The world today is facing new challenges of various kinds, but Asia’s powerful female business leaders continue to push forward toward new solutions. These trailblazers see opportunities amid uncertainties.
CEOWorld Magazine found it opportune to feature these powerful women on its annual list. These businesswomen from the Asia-Pacific region took on the top posts at some of the most prestigious and biggest businesses.
Readers will find inspiration and wisdom from these female business leaders who helm companies in the technology, banking and finance, commodities, and property segments, among many others.
Some are building their own corporations or leading their family corporations to new heights. Others have risen atop the corporate ladder, becoming the first-ever businesswomen to take on these demanding leadership positions.
CEOWorld Magazine’s “Asia’s Best Female Business Leaders 2023” list features newcomers adding to the publication’s network of exceptional businesswomen in the Asia-Pacific region. Their track records and accomplishments as business power players serve as CEOWorld Magazine’s basis for their inclusion in this roster.
Here are 20 of Asia’s best female business leaders this 2023:
- Michele Bullock – Australia
Michelle Bullock is the incumbent Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor. In September 2023, this 60-year-old Australian banking executive made record-breaking history upon her appointment as the Australian central bank’s ninth governor. This promotion makes Ms. Bullock the first-ever woman to lead the government entity. Her appointment happened a little less than a year and a half, following her promotion to to deputy governor.
Ms. Bullock is an RBA lifer. In 1985, she started working as an analyst for the Australian central bank. Ms. Bullock has held many other roles such as the financial system’s assistant governor. The RBA has received criticism for its continuous fight to curb the persistently high inflation and its inferior public communications. As the central bank’s recently appointed leader, Ms. Bullock faces the massive task of revamping the government entity’s operations.
James Edward Chalmers is Australia’s Treasurer. When Ms. Bullock was named as RBA governor in July 2023, he commended the London School of Economics master’s alumna for being a remarkable leader and economist with a profound comprehension of the central bank’s operations and role. Mr. Chalmers pointed out that the new RBA governor’s capabilities were developed over her extensive and notable career there. Ms. Bullock’s hometown is Armidale, a regional town halfway between Brisbane and Sydney.
Last year, this alumna of the University of New England in Armidale spoke in an interview at her alma mater. Ms. Bullock said she is quite aware that she gives other women the conviction that they can also move up career-wise via the RBA.
- Alice Chang – Taiwan
Alice Chang is the chief executive officer and founder of Perfect Corporation, a beauty technology startup headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. This 61-year-old female business executive opened her company for business in 2014. Ms. Chang was a finance professional until the late 1990s when she established Cyberlink with her husband, Jau Huang. Their software company had yearly sales of as high as US$150 million.
Perfect Corporation’s primary offering developed from image-editing software to artificial intelligence or AI and augmented reality or AR-powered services. The technology lets online consumers virtually try on jewelry, makeup, hair colors, and so forth. More than 600 commercial labels employ Perfect Corporation’s innovation today, including some of the world’s biggest beauty firms. Ms. Chang’s company held its initial public offering or IPO on the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York City late last year.
In its latest first-half outcomes, Perfect Corporation posted a 6-percent revenue expansion to US$25 million year-on-year. This startup anticipates at least a 12-percent surge in full-year sales. According to Ms. Chang, her beauty technology business is beginning to utilize generative AI to offer better product suggestions to consumers and improve her company’s offerings.
The Taiwanese female business leader relayed that corporations that aid clients before they purchase usually witness better sales results. She also pointed out that companies will lose if they cannot catch up with new technological advancements.
- Carolyn Choo – Singapore
CEOWorld Magazine included Worldwide Hotels managing director and CEO Carolyn Choo on its list of female business trailblazers this 2023. This 46-year-old Singapore native is the daughter of Mr. Choo Chong Ngen, the billionaire former textiles seller and fishmonger. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Choo commenced the Hotel 81 chain in Singapore’s Geylang red-light area. He needed assistance later on with the family business. His daughter, Ms. Choo, then followed her father’s advice: She left her job at a Singaporean bank in 2002 and became a part of his budget hotels business.
The billionaire’s daughter spearheaded Hotel 81’s development as it grew into the middle-tier position and across the Asia-Pacific region. In 2017, Ms. Choo became the budget hotel chain’s managing director and chief executive officer. Under her watch, her family’s enterprise underwent restructuring one year later and got its new name: Worldwide Hotels.
