Malaysian entrepreneur among 25 Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2019

by HARIZAH KAMEL

GRAB Holdings Inc COO Tan Hooi Ling made it into Forbes 2019 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list that highlights the region’s 25 outstanding women in business.

The 35-year-old Malaysian, who co-founded the ride-hailing giant with Anthony Tan, led the company in rai-sing over S$9 billion (RM27.34 billion) since Grab’s launch in 2012.

After acquiring Uber Technologies Inc’s South-East Asia operations, Tan focuses on growing the firm’s market share in eight countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Currently, the Singapore-based company is operating in 336 cities. The list recognises women who are breaking down barriers and playing a significant role in shaping Asia’s business landscape.

This includes entrepreneurs who have started their own business; those reorganising their family businesses and high level executives.

With 25 new names, the list seeks to expand the community of women business leaders by building upon the legacy created since the inaugural Asia’s Power Businesswomen list in 2012.

2019 Asia’s Power Businesswomen editor Rana Wehbe said Forbes Asia wants to showcase the women’s achievement in the business world and present them as both powerful and empowering, so that their success stories would inspire readers from all walks of life.

Among those who made the list this year are Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao of Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Co, Falguni Nayar of beauty retailer Nykaa, Akiko Naka of job-search site Wantedly and Jenny Qian Zhiya of Luckin coffee chain.

Nguyen, who is founder and CEO of the Vietnamese low-cost carrier, made history as the only woman in the traditionally male-dominated aviation business to start and run her own major commercial airline.

Shares of Vietjet, which was founded in 2007, have more than doubled since its 2017 initial public offering, giving it a market value of US$3 billion (RM12.6 billion). She is also Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire, and South-East Asia’s wealthiest self-made woman, with a net worth of S$2.5 billion.

Another outstanding businesswoman in the region is former investment banker Nayar, who quit her job and launched beauty retailer Nykaa in 2012.

Today, the company has 46 stores across India and attracts 45 million visitors a month to its website and app.

Nykaa has raised S$51 million in funding and, in April, TPG Growth Capital invested S$14.4 million for an undisclosed stake in a deal that valued Nykaa at S$724 million.