Meet THE ASIA 50

THE ASIA 50 are pioneering marketers working in one of the world’s most diverse and fastest-growing regions who influence activities from Japan to India. Many among THE ASIA 50 have pan-regional responsibility. Certainly Singapore has proven itself to be a critical hub of many multinational marketers. Several have a global focus but are clearly advocates for the region. Others are local role models, grappling with change and rapid growth.


THE ASIA 50 Selection Process: Selection criteria is based on R3’s Regional AgencyScope, an in-depth research study with 120 Asia based regional marketers. Respondents were asked to name their most admired and most dynamic marketers in the region.

Paul GrovesAIA -Paul is the Group Chief Marketing Officer of AIA, in charge of the group’s overall marketing strategy and planning. In 2012, Paul led his team to win two prestigious awards at the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Award held in Hong Kong. Paul brings with him 30 years of marketing experience in financial services, from previous stints including GE Money, Barclays and Met Life.

Laura AshtonPhilips Laura Ashton's career began in FMCG marketing in with Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Foods. She made her first move to Asia in 1990 where she worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, then ran her own marketing consulting business in Bangkok before joining Japanese ad agency Chuo Senko. In 1997, Laura joined oil giant Shell. After nearly a decade with Shell, Laura joined Swedish appliance giant Electrolux as head of marketing for Asia Pacific and President of the Indian business. In 2011, Laura was recruited to Philips as VP Head of Marketing for the Consumer and Professional Lighting business of Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Russia, based Singapore.

Ralph Brunner American Express –Ralph is the International Brand & Consumer Marketing VP at AmEx, leading marketing strategies for 13 APAC and Latam markets. His accolades include winning Gold at the Effies for Best Advertising in Banking & Financial Services and 13 awards for Best Strategy & Digital Innovation. Ralph brings with him 28 years of experience creating world-class strategies to drive industry-leading market share growth and brand break-through in 22 International markets.

Aparna Guruprasad ANZ –Aparna is the Head of Brand (International & Institutional Banking) & Retail Banking Marketing (APAC) at ANZ. A seasoned marketer, Aparna brings with her over 10 years of client and agency experience to create effective marketing strategies. Before moving to ANZ, Aparna held leading roles at JWT Singapore and HSBC.

Cyril Charzat Asia Pacific Breweries – Cyril is the Director of Group Marketing at Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore. Cyril joined Heineken Group in France and later led his team to introduce the highly successful “Man of the World” campaign. Having started his career in 1993, Cyril spent time at several consumer businesses including Danone and PepsiCo, before joining Heineken in 2004.
Luca Deplano Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts – Luca is the Vice President of Marketing at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resort, responsible for the development and implementation of marketing strategies for all its properties. In 2012, Luca was part of the all client-marketer jury of Marketing’s all client-marketer jury on the Agency of the Year Awards judging panel. Luca’s 15 years of experience in luxury marketing include stints at AmEx, Prada, Furla and Cerruti 1881, across Asia and Europe.
Lito S GermanBMW Group Asia – Lito is the Regional Marketing Director for BMW Group Asia, responsible for the organisation’s communications, events, CRM and product and pricing planning. In 2013, Lito was part of the jury panel for the Festival of Media Asia Awards. Prior to BMW, Lito was a marketing and PR consultant for some of the world’s top brands including Coca Cola, MTV and a number of political clients such as Joseph Estrada and Senator Butz Aquino.
Hideaki Nishimura Canon – Hideaki is the Senior Director and General Manager, Regional Imaging Communications Product Sales and Marketing at Canon Singapore.
Pauline Png Cerebos – Pauline is the Regional Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Cerebos, leading market regional and local strategies for the brand’s health supplements portfolio. Pauline’s positive track record include building leadership shares of international brands, turning brands around from decline and growing new-to-market brands into market leaders. Her 16 years of experience span across consumer categories such as FMCG, luxury, beauty, health and wellness, and sports and lifestyle.

