Introducing 50 women over age 50 from Asia-Pacific who are reaching new heights in their industries and inspiring the region’s next generation. Produced in partnership with Mika Brzezinski and Know Your Value, meet the women working across technology, pharmaceuticals, art and politics and beyond who are proving that success comes at any age.
By Rana Wehbe Watson and Maggie McGrath
With reporting by Karsha Green and Danielle Keeton-Olsen with Russell Flannery
61 | Chair-CEO, GlobalWafers | Taiwan
Hsu leads GlobalWafers, one of the world’s largest suppliers of silicon wafers used in making chips. In June the company announced it would invest up to $5 billion in a new wafer plant in Sherman, Texas, that would create as many as 1,500 jobs. The plan, seen as a strategic move, came two months before the U.S. enacted its $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act to attract investment and boost domestic production of semiconductors.
Hsu took the helm of the Hsinchu-headquartered firm—which was born as a spinoff from Taiwan’s Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS)—in 2011. Prior to her top role as chair and CEO, she had been a sales engineer for an equipment supplier to SAS and then joined the company in the same role in 1988.
With a passion for semiconductors made clear by frequently arriving at work by 5 a.m., Hsu has led GlobalWafers to become a publicly-traded company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of nearly $6 billion, backed up by sales of $2.3 billion in 2022. To Hsu, sky’s the limit. She is now eyeing a push into the U.S. solar energy market (See related post here.)
View the list: A-C
57 | Founder, Boost Juice/Retail Zoo | Australia
Allis founded Boost Juice in 2000, one of the world’s largest juice and smoothie franchises with over 500 stores in over 13 countries. In 2007, Janine cofounded Retail Zoo with her husband to expand their food and beverage empire, launching over 650 stores worldwide under the brands Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill, CIBO Espresso and Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. After age 50 Allis entered popular culture in her own right. She published The Accidental Entrepreneur in 2016, was featured on Shark Tank Australia and The Celebrity Apprentice Australia, plus Australian Survivor in 2019. Allis is an ambassador for UNHCR Leading Women Fund and has received various accolades, including being inducted into the Australian Franchise Hall of Fame in 2015.
58 | Founder, Partners Life | New Zealand
Ballantyne first became an entrepreneur at the age of 35, when she lost her job and then felt “unemployable.” Club Life, the insurance firm she founded and sold in 2003, would not be her last foray into the world of insurance. In 2011, she started Partners Life and grew it into a major player in the Kiwi market, holding 17% of the country’s premium share. Last summer, she sold the business for NZD1 billion ($637 million) to a Japanese insurance giant—a not too shabby sum for the penny-pinching daughter of a post-office worker.
55 | Director, The Indian Statistical Institute | India
Bandyopadhyay is an award-winning computer scientist who has focused her research on computational biology, pattern recognition and data mining. In 2015, she became the first female director of the Indian Statistical Institute; she oversees the institute’s operations in Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, and Tezpur and also teaches classes within its machine learning division. In 2018, she was appointed to the Indian prime minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council, and in 2022 she received one of the country’s highest civilian honors, the Padma Shri, for her groundbreaking work in science and engineering.
69 | Chef-Owner, Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery | Malaysia
Beh Gaik Lean
At 69, Chef Beh was awarded a Michelin Star for her Baba Nyonya (a traditional Chinese/Malay blend cuisine) eatery in Penang, Malaysia, in 2022. She is one of the first chefs in Malaysia to receive the honor. Beh is a fourth-generation Nyonya – a Malaysian of Peranakan Chinese origin – who started cooking the unique cuisine at age 12. In her 20s, Beh was an in-house chef in Motorola’s canteen before starting a catering company, supplying meals to multinational companies. Beh refined her skills under Datuk Lim Bian Yam, a Master Chef of Chefs. Beh and her son opened the restaurant in 2013.
51 | CEO-Managing Director, Telstra | Australia
In September 2022, Brady became the first female CEO of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company by market share. Brady joined Telstra in 2016 after stints at Optus, SingTel and KPMG. Key to corporate strategy well before she took the top job, Brady was previously CFO and lead strategy executive. In 2018, Brady was diagnosed with breast cancer. Brady is passionate about gender diversity and says she hopes her position inspires her daughters and other women and girls “to stay resilient and chase their dreams.”