In Singapore, the Choo Family’s hotel chain has owned 38 hotels and is administered by its six hotel labels, as of October 2023. Worldwide Hotels will integrate three new hotels by the end of 2023 at a price of roughly US$1.2 billion. A total of 11 hotels worldwide are under the business of Ms. Choo’s family. These hospitality enterprises are managed by Travelodge, Holiday Inn, and Ibis. Worldwide Hotels are located across various countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Thailand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.
Ms. Choo remarked that expanding Worldwide Hotels’ international footprint over the next ten years would be a major priority. She also mentioned that her firm is uninterested in luxury hotels or resorts and chasing numbers or targets. The Asian female business leader said Worldwide Hotels is truly an opportunity-based company always investing for the long term. Therefore, she said her company merely acquires assets instead of selling them.
- Junita Ciputra – Indonesia
Junita Ciputra is an Indonesian business executive who helms Metropolitan Land being the company’s president commissioner. This 62-year-old successful entrepreneur’s real estate business concentrates on building commercial and residential buildings primarily in the greater Jakarta region. Moreover, Metropolitan Land administers hotels and shopping malls in the Indonesian capital, Bali, and Cirebon.
Ms. Ciputra also serves as director of numerous companies, including Ciputra Group. Her late father founded this property developer which she joined in 1988, serving as the firm’s finance manager. She runs the company with her brothers Candra and Cakra and older sister, Rina.
Ms. Ciputra and her family are philanthropists. Her father wanted millions of Indonesians to become entrepreneurs. Hence, Ms. Ciputra is active in her family’s foundations that concentrate on entrepreneurship and education. She has functioned as Ciputra Pendidikan Foundation’s chairwoman since 2006 and Citra Berkat Foundation’s chairperson since 2002. These charitable organizations manage two universities and 11 schools across Indonesia. Ms. Ciputra is a finance alumna of the University of San Francisco. She also earned her master’s in business administration in real estate and finance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
- Trudy Dai – China
Chinese business executive Trudy Dai is the chief executive officer of Alibaba Group’s Tmall and Taobao commercial entities. This 47-year-old early founding member of the Alibaba Group was recently appointed to helm the Chinese e-commerce behemoth’s two shopping websites.
This event happened following the Alibaba Group’s declaration of its decision to get divided into six smaller business units in March 2023. Ms. Dai previously headed the Alibaba Group’s local business-to-business and e-commerce sales divisions. These branches comprised the firm’s international AliExpress shopping website and discounted goods platform Taobao Deals.
As China experiences economic setbacks this year, Ms. Dai is concentrating on selling value-for-money offerings. This business strategy has aided the Alibaba Group in enticing sellers and buyers alike, despite its tough competition with PDD Holdings and JD.com.
In an analyst conference last August 2023, Ms. Dai revealed that the affordable products of Tmall and Taobao would stay as a company’s point of important investment.
Since Ms. Dai’s appointment as CEO, Tmall and Taobao’s customer base has expanded. Furthermore, the company yielded 115 billion yuan or US$16 billion in revenues during the April to June 2023 quarter. Ms. Dai’s company accomplished these feats by charging sellers lower fees and selling more affordable offerings.
Moreover, such achievement accounted for 4 percent of the Alibaba Group’s total sales during the time frame, beating anticipations to surge 14 percent year-on-year to 234 billion yuan or US$32.10 billion.
- Mahima Datla – India
Mahima Datla is Biological E’s managing director. She is a 46-year-old Indian business executive who has led the privately held company since 2013. Ms. Datla fought with her mother for almost a decade over Biological E’s ownership. In 2022, India’s Supreme Court ruled in her favor, resolving the family dispute. Ms. Datla joined Biological E as general manager in 1998.
The maternal and paternal grandfathers of this business management alumna of London’s Webster University established the vaccine and pharmaceutical company. Biological E’s revenue ballooned at a compound yearly rate of 40 percent over the past four years. In the year ending March 2023, the company revenue touched 39 billion rupees, or US$475 million at the time of writing this list.
Ms. Datla’s company responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by making Corbevax. Biological E produced this coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with the Houston, Texas-based Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.
The vaccine and pharmaceutical firm provided the Indian government with 100 million doses of Corbevax until August 2022. Biological E currently has eight vaccines that the World Health Organization prequalified, including those combating measles, tetanus, and rubella.