Vincent G. ShawChanel –Vincent is the President of Chanel for Asia Pacific. With his guidance in the region, Chanel has become a luxury house focused on cultivating a deeper and more detailed brand story for consumers.
Brian FisherChevron – Brian is the Brand Manager at Chevron and has been with the company for over 8 years. A seasoned marketer, Brian brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the marketing landscape through experiences on both client and agency side. His has previously worked at Unilever, White Wings Foods and McCann Erickson, where he spent 16 years in total before moving to Chevron.
Francesco LagutaineCitibank – Francesco is Citibank’s Chief Marketing Officer for the Asia Pacific region, leading Citi’s markets and customer experience and loyalty efforts. In 2012, Francesco was appointed by Marketing as one of its jury for the Agency of the Year awards.  Francesco spent the first half of his 20 years career at several agencies before moving to Citibank in 2005.
Leonardo O’GradyCoca-Cola Asia Pacific – Leonardo is the Director of Integrated Marketing Communications of the ASEAN market for Coca-Cola, and is responsible for core brand growth and over 300 marketers under his supervision. In 2012, Leonardo led the team that created the ‘Coke Hug Machine’ which was shortlisted for Spikes Asia as Best Use of Live Events. Leonardo’s marketing experience spans over 25 years with significant time spent on both client and agency side. Previously he has worked for Echo Italia, DDB Needham Worldwide, United Overseas Bank, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Terry O’ Connor
Courts – Terry is the CEO of Courts Asia and has been with the company since 1993. Terry has been instrumental in growing Courts’ operation in this region, and has took on several external roles, such as President of the Institute of Advertising Singapore. In 2010, he was conferred the award of Officer of the Most Excellence Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, The Queen of England. Terry has held several positions at Courts, including Buying Director, Commercial Director and Deputy Managing Director, Managing Director, before assuming the role of CEO in 2007.
Audrey LeongDaimler – Audrey has 11 years of experience with Daimler as Manager.
Karen Ngui DBS – Karen is the Managing Director and Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS, responsible for roles stretching from advertising to CSR.  She has over 20 years experience in corporate branding, marketing and communications for financial institutions. Prior to joining DBS, she was the Global Head, Brand Management and Strategic Marketing for Standard Chartered Bank.
Ashwini Bhatnagar Dell – Ashwini is the Director of Channel Marketing for APJ at Dell, and responsible for designing and measuring programs for partner acquisition and enablement, demand generation and profit management. Ashwini was one of the founding member of the Dell PartnerDirect programme in APJ. Ashwini has been with Dell since 2008 and was previously with HP for 13 years.
James Thompson Diageo – James is the Global Managing Director for Diageo and has spent over 11 years with the company. He has been instrumental in growing Diageo’s business throughout his tenure, such as one when he tripled the business between 2007 to 2012.  Prior to Diageo, James was with the Lever Brothers Company, Unilever, Guinness Brewing Great Britian, Guinness Canada and Guinness Bass Import Company.
Irene TayDisney – Irene is the Marketing Director at Disney
Jennifer See F&N – Jennifer is the General Manager of Corporate Marketing and Marketing Communication at Fraser & Neave Singapore, responsible for the beverage division. Jennifer brings with her more than 20 years of experience and achievements in the FMCG F&B industry.
Chris AugustijnsFonterra – Chris is the Chief Marketing Officer at Fonterra, with over two decades of management experience across various categories, including a short stint in the Belgian Army. Prior to joining Fonterra in 2011, Chris has worked for companies such as Universiteit Antwerpen, P&G, Coca-Cola, Mead Johnson Nutrition, TripleAct GCV and Villeroy and Boch.
Siska Schipper Friesland – Siska is the International Marketing Director for the Friso brand, and has been with Friesland since 2000. She is responsible for the global brand development strategy in more than 25 markets across the world. Throughout the 13 years, she has held various management roles spanning across various regions, giving her a holistic view on global marketing. Prior to this role, she has held various posts such as Product Manager, Senior Brand Manager and Marketing Director.