56 | Chairperson, Securities and Exchange Board of India | India
Madhabi Puri Buch
Buch became the first woman to lead India’s securities market watchdog — as well as the youngest and first from the private sector — when she was elected to lead the board in March 2022. Buch promised upon entering the chairmanship to increase productivity and accountability, and has so far eased regulations on IPOs and explored developing the bond market. She has also requested government permission to shut down insider trading on WhatsApp and Telegram.
59 | Founder, Perfect Corp | Taiwan
Chang founded Perfect Corp in 2015, at age 52, and in 2022, became the first Taiwan-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Perfect Corp provides AR and AI SaaS solutions for the beauty and fashion industries. Perfect’s technologies include virtual product try-ons, facial diagnostics and digital consultation services with offices in 11 cities and serving over 450 brands. Chang also created the suite of YouCam apps, bringing the technology directly to users with over 1 billion downloads. Chang previously held executive and managerial positions, including CEO of CyberLink (a company she cofounded in 1996). See related post here.
69 | Actor | Taiwan
Chang is a multi-award winning Taiwanese actress, screenwriter, director and singer. In 2022, Chang won best leading actress at the Golden Horse Awards for the third time and was nominated Best Actress in the 16th Asian Film Awards (to be announced in March 2023). She made her film debut in 1973 at 18 in The Tattooed Dragon. Chang directed several acclaimed films, including 20 30 40 (2004) and Run Papa Run (2008). In 2018, a 15-film retrospective in her honor was screened in New York. She is also a life-long volunteer for World Vision International, a relief and development organization.
63 | Cofounder-CEO, Trend Micro | Taiwan
Chen cofounded global security software firm Trend Micro in 1988 and has served as CEO since 2004. Under her leadership in her 50s and beyond, Chen has directed the company towards server and endpoint security and cloud protection. Trend Micro netted JPY 190 million (roughly $1.4 billion) in sales for 2021, up 9.4%. In 2020 Chen made Cyber Defense Magazine’s list of most influential women in cybersecurity and CRN’s Top 100 Executives list. Chen is also a strong advocate for diversity in the IT industry, launching Close the Gap in 2018 to help women find opportunities and partnering with the non-profit Girls in Tech.
61 | Executive Chairman, Straits Trading | Singapore
Chew Gek Khim
Ever since 2008, when Chew outbid another powerful Singaporean family for control of Straits Trading—the company her grandfather Tan Chin Tuan had chaired before her— she has modernized a colonial-era tin smelting interest into a diversified property and hospitality firm. The billionaire’s key move was buying a 20% stake in Singaporean property fund manager ARA Asset Management in 2013, which ultimately netted her a more-than $500 million windfall and a stake in a firm with $140 billion in assets under management.
60 | President director-CEO, Central Pattana | Thailand
Wallaya took the helm of Central Pattana at the beginning of 2022, becoming the first female CEO at retail property developer (which is part of the Chirathivat family’s Central Group). Her plans for the company are ambitious: she earmarked more than $5 billion to expand its footprint in Thailand and beyond, increasing the number of its shopping centers by a third to 50 over the next five years and adding 34 hotels to its portfolio of three.
56 | CEO-Managing Director, CSR | Australia
Coates became the head of building-products company CSR in September 2019. Drawing on her decades of experience spearheading business transformation at Australian supermarket giant Woolworths Group and food maker Goodman Fielder, she steered the Sydney-based business through the supply chain disruption of the past two years. A standout in the male-dominated construction industry, Coates, who started her career as a high school math teacher, said in an interview in September that CSR has put policies in place to increase the number of women employed at the company. She is one of three women members of CSR’s nine-person executive leadership team.
