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Unperturbed By Adversity, These 5 ASEAN Entrepreneurs Have Redefined Their Respective Industries

Lai Chang Wen, Co-founder & CEO of Ninja Van (Singapore)

Having displayed an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, Lai Chang Wen started out as a derivatives trader at Barclays Bank before deciding to venture into his own business endeavors.


After coming to the realization that delivering and tracking packages weren’t as efficient as it could be, he founded Ninja Van at just 32 years old alongside fellow co-founders Shaun Chong and Tan Bo Xian.


Prior to finding success with Ninja Van, the Singaporean has tried his hand in a number of businesses, setting up men’s custom fashion retailer Marcella, Dapaola.sg, online shirt fitting tool Get Fitted, earning the title of a “serial entrepreneur” for launching a string of start-ups despite the high risks involved.



Lai Siew Hong, Co-founder & Chief Executive Designer of Blu Water (Malaysia)

An award-winning interior designer, Lai Siew Hong has an illustrious career that has seen his passion flourish in numerous projects that have received local and international acclaim.


A firm believer in creating innovative spaces and solutions while crafting meaningful narratives, Lai’s affinity for sensorial and experiential design components has allowed him to create his own creative processes that have a way of hooking the interests of a wide variety of clients.


As the creative backbone of Blu Water, his talents can be seen on the likes of EQ Kuala Lumpur, citizenM Kuala Lumpur, Hard Rock Hotel at Desaru Coast, Johor and most recently, The Edison George Town project, which has been recognised for its outstanding design sensibilities, raking multiple accolades.



Nguyen Hai Ninh, CEO of The Coffee House (Vietnam)

A chemist-turned-coffee entrepreneur, Nguyen Hai Ninh was well on his way to pursuing a degree in chemistry before he found his calling with the founding of The Coffee House, the fastest growing coffee chain in Vietnam.


Blending his academic background with his appreciation for world-class experience at affordable prices. Nguyen has grown the brand into a household name, serving over 100,000 customers daily in 158 stores across 10 cities.



Ian Ang, Co-founder & CEO Secretlab (Singapore)

A gamer at heart, Ian Ang entered the business world after coming to the realization that the market was short of gaming chairs that were both functional and comfortable, but still looked good and had a local warranty.


Channelling his competitive spirit and love for professional gaming, he partnered with with fellow competitive esports player Alaric Choo to found Secretlab, dedicated to the conceptualization and production of top-notch gaming chairs fit for gamers everywhere.



Vasa Iamsuri, Co-founder & CEO of Fastwork (Thailand)


As one of three founders of Fastwork, Vasa Iamsuri brings his experience as an Investment Analyst at New York’s Marcus & Millichap to the role as its CEO, building the talent outsourcing platform to becoming one of the largest professional freelancing platforms in Southeast Asia.


Since its inception in 2015, Fastwork has matched more than 30,000 freelancers with more than 300,000 businesses and lobbying for better pay and work-life balance for freelancers by helping them to manage payment collection, promote their services, manage their orders, exchange files and communicate with their clients anywhere, anytime.




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