The ACES Awards celebrates and recognises talent and achievement, irrespective of age.
Individuals who has shown exceptional business performance, having built a name for themselves regardless of boundaries that may come with age. They embody fine values, strong beliefs and unwavering dedication in their entrepreneurial pursuit, thus serving as an inspiration for aspiring young leaders.
These two Young Asian Entrepreneurs, featured in 2019, show that age is no barrier when it comes to success: Johary Mustapha & Antonio Hang Tat Chan.
Forest Interactive Sdn Bhd was recognised by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as a highly performing GAIN company. It has developed several IPs related to digital content distribution which enables the company to deploy a Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) for Mobile Network Operators (MNO). Being made to scale and highly customisable by the MNOs has enabled Forest Interactive to replicate and export the technology to 12 other countries.
Much of its growth and success stems from the dynamic, astute leadership of its 41-year-old Chief Executive Officer, Johary Mustapha.
Kuala Lumpur born, Johary came from a family who expected educational excellence. Ironically it was the child who scraped by in school who went on to became an industry mover and shaker.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year, chief executive officer Johary, believes a good entrepreneur has to be prepared to learn, regardless of age.
“We also need to be very realistic in understanding our surroundings and having the patience to understand others. Good leaders need a highly tuned ability to analyse a problem, acknowledge its origin, and come up with a permanent solution.”
With regards to advice he would give a young person wanting to start their own business, the CEO said: “Have focus in what you do. Focus on one thing that you are really good at, and just continue doing it day in and day out – weekly, monthly, or over the years. Success will not happen overnight. Just put your mind to it.”
Antonio Hang Tat Chan
KING Wai Group is one of China’s most reputable and renowned conglomerates.
After graduating at the age of 25, Antonio Hang Tat Chan was tasked to spearhead the King Wai Urban Oasis flagship real estate project in Tianjin Binhai New Area (TBNA), China, by his father and Chairman, King Wai Chan. In 2012, the project became the first China Environmental Label – Low Carbon Building project in China. It went on to win the China Environmental Label – Low Carbon Building Award.
Over the last few years, the Group has acquired real estate and insurance operations in Thailand, where its experience and expertise within the insurance sector allows for strong agency and broker relationships, and well-delivered solutions to its clients.
Mr Chan, executive vice-chairman of King Wai Group (Thailand) Public Company Limited, is the young leader holding the new business together.
“Expanding to a regional and international level was a challenge. We had to adapt to different cultures, learn new business cultures, and inspect political, economic and sociological factors in every area in which we had investments. These challenges help to shape me as a leader who made people my top priority,” said the Hong Kong-born University of Toronto graduate and MBA holder.
“An important key to success for me was learning how to integrate traditional Chinese and western cultures. I spent a long time in the West, which has contributed to my logical thinking and flexibility in cultural adaptation.
“Meanwhile, my family background is rich in Chinese moral concepts, where it looks at employees as family members. Modern enterprises are not just a simple combination of capital and wisdom, but also a perfect combination of morality, reasonable judgment and humanity.
“The two sides of cultural combination, my experience stemming from my family’s business, and my strong conscience has contributed to my success in the business,” said the erstwhile young leader.
Mr Chan also noted that the world is becoming more sophisticated, due to rapid technological innovations. The opening doors of mergers and acquisitions have also connected different countries with massive cultural shifts.
“An inspirational leader is one who is open-minded and ready to share, and who can obtain innovative ideas from the team to achieve business objectives,” he stated.
Apart from the impressive business growth that Mr Chan has spearheaded in Thailand, King Wai Group (Thailand) has also done inspirational projects in terms of CSR.
It supports the Duang Prateep Foundation, which helps protect children in the biggest slum in Thailand, sends volunteers to schools in Phetchaburi Province to help improve facilities, and helped repair a school in Saraburi province that was destroyed by termites. The company also sponsored teacher-hiring contracts to make up for the shortfall in teachers.
Originally published in The Business Times (Oct 08, 2019)