Forbes Asia Forum: The Next Tycoons

Family businesses are one of the most successful and enduring business models in the world. They are also a key driver of economic growth and employment, contributing significantly to global GDP. In recent years, disruptive technology has dramatically altered the business landscape. In an era characterized by big data, automation, robotics and AI, family-run companies must embrace digital disruption or risk extinction. How are family-run companies coping with this technological revolution? Next-generation business leaders are becoming more selective about their career options, including careers outside the family business. What considerations and challenges do they face? How best can family businesses raise, preserve and optimize capital? Should they go public, take a partner, stay closely held or even consider a sell-out? For family-run companies, it’s not just business but also personal. The 5th edition of Forbes Asia Forum: The Next Tycoons will bring together some of the brightest business leaders of the next generation to examine key opportunities and challenges relating to family businesses.


  • Heng Swee Keat
    Minister for Finance
  • Goodwin Gaw
    Managing Principal and Chairman
    Gaw Capital Partners
    Hong Kong
  • Matt Dalio
    Founder & Chief of Product
    United States
  • Axton Salim
    Executive Director
    Salim Group
  • Korawad Chearavanont
    Chief Executive Officer
    Eko Communications
  • Anderson Tanoto
    Member, Board of Trustees
    Tanoto Foundation
  • Katrina Razon
    Managing Director, KSR Ventures
    Managing Partner, Third Culture Music + Media
  • Karan Virwani
    WeWork India
  • Ton Chirathivat
    Head of Customer Strategy
    Central Group
  • Sabrina Ho Chiu Yeng
    Managing Director, Chiu Yeng Culture Ltd
    Strategic Partner, UNESCO
    Hong Kong
  • Loh Boon Chye
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Nishita Shah
    Group Managing Director
    GP Group
  • Alvin Sariaatmadja
    President Director
    Emtek Group
  • Melissa Kwee
    Chief Executive Officer
    National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • Abhimanyu Munjal
    Joint Managing Director and CEO
    Hero FinCorp Ltd
  • Allen Law
    Chief Executive Officer
    Park Hotel Group
  • Joanne Kua
    Group CEO & Executive Director
    KSK Group Berhad
  • Michelle Yong
    Aurum Land
  • Laurence Lien
    Chairman, Lien Foundation
    CEO, Asia Philanthropy Circle
  • Tim Ferguson
    Forbes Asia
    United States
  • Rana Wehbe
    Senior Editor-Special Projects
    Forbes Asia
    Hong Kong
  • Justin Doebele
    Executive Director, Forbes Asia
  • Pamela Ambler
    Digital Reporter
    Forbes Asia
    Hong Kong



Registration desk opens




Guests to be seated


Welcome remarks by: 

Tim Ferguson, Editor, Forbes Asia
Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, Economic Development Board


Session I - Family Business 4.0

Big data, automation, robotics, blockchain, the Internet of Things, AI and 4IR. All around us, technology is disrupting and transforming how industries and businesses operate. Companies now face unexpected challenges on a regular basis, brought about by technological innovation. For family businesses, technological advances have also spawned numerous startups that are challenging entrenched incumbents. Family companies must embrace digital transformation or risk extinction. How are family businesses coping with this technological revolution? What must they do to ensure that their business survives and thrives amid unprecedented digital disruption?

Moderated by: Rana Wehbe, Senior Editor-Special Projects, Forbes Asia

Confirmed speakers:
Ton Chirathivat, Head of Customer Strategy, Central Group
Axton Salim, Executive Director, Salim Group
Alvin Sariaatmadja, President Director, Emtek Group
Karan Virwani, CWeO, WeWork India
Michelle Yong, Director, Aurum Land


Session II - Optimizing Capital

Sometimes family businesses seek new capital to finance growth or capture opportunities. Yet how best to optimize this capital? The options are many to consider—among them an IPO, taking outside shareholders, issuing debt, taking loans, leveraging assets such as property holdings or doing a major merger or strategic partnership. While access to fresh funds is welcome, the path to obtain it may entail a major inflection point for the family business dynamics. The deal structure is a crucial factor, as well as trying to play out the ramifications, both short and long-term, on the family and its business. Our panel will weigh up the pros and cons, from the perspective of those who are considering, or may have already taken, steps to optimize capital.

Moderated by: Tim Ferguson, Editor, Forbes Asia

Confirmed speakers: 
Joanne Kua, Group CEO & Executive Director, KSK Group Berhad
Allen Law, Chief Executive Officer, Park Hotel Group
Loh Boon Chye, Chief Executive Officer, SGX
Abhimanyu Munjal, Joint Managing Director and CEO, Hero FinCorp Ltd


Refreshment break


Session III - Breaking Free

Over generations, some family members will choose not to work for the family business. Talented next gens are becoming more selective about their career options. For some, the passion of their parents may not mirror their own. Forging a different career path and seeking work experience outside the family business, or taking a completely new direction, have become common options. What are the dynamics of these decisions within the family and the family business? How have these next gens come to grips with breaking free, and what are the pros and cons? This panel gathers a line-up of next gens who choose to pursue their calling.

Moderated by Pamela Ambler, Digital Reporter, Forbes Asia

Confirmed speakers:
Korawad Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer, Eko Communications
Matt Dalio, Founder & Chief of Product, Endless
Goodwin Gaw, Managing Principal and Chairman, Gaw Capital Partners
Katrina Razon, Managing Director, KSR Ventures, Managing Partner, Third Culture Music + Media


Session IV - Making an Impact

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter” wrote Aristotle. In Asia, next generation business leaders are increasingly taking the lead in giving back to society. From traditional notions of philanthropy to social impact investing, how are resources being allocated to address pressing issues around the world? For this emerging generation of philanthropists, what motivates and drives them?  How can one give earlier, more efficiently and have the most optimal impact over the decades to come?

Moderated by Justin Doebele, Executive Director, Forbes Asia

Confirmed speakers:
Sabrina Ho, Managing Director, Chiu Yeng Culture Ltd, Strategic Partner, UNESCO
Melissa Kwee, Chief Executive Officer, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
Laurence Lien, Chairman, Lien Foundation, CEO, Asia Philanthropy Circle
Nishita Shah, Group Managing Director, GP Group
Anderson Tanoto, Member, Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation


Session V A dialogue with Heng Swee KeatMinister for Finance, Singapore

Moderator: Tim FergusonEditor, Forbes Asia


Closing remarks


Speakers group photo

18:35 - 21:00

Networking reception




(click to view)


The Oriental Ballroom
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
5 Raffles Ave, Marina Square
Singapore 039797