December 3, 2018

The sixth installment of the Influential Brands CEO Asia Summit, held at the Marriott Hotel Tang Plaza, saw a grand gathering of about 380 industry leaders, C-suite executives and head honchos of the top companies in the region. Nine of them—namely, City Developments Limited, Grab, SATS, Maybank, Dormakaba, PAP Community Foundation, ROHEI, Esco and MindChamps—were named Top Employer Brands.

The Top CEO of the Year award, which touches on the five domains of business leadership, business expansion, financial performance, innovation and personal integrity, went to six CEOs (including Rosaline Chow of CXA Group and Joel Neoh of Fave Asia).

In addition, three individuals—Peter Koh, the group CEO of Oceanus Group, Walter de Oude, the CEO of Singapore Life, and Shashank Dixit, the founder of Deskera—were conferred the inaugural Outstanding CEO of the Year prize.


The gala event featured panel talks spotlighting the themes of Technology and Innovation, and Women in Leadership, where industry veterans from the arenas of retail, airline and technology discussed various pertinent issues such as gender bias in the workplace, paternity leaves, and personal data.

Influential Brands also honoured Clara Lee, the head of technology and operations at RHB Bank Berhad Singapore, as the winner of the inaugural Top Chief Information Officer of the Year award. As for the Influential Woman of the Year, it was given to Nurul Izzah Anwar, the vice-president of Malaysia’s People’s Justice Party. Dedicating more than 19 years to the advocacy of democracy and justice, she is passionate about empowering minority communities and promoting the freedom of expression.

She expressed, “Thank you kindly for such an honour tonight. I can only accept the Influential Woman of the Year award in the hopes that it would lead to further empowerment of women everywhere—especially strong Malaysian women, of various colors, vocation, and creed – in pursuit of reforms, for a better and more progressive Malaysia.”

Continuing, the 38-year-old, who embodies the spirit of humility, hard work and perseverance, said, “The ordinary men and women of Malaysia constantly inspire me to push for reforms, and it is to them this honour truly belongs. Our influence is only as relevant as our ability to empower the voiceless.”


One of the fastest growing nations is Thailand, home to some of the best-performing companies in the region. Influential Brands highlighted nine of them as Outstanding Brands winners for their success in delivering sustainable growth and integrating tech innovations into the business. Among the award winners are Line Mobile, SparSha, Siam Kubota and Superrich Currency Exchange.

Vannee Leelavechbutr, the founding CEO of Neo Target and co-organiser of the first Influential Brands Awards in Bangkok on December 11, shared, “In response to this latest trend in markets across Asia, Neo Target hopes to raise awareness among Thai entrepreneurs and owners of Thai brands of the significance of organisational reputation management as well as the importance of improving brand acceptance and trust, in order to enhance their business growth and ensure their competitiveness both at national and international levels.”