Friday, August 18 2023, 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Partners for Business Growth Networking Event 2023: Expand Your Horizon, Unlock ASEAN’s Post-Covid Potential

For PBG Members and By Invitation Only

Event Introduction:
The global business landscape has undergone a seismic shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As economies gradually recover and restrictions ease, it is crucial for businesses to explore new avenues for growth and recovery. At this critical juncture, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) emerges as a beacon of opportunity, offering a promising destination for businesses looking to expand and rebuild.

In partnership with Boston Consulting Group, SME Centre@SICCI curated a program themed as “Expand Your Horizon, Unlock ASEAN’s Post-Covid Potential” that brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts who have successfully adapted their strategies to thrive in the new normal. Their insights, experiences, and innovative approaches will serve as guiding lights as you chart your own path towards recovery and growth in ASEAN.

From understanding the shifting consumer behaviours to exploring digital transformation strategies and supply chain optimisation, every aspect of business expansion will be covered, tailored specifically to the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the post-pandemic landscape.

During the event, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn how you could tap into Artificial Intelligence to optimise your supply chain management and look for new business opportunities.
  • Interact with specialists from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam on doing business in these three countries.
  • Understand the macroeconomic outlook of ASEAN and enjoy the afternoon luncheon and peer networking with a beautiful view of Singapore’s seafront.



Hosted by: SME Centre@SICCI x Boston Consulting Group




9.00am – 9.30am

Registration and Morning Networking

9.30am – 9.40am

Opening Speech
Mr Maneesh Tripathi

9.40am – 9.50am

Welcome Address
Ms Aparna Bharadwaj
Managing Director and Partner
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

9.50am – 10.05am

Success Sharing by Sheldon Global: How Tapping on Artificial Technology (A.I) Helped SMEs to Overcome Their Limitations & Promote Growth
Mr Brien Chua
Managing Director
Sheldon Global Pte. Ltd.

10.05am – 10.45am

Masterclass by BCG: Utilising the Power of Disruptive Technology and A.I to Drive Growth
Mr Tom Goh
RISE Lead Trainer

10.45am – 10.55am

Tea Break

10.55am – 11.55am

Market in Focus – Business Opportunities in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam
Mr Rong Yao
Dr Boonchai Hongcharu
Mr Ivan Chang
SMU Academy
Internationalisation Series Programme Directors

11.55am – 12.25pm

ASEAN Market Outlook
Mr Heng Koon How
Executive Director and Head of Markets Strategy
Global Economics and Markets Research
United Overseas Bank (UOB)

12.25pm – 12.45pm

Questions and Answers

12.45pm Onwards Lunch and Afternoon Networking

Speakers’ Profiles:

Mr Brien Chua, Managing Director (Sheldon Global)

Mr Brien Chua, founder and chief executive of Singapore-based home and lifestyle company Sheldon Global, started his first business selling car parts when he was studying microelectronics engineering in Temasek Polytechnic. Since he was young, Mr Chua has always wanted to steer his own career journey, rather than being part of a bigger moving mechanism. When he was in university, he almost dropped out to open a roti prata cafe. Upon graduation in 2006, he worked in banks, but somehow, did not feel fulfilled and eventually quit his job in 2008.

Currently, he has nine active businesses in Singapore, all of which are related to his core business of home and living, and retail. They are Houze, Table Matters, Aroma Matters, Creative Polybag, The Life Shop, Sole Mate, Jeju House, GreenShield and ecoHouze. His businesses can be found both online and physically. His wife, 38, is the general manager for his group of companies.