Under Ms. Datla’s leadership, Biological E produces over 2 million vaccine doses every day and supplies them to over 130 territories. A forthcoming pneumonia vaccine is in the works. Ms. Datla won approval for this cure from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, India’s drug regulatory body for production and commercialization.
- Anna Ma. Margarita Dy – Philippines
54-year-old Filipino business chief Anna Ma. Margarita Dy is among CEOWorld Magazine’s top Asia-Pacific female business leaders. She is the chief executive officer and president of Ayala Land, a post she has held since October 2023.
In the Philippines, Ms. Dy’s company is the Ayala Group of Companies’ real estate branch. Filipino billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his family control the Ayala conglomerate and Ayala Land, which is the Southeast Asian country’s second-largest real estate property developer by market capitalization.
Ms. Dy became a part of Ayala Land in 2005. She has been on the firm’s management committee since 2008, overseeing plenty of the company’s luxury residential projects. Ms. Dy was then head of Ayala Land’s residential business division and chief operating officer.
The Harvard MBA alumna’s appointment as CEO makes her the first-ever female CEO of the Philippines’ second-biggest property developer. Her ascendancy happened as the company expedites the launching of housing projects to meet the increasing national demand.
With Ms. Dy at the helm, Ayala Land’s net profit spiked 41 percent in 2023’s initial six months from one year earlier to 11.4 billion pesos or US$200 million at the time of writing this article. Such impressive figures showed stable rental profits from Ayala Land’s commercial and office properties, along with the strong demand for housing projects.
Among these residential developments are high-end estate Ciela at Aera Heights in Manila’s southwest region of Cavite. Another Ayala Land housing project is Park East Place. This high-rise initiative is in the upscale Bonifacio Global City in the Metro Manila area.
Ms. Dy revealed that they at Ayala Land carry on witnessing a wholesome appetite for high-quality housing developments. This reality is especially at the upscale and mid-market portions. The Asian female business leader affirmed that such developments are her company’s conventional robustness fortifications.
- Christine Holgate – Australia
Christine Holgate is the chief executive officer of Team Global Express. Since 2021, this 59-year-old British-Australian business executive has led the logistics company. This event happened after Allegro Funds bought Team Global Express. The private equity company acquired Ms. Holgate’s firm for merely US$6 million from Japan Post, unlike the whopping US$4.14 billion the latter paid for in 2015.
Ms. Holgate is a Cheshire, England native. In her career, she took on several marketing management jobs. Then, she became chief executive officer of Blackmores, an Australian health supplement company. Australia Post had Ms. Holgate as its CEO between 2017 and 2020. She was pushed to quit her post following a controversy over her Cartier watches gifts worth A$20,000 – or US$14,000 at the time of writing this list – to senior managers that led to a government probe.
The business executive said that there was zero taxpayer money utilized in the purchase of the luxury timepieces. Australia Post cited that it regretted Ms. Holgate’s departure, following a court-mediated assessment. The company agreed to A$1 million, or US$636,000, worth of termination payment without admitting responsibility.
Under Ms. Holgate’s leadership, Team Global Express made a 17-percent surge in revenue expansion for 2023. This development is despite the continuation of the widening of after-tax losses.
Early in 2023, the logistics firm formerly called Toll Global Express signed an 11-year, A$1.8-billion (or US$1.1-billion) deal in a transfer to greener transport. Rail freight company Aurizon will ship freight over the rail networks of Australia. Additionally, Team Global Express appointed multinational investment bank UBS in a broad-ranging advisory position last August 2023. This step hinted that foreign investors are looking at potentially acquiring the logistics provider from the private equity company.
- Stephanie Hui – Hong Kong
Goldman Sachs lifer Stephanie Hui is among Asia’s female business power players. This 50-year-old bank executive is the American multinational investment bank’s head of private and growth equity in Asia-Pacific. In 1995, Ms. Hui first joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst. She pursued her master’s in business administration at Harvard University and rejoined the bank in 2000. Ms. Hui ascended the ranks, co-heading Goldman Sachs’s business banking unit for Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, a little more than ten years later.
In 2019, the Hong Kong bank executive became the financial services company’s leader of private equity in Asia-Pacific, including Japan. As an Asian business leader, Ms. Hui shared the best advice she has received, which is to say something and get herself heard. She remarked that the Asian culture is about being subtle, finishing one’s tasks, and getting somehow noticed.
