Manila, Philippines, 13 November 2017 – Managing Director of Brickfields Asia College (BAC) Raja Singham was appointed as a Pioneer Mentor of the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which was launched at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 (ABIS 2017) on Sunday, 12 November. Touted as the largest mentoring programme in the region, AMEN is the flagship programme of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and is designed to facilitate the scaling up of micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the ASEAN region through mentorship. Successful entrepreneurs, business practitioners and academicians from across the 10 ASEAN member states made up the 143 pioneer mentors present at the launch.
Speaking at the “Chatting with AMEN Pioneer Mentors” session at ABIS 2017, Mr Raja shared his experience in building BAC from the ground up, and the trials and tribulations he had to endure along the way. “I started at 24 years old; I lost US$10 million when I was 29 years old so it was really a breakdown. But I had to learn, and it would’ve helped me if I had great mentors then,” he revealed. Mr Raja went on to emphasise that “entrepreneurs need mentors to succeed”, reaffirming the role of AMEN in growing entrepreneurs across the ASEAN region.
Moderated by ABAC Chairman and President of food and beverage company RFM Corporation Joey Concepcion and Issa Litton, actress and corporate host, other panellists in the session included Henry Widjaja, Chairman of Dharma Bhakti Astra Foundation/YDBA (Indonesia); Douglas Foo, ABAC Member and Founder and Chairman of Sakae Holdings Inc. (Singapore); Norlela Suhailee, Chair of ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME and Acting Head of Business Advisory & Services Darussalam Enterprise/DARe (Brunei); Sok Piseth, ABAC Member and CEO and Co-Founder of G Gear Company Limited (Cambodia); Inthy Deuansavanh, Founder & CEO of Inthira Group & Green Discovery Company (Laos); Richard Sanz, President and CEO of Philippine Food Asia Corp (Philippines); Martin Pun, Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar), and Thirasid Savetsila, Advisor — Sales and Channels of SCG Cement-Building Materials and Vice Chairman of Border Trade Promotion and Special Economic Zone (Thailand).
Held at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, ABIS 2017 runs from the 12th to the 14th of November. As the premiere annual business event of the ABAC, ABIS 2017 convenes regional and global leaders from business and policymaking communities, corporate leaders, government executives, MSMEs, youth and women leaders, and other enablers, to talk on achieving ASEAN 100 and the real meaning of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). This year’s theme, “World Leaders’ Roadmap Towards Prosperity for All”, aims to advance the interest of the participants in achieving the goals of AEC 2025.
Launched in April 2003, ABAC was formed with the mandate to provide private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN’s efforts towards economic integration. Accordingly, ABAC’s activities are primarily focused on reviewing and identifying issues to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration. It also submits annual recommendations for the consideration of the ASEAN Leaders and the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM).