital, Sharon Hanmy Angel works as a physician.
The chain’s solely dedicated oncology and cardiovascular centers are available in the chain’s 2012-opened Medan general hospital, which the organization hopes to replicate throughout the network. Murni Sadar registered on the Indonesia Stock Exchange earlier this year and raised 325 billion rupiahs ($21 million) to fund its rapid expansion. A market cap of 3.7 trillion rupiahs was recorded for the business as of mid-October, and Mutiara and her family still owned the majority of the shares.
The six Murni Sadar hospitals, which operate under the names Aminah, Murni Teguh, and Rosiva, have 858 beds spread over Bali and the cities of Jakarta, Medan, and Tangerang. Two more hospitals are being built, one in North Sumatra and the other in Bandung, West Java, which will increase the total number of beds to 1,000 by the end of the year. A third hospital will open in 2019, having been purchased in August for 121.2 billion rupiahs from a former apartment building in Jakarta.
Despite a decline in COVID-19 instances in Indonesia, Mutiara claims that potential patients still fear contracting the virus while being treated at a hospital. As a result, compared to the same period last year, Murni Sadar’s revenue fell by over 24% to 600 billion rupiahs in the first nine months of 2022. Mutiara anticipates Murni Sadar’s full-year revenue to reach 858 billion rupiahs, down 13% from 2021, then treble in 2023 as a result of the inauguration of the new hospitals.
A desire to learn more, in Mutiara’s opinion, is the secret to her success. Her education began with a medical bachelor’s degree from the Christian University of Indonesia in Jakarta, followed by a master’s in tropical medicine and a doctorate in medical science from the University of North Sumatra.
Anna Nakajima & Mizuki Nakajima
Cofounders, Coly Age: 33, 33; Japan
The lack of female-friendly games in Japan’s gaming sector was a significant need that twin sisters Anna and Mizuki Nakajima filled. Coly, a mobile application, was released in 2014, and the company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange the following year.
According to Kadokawa ASCII Research Laboratories, more than half of Japan’s 42 million smartphone game players are women, and the country’s overall smartphone game market is worth about 1.3 trillion ($8.7 billion) every year. Coly estimated that its target market was worth about 80 billion per year in 2020.
The company’s top-grossing titles include narrative games like the enduring Drug Prince and Narcotic Girl (a love story between a drug cop and a police officer) and Stand My Heroes (where players assemble a team of attractive drug enforcement officers), which have received a combined 3.5 million downloads in the six years leading up to April. Although the games are free, further story chapters and other goodies cost money.
The business reported 6.5 billion in revenue and 1.5 billion in operating profit for the fiscal year that ended in January 2022, for an operating profit ratio of 23%. Mizuki worked at Tokyo-based Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities prior to founding Coly, and Anna was employed by the newspaper Sankei Shimbun. Through a jointly owned asset manager, they each own a 7.3% stake in the company, giving them a total of 50.5%.
Co-CEO, KB Securities Age: 58; South Korea
In 2019, Park became the first woman to lead KB Securities, the brokerage division of KB Financial Group (Korea’s largest financial services company by market cap), breaking new ground in the country’s male-dominated brokerage industry. Since then, she and co-CEO Kim Sung-Hyun have guided the company to record profits, with KB Securities reporting a net profit of 594 billion won ($519 million) in 2018, up 130% from 2019.
Under the co-chiefs, KB Securities oversaw 42 initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2018 and was one of the lead underwriters for LG Energy Solution’s $10.7 billion offering, which was the largest listing in South Korea’s history and will rank second globally in 2021 after Rivian Automotive’s $11.9 billion Nasdaq offering. As Korea’s first online-only lender to go public last year, KakaoBank’s $2.2 billion IPO had KB Securities as one of the key arrangers.
In recognition of her contributions to creating KB Securities’ platform-based business model and growing collaborations with fintech, Park received International Data Corp. Korea’s annual digital transformation award in 2020. She also oversaw a collaboration with the gaming company NCSoft to offer AI-based investment services.
Park oversaw the group’s capital markets division before attaining the top position. She had held positions at Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance and KB Kookmin Bank. She graduated from Seoul National University with a business bachelor’s degree and an MBA.
COURTESY OF SINGLIFE WITH AVIVA
Group CEO, Singlife with Aviva Age: 54; Singapore
Over a year has passed since the seasoned banking executive assumed control of Singlife with Aviva, the product of a S$3.2 billion ($2.3 billion) mega-merger between the Singapore division of British insurance giant Aviva and digital insurer Singlife. In a video call from her Singapore office, Phau adds, “It has been really thrilling, not just because it’s a new field for me, but also to build something from scratch.” I estimate that the insurance sector is roughly where the consumer banking sector was eight years ago.
For Phau and her staff of 1,500, addressing common customer annoyances like voluminous insurance forms and jargon is a top priority. Along with that, the emphasis on digital services has been sharpened. Phau has come full circle in her previous career at Singapore’s DBS Bank, where she began as head of the online banking division before moving on to positions in wealth management and consumer banking.
While a significant portion of Singlife’s 1.5 million Singaporean customers come from the government sector, the company plans to expand outside. According to Phau, a two-year-old financial services division in the Philippines is already operational and acts as a platform for innovative business practices and technological advancements. “Our goal is to compete on the regional level,” she claims. Within the next five years, we “hope to [be in] at least one or two more markets in Southeast Asia.”
The Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University has Phau, a chartered financial analyst, on its advisory board. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and economics.
COURTESY OF THAI EASTERN GROUP
Director of Thai Eastern Group Holdings
Age: 48; Thailand
In September, Sineenuch, the first female to lead her family’s agricultural company, went public with Thai Eastern Group Holdings (TEGH), raising 1.3 billion baht ($33.9 million). Her goals include bringing the company into the top five block rubber producers in the nation by increasing production capacity by more than 45% the following year. Its net profit increased by more than 42% to 367 million baht in the first half of this year, riding the tire industry’s post-pandemic recovery and the world’s increased demand for rubber.
The chief executive of the company, who is spearheading efforts to grow TEGH’s renewable energy industry, says that sustainability is the major draw. She started the company’s waste-to-energy initiative seven years ago, whereby rubber production waste from TEGH is converted into biogas to replace the fuel in the rubber production process. The production of biogas must be tripled to 67 million cubic meters by 2025. “We have an advantage over our industry peers because we use alternative energy in our production process,” Sineenuch said in an interview with Forbes Thailand earlier this year, a licensee edition of Forbes Media.
The company is run by Sineenuch, who holds a master’s degree in finance and international trade from the University of San Francisco, and her three brothers, the CEO of TEGH being Chalerm, the eldest, and the board members being Kongkit and Kerkkun, the two younger brothers. After holding positions in marketing and finance at the company, she was appointed managing director in 2017.
COURTESY OF EMCURE
Director of operations; Emcure Pharma’s India division
India, age 45
Thapar, 45, wears many hats, including those of a corporate executive, an entrepreneurship coach, a reality show judge, and an author. She is the executive director of Emcure Pharma, a Pune-based company worth 61 billion rupees ($730 million) that her father, Satish Mehta, started more than forty years ago. She is responsible for the India business. After a six-year stint in the United States at medical device developer Guidant, where she worked in finance and marketing, Thapar joined the manufacturer of HIV antivirals, cardiovascular drugs, and other medications in 2007 as chief financial officer.
She has overseen Emcure’s operations in India for the past five years, helping to double the company’s domestic revenue to 25 billion rupees in 2021. “I concentrated on developing brands and using data analytics to boost field staff productivity.” “I also brought in younger leaders who could collaborate with seasoned professionals and veterans in the field,” she adds.
“Unconditional Yourself with Namita Thapar” is a YouTube chat program that Thapar hosts where specialists and Indian celebrities discuss issues pertaining to women’s health like breastfeeding and body shaming. She also founded the Thapar Entrepreneurs Academy, which serves students in grades 11 through 18. Thapar has spent the past year mentoring aspiring business executives while serving as a TV judge on the Indian version of Shark Tank. Her book, The Dolphin and the Shark: Stories on Entrepreneurship, which describes her experience and urges business executives to strike a balance between aggression (the shark) and empathy (the dolphin), was published in August by Penguin Random House India (the dolphin). Thapar, a chartered accountant, holds an M.B.A. in accounting from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
COURTESY OF CENTRAL PATTANA
CEO and President of Central Pattana
60 years old; Thailand
For the biggest retail real estate developer in the nation, Wallaya has lofty goals. She set aside 200 billion baht ($5.24 billion) to considerably increase its footprint in Thailand and around the world, adding 34 hotels to its current portfolio of three and boosting the number of its shopping complexes by a third to 50 over the next five years.
As the first female CEO of the listed firm in the Central Group of the Chirathivat family, she assumed control of Central Pattana at the start of this year. She has a long history in retail. She held positions with department store operator Central Retail and the group’s supermarket division before being named executive vice president of Central Pattana in 2005. Its revenue increased by 8% from the prior year ago to 17.97 billion baht in the first half.
The first green bond of its sort in Thailand’s real estate and retail sectors was issued by Central Pattana this year in an effort to promote environmental sustainability. According to the company, funds raised to date total over 2 billion baht and will be used for renewable energy, wastewater management, and other green activities. Wallaya holds an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Chairman, Chengdu Easton Biopharmaceuticals
Age: 57; China
In 2009, Wang established Chengdu Easton Biopharmaceuticals. Under Wang’s direction, the business, which creates, produces, and sells a variety of generic medications, including painkillers and medications for heart disease, began trading on the Shanghai STAR Market in September 2020.
Revenue jumped 16% to 897.6 million yuan ($123 million) in the first nine months of this year, while net profit rose 5% to 195.5 million yuan. The Chengdu-based company was successful in winning a bid to get four of its medications, which include hepatitis B and Alzheimer’s disease therapies, included in the government’s centralized bulk-buying drug program.
More goods are on the way from Easton. Three of the company’s ten drugs in development, including medication for diabetes, have started clinical trials. In the meantime, it submitted an application to the American Food and Drug Administration in May to sell its generic form of nalmefene hydrochloride there. To combat the effects of an opioid overdose, injectable medication is administered.
Before starting her own business, Wang worked for a number of organizations in the sector, including Beijing-based China National Pharmaceutical Investment (also known as Sinopharm), Chengdu-based Kanghong Pharmaceutical, and Chengdu-based Beijing Geleg. She has an EMBA from Peking University and a bachelor’s in chemistry from Sichuan Normal University.