Kheng Phng Li
Shanghai used to be a dreaded place for Phng Li Kheng, but after spending nine years in the bustling metropolitan city, it’s now her favourite place in the world. After all, it is there that she achieved her most well-known success: turning the almost-bankrupt Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise into a profit-making empire of 35.
Li Kheng is not one to back down from a challenge. A hospitality major, Li Kheng has worked in a whole variety of fields – from hotel management to F&B to environmental conservation. Indeed, Li Kheng is now trying her hand at reforestation in Kechara’s sprawling forest retreat. She believes that passion does not stem from the activity itself, but from her own drive to succeed.
In her spare time, Li Kheng enjoys wining and dining, travelling, and going back to Mother Nature.
Dr Clarence N.W. Tan is currently the Australian and Malaysian Ambassador for Singularity University, a think tank based in NASA Ames Research Park in Silicon Valley. He is also the founder of Bond Wireless, an Australian-based award-winning wireless software applications and services company.
He received the Queensland government’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Fellowship for 2010. He is an Adjunct Professor at Bond University and Griffith University in the Gold Coast of Australia and a founding member of the Gold Coast Angel Investors Group which has funded a number of innovative companies. Dr. Tan obtained his Ph.D. from Bond University and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (Computers) from the University of Southern California, where he went on to simultaneously complete a Master of Business Administration (Finance), and a Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Dr. Tan is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society (FACS) and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (F Fin). He has a number of academic publications including a book, book chapters and peer-reviewed papers in the area of soft computing and mobile applications. In addition Dr Tan holds a number of patents in mobility technology globally.
He has been an invited keynote speaker in a number of events including the London Business School Alumni event in Singapore, the Awesomemest Fest in Bali, the Global Investment Panel for Singularity University at NASA Ames Research Park, the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, etc.
Joyce Tagal is currently Alumni Function lead at Teach For Malaysia, the Malaysian partner of the Teach for All Global Network. She is also founder and co-director of the Otak-Otak program, a leadership development program focused on solving brain drain in Malaysia.
Previously, she worked in the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in the Prime Minister’s Office, focusing on education policy transformation.
She read Political Science at Yale University, where she was involved in the set-up of the Northeast Malaysia Forum (NMF), an organization that aims to increase dialogue among the Malaysian diaspora in the United States. Joyce grew up in Kuching and is a proud Sarawakian. She is passionate in developing the education sector in teaching, learning and in building better schools.
Gajen – also known as ‘Malaysia’s First Chindian Comedian’ – first started doing comedy in 2009. In 2012, he organized Monash University’s first ever comedy show, opening to a full house of 350 people from over 10 different countries. He is no stranger to the limelight, appearing in Monash’s student magazine Monga, getting interviewed by Capital FM, and even having NTV7 film a documentary about his career as a stand-up comedian.
Today, he has performed in more than 80 comedy shows, sharing stages with comedians from US, UK, Australia and Hong Kong.
Fuelled by his passion for solving real world problems using technology, Sunny Singh has led two teams through the local and international finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup, a software design competition where students create IT solutions to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. One of these projects is the delivery of education to children in Africa, and the other to improve the efficacy of stroke rehabilitation for the elderly using Kinetic technology.
Dr. Louisa has aspired to be a dolphin researcher ever since she was a teenager. After secondary school, she headed west, completing her tertiary studies in Hawai’i and Scotland before returning to Malaysia. She fulfilled her dream 17 years later, co-founding her own non-profit marine biology research organization, MareCet. The underlying objective of MareCet is to spread the message of marine conservation to the general public, using science and dolphins as the iconic group to do just that. One of Dr. Louisa’s main career goals is to raise the profile of marine mammals in Malaysia, and to build local research and conservation capacity for these animals and their fragile marine environment. In her own words, “If I can reduce the number of people asking me in disbelief whether Malaysia has dolphins, then I would have done something right in my career’s lifetime”.
Dr. Louisa’s illustrious research career has spanned 9 years and several seas, including the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Bering Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea and the South China Sea. She serves on many international boards and is a Research Fellow at Universiti Malaya. Her current projects include the Langkawi and Matang Dolphin Research Projects, the Trat Coastal Dolphins Project in Thailand, and the upcoming semi-interactive Langkawi Dolphin Floating Exhibition (FLEX). FLEX will feature, among other things, a life-sized sculpture of a Bryde’s whale! In her spare time, Dr. Louisa enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures.
Jin Lim is a Malaysian radio DJ on Hitz.fm and one half of the Malaysian video-making sensation JinnyBoyTV. He is now renowned for the short films he puts up on his YouTube channel – which happens to have 50,000 subscribers and counting.
Jin pursued his studies in Marketing and Advertising at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. He then returned home and started working for the promotions department of Hitz.fm, Malaysia’s leading English-language radio station. But it wasn’t long before he was offered a gig as a radio announcer for the station.
Jin soon set up a YouTube channel under the name “JinnyboyTV”. It was meant to be an avenue for him to post videos of his radio interviews so non-radio listeners would have the chance to watch them. He had no intention of being a filmmaker. However when Jin made Ah Wing – Malaysia’s Number 1 Salesman, it surpassed his expectations – racking up to 103,000 views in four days and flooding his inbox with fan emails.
That which what was meant to be a one-off became the start of a new adventure. Jin and his buddy Reuben Kang, also one of the stars of the Ah Wing video, decided to embark on a new adventure and continued making short films.
Since then, JinnyboyTV has enjoyed even more success with the Youtube series ABUDEN?! and My Generasi. The latter received one million views in four days after going viral on Facebook.
Yit Ming Toh
Yit Ming, Toh is the Co-Founder of Soft Space, a technology company recognized and accredited globally for the development of their Mobile Point of Sales Solution. Starting his career as a J2EE engineer, he progressively developed his passion for Mobile computing technology.
With his expertise, he and his team are focusing on vividly developing the solution in achieving a cashless society. The solution aims to enable every business the ability to accept card payments anywhere, anytime, securely.
Soft Space is also the brain behind the Sakae Sushi digital menu ordering system which runs on tablets. This innovative user-friendly system has already been installed in all the Sakae Sushi outlets across Malaysia and is very much favored by the customers.
Growing up for just 18 months, Soft Space has left its footprints in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Nevertheless, Yit Ming aspires to continue engineering solutions to bring betterment into people’s daily life.
Christian B Palencia is a 19 year old professional singer/songwriter that is driven to inspire. He has performed at many great stages and proms and as of the late launched his debut EP entitled the “Adrenaline” at Bentley Auditorium. Chris has also made many television appearances and he is the only Malaysian singer/songwriter that performed and starred on Disney Channel. He believes that with faith and maybe some coffee anyone and everyone can achieve their dreams. He is set on achieving one thing: To inspire the world through music to know that ‘Today is that better day’.
He also performs barefoot.
Ever since he was a small boy, Azim Hulaimi has always loved movies and daydreamed about making it into Hollywood.
Fortunate to work in Rhythm & Hues Studios for two years in Cyberjaya as a visual effects artist, he has learned a lot about movies, the magic and the importance of good teamwork. He has worked with some of the brightest talents and had the privilege to contribute to the animation aspects of several movies like Alvin & The Chipmunks 3, Seventh Son, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Django Unchained, and what capped the feather of their team’s cap was the Academy Award accreditation in 2012 for Best Visual Effects in Ang Lee‘s ‘Life of Pi’.
Now co-founder of Mira Digital Sdn. Bhd, Azim is ready to take on new creative challenges, implementing what he learned from his experiences and hopes to lead more great work for the visual effects industry in Malaysia.