57 | CEO, Standard Chartered Bank India | India
Daruwala was appointed CEO of Standard Chartered Bank India in 2016, when the bank’s retail banking business was experiencing heavy losses. Daruwala focused on execution, a more granular approach and technological investments, including a highly successful digital interface for saving accounts. By 2019, the retail banking arm was back to profit. Daruwala is a strong advocate for women leadership and was named as a Top 100 Most Influential BFSI Leader by the World BFSI Congress and Awards 2022.
59 | Chair, Tesla | Australia
Denholm, whose first job was reportedly pumping gas at her parent’s service station in Sydney, has been an independent director at Tesla—the world’s most valuable car company with a market cap around $350 billion—since 2014. She replaced founder Elon Musk as chairman four years ago. In March 2022, she became one of a handful of women sports-team investors in Australia after her family office, Wollemi Capital Group, bought a 30% stake in the owner of men’s basketball team Sydney Kings and women’s club Sydney Flames.
59 | Founder, House of Anita Dongre | India
Dongre founded House of Anita Dongre in 1995 with her sister and two sewing machines in her Mumbai apartment. House of Anita Dongre now includes four brands, AND (western wear), Global Desi (contemporary line), Grassroot (sustainable luxury brand), and Pinkcity (jewelry). The fashion house has 280 exclusive brand stores, and Dongre opened Grassroots in Manhattan in 2017 at age 53. Her fans include countless Bollywood stars such as Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra, royals like Kate Middleton and international superstar Beyoncé. Dongre is a vegan and member of PETA, and is often referred to as the “Queen of Prêt” by Indian media.
56 | Cofounder-Chief Scientific Officer, Giant Biogene Holding Co. | China
Fan became a billionaire in November after listing Giant Biogene Holding on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in a nearly $500 million IPO. The company, which Fan cofounded in 2000, is built around her scientific research on collagen in facial products and especially masks. In 2021, these products constituted the majority of the company’s $220 million in sales. Fan leads both research at the Xi’an-based company and as a dean at Xi’an’s Northwest University.
62 | Founder-CEO, CLIO Cosmetics | South Korea
Han founded CLIO Cosmetics at the age of 33 and took it from a small firm earning just $900,000 in sales in 1997 into a leading South Korean beauty brand. Han and CLIO’s biggest strides have come within the last seven years: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE bought a 7% stake in the company in 2016 for $50 million, and CLIO went public later that year with an IPO of $150 million. The company earned $183 million in revenue in 2021.
60 | Founder, Chocolate on Purpose | Australia
At age 60, Harrison founded Chocolate on Purpose, an Indigenous-owned company that fuses Belgian chocolate with Australian native botanicals. The unlikely spark for her business came after being caught in an armed robbery while working at a bank and, as a result, developed PTSD. In her recovery Harrison, a Wiradjuri woman, found botanical oils helped her panic attacks. Divorced and jobless during the pandemic, Harrison gave 100% to CoP with a vision to promote the benefits of “bush food.” By 2022, she was an award winner at the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards for her role in building an Indigenous-led supply chain and says she is generating a profit.
56 | President director, Sillo Maritime Perdana | Indonesia
In the five years since she took control of the Jakarta-based shipping company, Herjati more than doubled Sillo Maritime’s top line, with sales reaching $101 million at the end of 2021. Herjati, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, joined Sillo Maritime as finance director in 2002, helping steer the company’s 70-billion-rupiah ($4.5 million) listing on the Indonesia stock exchange in 2016. She took the helm as president director a year later. She is the only woman on Sillo Maritime’s five-person board.
60 | Minister of Finance | Indonesia
Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Indrawati was re-appointed as Indonesia’s Minister of Finance in 2016, at age 54, and is internationally known for promoting gender diversity and anti-corruption. During her first tenure (2005-2010), Indonesia’s foreign exchange reached an all-time high of $50 billion, reduced public debt to 30% of GDP, and oversaw reforms that positioned Indonesia as one of three emerging economies to grow faster than 4% in 2009. From 2010-2016, Indrawati was managing director and COO at World Bank. In 2018, Indrawati was awarded “Best Minister in the World” at the World Government Summit in Dubai, and in 2020 was awarded Finance Minister of the Year for East Asia Pacific by Global Markets magazine for her role in guiding Indonesia through the global pandemic.