The Goldman Sachs executive remarked that plenty of her mentors educated her to be more outspoken. She said she needs to say something if she witnesses matters that require modification. In 2006, Ms. Hui was successful in taking a 7-percent stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited or ICBC for US$2.5 billion. This event took place ahead of the Chinese multinational banking institution’s IPO and became among Goldman Sachs’s most lucrative investments.
Moreover, in 2014, under Ms. Hui’s leadership, Goldman Sachs’s private and growth equity in the Asia-Pacific region led to a US$36-million investment in South Korea’s biggest food delivery application, Woowa Brothers.
Germany’s Delivery Hero purchased Woowa Brothers in 2021 for US$4 billion. Finally, in 2021, Goldman Sachs held a US$50-million series C funding round in Taiwanese beauty technology company, Perfect Corporation.
- Moothedath R. Jyothy – India
Jyothy Labs managing director Moothedath R. Jyothy is an Indian businesswoman who is in CEOWorld Magazine’s female business power players list. This 45-year-old trailblazer has held the top operational position in her company since April 2020, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jyothy Labs is a consumer goods firm based in Mumbai, India. Ms. Jyothy’s father and company chairman emeritus Moothedath Panjan Ramachandran founded this business establishment and named it after her. Ms. Jyothy majored in commerce in college and earned her master’s in business administration in marketing from Welingkar Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai. She joined Jyothy Labs’s marketing unit in 2005 and became its chief marketing officer in 2017.
Jyothy Labs manufactures dishwashing soaps and detergents at 23 factories across India. In the fabric-whitener category, Ms. Jyothy’s company is a market leader, with an over 80 percent market share and spearheaded by Ujala, its flagship label. Furthermore, Jyothy Labs is in the second spot by volume in the mosquito repellent coil division. It is in the same position by sales value in the liquid and dishwashing bar segment.
In the year ending March 31, 2023, Jyothy Labs’s revenue ballooned to 25 billion rupees (or US$300 million), or 13 percent. The net profit of Ms. Jyothy’s firm spiked to 2.4 billion rupees (or US$28.8 million) or 51 percent, despite the sharp rise in raw material prices. At Jyothy Labs, Ms. Jyothy remarked that they are quite starving for expansion and they need to grow in all sectors they are involved in. The female business leader also believes there is plenty of room for expansion in each of her business’s segments. These categories comprise insecticides, fabric care, personal care, and dishwashing.
- Lee Young-hee – South Korea
Lee Young-hee is Samsung Electronics’s president of its international marketing office. This 59-year-old South Korean business leader may not be related to the Samsung Group’s founding Lee clan, but she made a record in her profoundly patriarchal country with her December 2022 executive appointment.
Ms. Lee was Samsung Electronics’s executive vice president and her recent promotion makes her the first-ever leader of the technology behemoth famous for being the world’s biggest manufacturer of smartphones, TVs, and memory chips.
Additionally, Ms. Lee’s appointment as president makes her the first-ever female outside the Lee family to hold such an important post at the Samsung Group. Samsung pioneer Lee Byung-chull’s granddaughter, Lee Boo-jin, is president of Hotel Shilla, a Samsung affiliate company.
Ms. Lee earned her advertising master’s degree from Northwestern University in the United States. She worked for Anglo-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever and French makeup company L’Oréal. Then, in 2007, the female business leader started her career at Samsung Electronics. Ms. Lee received credits for assisting the technology manufacturer in becoming the largest seller of smartphones by shipment. In May 2023, Ms. Lee spoke at a conference in Seoul, saying that if marketers do not find their way, their clients also become uninterested in their products.
In a statement proclaiming Ms. Lee’s 2022 promotion to president, Samsung Electronics remarked that the company was shown an expansion vision for female talents. The firm also mentioned that the new president’s appointment gave the chance for women to take on strong challenges by promoting a capable and experienced female executive vice president to president.
- Julia Leung – Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) CEO Julia Leung is the first female and first-ever Hong Kong native to lead the financial markets watchdog. In January 2023, the 63-year-old regulator started her leadership role. Ms. Leung was an Asian Wall Street Journal correspondent for a decade. Then, she joined de facto central bank Hong Kong Monetary Authority, serving as executive director and treasury. Hong Kong’s former financial services undersecretary became the SFC’s executive director in 2015.
When, Ms. Leung became deputy CEO three years later. During a May 2023 industry seminar, she pointed out that women are better than they believe, yet they always hesitate and doubt their capabilities before taking on an activity. With this reality, she encouraged female finance professionals to believe in themselves and take on more roles.
