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.



Registration desk opens




Guests to be seated


Welcome remarks


Session I A dialogue with Tharman ShanmugaratnamSingapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies

Moderator: Tim FergusonEditor, Forbes Asia


Session II - 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?


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.


Session IV - 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.


Session V - Lessons from the Top

Some of the largest and most successful conglomerates in the world are family-run, having started from humble beginnings. While family businesses remain one of the most successful and enduring business models in the world, studies have shown that many of them struggle to last beyond three generations. Unique challenges arise when family and professional relationships overlap. Running a family business also comes with heavy responsibilities in personal, professional and business spheres. What’s it like having a business in the family? What are some of the best practices of running a sustainable family business? What key lessons can be passed on to the next generation? This panel gathers prominent family business leaders to discuss what drives family business success.


Closing remarks

19:00 - 21:00

Cocktail reception




  • Moira Forbes
    Executive Vice President, Forbes Media
    President and Publisher, ForbesWoman
    United States
  • Chan Chun Sing
    Prime Minister’s Office
  • Anthony Tan
    Group CEO
  • Jeongdo Hong
    President and CEO, JoongAng Ilbo and JMnet
    President and CEO, JTBC
    South Korea
  • Robin Tan
    Berjaya Corporation Berhad
  • Beh Swan Gin
    Singapore Economic Development Board
  • Rose Damen
    Commercial Director, Amels, SeaXplorer and Yacht Support
    Non-Executive Board Member, Damen Shipyards Group
  • Kishin RK
    Chief Executive Officer
    RB Capital Group
  • Maverick Shih
    President, BYOC Smart Products
    Acer Inc
  • Divesh Makan
    Chief Executive Officer
    ICONIQ Capital
    United States
  • Chatri Sityodtong
    Chairman and CEO
    ONE Championship
  • Schwin Chiaravanont
    Managing Director, 2W Group
    Executive Director, Aura Group
  • Ananya Birla
    Musician, Entrepreneur, Mental Health Campaigner, Chairperson and Director
    Svatantra Microfinance Pvt Ltd
  • Hui Lim
    Executive Director, Chief Information Officer
  • Sabrina Ho Chiu Yeng
    Director and CEO
    Poly Auction Macau Ltd
    Hong Kong
  • Ho Ren Hua
    Chief Executive Officer
    Thai Wah Group
  • Jennifer Liu
    Chairman and CEO
    The Coffee Academics
    Hong Kong
  • Eric Fok
    Vice President
    Fok Ying Tung Group
    Hong Kong
  • Shruti Shibulal
    Director, Strategy & Development
    The Tamara
  • Goh Miah Kiat
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Sid Wahi
    Managing Director
    CMA Investment Holdings
    South Africa
  • Rachel Lau
    RHL Ventures
  • Tim Ferguson
    Forbes Asia
    United States


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


For assistance on reservations:

Elaine Teo
+65 6885 3505
[email protected]