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A dozen on the rise: Power women of the future

Young guns who have the potential to make it to Forbes Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen list

Published: May 7, 2016 06:25:41 AM IST
Updated: May 7, 2016 10:16:01 AM IST
A dozen on the rise: Power women of the future
Tan Hooi Ling, Co-founder & COO, Grab

These young bankers, entrepreneurs, fashionistas, microfinanciers and ecommerce innovators aren’t on the Forbes Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen list yet, but they have the energy, savvy and impressive résumés to be Power Women in the years to come.

Ananya Birla, 21
Founder, Chairman & Managing Director

Svatantra Microfinance
Eldest of three children of Kumar Birla, one of India’s wealthiest businessmen, founded Svatantra, a microloan firm, in 2013 to help rural women start businesses. Joined with mother, Neerja, this year to form MPower to raise awareness about mental health disorders.

Vivian Chou, 23
Executive Chairman

Bright Fame Fashion
Hong Kong
Her Bright Fame Fashion investment vehicle bought a majority stake in the namesake brand of designer Thakoon Panichgul, with plans to remake it into an ecommerce startup. Younger of two daughters of Hong Kong textile and fashion billionaire Silas Chou.

Anna Fang, 33
Partner & CEO

Head of the largest angel fund in China, with a total of $500 million in assets under management, Fang has invested in some of the country’s hottest startups, including mobile-commerce company Xiahongshu, online translation platform 365Fanyi and ­Mia.com (see Talia Liu). Father is Fang Fenglei, founder of private equity firm Hopu Investment.

Sabrina Ho Chiu Yeng, 25
Project Manager

Palazzo Versace, Karl Lagerfeld Hotels
Eldest child of Angela Leong and casino magnate Stanley Ho is being groomed as a successor to her mother, who’s the managing director of Macau gaming firm SJM. Overseeing SJM’s Palazzo Versace and Karl Lagerfeld hotels being built in Macau.

Talia Liu, 32
Founder & CEO

Mia claims to be one of China’s largest online retailers of baby and maternal products, with annual sales of $380 million. Investors include Sequoia Capital, ZhenFund.

Lavanya Nalli, 31
Vice Chairman

Nalli Group of Cos
The fifth-generation scion—and the first woman executive—of the $100 million (annual revenue) group is looking to double store count and sales in the next four years.

Nang Lang Kham, 27
Executive Director

KBZ Bank
Part of KBZ Group, a conglomerate involved in banking, aviation, insurance, hotels and agriculture, with $410 million in revenue in the year ended March 31, 2015. Oldest of three daughters of the founder, Nang is in line as successor. In spare time, visits subzero locales for sledding and snowmobiling.

Devita Saraf, 34
Founder & CEO

Vu Televisions
Started her career at 21 at Zenith Computers, founded by father Raj Saraf; then launched Vu Televisions at 24 to make high-end TVs, building a business with $45 million in annual revenue. In January, she appeared in a print ad for the company’s products.

Anjali Singh, 34

Anand Group, Gabriel India
Heads auto-parts maker Anand Group ($1.2 billion in annual revenue) and its listed unit, Gabriel India, founded by father Deep Anand. Along with husband she co-founded SUJAN, a luxury boutique hotel group with a focus on wildlife preserves in India and Africa.

Upasana Taku, 36
Co-founder & Director

Ex-PayPal executive founded mobile-payments company with husband, who is CEO. They’ve raised $30 million in two rounds from Sequoia Capital, American Express, Cisco and Tree Line Asia. Revenue in the year ended March 2015 was $230 million. She is also a triathlete.

Abigail Tan, 30
Head of UK, Europe & North America
St Giles Hotel Group
Member of the Malaysian dynasty that owns property developer IGB, Tan oversees its St Giles Hotel Group in the US, Europe and the Caribbean. It has 6,000 rooms and nine properties worldwide, which she plans to expand to 20 by 2020.  

Tan Hooi Ling 32
Co-founder & COO

Joined with a Harvard Business School pal to create app covering taxis, private-car services, motorcycle taxis and social carpooling, with 12 million downloads across six countries in Southeast Asia so far. They’ve raised $700 million in funds in five rounds from investors, including Japan’s SoftBank and the Singapore government’s Vertex Venture Holdings. Self-confessed introvert, gadget freak.


(This story appears in the 13 May, 2016 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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