Hong Kong’s SFC is an independent statutory body. It regulates the region’s futures and securities markets. Under her watch, Ms. Leung will overhaul Hong Kong as it was shocked by the largest-ever cryptocurrency crime. As of October 2023, at least three dozen lawbreakers have been captured for their reported participation in JPEX.
The latter is an unregulated virtual currency company. According to Hong Kong law enforcement authorities, JPEX scammed investors of HK$1.6 billion (or US$200 million), which it vehemently denies. The police apprehensions happened following SFC’s 2022 JPEX probe and referring the case to law enforcement authorities.
- Tracy Ma – Singapore
Tracy Ma is a 47-year-old Singaporean business executive. She is the co-chief operating officer, co-president, and founding partner of Hillhouse Capital Management. Ms. Ma is the first staff hired by the private equity company’s pioneer, Mr. Zhang Lei, in 2005. Their partnership led to Hillhouse’s transformation into a successful investment establishment.
Ms. Ma shared that she and Mr. Zhang have worked together daily ever since. She remarked that at first, she established fundamental startup tasks for her team. Then, she grew their functions, including finance, risk control, investment research, and fund operations.
Ms. Ma proudly mentioned that she even constructed the paradigms for their first-ever significant investments. The Singaporean investment specialist relayed that she ascribes Hillhouse’s spectacular expansion, one-of-a-kind company culture, and investment success to the firm’s massive percentage of female principals.
The University of Chicago MBA alumna and former China Securities internal auditor described women as tending to possess a long-term perspective. Ms. Ma said that this outlook is effective in Hillhouse Capital Management where they assess investments and collaborations over the long term.
As a private equity business, Hillhouse Capital Management has over US$100 billion in assets under management. Its successful bets comprise Airbnb, Tencent, and JD.com. Ms. Ma’s company is among the biggest homegrown private equity companies by assets under management in Asia.
Moreover, Hillhouse leads in the gender diversity segment. Over half of the company’s staff members and nearly 40 percent of partner-level workers are women. According to research company Preqin, internationally, just more than 20 percent of private equity employees and fewer than 15 percent of senior staff are females.
- Makiko Ono – Japan
In Japan, Suntory Beverage and Food CEO Makiko Ono is a female business powerhouse. This 63-year-old business executive became the first-ever woman to lead her company. Ms. Ono became Suntory Beverage and Food Limited CEO in March 2023. Her promotion in the listed branch of famous beverage manufacturer Suntory Holdings also makes her the first-ever woman to head a Japanese business establishment with a market capitalization of 1.45 trillion yen, or US$9.5 billion, per the company’s data.
In 1982, Ms. Ono started her career at Suntory after graduating from college where she majored in Portuguese. This female business leader held diverse roles at Suntory’s global soft drink and liquor ventures. Ms. Ono facilitated Suntory’s £1.35-billion, or US$1.6-billion purchase of British soft drink labels Ribena and Lucozade in 2013. Then, seven years later, she became the leader of French beverage maker Orangina, an important subsidiary of Suntory Beverage abroad.
In the first six months of 2023, Ms. Ono’s company had ¥749 billion, or US$4.9 billion, in revenue, which is more than 10 percent year-on-year. International sales contributed almost half of this figure. However, Ms. Ono is facing a graying local market for Suntory that has a meager operating returns margin, unlike the company’s global operations.
During an earnings presentation in August 2023, the Japanese female business leader emphasized that one of her targets as CEO is for Suntory Beverage to pursue high-quality expansion as a genuinely international beverage business. She also said she wants to make her company a high-margin and high-revenue-generating establishment.
- Piyajit Ruckariyapong – Thailand
CEOWorld Magazine included Ms. Piyajit Ruckariyapong in its 2023 list of best Asian female business leaders. This 48-year-old business executive is the CEO of Sappe, the Thailand-headquartered beverage manufacturer. In 1988, Ms. Ruckariyapong’s parents opened Sappe for business, which was originally named Sapanan. The company manufactured conventional Thai snacks, and then it turned to beverages in the early 2000s.
Sappe sells a dozen drinks and food products in Thailand. Its sales abroad developed from three flagship drinks, which are collagen-infused Beauti Drink and flavored juices Aloe Vera and Mogu Mogu. Ms. Ruckariyapong commenced her career in her family’s business in 2012. Before this stint, she served as chief financial officer and investment banker for 15 years. Ms. Ruckariyapong became Sappe’s CEO in 2015, succeeding her brother Adisak.
