Telstra has announced seven finalists for the inaugural Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award, recognising outstanding business leaders from Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Cynthia Whelan, Telstra’s Group Executive of International and New Businesses, said introducing the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in Asia is an opportunity for us to celebrate women living and working in Asia who have succeeded in their own businesses or led their industries. “This is an important part of overcoming the fact women continue to be under-represented on Boards and executive teams in Asia and around the world.”
“Our finalists are successful business women who possess impressive entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, integrity and a commitment to the community. Among the finalists we have leaders from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures, from developed and developing countries, and from established companies like Thomson Reuters and Linfox to new technology businesses like Bubu in Indonesia and iGene in Malaysia.”
The finalists for the 2016 Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award are:
Anu Sheela Themudu
Anu Sheela Themudu is the co-founder of iGene, a pioneering venture in the field of Digital Autopsy, which is a rapidly emerging method of post-mortem examination. The visualisation-based software enables a non-destructive, non-invasive method of autopsy, eliminating the need to dissect bodies in more than 70 per cent of cases.
As a founder, she has been responsible for the strategic management of commercialising the service and developing the company from its inception to a global company. It took eight years of research and development until iGene succeeded in its first commercial sale. Now, the company has expanded into the United Kingdom, Middle East, and Asia.
Beth LuiBeth Lui has a career in IT spanning more than 30 years, with her most significant role being country managing director of Accenture Philippines. In 2013 as she was about to take a sabbatical break from the IT industry, she received a call asking her to join a new education venture, APEC Schools. She didn’t hesitate and started the very next day as CEO.
APEC Schools is a group of private schools which aim to make a difference in the local education system by providing affordable, quality education to children living in dense urban communities where public schools may be overcrowded. Beth has grown the venture from a small cohort of 70 students to more than 10,000 students across 27 schools in only three years.
Gabrielle CostiganGabrielle (Gabby) Costigan has had a distinguished international career in the military and logistics where she has built a reputation for strong leadership and driving organisational success. She served in the Australian Defence Force for 20 years, during which she was deployed to Afghanistan and worked as an advisor to the Australian Joint Chief of Operations.
After retiring from active duty, Gabby joined an American aviation company in a senior executive role. In 2014, she was appointed CEO of Linfox Asia, to lead supply chain operations across Southeast Asia and expand the company’s footprint in the region. At Linfox, she has significantly changed the culture of the company to an inclusive, team-based environment, and evolved the business model to accommodate the unique challenges of the region.
Kimberley ColeAfter graduating from Monash University, Kimberley Cole joined Thomson Reuters and she now leads the Asian sales team of over 150 specialists focused on delivering solutions across the financial markets. The past three years have seen her team deliver the top sales performance in the company, resulting in Asia being the fastest growing region in the business, delivering $US1.1 billion revenue per year.
Based in Hong Kong, Kimberley’s career has taken her across the globe allowing her to live and work in five cities, giving Kimberley a vast array of experiences. She has held roles from product management to marketing and sales, managing business transformation and turnaround.
Marion Fromm is 78 years old, a widow with two children, seven grand-children, four great grand-children and an extended Cambodian family. A native South Australian, she spent years as a teacher’s aide in a variety of local schools, including five years teaching in Japan. Her passion for assisting people is what drove Marion to become an entrepreneur.
In 1997, Marion took a holiday to Cambodia that would change her life forever. While there, she saw the plight of local people with disabilities due to landmines, bombs, burns, polio, birth deformities and vehicle accidents. A vision from God motivated her to take action and in 2004, she moved to Cambodia and set up Cambodian Harvest Dried Fruit Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of processed fruit products including dried mango, papaya, pineapple and ginger, and jams, marmalades and chutneys. The factory provides work, education and a future for people with disabilities, who suffer discrimination in the local community for being “damaged”.
The company now employs 44 staff and has been selling products in Cambodia for 11 years, more recently it has expanded to export to Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Rituparna Chakraborty is a co-founder of TeamLease Services Ltd. Established in 2002, TeamLease is one of India’s leading providers of human resource services, with a vision of ‘Putting India to Work’ by enabling young workers to have a formal job, providing them with secure wages, social security and healthcare.
As Executive Vice-President, Rituparna is responsible for managing the temporary staffing division, as well as India’s first Public Private Partnership (PPP) apprenticeship program, National Employability Through Apprenticeship Program (NETAP). With an MBA in sales and marketing, she has been instrumental in growing the business through innovative sales and marketing, as well as the implementation of sophisticated web and mobile-based technology workflow, enabling scale and significant productivity gains for customers and staff.
Today, the company employs more than 1,000 full time staff across its eight regional offices, and currently has 115,000 temporary staff and 15,000 apprentices on its books. To date, TeamLease has provided employment to approximately 1.6 million people.
Shinta Witoyo DhanuwardoyoShinta Witoyo Dhanuwardoyo is a serial tech entrepreneur. Over the past 20 years her passion to help shape and develop the technology landscape in Indonesia has driven her started a number of companies in the technology industry.
Founded in 1996, her current company, Bubu.com, was one of the first internet based companies in Indonesia. Bubu.com started as a web design agency, but as technology advanced in the country, Bubu has evolved into a full-service digital creative agency. In 2011, she developed the Bubu Awards to honour web design and digital campaigns. It has now expanded to include a three-day event workshop, conference and exhibition called IDByte, which is attended by industry heavyweights including Google and Facebook.
In addition to Bubu.com, Shinta also runs an investment and mentorship program called Angel eQ Network to enhance access to funding for tech start-ups around the country.
The finalists for the Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award will join the 2016 Australian State/Territory winners in Melbourne on Tuesday 15 November, followed by the National Workshop on Wednesday 16 November 2016 and a Gala Dinner on the same night.
For more information on the Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award and to nominate brilliant business women for the 2017 Awards, visit www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com