Up-close and Personal with Nominees of
“Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leaders and Personalities Award”
Muhammad Zhariff Affandi
Founder of The Zhariff Initiative
Zhariff Afandi has never been your average kinda joe. Despite growing up without arms, he never really understood, or could apply the term disabled. With his “ninja” like precision, he lives his life not just like normal, but most times a bit more crazy than others. He has a background in developmental psychology from Griffith University, Australia and had also taken a Bachelors of Arts majoring in Sociology at KDU College. He is an extremely strong willed person and has been intensively involved in the last 10 years with many CSR, humanitarian relief and community development programs. Bringing a wealth of experience from community programs, social action advocacy, and humanitarian relief both locally and internationally, he is known to be an inspirational and outstanding figure in the social entrepreneurship, community, and humanitarian field.
He receives recognition from Malaysia’s Prime Minister as a National Youth Icon 2012 and is one of the 1M4U Youth Ambassadors.
Teoh Wee Kiat
My Burger Lab Co-founder
Teoh Wee Kiat with two of the other Co-founders,Chin Ren Yi and Cheah Chang Ming decided to open a café. And so Wee Kiat suggested starting the business with a Lean Startup methodology, whereby they rented Red Bean Bag to do a lot of experiments and testing to see if their burger recipe works. That’s how the name myBurgerLab came up.
Wee Kiat had spent his advertising internship at Wunderman, New York City. It was a fruitful experience for him. He learnt to spend loads of money for results that they do not have control on and it’s really left to fate, which hopes that the Ad campaigns can make it. From then onwards, He believed that it will be much well spent if the cost is to focus on staff training and product development, which is then applied into myBurgerLab itself. Not to mention that he is also proudly included in the Dean’s List Award in the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2009.
Founder of ChristyNg.com
Christy Ng graduated with a degree in Biotechnology and Life Science in 2010, she worked for a Swiss pharmaceutical company whilst selling shoes for side income. She endeavoured into the online sales arena realizing the potential it held for her and the value it would ad for her customers. With social media enabling her to spread the word and the ability for her store to be opened 24/7, the business thrived.
Christy had a very stoic childhood having had to start selling flowers at the LRT near her house at the age of 12 to working in F&B outlets through her secondary school and university days.With some saving she had saved up from her part time jobs and her winnings from Nescafe’s Kickstart Season 5, she launched full fledge into building the brand that would be: ChristyNg.com. Now having outgrown the home that which it started in they have relocated to a shop lot in Damansara Uptown and looks to blaze ahead offering every woman’s childhood dream of having a closet full of fabulous shoes.
Ms. Phng Li Kim
CEO of Kechara Media & Publications
Li Kim is an individual of many facets. Graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, California, Li Kim joined her family’s latex glove factory business in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, working her way up like any new employee. Her tenacity, persistence and drive saw her rise to the position of the Director of Operations and Administration, and responsible for over 800 employees.
Soon, Li Kim honed her business skills further by stepping out of her comfort zone and started her career in publishing. In May 2009, she became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kechara Media & Publications, an international publishing firm which has published 45 titles in English and Chinese worldwide.
This still wasn’t enough for Li Kim. She diversified her talents further by getting into the broadcasting and entertainment industry. Her vibrant personality coupled with a piercing sense of observation made Li Kim the perfect host for The Paranormal Zone (TPZ), a reality-based documentary series. TPZ Season 1 first aired on NTV7 in October 2012, and was ranked the most watched locally produced English documentary on primetime in Malaysia. Coming into its second season, Li Kim has certainly found a new love in hosting and the world of broadcasting in general.
Beyond her keen business sense, passion for her work, enthusiasm and zeal for life, Li Kim is a people’s person who strives to make a difference to the lives she touches. A single mother to three young boys, she has been a motivational speaker and is active in causes that empower women and children, which is reflected in her current position as the President-Elect of Soroptimist International Club of Petaling Jaya (SIPJ).
Mr. Benjamin Yong
Founder & Group CEO, The BIG Group
At the helm of his burgeoning food and beverage business, it is evident that restaurateur Benjamin Yong’s success stems from one emotion: “passion”.
