Skip to content Skip to navigation

SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue in Manila, the Philippines

5 Oct 2017

SMU staff and alumni in action at the SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue in Manila, the Philippines 

SMU’s alumni from Singapore and Overseas Alumni Chapter in Manila, the Philippines, were recently involved in the SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue, “Deciphering Digital Disruptions and Ripples in South-East Asia”. The event was held in Manila, the Philippines, on 5 October 2017 and attracted over 200 participants. Giving their insights on the impact of innovation and disruption on education, jobs, businesses and economies were highly respected veteran business leaders from the Philippines (such as Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, Chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation, and also a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees), SMU President Arnoud De Meyer and Professor Gerry George (Dean, LKCSB), as well as our very own SMU Alumni start-up entrepreneurs, Deborah Wee (BSocSc 2009) & Lai Chang Wen (BBM 2012).


Deborah (above, third from left) is the head of Operations and Co-Founder of HipVan Pte Ltd., an online furniture store. She is also the President of the SMU Alumni Association. Chang Wen (above, extreme right) is Co-Founder & CEO of Ninja Van Pte Ltd., a last-mile logistics company providing innovative transport solutions. Despite their relative youth, both Deborah and Chang Wen were able to hold their own against local business giants, Mr. Jimmy Thai (above, second from right), CEO, Primer Group of Companies, and Mr. Ramon B. Segismundo (above, second from left), Senior Vice President & Head, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Meralco in a panel discussion. They eloquently shared about the challenges their start-ups faced, and how – by using innovation and technology – their businesses have disrupted the traditional marketplace. 

Especially meaningful was the participation of exco and members of the Overseas Alumni Chapter in Manila. Juan Gabriel Oblepias (BSc (Econ) 2012) (pictured above) was the articulate emcee, whilst Chapter President Kevin Robertson Tang (BBM 2009), co-founder of Yardstick Coffee, kindly sponsored the aromatic coffee for the entire event, whilst others such as Stephanie See Dee (BBM 2010) and Charlene Chan (BBM 2007) volunteered as ushers of VIP guests. In total, 27 alumni members from various programmes (e.g. BBM, MBA, MTSC etc.) attended the SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue where they mingled, networked and relived memories of SMU!


Some of the alumni who attended the SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue

The SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue was certainly a very successful event; the next Industry Leaders Dialogues will be held in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, amongst other cities. Alumni who reside in these cities, or are simply just visiting for work or leisure, are warmly invited to attend these Dialogue events.

The SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue is the product of the SMU International Advisory Council (SMU IAC), an initiative aimed at providing platforms for active engagement between SMU’s overseas alumni, international students, the local business community and academia, whilst simultaneously raising awareness of SMU’s thought leadership and areas of excellence.

Photo credits: Ayala Corporation

Last updated on 12 Oct 2017 .