Taking the path less expected, Shu Fen gave up biology for the world of advertising. She had over a decade of advertising and marketing at Ogilvy and M&C Saatchi, and left when M&C Saatchi was AdAge Global Agency of the year, to found R3 in 2002, a firm focused on helping clients improve ROI from their marketing.
She is a firm believer that client-agency relationships need to improve and be more accountable before brands can be built and exported from Asia. Based in Singapore, she oversees the region working closely with clients like Visa, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-cola, playing the role of independent marketing advisor and outsourced marketing procurement for her clients.
With solid track record from Fortune 500 companies, R3 is steadily growing its client list of Asian companies such as SingTel, Telkomsel and Samsung, as they seek best practice marketing processes and a more performance driven marketing culture.
ShuFen contributes actively to the industry as speaker, judge and facilitator of key events. She spoke at Cannes on Asian Advertising Trends, the first ever to address this emerging market.Her more important passion are her husband and three kids, and a personal goal to match up to her mom's legendary cooking.
Leanne Cutts is Vice President, Marketing for Kraft Foods Asia Pacific Region, based in Singapore. She is responsible for driving the growth of the gum, candy, and powdered beverages categories as well as leading
consumer insights & analytics and driving marketing excellence in the region. Leanne joined Kraft Foods in July 2011. A veteran in the FMCG industry, Leanne has over 20 years of deep marketing and general management experience across Asia Pacific. She was previously with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) in
Hong Kong, where she was responsible for the Consumer Healthcare business in North Asia including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and the China Nutritionals business. Prior to Hong Kong, Leanne was Marketing Director of GSK Consumer Healthcare in India. Prior to joining GSKCH she worked with Unilever in the ice cream division. Leanne has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of NSW.
Alvin Neo is Regional Director, Asia Pacific Region for the J&J Diabetes Care business, based in Singapore. He is responsible for driving the growth of the Diabetes Care category (AP has 60% of the world’s diabetes sufferers) with strategy and marketing backed by insights and innovation; as well as digital acceleration for J&J MD&D AP. Alvin joined Johnson & Johnson in 2007 in as Global Marketing Director for the J&J Consumer Emerging Markets Innovation Centre. and transferred to the Medical division in 2009..
A veteran business leader, Alvin has over 20 years of deep marketing, strategy, innovation and start-up experience across the Asia Pacific and Europe. He has strong FMCG roots, having worked with Proctor & Gamble in brand management for Haircare, Babycare and Healthcare; as well as in Gillette managing regional OralCare. In addition, he has spent time in top-tier Strategy Consulting as a team leader with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and in Technology as Global Business Development Director with UK start-up Netdecisions.
Singaporean by birth, he has also lived in London, Shanghai and Jakarta. Alvin has a BBA from the National University of Singapore. His interests outside of work include anything outdoors (marathons, trail running, trekking), design and volunteerism.
Charmaine recently moved to Yum! to head up marketing for Pizza Hut Dine-In covering Asia franchise markets. In this role, she sets the overall strategies and priorities for the business, and works with franchisees to drive sales and deliver the desired dining experience to consumers. While Charmaine has nearly 20 years of solid FMCG experience, the skill she has yet to master in her new job is to chew and spit during product innovation and testing sessions (vs eating all of it!).
Prior to Yum, she was with Johnson &Johnson since 2008 leading the Oral Care and Topical Health categories in Asia Pacific. The key brands under her portfolio were Listerine and Band-Aid, where she was responsible for regional category strategies and delivering the new product pipeline. Certainly, the skill of rinse and spit was much easier for Listerine flavor testing sessions. Charmaine started her marketing career in Procter & Gamble Asia, where she held a variety of local and regional roles, based out of Singapore. She has experience in the baby and beauty categories, managing iconic brands such as Pampers, Pantene, and Clairol. She also worked on diverse projects such as driving regional marketing capability and acquisition integration. A lesser known fact about Charmaine’s career is that she started off as a corporate banking officer before she saw the light and moved to marketing.
Charmaine is married with 2 kids, who think that she has the coolest job in the world because of the free pizzas she brings home.