His love affair with food is nurtured by an extended family that all share and encourage his passion. His mother Helen Read taught him how to make her Carrot Cake at the age of 13 and he soon begin his own little operation of baking and supplying these cakes to cafes in the city, enlisting his aunt to teach him how to make cake boxes, and his mother to drive him to do deliveries.
This determination is an underlying trait that propels him to constantly question, learn, explore, and expand.
2011 saw and unveiling of multiple unique brands under the BIG Group, ranging from edgy coffee bar to family café, intimate speakeasy to hedonistic bar and grill. Restaurants that first saw light under the BIG Group umbrella were Plan b and Ben’s. It wasn’t long before new brands soon joined the family such as Ben’s General Food Store, Beast, Hit & Mrs, Barn BBQ, S.Wine and even a concept supermarket called Ben’s Independent Grocer – an experiential, full service supermarket for everyday conveniences, which also includes restaurants, newsagent, florist and gourmet section.
Ben finds inspiration in sampling food and observing restaurant culture through his extensive travels. Never one to rest on his laurels, he is involved in every aspect of the business and is just as easily found adjusting the lighting in one of his cafes or serving a table, as he is doing research and development on dishes in test kitchens or helping design a menu with his Marketing team.
The BIG Group now runs up to 17 brands spanning over 25 outlets within the Peninsular, and continues to grow with several more exciting concepts in the pipeline.
Master Class 1 “Developing the Leader in U”
Alvin Ung is an author, facilitator and student of leadership who helps people embrace their calling and impact lives. He is a Fellow at Khazanah Nasional where he is studying the personal vision of emerging and iconic leaders in Asia and Europe.
As an author, his insights on ordinary-extraordinary leaders have been published in the bestselling “Barefoot Leadership,” as well as in monthly columns and articles in the Edge, the Star, BBC and CNN. His first book, “Taking Your Soul to Work,” draws from the wisdom of ancient monks and 21st century executives. A forthcoming book, “The Headless Chicken and the Spark” (March 2014), tells true-to-life stories of how a group of committed civil servants are creating breakthroughs in a government ministry.
As a facilitator, he has worked with senior executives from multinationals, government ministries, management consultancies, startups, education and religious groups. He has delivered keynotes or spoken at conferences in North America, Europe and Asia. He serves on the faculty of Eagles Communications in Singapore, and sits on the education board of IDEAS.
Master Class 2 “Leadership is Influence, not Authority”
YBhg Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir
A leader in many non-governmental organisations such as the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and is currently an active socio-political blogger and columnist.
Marina Mahathir is a writer, women’s rights and HIV/AIDS activist and TV producer. She served as the president of the Malaysian AIDS Council for 12 years from 1993-2005. In addition Marina has served on many regional and international HIV/AIDS bodies including AIDS Society of Asia and Pacific (ASAP), UNAIDS and Asia Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV and Development (APLF)
Currently she is a member of the Board of Sisters in Islam, which advocated for justice and equality for Muslim women.
Marina also writes a fortnightly column on social issues in a local English-language daily as well as online, and writes and speaks regularly on women’s issues particularly where it relates to Islam, gender and HIV/AIDS. Between 2001 and 2009, she was Co-Executive Producer of an award-winning TV programme for young women, 3R-Respect, Relax and Respond. She is also an avid blogger with her own blog, www.rantingsbymm.blogspot.com, a Twitterer (@netraKL) and Facebooker.
In 2010, Marina was named the UN Person of the Year by the United Nations in Malaysia. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in 2011, Marina was one of only two Malaysian women named to WomenDeliver.org’s list of 100 Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women.
Master Class 3
CEO of TuneTalk
Born in Kuching, Sarawak, Jason Lo is of Chinese-Irish parentage. Educated in Singapore and the United Kingdom, he achieved a degree in Accounting from the University of Hull (UK) and a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University (USA).
After releasing albums as a music artist in England and Malaysia, Jason has become a music producer and opened his own record label and event promotion company, Fat Boys Records. He has also worked as a DJ at the Malaysian radio station hitz.fm, and been a TV talk show host on the show [email protected] on 8TV in 2004.
