Forbes Asia

December 2021

Forbes Asia chronicles entrepreneurs, executives and companies throughout Asia.

United States
Forbes Media LLC
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
to boldly go

The cover story on DCI’s Otto Toto Sugiri reveals something about pioneers, that they are often ignored and overlooked in their early days—until they are finally discovered and championed. A pioneer can often toil in obscurity for years before they are lauded for having the foresight to be early in doing something that later becomes popular. That’s the definition of being a trailblazer, going off the beaten path and setting a course for those who come later. Sugiri is what’s now called a serial entrepreneur—when the phrase wasn’t yet in vogue—and in tech to boot, also a fashionable label to have. And he accomplished it in Indonesia, a country long overlooked but now one of the darlings of the global investment community. His life’s work is a trifecta of the topical:…

3 min
biden’s vaccine diktat is wrong

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has backed off enforcing it. The case is now in the hands of another appeals court. Ultimately, the issue will go to the Supreme Court, which will throw out this executive order—and rightly so. Last September President Biden issued an executive order to force private-sector companies with 100 or more employees to have their workers get vaccinated or be tested weekly and wear face masks. Noncompliant employers could face fines of more than $13,000 per violation. Such a sweeping order would set a dreadful precedent. For instance, what would stop future decrees from banning or limiting the sale and consumption of sugary sodas in the name of fighting…

3 min
blue ocean strategy

Of history’s revolutionaries who did good, few are less-heralded than Malcom McLean, who invented modern shipping, the foundation of a thriving modern economy. Young McLean had a humble start. College was not an option for him during the American Depression of the 1930s. So McLean bought a used truck and hauled empty tobacco barrels. Not exactly a portentous start. When the U.S. entered World War II, its military faced the challenge of transporting tanks, trucks and material across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Shipping logistics was forced to evolve quickly, or the Allied effort would end in failure. McLean noticed that containers were the key. They had to be large enough to hold trucks and tanks, but they had to be small enough and of equal size to be loaded directly by…

7 min
green guy australian tech billionaire mike cannon-brookes

MIKE CANNON-BROOKES, ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S RICHEST PEOPLE WITH A $20-PLUS BILLION FORTUNE, IS PASSIONATE ABOUT PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND SAVING THE PLANET. He lives and breathes sustainability in everything he does, and is deploying his own funds to make a difference. In late October, just before the start of COP26 in Scotland, Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie pledged to donate A$500 million ($357 million) by 2030 to nonprofits seeking to alleviate climate change. With this pledge, Cannon-Brookes leapfrogged into the ranks of more established names to become one of Australia’s most generous philanthropists. Yet Cannon-Brookes, 42, wants to do more than be an altruist. He also wants to effect change with savvy investments that do well while doing good. On the same day he unveiled his philanthropic plans, he also announced that…

16 min
heroes of philanthropy

Research and Reporting: Jonathan Burgos, Karsha Green, Ralph Jennings, John Kang, Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Ramakrishnan Narayanan, Lan Anh Nguyen, Anuradha Raghunathan, James Simms, Yue Wang For our 15th roundup of Asia’s top philanthropists, we scoured the region for prominent entrepreneurs and business tycoons who demonstrated a clear personal commitment to a number of causes. We kept the list to a select group of 15. The majority were new entrants, but we did include some previous honorees if they achieved a major new altruistic milestone that justified a relisting. One example is Vietnam’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong, who continued to contribute significantly to alleviate Covid-19’s impact in local communities. Starting last year, Vuong has given over $320 million for Vietnam’s pandemic relief. Higher education was a main focus for some listees. Hong Kong’s…

5 min
the anti-amazon

On April 2, 2020, during the chaotic early days of the pandemic, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman awoke to a sales shock. Every four hours, the company’s data-junkie boss received an update on the volume of personalized pillows, hand-sewn stuffed animals, vintage Victorian lockets and millions of other one-off items sold through the digital marketplace. Silverman had been rushing to cut Etsy’s marketing spending to prepare for a Covid-induced slump. But the latest report showed a surge. The source: face masks. The press was reporting that the federal Centers for Disease Control was soon to recommend face coverings for all Americans. With inventory already difficult for first responders to find, civilians were flocking to Etsy’s ragtag community of hobbyists for their pandemic protection. “Until that day, if you searched Etsy for ‘mask’…