Kevin MaHershey Company – Kevin is the Asia Regional Category Director of The Hershey Company, responsible for leading the marketing strategy and business development plan and deployment across several Asian markets. Prior to his current position, Kevin was the Marketing Director for Hershey Asia. He joined The Hershey Company in 2007 from The Coco-Cola Beverage Ltd. Past organisations that Kevin worked for include P&G and Coca-Cola.
Maria NakpilHilton Asia Pacific –Maria is the Regional Director of Marketing for Hilton Asia Pacific. Maria has 19 years of experience in the hotel business, working for Raffles International Limited, InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide. Prior to her current role as Regional Director of Marketing at Hilton Worldwide, she held the positions of Director and Senior Director of eCommerce.
Darren FriedlanderHSBC –Darren is the Head of Marketing, Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Singapore.  He has been strong supporter of golf with the HSBC Women's Champions and sees the sporting event, with its principles of integrity and fair play, as closely aligned with the brand's values.
Nishan Weerasinghe IBM – Nishan is the Director of Demand Programs of Growth Markets at IBM.
Jayant Murty Intel Corporation – Jayant is the Director of Strategy, Media and Integrated Marketing for Asia Pacific. One of Jayant’s career highlights was in 2012 when he led his team to big wins at Cannes Lions with the ‘Museum of Me’ campaign. Jayant brings with him a good mix of agency and client side experience over his 23-years career, with 13 of those with Intel. Prior to Intel, Jayant was the Senior Vice President at Contract Advertising and Account Director at Lowe Lintas.
Samantha Llewellyn InterContinental Hotels Group –Samantha is the Director of Marketing for Asia, Middle East & Africa
at IHG. She’s held marketing and brand management positions at InterContinental since 2005 when she started in Sydney, following a role at Coo’ee Sydney, the Advertising and Design Agency.
Edwin Hawson Johnson & Johnson – Edwin is the Vice President of Marketing Operations for APAC at Johnson & Johnson. He is responsible for conceptualising and operationalising the strategic business plan for Asia Pacific. Edwin has over 20 years of experience in top global MNC’s and prior to J&J, he spent almost a decade at P&G, as well as at S.C Johnson and Intercontinental Hotels Group
Howie Lau Lenovo APAC – Howie is the Vice President of Corporate Development at Lenovo, where he oversees Lenovo’s end-to-end post merger management and all related merger & acquisition matters. Howie was part of the judging panel of Campaign Asia’s Agency Network of the Year 2013 judging panel. Howie has been with Lenovo since 2005 and was with IBM before.
Belina Lee MasterCard Worldwide – Belina is the Regional Head of Consumer & Digital Marketing at Mastercard Worldwide. An experienced and highly collaborative professional, she is responsible for developing and driving the pan-regional strategy. Belina was nominated as one of the jury by Marketing for the 2013 Agency of the Year awards. Belina has been with Mastercard since 2006 and was previously from Singapore Airlines and AmEx.
Paddy Rangappa McDonald's APAC – Paddy is the Senior Director of Marketing for AMEA at McDonald’s, who is in charge of the brand’s marketing strategy in these markets. In 2012, he was nominated to be on the assessors panel for the Appies. Paddy is a senior marketing professional with 23 years of experience who has held positions in Tata Motors and P&G, before joining McDonald’s in 2001.
Frederique Covington Microsoft Asia Pacific – Frederique is the CMO Lead for APAC, in charge of Microsoft’s marketing strategies for all of the company’s offerings for both commercial and consumer audiences. She was the winner of the WPP Atticus Awards in 2009 and has work recognized by several Effie awards. She was on the agency side for 17 years, including stints at Young & Rubicam, DMB&D/D’Arcy and Ogilvy & Mather, before moving over to Microsoft in 2011.
Ruby K.H. Tang Moët Hennessy Asia Pacific – Ruby is the Regional Marketing Director of Moet Hennessy.
Pradeep PantMondelez – Pradeep is the Executive Vice President and President of APAC and the newly formed EEMEA for Mondelez International. Pradeep oversees the brand operations in these markets. He is also the President of Food Industry Asia. Prior to joining the company in 2008, Pradeep held roles in Nestle and Fonterra, as well as on the agency side at JWT.
Qing Ni New Balance – Qing is the Regional Marketing Manager of APAC at New Balance. Prior to this Qing has had experience with Shure and a U.S. Research Company in the United States.
Sanjay Gangopadhyay Nike – Sanjay is the Marketing Director of SEA for Nike. Prior to holding a regional role, he was the Marketing Director for the Indian Market. Sanjay and his team was part of the global Nike She Runs award-winning campaign, by making the Singapore leg a success. Prior to Nike, Sanjay’s long career includes roles in TTK Group, Unilever and Levi’s.
Freddy Bharucha Procter and Gamble Asia – Freddy is the Chief Marketing Officer for P&G Asia. In 2012, Freddy and his team took home Spikes Asia’s Advertiser of the Year Award, which honours a brand that has set itself apart through advertising. Before his current role, Freddy oversaw the Asia health care segment and led several other P&G’s brands including fabric and hair care. 
Nicolas BrindjoncRichemont – Nicholas is the Marketing Services Regional Director for Richemont, where he has a wide portfolio of luxury brands under his care. Nicholas has spent over 17 years of his career with Richemont and its subsidiaries and has worked across various roles within the company, only becoming involved in marketing in 1996.
Frantz Braha Samsonite SEA – Frantz Braha is the Vice President of SEA at Samsonite, overseeing the brand’s presence in the region with more than 50 retail stores under his care. Prior to joining Samsonite he spent 5 years at Devanlay Lacoste as Area Manager for Southeast Asia, overseeing key markets such as Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, Australia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Ambrish JainSamsung Asia Pacific – Ambrish is the Regional Marketing Head at Samsung. Prior to joining Samsung Ambrish spent 12 years at Proctor and Gamble holding various positions from Brand Manager to Associate Marketing Director to Marketing Director.
Rowena Chan Shell Eastern Petroleum – Rowena is the Marketing Lead at Shell.
Sophia Ng Singapore Tourism Board – Sophia is the Assistant Chief Executive for the marketing group at STB. Sophia was part of the team which launched the New Discoveries campaign in 2011. A seasoned marketer, Sophia brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her consumer marketing experiences while at Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.
Claire Fedder Standard Chartered Bank – Claire is the Head of Brand for Standard Chartered Bank with more than 15 years of marketing experience. Claire spearheaded the award winning Here for Good global campaign in 2012, which won them several awards including a Silver Spikes and Gold at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards. Before joining SCB, Claire was with adidas, PCCW and Prudential Corporation Asia.
Erica KernerTiffany & Co., Asia Pacific) – Erica is th eVice President, Marketing – Asia PacificC at Tiffany & Co. She joined the company in April 2013, and was previously from Nike, adidas, the Special Olympics, Ralph Lauren; including a 4-year stint at JWT.
Rohit Jawa Unilever ASIA – Rohit is the Senior VP of Global Marketing Operations at Unilever, accountable for landing the global strategic agenda into the operations, integrating the category/country plans and supporting the dynamic trade-offs of marketing resources. Rohit is part of the advisory council for the Appies this year. Rohit has been with the company for over 24 years and has worked across the functions of country operations, regional category management and sales.
Rajiv Kapoor Visa – Rajiv is the Head of Marketing and Cross Border for APAC and CEMEA at Visa. He has been with Visa for 14 years, previously as Regional Head of Products and Marketing for CEMEA, and EVP & General Manager of Marketing for APAC. Prior to Visa, he was with Nestle and PepsiCo.
Eric Rufino Balinghasay Western Union – Eric is the Marketing Director of East and South Asia for Western Union. One of Eric’s career highlights was during his time at SCA where he helped to lead Drypers to a market leader position. As a marketer and consultant, Eric has worked in different categories over his 20 years of experience, ranging from FMCG to finance to pharmaceutical, in various markets in Asia.
Vipul ChawlaYUM! Brands – Vipul is the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Yum!. Vipul was the keynote presenter for Marketing’s Customer Loyalty event earlier this year. Vipul joined Yum! in 2011, after having spent 20 years at Unilever India, UK and Singapore.