In the past 18 years, she has successfully achieved more than doubling her beverage firm’s export markets to 98. Ms. Ruckariyapong has followed some effective business strategies. One of them is employing digitally savvy marketing that targets young and trendy consumers. The other business tactic is a low-key and gradual entrance into new markets.
Ms. Ruckariyapong remarked that Thailand offers many high-quality products and possesses plenty of natural resources. With these significant assets, the veteran businesswoman believes her countrymen can make a brand that can compete on the world stage. Hence, Ms. Ruckariyapong is concentrating on transforming Thai Sappe into an internationally recognized label. She is also eyeing doubling her company’s revenue to 10 billion baht, or US$287 million, by 2026. International markets account for approximately 83 percent of the revenue of Ms. Ruckariyapong’s firm. Asia accounts for nearly half of the figure. Ms. Ruckariyapong is targeting Europe to propel her company’s future expansion.
- Meliza Musa Rusli – Indonesia
In May 2022, Meliza Musa Rusli became president director of Indonesian financial service provider Bank Permata. She is a 49-year-old banker who became the first-ever female leader to helm the banking institution. Ms. Rusli joined the financial services sector after finishing her electrical engineering studies at the University of Indonesia. She worked for various financial companies, including Credit Suisse, the defunct Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and UBS.
Furthermore, Ms. Rusli held senior roles in technology-related posts. At Astra International, she was the chief of group digital strategy. This company was among Bank Permata’s previous majority owners along with British multinational bank Standard Chartered.
Ms. Rusli was GoFleet’s president director. The company is GoJek’s car rental marketplace. Bank Permata is among Indonesia’s top ten financial institutions by assets. In 2020, Thailand’s Bangkok Bank acquired Ms. Rusli’s company in a US$2.3-billion settlement.
In Bank Permata’s latest yearly report released in March 2023, Ms. Rusli remarked that her firm’s partnership with Bangkok Bank as the majority shareholder enables them to deliver outstanding cross-border services to their clients.
As Bank Permata’s president director, who was promoted from vice president director, Ms. Rusli concentrates on expanding the bank’s global and local client base.
- Suphajee Suthumpun – Thailand
Among Asia-Pacific’s business leaders is Suphajee Suthumpun, Dusit International’s Group CEO. She is a 59-year-old Thai business executive who is driving the Thai hospitality group’s 46-billion-baht, or US$1.3-billion project. Before her career at Dusit International, Ms. Suthumpun served as CEO of Thaicom, Thailand’s sole private satellite company. She helped conclude years of business losses and transformed this firm into a lucrative one within her first quarter in office.
Moreover, the Thai female business leader worked at IBM for more than two decades. Her final job at the computer giant was as general manager of its ASEAN Global Technology Services unit. Since Ms. Suthumpun led Dusit as Group CEO in 2016, the company’s resorts and hotels have expanded to roughly 340 properties in 20 nations from 27 properties in eight countries. The Thai business executive also opened new business lines, comprising catering, food production, and property development.
Ms. Suthumpun said she targets having Dusit Foods listed by early 2025. In her leadership, she is directing Dusit International’s revamp of the world-renowned Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel into a contemporary mixed-use development property.
The Dusit Central Park project is in Bangkok’s core. Ms. Suthumpun affirmed that it is massive, with its dimension being fivefold to sixfold larger than her company’s market capitalization, which was recorded to be 7 billion baht or US$194.6 million in mid-October 2023.
When Dusit’s latest business initiative fully opens in 2025, it will include office and retail spaces, luxury residences, and a hotel. Ms. Suthumpun cited that the post-COVID-19 rebound in Thailand’s tourism industry is anticipated to aid Dusit in coming back to profitability by 2024, following heavy losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Rashmi Verma – India
67-year-old Rashmi Verma is an Asian female business leader who co-founded and is chief technology officer of C.E. Info Systems. She majored in chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. Ms. Verma also received her master’s degree in computer science and operations research from Eastern Washington University in the United States. Before becoming head of C.E. Info Systems, she had career spells at IBM, working as a database specialist and systems engineer.
Ms. Verma’s US$1.4-billion business, C.E. Info Systems, has aided in mapping almost 18 million locations, thanks to Mappls, the company’s navigation application. The places include 6.6 million kilometers of roads India-wide, landmarks, hills, and 15 million addresses.
