Hu Weiwei. (Pix courtesy from

SINGAPORE: Forbes Asia today announced its inaugural Emergent 25 List, honouring star businesswomen making their recent mark in regional enterprises.

The listees reflect the broader impact women are having in the Asian business world, and were chosen for the money they generate, the influence they wield, and the ideas and trends they are advancing.

Forbes Media is a global media, branding and technology company, with a focus on news and information about business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles.

Among those who made the list included Joanne Kua, group chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director of KSK Group, and managing director of KSK Land, who joined her father’s insurance and finance business seven years ago.

Since then, she has transformed KSK Group into a diversified conglomerate, adding property development and tech investments to its portfolio. She revels in the corporate metamorphosis, saying every day is “like a rollercoaster ride.”

Another proud example was Kuok Hui Kwong, daughter of Malaysia’s richest man, Robert Kuok, who rose to the top of her father’s luxury crown jewel, Shangri-La Asia, at the beginning of 2017, taking over from her elder brother.

As chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Shangri-La, she has stakes in 77 of more than 100 hotels the Kuok family manages around the world under four brands — Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen and Traders - as well as side businesses in wine and golf courses.

“This new cohort of top-level achievers builds on the pioneering accomplishments of those we’ve recognised in past Power Business Women lists. Glass ceilings are being shattered in many quarters of Asia-Pacific business,” said Tim Ferguson, editor of Forbes Asia.

Another entrepreneur who made the list was Estina Ang, 64, founder and executive chairman and CEO of Ghim Li Group – Singapore started her garment-making business in the 1970s as a subcontractor with six sewing machines.

Today the global textile and apparel supplier is one of the largest in Asia, shipping about 60 million pieces annually, with the bulk of its orders coming from major North American retailers, including Walmart and Macy’s department store chain.

Other notables include Indonesian grandmother Nurhayati Subakat, 67, who has pioneered halal beauty products, Miki Ito, a Japanese scientist who plans to scrub the cosmos clean of space junk, and Vietnam’s Dang Minh Phuong, who founded and runs a logistics company.

The full list is available at and in the latest issue of Forbes Asia.