When Jason first helmed the controls of Tune Talk as Chief Executive Officer in December 2007, it was his first foray into the telecommunications industry. He went through a steep learning curve in order to quickly understand how the telco business worked. With his vast experience in the arts and championing the local independent music scene, Jason uses entertainment as a major vehicle to stay in touch with the youth market and effectively project the brand in a fun and energetic way.
Due to Jason’s deep passion for sports, he further explored the area of sports marketing by partnering the brand with the One Fighting Championship. To further leverage on the popularity of the sport as well as to build and develop its interest among Malaysians, a mixed martial art tournament for amateur fighters called MIMMA (Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Art) is further organized.
In 2011, Jason garnered his personal decoration, ‘The Most Promising Entrepreneurship’ award for ‘Outstanding & Exemplary Achievements in Entrepreneurship’ at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2011.”
Leadership Forum 1 “Power of Empowerment”
Puan Siti Nurliza Mohd Sahar
Head of Graduate Employability Program Division, Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd
Liza has been involved in the Customer Services & Human Capital Development field for over 12 years in various capacities – from managing contact center and heading customer service department to managing the overall HR function. She started her career with Maxis where she was the team lead in the contact center before joining PMCare Sdn Bhd as the Head of Customer Service Department.
After spending over 4 years with PMCare, she pursued her career in Strategic Human Capital Management, Khazanah Nasional Berhad. While she was in Khazanah, she was exposed to the Human Resources Operations including Industrial and Employee Relations and Compensation & Benefit. She then got promoted as the Vice President of Network Talent Management, GLC Human Capital Action Plan where she worked very closely with the Heads of HR of the government-linked companies (GLCs) on initiatives and programs that encourage collaboration between companies to build a larger talent pool for the country.
Her passion revolves around talent management and human capital development particularly in graduate employability initiatives. Her current role is as the Head of Graduate Employability Program Division in Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad as well as overseeing GEMS Malaysia Sdn Bhd as the Chief Operating Officer. In her current role, she interacts with universities and undergraduates in creating awareness on career choices available in various sectors as well as collaborating with ministries/government agencies and industries players in developing programs to enhance employability to young graduates.
Leadership Forum 2 “Leadership Lessons from Failures”
Ms Phng Li Kheng
Former General Manager, CBTL Shanghai, Business Extraordinaire
Ms. Phng Li Kheng started with only two Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlets in the bustling metropolitan city of Shanghai with no prior experience of managing a company, at the same time facing the pressure of being compared with her competitors and experiencing hardships and failures. Against all odds, she rose amongst her competitors and saved the company from bankruptcy, whilst turning it into am success. Currently, there are over 35 Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlets spreaded over the city of Shanghai.
Her principle of success is: Life is a gift and the best way in which we can express our appreciation of it is by creating value with every moment we have. “Value worth talking about” often involves leaving behind a legacy that it’s passed on through the people we benefited. The litmus test of a life well lived is the results we create. Therefore, results are our best friends to inform us of what works and what does not. Results do not define who we are but guides us on what we can do to succeed. Embrace result and you will hardly loose your way in life.
People: they are the heartbeat of our lives. Those who love us drive us to be kind. Those who challenge us drive us to be successful. Have gratitude towards all and life becomes a vibrant spectrum of colors.
Leadership Talk 1 “The Key to Leadership: Setting Priorities”
Consultant, Learning & Growth, UCSI Leadership Development Centre
Mr. Warren Chant has a successful 34 year career in hospital administration in Canada, with the last 20 years as CEO of three different hospitals. He was credited with transforming his hospitals into high-performing organizations, providing high quality and cost effective patient-focused care. Because of his achievements, he has been appointed to numerous healthcare leadership positions in his Province throughout his career.
Warren has also been active in his community volunteer work, which includes Chair of the Ontario Lung Association and a Director of the Canadian Lung Association. He was awarded the Ontario Lung Association Meritorious Service Award in 1996 for his volunteer work, the Regents Award in 1999 from his professional college – the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Heather Crowe Award in 2006 from the government for his community work in promoting Smoke-Free Ontario.
