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10 M'sians named in Forbes’ list of youths to watch

Published
Modified 27 Feb 2016, 12:08 am

Ten Malaysians aged under 30 were named in financial magazine Forbes ’ 30 under 30 Asia 2016 list released today.

The list includes top 30 millennials to watch for each of the ten different categories assessed by judges who are leading figures in their fields in the region.

The judges include Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan; actress Michelle Yeoh; founding president of Google China Kaifu Lee; Ruth Elliot, founder of 'Daughters of Cambodia', the NGO which did pioneering work with trafficking victims; and Angie Lau, the CEO of Clover Group, the firm behind the lingerie brand Victoria's Secret.

The Malaysians were named in six categories – entertainment and sports, arts, retail and e-commerce, finance and venture capital, social enterprise, and manufacturing and energy.

They are:

1) Yunalis Mat Zarai’ai (Yuna), 29, singer and entrepreneur

Chart-topping pop singer and entrepreneur Yuna is now making waves in the United States where she is signed with the label Verve Records. She has worked with top producers like Pharell. She is also the founder of clothing line, November Culture, and the fashion store iamjetfuel.

2) Yeoh Choo Kuan, 27, contemporary artist

Yeoh is a contemporary artist who uses painting as his primary medium to reflect on his upbringing in a traditional Malaysian Chinese family. His exhibition in Hong Kong drew international attention.

3) Wee Kiat Teoh, 27, founder of myBurgerlab

Wee founded food outlet franchise myBurgerlab in 2012. The business now has four outlets and 120 employees. MyBurgerlab plans to expand in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

4) Faeez Fahdillah, 29, co-founder and CEO of Tripfez

Tripfez, founded in 2013, offers Muslim-friendly packages and tours and advice on halal food options. Faeez believes travel inspires people, and hopes with Tripfez, more Muslims will embark on the experience.

5) Ian Chua, 27, co-founder and CEO of Hermo

Chua conceived the idea for an online one-stop shop for affordable cosmetics while studying in University of Adelaide. His online shop now serves 150,000 users.

6) Sylvia Yin, 23, co-founder and COO of Shoppr

Shoppr is an online aggregator app that gives users clothing recommendations based on brands across Southeast Asia. In 2015, it raised US$400,000 (RM1.7 million) in seed funding from 500 start-ups, east ventures and a Malaysian angel investor.

7) Johnny Mayo, 29, co-founder Neuroware

Neuroware organised the world's first bank-backed blockchain hackathon with DBS in Singapore and mentored Asia's first bank-sponsored accelerator with CIMB. The firm develops protocols to help organisations store and share data using blockchain database.

8) Zikry Kohlil, 29, co-founder and CEO of Incitement

Former radio announcer and national ice hockey player Zikry founded Incitement in 2011 to connect volunteers and corporate sponsors to causes. It now operates in 41 countries and works with organisations like the United Nations.

9) John-son Oei, 28, founder and CEO of EPIC Collaborative

Oei is most noted for EPIC’s flagship the programme – EPIC Homes, where volunteers build modular sustainable homes for needy communities in three days. He drew inspiration for the design from Lego bricks and flat-pack furniture giant IKEA. EPIC has built 71 homes by 3,000 volunteers, sponsored by multinationals like GE and Nestle.

10) Diani Lee, 27, general manager of Country Heights Holdings

The Malaysian national equestrian dressage athlete started working for the public listed firm in 2011 as a special projects manager and became GM in 2013. Her father Lee Kim Yew is founder of Country Heights Holdings.

Meanwhile, Malaysian entrepreneur Yi Sung Yong, 27 , who co-founded Grain is also listed as a millennial to watch.

He is, however, listed under Singapore as Grain - a website which allows city workers access wholesome meals on the go - is founded and operating there.

He is listed with three other Grain co-founders.

Grain has delivered 50,000 meals to office workers in the past few months and has raised $1.7 million (RM7.2 million) in capital.