Mr Tom Goh, RISE Lead Trainer (BCG)

Tom is a native Digital and Branding Strategist. He is a digital marketer with more than 20 years of client experience across Banking, Tech, Telcos and agency background. Tom is a seasoned integrated marketer with experiences in Digital Marketing domains (SEO, Content, Social, Programmatic, Performance & Mobile Marketing).​

As a senior practitioner with these organizations, he has managed regional and in-country teams with P&L responsibilities. Tom has developed greenfield markets and launched award winning marketing campaigns for new products and services. He is a tireless and trusted evangelist who has shared and served as a senior counsel to C-suites and various start-ups on their digital transformation and go-to-market business strategies.​

Tom has served as an adjunct lecturer at NUS-ISS imparting his digital and social knowledge to the next generation workforce. He is an ACTA qualified facilitator and trainer who actively conducts digital masterclass and workshops for MNCs and local SMEs (Chang Beer, CapitaLand, MOTUL, OUE, Huawei, NTUC Income, 3M).​

Mr Rong Yao, Founder and Managing Director (Robin Advisory and Analytics); Programme Director for Internationalisation Series: Jakarta (Singapore Management University (SMU Academy))

Experienced Banker in Sales & Product Management with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry. Skilled in Portfolio Management, Financial Services, Risk Management, Sales Management, and Banking. Strong product management professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Banking and Finance from the University of London. Rong Yao is currently the founder and managing director of Robin Advisory and Analytics, a bespoke outfit of highly specialized consultants who were drawn towards the vision of implementing advanced strategies and insights of multinationals into the small business space. Rong Yao’s strength lies in developing growth hacking and new revenue generation strategies, helping firms dominate their niche. He does this by weaving digital strategies into conventional businesses and training stakeholders to adapt to new positions in the market. As one of the 30 certified management consultants in Singapore, Rong Yao provides guidance and consultancy to businesses that want to digitalize, expand, and venture into the international market. With a strong foundation in economics, effective training methodology and a keen sense of how digital business models can be applied, he has been in the trenches of discovering niche markets with business owners throughout Asia.

Dr Boonchai Hongcharu, Professor, Marketing (NIDA Business School); Director (Siripattana Training Center at the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)); Programme Director for Internationalisation Series: Bangkok (SMU Academy)

Dr Boonchai Hongcharu is a professor of marketing at NIDA Business School and Director of Siripattana Training Center at the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), a government-owned, graduate-only university in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a former dean of NIDA Business School and was responsible for the accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) from 2008-2012. Prior to joining NIDA, he was Product Development Manager at Shinawatra Computer and Communications Public Company Limited and Business Development Specialist at International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC). He was an Investment Analyst at Morgan Grenfell Asia Securities (HK) Ltd and Smith New Court (formerly Merrill Lynch and now Bank of America). He received a Ph.D. from the Newhouse School, Syracuse University., M.A. in Administrative Studies from Ohio University and B.A. (First Class Honors) in English from Chulalongkorn University. His research interest includes integrated marketing communications.

Mr Ivan Chang, Head of Payments (Fortune 100); Adjunct Faculty, Programme Director for Internationalisation Series: Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and Israel (SMU Academy)

Ivan serves as the Head of Payments, APAC for a Fortune 100 media company. In his role, he oversees a diversified team across Asia and processes more than US$250 million in transactions monthly. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of payment transactions as well as ensuring the company has a growth strategy in the emerging area of finance and technology. Prior, he co-founded and served as Executive Chairman of Wonder Group. Through its seven campuses in Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, the company helps build and manage offshore software development teams. As the Executive Chairman, Ivan also oversees investor relations and helped raised more than US$1.5 million in start-up capital in 2015 from Plug and Play Venture (Silicon Valley) before exiting to Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). He currently also serves as an Adjunct Faculty with SMU School of Accountancy in the area of accounting and finance. Ivan graduated from SMU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Management. Besides a Bachelor in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, he also holds various professional qualifications, among them Chartered Accountant (non-practising) and Certified Financial Analyst.

Mr Heng Koon How, Executive Director and Head of Markets Strategy, Global Economics and Markets Research (UOB)

Koon How is the Head of Markets Strategy at the Global Economics and Markets Research team at UOB, where he formulates forecasts and market views for foreign exchange (FX), commodities and interest rates. In addition to traditional FICC-related research, Koon How is also a member of UOB’s Blockchain and Digital Assets (BCDA) task force. He has more than 25 years of financial markets experience across the key asset classes. Fluent in English and Mandarin, Koon How actively participates in and moderates various investment seminars and forums across the Asia Pacific region and is a regular commentator in key local and international print and broadcast media.