Warren holds a B.Sc., a M.Sc., a DHA in Health Administration, and a professional Diploma in the Institute of Corporate Director, all from the University of Toronto in Canada. He is also a Fellow (the highest professional designation) in both of his professional colleges in Canada and the USA , which is an honor attained by fewer than 50 Canadians.
After his retirement from his career in Canada in 2011, Warren and his wife have chosen Kuala Lumpur as their second home. He is currently serving as Consultant, Learning and Growth, in the Leadership Development Centre of UCSI Consulting Sdn Bhd., the official licensee of Blue Ocean Strategy in Malaysia
Leadership Talk 2 “Listen, Learn, Lead”
Ms Yap Yoke Wah
Vice President of Leadership Acceleration, Group Talent Sourcing & Development of Maybank
Yoke Wah is the Head of Leadership Acceleration for Maybank Group. She is responsible for various talent engagements such as managing key leaders succession readiness, develop and manage leadership programs for various talent pools. These leadership development are not only classroom trainings but includes self-paced trainings, mentoring, coaching, stretched projects and international assignments. Essentially she is responsible in building the leadership bench strength, potential and capabilities for Maybank for succession management purposes and talent sustainability.
Yoke Wah was a consultant with Aon Hewitt’s Talent and Organizational Consulting based in Malaysia office. Her focus area was in leadership assessment and development programs for South East Asia clients. She also consults in the areas of talent strategy and management ie. employee engagement, human resource effectiveness, organization restructuring, competency development, and rewards management. She also has regional exposure throughout her consulting experience thus gaining a lot of cross border experience in Europe, America and South East Asia.
Prior to Maybank and Aon Hewitt, she was attached with Jobstreet.com and Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory, Malaysia. Yoke Wah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Resource Management from St Cloud State University, Minnesota.
Leadership Talk 3 “Developing Your Most Appreciable Assets: People”
Co-Founder and Executive Director of EYE Project
Christopher Tock was previously the Director of Information Systems for the UK and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC) in 2005/06 and 2006/07 where he was among those who helped to revive UKEC as a student movement and launched projects such as the UKEC Careers’ Fair, Projek Amanat Negara IV and the 1st Malaysian Student Leaders’ Summit 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. He was also previously the Communication Secretary to Imperial College Malaysian Society, as well as a representative of the Overseas Student Committee responsible for liaising between all overseas society in Imperial College, London where he graduated in Joint Mathematics & Computer Science.
Previously he was an e-Business development executive for ECM Libra Investment Bank, where he was part of a team heading the development of a forward-driven online share trading portal called www.ecmmoney.com. He is also a founding convenor at Young Corporate Malaysians (YCM), as well as an active committee member of the Imperial College Alumni Association in Malaysia (ICAAM). Besides playing a role as a Technical Consultant at a prono-bono initiative on unity called RandomAlphabets.com, he is also celebrity blogger at www.spinzer.us covering prestigious events he is invited to on top of sharing his love for food, and last but not least, an accidental entrepreneur dedicated to the development of Malaysia’s future leaders.
Christopher Tock was recently invited as a Founding shaper of the Global Shapers Community – Kuala Lumpur Hub, an initiative by the World Economic Forum and a recipient of Prestige Malaysia’s Top 40 Under 40 Awards.
Power Leadership Session
CEO of Leaderonomics
Roshan Thiran is CEO of Leaderonomics, a social enterprise dedicated to providing access to leadership development to everyone of all ages in developing nations across Asia Pacific. Previously, he was in a global role as Director of Global Talent Management with Johnson & Johnson and prior to that spend more than 12 years working with the General Electric Company (GE) in a number of roles across the US, Europe and Asia.
Roshan has won numerous awards in HR and leadership development, including a Global HR award and the Malaysia HR Leader Award.
Roshan currently hosts his own TV show entitled “the Leaderonomics show” where he interviews the best leaders in the world on a weekly basis. He also writes a column titled “The science of building leaders” in Malaysia’s biggest newspaper THE STAR. He does a weekly radio segment in Malaysia’s business radio station BFM89.9 every Monday. The segment is also called “The science of building leaders”.
Roshan is constantly connecting with people from all walks of lives and spends a lot of his time working among poor and under-privileged communities in the hope of changing the world.
(Programmes and Invited speakers are subject to changes)