As the Assistant General Manager, Marketing for Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore (APBS), René is responsible for all areas of Marketing spread across the 16 brands managed by APBS. Rene officially assumed this position on November 14th 2011.
Prior to being appointed as the Head of Marketing APBS, René was with DB Breweries in New Zealand where he was the Consumer Marketing Manager, responsible for the full portfolio of DB's brands which include Tui, DB Export, Monteith’s, Heineken and Tiger.
René started off his career with DB Breweries in 2002, where he held a variety of different marketing roles which included Brand Manager Innovation, Premium Marketing Manager and Consumer Marketing Manager. He also worked for Heineken in Amsterdam as the Regional Marketing Manager for Western Europe and the Americas from 2006 – 2009.
René holds a bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Auckland, majoring in Marketing and International Business. Time permitting he enjoys a good round of golf, is an avid All Black’s fan and enjoys time with the family.
Rohit is the Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Operations for Unilever. He took on the global mandate in September 2011; having previously looked after the same function in the regional business group of Asia, Africa and Central Eastern Europe. He reports to the Chief Operating Officer and is a member of the Global Markets Executive which manages the P&L for the global business.
In this role, Rohit is accountable for landing the global strategic agenda into the operations, integrating the category/country plans and supporting the dynamic tradeoffs of marketing resources. He measures success in the role with the delivery of profitable, competitive growth.
Before taking on the Marketing Operations role, he was the Category Vice President for Unilever’s Laundry business in Asia. In addition as the Global Brand VP, he led ‘Radiant’ which is one of the big D&E focussed brands in Unilever portfolio.
Rohit has over 24 years of experience, all with Unilever and across the functions of country operations, regional category management and sales. He joined Unilever directly from campus as a management trainee in India and has since then worked across most D&E markets in Asia & Africa and has been based in many countries with Unilever i.e. India, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
Rohit graduated from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi with a science degree and further completed the Masters in Business Administration from Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi.
Rohini is a veteran at P&G, and has worked over 20 years in India, Philippines, US and Singapore. She is currently responsible for the Brand-building Integrated Communication function in Asia, working with P&G brands and agencies on brand equity, integrated communication and big ideas. A thought-leader in the marketing/ communication discipline in P&G, she has broad category experience, including hair, skin, detergents, personal cleansing, feminine care, oral care and pharma. Over her career in the consumer goods industry she has trained literally thousands of marketers at all levels. She has been recognized externally as an Advertising Age “Woman to Watch” (2005), has delivered talks at the Asian Adfest and panel discussions for the Economist, among others, and has consulted with the Singapore government on how to drive demand for SMI’s.
Rohini is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and is married with 2
Cheryl Wang joined SingTel in July 2011 as Director of Brand Experience. She is responsible for managing SingTel’s sponsorships as well as overall brand strategy and positioning.
Since joining SingTel, she has been actively driving branding efforts in sponsorship events including SingTel F1, and brand campaigns across the organisation’s business groups and customer facing units.
Prior to her current role, Cheryl drove profitable business growth and successful brand building efforts across key stakeholder groups, consumers and employees for consumer technology and multimedia companies including Nokia and CNBC Asia Pacific. She also has agency experience including a five year account management stint at J. Walter Thompson servicing a diverse client portfolio including Nestle, Walt Disney, Nike, Unilever and MINDEF.
A veteran in the branding and marketing communications industry with over 20 years experience, Cheryl has successfully helped companies build their brand presence and enhance consumer awareness and engagement in key markets across Asia Pacific.
Cheryl has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics and History from the National University of Singapore and a graduate Diploma in Marketing at Marketing Institute of Singapore. She is married and has two children.
Howie Lau is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Lenovo Asia Pacific & Latin America. He oversees branding, demand-generation and public relations for a diverse number of markets including ASEAN, Brazil, HTK (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea), India, Japan, Latin America and ANZ (Australia and New Zealand).
Prior, as General Manager of Lenovo ASEAN, Howie oversaw Lenovo’s business across 10 countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. He was responsible for business operations, strategy development, implementation, sales, marketing and relationship management with all stakeholders in the PC industry for Lenovo’s commercial and consumer products as well as services.