64 | President, Akademi Sains Malaysia | Malaysia
With dozens of papers and patents in microbiology under her belt, Ismail is one of Malaysia’s top-ranked academics. In March 2022, at the age of 63, she was awarded the country’s National Academic Laureate award. Before that, she served as the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s first female vice-chancellor from 2016 to 2019, and she has held a number of prestigious academic positions over her career: chair of the educational regulator Malaysian Qualifications Agency and a scientific advisor to COP15. One of Ismail’s most prominent innovations is the typhoid rapid diagnostic test TYPHIDOT, which is used worldwide.
59 | Founder-CEO, Zest | Japan
Ito’s health care schedule management startup Zest raised $5.6 million in pre-Series A seed funding in August 2022, six years after her company joined accelerator program 500 Kobe (which is part of 500 Startups) and nearly 20 years after she first dreamed up the company. Ito created the software infrastructure for Zest in 2003 but sat on the innovation until she felt ready to bring it to market. She will use the new funding to strengthen Zest’s sales systems and is eyeing expansion into the U.S. and other parts of Asia and Europe.
63 | CEO-President, Sanrio Entertainment | Japan
Komaki joined Sanrio (creator of Hello Kitty) after earning a Masters in Education at Tokyo University but quit to raise a family in 1984. After the loss of a child and a divorce, Komaki returned to Sanrio in 2003. Once back, she survived breast cancer and a hysterectomy to become a board director in 2015 at Sanrio’s amusement subsidiary. She was charged with Puroland theme park, also known as Hello Kitty Land, and it reached a historic high of 2.19 million visitors in less than four years. Komaki was appointed President and CEO in 2019 at age 60. She moved operations online during the pandemic, streaming parades and online meetups. Komaki advocates for cervical cancer awareness and women’s health, hosting Let’s Talk, an event themed on menstruation at Puroland in July 2021.
72 | Founder-Chair, Test Rite International | Taiwan
Lee founded the household product export company Test Rite International in 1974. The Taiwanese-listed company has 6,000 employees across 10 countries and had an annual revenue of over $1 billion in 2020. Under her leadership, the company expanded into retail business development, navigating the U.S. and China trade war fallout and adapting to the rise of e-commerce. Lee has staying power: She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young Taiwan in 2015 and was featured on Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list in 2014—all after age 50.
58 | President, Head of Global Marketing, Samsung | South Korea
Lee’s successful work promoting the Samsung Galaxy brand globally landed her the prestigious title of company president in December, making her the first woman to ever hold the role. Lee first joined Samsung in 2007 after stints at other global brands like Unilever and L’Oreal. She’s credited with opening Samsung Electronics’ consumer-oriented strategies and promoting the brand at major global events including the Olympic Games and Fashion Week, and she was inducted into Northwestern University’s Medill Hall of Achievement in 2016.
52 |Managing Partner, Qiming Ventures | Hong Kong
A perennial member of the Forbes Midas List of the world’s best venture capital investors, Leung has a razor-sharp vision for healthcare innovations. As Qiming Ventures managing partner for healthtech, she spotted the potential in what are now major public companies, including Zai Lab and CanSino Biologics. In 2021, 25 of the firm’s biotech portfolio companies were preparing to list within the next 20 months. Leung had a studded record before joining Qiming: she was the cofounder of Biomedics Holdings, which saw several of its key investments get acquired by major healthcare brands.
62 | CEO, Securities and Futures Commission | Hong Kong
Julia Leung Fung-yee
Last month, Leung became the first female CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. She assumed the position after spending seven years on the commission’s executive committee, where she supervised fund managers and brokers as well as wrote risk management standards to protect investors. Leung wasn’t always a regulator: she started her career as a journalist for Wall Street Journal Asia, and she’s also an author of a book about regulators during the Asian Financial Crisis.
56 | Supreme Court Judge | Pakistan
In 2022, at age 56, Malik became the first woman to serve as a justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, in the country’s 75-year history. Malik previously served for a decade as a judge on the Lahore High Court, ruling on the enforcement of international arbitration in Pakistan and sat on the Green Bench, advocating environmental justice. In 2021, Malik issued a seminal judgement outlawing the use of virginity tests in rape cases. She also served on the board of the Punjab Judicial Academy and as chair of the Judicial Officers Female Supervisory Committee.