Ms. Verma co-founded Mappls with her husband, Rakesh. Her New Delhi, India-based company is popularly known as MapmyIndia. Mappls employs its database to give application users door-to-door directions.
These details consist of pothole cautions, traffic updates, and speed-limit alerts. Additionally, Mappls licenses its software and information to customers, which span e-commerce, automotive, and banking. Mappls’s consumer application has more than 10 million downloads and is free of charge.
According to Ms. Verma, C.E. Info Systems is delivering more improved offerings through the incorporation of newer technologies. She affirmed that her company is utilizing AI to give road safety remedies, analyze driver behavior, and identify inferior road conditions.
In the past financial year, the client numbers of Ms. Verma’s company ballooned to more than 40 percent or 850. Additionally, net profit and revenue almost doubled to 2.8 billion rupees, or US$34 million, and 1.1 billion rupees, or US$13.2 million, respectively in the two-year time frame ending in March 2023.
- Wang Laichun – China
Wang Laichun used to be a factory worker. Today, this 56-year-old Chinese billionaire helms Luxshare Precision Industry. This company is a US$30-billion AirPods and iPhone parts supplier and assembler whose chairwoman is Ms. Wang. In recent years, Luxshare Precision Industry has successfully grabbed the market share of Apple’s supply chain from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Limited, also known as Foxconn.
In Shenzhen, Ms. Wang spent about ten years as a laborer on Foxconn’s factory floor. Then, in 2004, she established Luxshare with her brother, Wang Laisheng. In September 2023, the successful female entrepreneur informed Chinese state media that her firm had won contracts for assembling the mixed-reality Vision Pro headset by Apple. Then, one month later, Apple’s CEO, Mr. Tim Cook, disclosed in a social media post that Luxshare Precision Industry is also creating other Apple offerings, including the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Ms. Wang’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed business gained a foothold in Apple’s supply chain via its purchase of Kunshan Liantao Electronics in 2011. The latter is in Jiangsu, China, which manufactured connector cables for the American technology giant.
Luxshare Precision Industry has since taken on job orders for more Apple offerings. Ms. Wang’s company is also diversifying its client base through supplying parts for electric vehicles. Nonetheless, the automobile sector accounted for less than 3 percent of Luxshare’s 214-billion yuan or US$29-billion sales in 2022. Apple is believed to be making up more than 70 percent of the total.
- Antonia Watson – New Zealand
ANZ Bank New Zealand’s CEO, Antonia Watson, is a female business leader to watch in the Asia-Pacific region. This 53-year-old New Zealander became the permanent head of ANZ’s New Zealand operations in December 2019.
Ms. Watson was previously the bank’s acting CEO in May of the same year after former CEO David Hisco suddenly left the bank amid an expenditures wrongdoing. She is a former KPMG auditor who also worked at Morgan Stanley for more than a decade, managing its technology and business services center in Budapest, Hungary.
Then, in 2009, Ms. Watson joined ANZ New Zealand. For ten years, she held senior roles at the ANZ Bank New Zealand before taking the top post. As a dependable hand at New Zealand’s largest banking institution by assets, Ms. Watson functioned as managing director of ANZ’s business and retail banking division. She also served as a financial officer.
Under Ms. Watson’s watch, ANZ New Zealand witnessed a 16-percent year-on-year surge in operating income to NZ$2.5 billion, or US$1.5 billion. This figure was recorded for the six months ending in March 2023, despite a decelerating economy. Meanwhile, the bank’s profits plummeted 9 percent to NZ$1 billion, or US$589.2 million.
As Ms. Watson looks ahead, she said she views continuing challenges from weakening demand and high interest rates. However, the ANZ Bank New Zealand’s CEO remarked that she stays confident about her financial institution’s prospects. In a statement accompanying ANZ New Zealand’s half-year outcomes, Ms. Watson relayed that the recent happenings in international banking also serve as a reminder about the significance of robust, secure, and well-capitalized banking institutions.
She added that ANZ New Zealand luckily stays in a strong situation in fulfilling the country’s trading, business, and housing requirements.
CEOWorld Magazine’s 20 best female business leaders in Asia are certainly inspiring. They proclaim to the world that women are equally capable as men when it comes to effective leadership. These powerful businesswomen are truly worth commending for the positive difference they are delivering to better the world.
Have you read?
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The 10 Female CEOs in FTSE 100 companies in the United Kingdom, 2023.
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