Sasha Conlan is from England and on a cold, crisp December morning in 2008, she packed up and moved to Singapore with her family.
She was inspired by the vast selection of incredible food and ingredients available in Singapore, but like many new arrivals, Sasha found it very difficult to buy food staples she could trust. Despite the proliferation of supermarkets, many essentials like quality meat and seafood were of dubious origin. Few if any retailers were clearly labeling where these products came from, if hormones and antibiotics were used in their production, or how the animals and fish were raised. This lack of transparency, along with increasing reports about food scandals and safety, led her to connect with producers around the world. Once her friends tasted the quality and flavour of the products she was buying, they were quick to add to her increasingly regular shipments and in 2011, Sasha’s Fine Foods officially opened for business.
From day one, Sasha made the decision that she would only sell products from suppliers she had personally met and vetted and who shared her vision to provide customers with the purest food on the planet from smaller, often family run businesses who genuinely cared about animal welfare and the surrounding environment. This marked the beginning of her interest in and commitment to understanding the true provenance of what she was to sell. Sasha started making regular trips to visit suppliers and quickly built up a personal network of like-minded producers, walking the farms and fisheries around the world. These personal connections helped establish a strong basis of trust and knowledge, and to this day underpin her ability to offer customers consistently reliable high quality food from sources she now knows personally.
At the start, Sasha was personally managing all aspects of the business, dashing to make airport collections of stock, packaging fresh products each night and darting around the island in her trusty people carrier packed to the roof with coolers every Friday to make the once-weekly customer deliveries.
Fast forward nearly 8 years and Sasha’s Fine Foods is now a team of 15 with 3 delivery trucks on the road, delivering 7 days a week to families across the island.
Jacqueline, COO of Hawksford for South East Asia manages operations and works closely with the global teams. Hawksford provides complete corporate administration business solutions including; corporate secretarial, immigration, accounting & tax, compliance, business licenses and advisory services as well as private client and fund administration services.
Jacqueline has over 20 years of experience as a Company Secretary for several hundred Singapore-based firms and has managed several corporate secretarial departments in her career. Jacqueline’s extensive career in the financial services sector and her involvement in businesses across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Brunei, and Vietnam allows her the ability to understand the various workings in these jurisdictions.
Jacqueline holds an MBA from De Montfort University, UK and is an Associate member of and certified by the Singapore Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ACIS) and a member of the Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI).
Margaret is lucky enough to have worked in the creative digital agency space since 1996, when Simon Usher and herself set up Reading Room which went on to become one of the UK’s largest digital agencies.. After the sale of the UK business in October 2015, both of them headed up a MBI for the APAC business and rebranded as Adelphi Digital Consulting Group.
Margaret’s lifelong pursuit of online gaming, degree in psychology (specialising in artificial intelligence), and management consultancy background with PWC have led to a special interest in online communications. In particular, she enjoys exploring how this communication is changing how business works in some very fundamental ways. The increasing acceptance of agile business being one clear example that the old ways are changing.
The OBE she received in June 2015 was for services to export to Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region and she remains committed to helping SME’s from any region to expand both nationally and internationally. She was lucky enough to have great mentors over the years and it’s a favour she would like to pay back to young business leaders.
She is also proud to be a director of the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC.org.uk). The Council was created to facilitate a step change in the level of trade and investment between the UK and ASEAN and through this contribute towards UKTI’s ambition to support 50,000 SMEs and increase UK exports to £1trn by 2020.
Kristy Castleton is the Founder and MD of Rebel & Soul, a multi- award winning brand experience agency who applies a proprietary neuroscience methodology called INVOLVE, to produce highly memorable experiences.
Kristy is both the rebel and the soul, an extrovert and a geek. Her passion for neuromarketing and technology teamed with a love for parties and new experiences, drove her to set up an agency that does things a little differently to all the rest.
The agency is privileged to work with some of the world’s leading brands and agencies like Heineken, HSBC, CNN, Chanel and Dentsu to create experiences that pack a memory laden punch. Think emotion tracking wearables, gamification, oversize holograms (of Sir Richard Branson amongst others…) and mixed reality, teamed with awesome music and a free flow bar.
Kristy’s vision is to drive experiences to be the new frontier of marketing in Asia. With a 2018 CMO Women’s Leadership Award and as one of only two founders to feature in Campaign Asia’s Women to Watch list, it’s clear that her unique application of science to memory making is driving her closer toward her goal.
Mark has been based in Asia since the early 1990s. He moved here as an investment banker with Rothschild and has lived between Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong. The role with Rothschild involved mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and debt restructuring. He was with Rothschild for 23 years leaving in 2012 - his last role running the region for the bank. He now has a number of roles including: a member of the Investment Committee for the Development and Construction Equity funds of Climate Investor One, a renewable energy fund backed by the Dutch government investing in Asia and Africa; a Director and Audit Committee Chairman of an Aberdeen Standard UK-listed closed-end fund; a Director of the Asian trust business of US-listed Butterfield bank; as well as advising on renewable energy projects and capital raising for established start-ups through his company, S.E.A. Strategic.