59 | Chairperson, Steel Authority of India Ltd. | India
The first woman to chair state-run Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), Mondal has led the steelmaker to record earnings growth since taking the mantle in 2021. Annual revenue grew by 50% to more than 1.03 trillion rupees ($13.7 billion) while profits surged threefold to 120 billion rupees for the year that ended on March 31, 2022. Mondal has always worked in the metals industry: She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology at Rourkela and after graduating in 1984 joined state-run National Aluminium Co.
57 | CEO, Nomura Asset Management | Japan
Since joining the Bank of Japan’s board in early 2021, Nakagawa has helped lead the 140-year-old institution through Covid-19 and the post-pandemic economic slump by extending financial support for small- and medium-size businesses. A financial policy centrist, Nakagawa says she hopes in the long term to see the BOJ continue to create financial conditions that can maximize corporate profits. She started her career with Nomura in 1988 and has held executive positions since 2011 and is considered a leader who’s cleared a path for women into the securities industry.
60 | Vice Chair, Japan Business Federation | Japan
Namba stepped into Japan’s biggest business lobbying firm as its first female vice chair in 2021. It is her first major role in nearly a decade: She founded gaming firm DeNA in 1999 but left day-to-day management after the company’s $400 million acquisition by Ngmoco in 2011. She still maintains a seat on DeNA’s board, and today DeNA is a global force in the games industry.
58 | Cofounder-President, Kickstart Ventures | Philippines
As president of Kickstart Ventures, Navarrete sees herself as a bridge between established Philippines conglomerates and startups in the country. She uses the resources and networks of Philippines mobile operator Globe Telecom, the VC’s corporate parent company, to boost promising startups and address the gaps in the country’s startup scene. Navarrete was a particular help to Philippines startups during the pandemic, when her work placed an emphasis on sustainable tech. But she’s not just a cheerleader: she holds prominent titles including senior vice president of Globe’s New Business division and co-chair of Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council.
70 | Founder-Group Managing Director, EtonHouse | Singapore
Ng Gim Choo
Ng spent the first 10 years of her career as an accountant but took time off to raise her kids and travel with her husband. It was then, as a stay-at-home mom and parent volunteer at her daughter’s school, that the seeds of EtonHouse were planted: she realized she wanted to build a school where children could learn through play and exploration. What started as a preschool project has now expanded into an international network of schools that has taught 20,000 students across 11 countries and commands an annual revenue of $150 million.
59 | Co-CEO, KB Securities | South Korea
In January 2019, Park became the first female CEO of KB Securities, the brokerage arm of KB Financial Group, Korea’s largest financial services firm by market cap. Along with her co-CEO Kim Sung-hyun, KB Securities achieved record earnings growth after three years—up 130% from 2019 to approximately 594 billion won ($519 million) in 2021. Although she received a “reprimand” and KB Securities was fined by South Korea’s financial regulator in 2020 in the wake of the Lime Asset Management scandal, Park’s leadership term was extended this December for another year. Park, who embraces a “rainbow leadership” style, received the CEO Award at International Data Corporation Korea’s (IDC) annual Digital Transformation Awards in 2020.
53 | Chair, Biosmart | South Korea
Park is known as the queen of mergers and acquisitions for quickly scaling her company through strategic business buyouts, buying some 12 companies for total sales of more than $393 million. Since starting her first company, a tire wholesaler, in the 1990s, Park has steadily turned Biosmart into a conglomerate with operations in diagnostics (under AMS Bio), beauty (under Lamy Cosmetics), and electric metering (under Omnisystem). In 2020, Park quickly jumped to develop rapid tests amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
67 | Cofounder-Managing Director, Muangthai Capital | Thailand
Daonapa cofounded Muangthai Capital in 1992, providing micro loans to Thailand’s farmers, factory workers and civil servants. The company offers credit backed by vehicle titles, such as motorcycles, automobiles and farm equipment, with some 6,550 branches. The average loan size is typically 10,000 baht (approximately $300) at an interest rate ceiling of 24%. The company went public in 2014. From 2018 to 2021, total revenue was up 54% to some 16 billion baht (approximately $500 million). Petampai, along with her husband and cofounder Chuchat, have a net worth of $2.1 billion and appeared as No. 12 on the Forbes 2022 Thailand’s 50 Richest ranking.