Howie graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Business. He was conferred the prestigious NUS Eminent Business Alumni Award and the NUS Outstanding Young Alumni Award in recognition of achievement in professional standing and contribution to the IT industry.
Howie serves on the Executive Council for Singapore Computer Society and Singapore IT Federation. He also serves on School Advisory Council for his alma mater, Anderson Junior College and the Advisory IT Committee for Nanyang Polytechnic.
With more than ten years of experience in branding and retail management gained across Europe, Asia and the US, Frantz Braha's career has taken him across many countries and his expertise and knowledge in the industry will be instrumental in driving the growth potential, strategic expansion and communication plans of Samsonite in the region.
Since joining Samsonite in 2010 and overseeing more than 50 Samsonite owned stores in the Southeast Asia, Mr Braha has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan to strengthen Samsonite's foothold while enhancing the brand's leading position in Southeast Asia. Today there are more than 100 company owned doors under his direction, and the company has further cemented its presence in the region by expanding into many other distribution channels, including the opening of several shop-in-shops concepts in department stores, hypermarts and independent distributors.
Prior to joining Samsonite, Mr Braha spent five years at Devanlay Lacoste as Area Manager for Southeast Asia overseeing a 15-market portfolio, including key markets such as Singapore, Bangkok, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Based in Bangkok for four years before moving to Hong Kong, Mr Braha spearheaded the implementation of several new initiatives at Lacoste including: new store concepts, segmented product lines and increased publicity efforts across the region. He also played an integral role in repositioning the Lacoste brand and growing sales for the region.
No stranger to the fashion industry, Mr Braha's family business is Paris-Eco; designed for renowned French brands and specialized in fashion accessories. Mr Braha learnt the ropes of managing a fashion label from his father who also acquired the haute couture label, Ted Lapidus.
As Vice President for Samsonite Southeast Asia, Mr Braha is based in Singapore and reports directly to Dr Ramesh Tainwala, President of Samsonite Asia Limited.
Sridhar Ramaswamy is the global Head of Marketing Services for Tata communications, part of the $83 billion Tata Group. He has a wide range of sales and marketing experience in the IT and telecommunications industry.
Previously he was Director of Sales & Marketing at Intel for South Asia and prior to that Director of Marketing at Dell for South Asia.
Sridhar has an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines.
The $ 30 billion Aditya Birla Group is a significant player in financial services. It has a presence in many sectors including life insurance, insurance broking, mutual funds, private equity, security based lending, factoring, insurance advisory services, retail broking and distribution of third party products. These businesses have grown rapidly with an annual turnover of over $ 1.2 billion, enjoying the trust of over 5.50 million customers and a workforce of over 15,000 people. Both the life insurance and mutual fund are in the top 6, nearing a 9% market share.
Ajay Kakar heads the Marketing, across these businesses.
Prior to joining the Aditya Birla Group, Ajay was Head of Branding at Reliance Capital, a financial conglomerate with interests across Mutual Funds, Life Insurance, General Insurance, Consumer Finance, Broking & Distribution.
He was also a member of the Brand Council for Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, India's second largest private sector group. And he has partnered the brand launch of this Group in May 2006.
Prior to Reliance, Ajay was at Ogilvy & Mather, for over 14 years. He was last designated Executive Director and had charge of two portfolios; Head of Ogilvy & Mather's Financial Practice and, simultaneously, he was the Country Head of Ogilvy Public Relations.
His professional associations have included:
Ms Myrna Poon is Director, Marketing and Communications, of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). She oversees EDB's global marketing and branding initiatives. This includes branding Singapore as a business location, and marketing the individual industry sectors under EDB's purview. In total, these sectors account for about 40 per cent of the nation's GDP. Myrna is also responsible for EDB's worldwide corporate communications efforts.
Prior to this, Myrna held appointments in various EDB divisions, including Planning, Services Development, and Info-communications & Media (ICM).
As Head ICM, Myrna was responsible for leading EDB's efforts to develop Singapore into Asia's premier IT hub.
In addition to EDB, Myrna has also held business development roles at two internet startups in New York.
Myrna is a Glaxo-EDB scholar who graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London) with a BSc in Economics. Myrna also graduated from NorthwesternUniversity with a MSc in Integrated Marketing Communications.