53 | President Director, Bluebird Group | Indonesia
Purnomo is a third-generation leader of the Indonesian taxi company Bluebird Group, founded by her grandmother in 1965. Purnomo joined the business as a technical employee in 1994, becoming President Director of Bluebird Group Holdings in 2013. When the pandemic hit as Purnomo turned 50, she deftly steered the company through the crisis, launching Bluebird COD and BirdKirim, as well as digital payment facilities in 2020. She’s also supported over 40,000 wives of Bluebird’s employees to start their own businesses and provided educational scholarships to over 30,000 Bluebird children. Purnomo was named UN Women Empowerment Principal’s Award in 2020 and the IDC Futures Enterprise Award as CEO of the Year in 2021.
62 | Minister of Climate Change | Pakistan
At the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), Rehman made global news, suggesting a new deal to channel money from rich countries to poor ones that have suffered climate-related disasters. A former journalist, information minister and ambassador to the U.S., Rehman was the first female to hold office as Leader of Opposition in the Senate in 2018. She was appointed Pakistan’s Minister of Climate Change in April 2022. Rehman has received various awards, including Pakistan’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz. She co-authored Five Hundred Years of The Kashmiri Shawl, published in 2006, and was awarded the R. L. Shep Textiles Book Award from the Textile Society of America. In 2022, Rehman was named among 25 Most Influential Women in 2022 by Financial Times.
52 | Author | Malaysia
Karina Robles Bahrin
Robles Bahrin published her first novel in 2022 at age 52. The Accidental Malay won the Epigram Books Fiction Prize 2022, becoming the second Malaysian and first female Malaysian to win the award for writers from Southeast Asia. She was awarded RM78,000 and a publishing contract with Epigram Books. Robles Bahrin was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, moving to Langkawi to open a hotel and restaurant after a 20-year-long career in public relations. The Accidental Malay explores race, religion and womanhood in a satirical tale.
61 | Artist | Thailand
Pinaree is one of Southeast Asia’s foremost contemporary artists working in painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles and ceramics. Her work focuses on representations of women’s bodies: vessels, eggs, curves and, above all else, breasts—she has been called “the breast artist.” Her art has been inspired by motherhood and femininity since her son was born in 1993. Pinaree has energized the global art circuit, and this year, at age 61, she was featured in the main exhibition of the 2022 Venice Art Biennale, titled “The Milk of Dreams,” and at Art Basel Miami Beach this past December.
65 | Novelist | India
At age 65, Shree became the first Indian to win the International Booker Prize in 2022 for her novel, Tomb of Sand, originally written in Hindi and translated by Daisy Rockwell. Shree has been writing for over 30 years and has authored several short stories and five novels, translated into English, French, German, Serbian and Korean. Her novel Mai (2000) was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award in 2001. Shree is also the recipient of the Indu Sharma Samman award and in December 2022 was named in BBC’s 100 Women list as one of the world’s most inspiring and influential women of the year.
66 | Lawyer, human rights advocate | Malaysia
Born to a prominent Malaysian urologist, Sreenevasan first began her work as a lawyer in England in 1980 and was admitted to the Malaysian Bar two years later. Over the next three decades, her work focused more on commercial and corporate litigation. She rose to prominence in 2007 when, as president of the Malaysian Bar, she led a march of 2,000 lawyers calling for judicial reform. Her work as an advocate has continued apace: in 2011, she chaired a movement calling for election reform, and she’s been a staunch advocate for Malaysian women’s rights, successfully fighting to amend the country’s constitution to ensure that women’s testimonies in court hold equal weight to those of men’s. In 2009, Sreenevasan received the U.S. International Women of Courage Award.
65 | Founder-Fashion Designer, Vivienne Tam | Hong Kong
Tam is a renowned fashion designer who is now embracing Web3. Born in Guangzhou, China, and raised in Hong Kong, the international design star’s work is part of the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Victoria and Albert Museum, and she’s dressed notables such as Dr. Jill Biden, Lady Gaga and Gong Li. At New York Fashion Week in September 2022, Tam revolutionized the runway by incorporating NFT characters into her designs. Her company was acquired by AMTD Group last November, and she was appointed head of design and creations and a board director of AMTD Digital. In December 2022, Tam was one of seven designers that created one-off NFTs for a Council of Fashion Designers of America exhibition.
75 | Founder, Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp | China
Tao is the founder of the potent, prevalent hot sauce business that in 2015 earned her a spot on a Forbes ranking of Chinese billionaires, helped boost rural Guizhou province’s economy and brought her face into grocery stores across the globe. Tao’s hot sauce first became popular while she was running a restaurant in Guizhou province, which was known as a place students could get a free meal when they couldn’t afford it. She started the sauce factory at 49.
60 | Cofounder-Vice Chairman-Managing Director, Carabao | Thailand
Nutchamai branched out from her family’s financial business to, in 2001, cofound the energy drink company Carabao. It is now ubiquitous across Thailand and neighboring countries. Carabao frequently throws branded events and launches experimental new products like collagen-loaded supplement drinks. Carabao had also expanded into China, boosting Nutchamai’s fortune to $925 million. The company has also joined the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s sustainability pledge.
80 | Artist | Taiwan
Tong is Taiwan’s most acclaimed calligrapher and modern artist, known for blurring the boundary between calligraphy and abstract painting. Tong’s father had her and her siblings practice calligraphy daily, and she fell in love with the strokes. She studied fine arts at National Taiwan Normal University and oil painting and ceramics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Tong’s modern twist on calligraphy has been used for signage, branding, music and fashion collaborations, including a Chanel campaign and the passport stamp travelers receive when arriving in Taipei. In 2021, Tong took four phrases from a Chinese philosophical text, I Ching (Book of Changes), and made them into large-scale artworks for two pillars in the main hall at the M+ museum in Hong Kong.
65 | Founder-Chairman, Selyn | Sri Lanka
Wanduragala is the founder of bespoke handicraft brand Selyn, which is a certified Fair Trade export business with more than 1,000 artisans under its purview. Selyn started as a cottage handloom operation employing around a dozen local women out of Wanduragala’s house in Kurunegala province. Her workshop was later spotted by the Government of Netherlands as it was seeking to promote local women’s businesses and has since taken off. Her daughter Selyna Peiris — the namesake of the company — is the director of business development for the company and is now experimenting with blockchain as a way to track product sourcing.
57 | Chairman, Chengdu Easton Biopharmaceuticals | China
Wang founded Chengdu Easton Biopharmaceuticals in 2009. The company, which develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of generic drugs, started trading on the Shanghai STAR Market in September 2020 and has continued to grow under Wang’s leadership. In July 2022, the Chengdu-based company won a bid for four of its products, including treatments for Alzheimer’s and hepatitis B, to be included in the government’s centralized bulk-buying drug program. In 2022 it also applied to the U.S. FDA for approval to sell a generic version of nalmefene hydrochloride—an injectable counteractive for an opioid overdose—in the U.S.
58 | Founder-CEO, Medipost | South Korea
Yang, a trained pathologist and former professor at Samsung Medical Center, has been on the cutting edge of stem cell research and commercialization since she founded Medipost in 2000. Decades later, its $46 million revenue (YE 2021) business includes stem cell therapeutics, cord blood banks and nutritional supplements with a global network spanning China, Japan, the U.S. and Canada. Two private equity firms, Crescendo and SkyLake Equity Partners, recently bought a controlling stake in Medipost for $131 million to accelerate its clinical trials in the U.S. Medipost has at least 39 patents under its firm, all naming Yang as a contributor.
Forbes 50 Over 50 2022
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50 Over 50: Lifestyle
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