women in business asia
From entrepreneurs to investors to high-level executives, the leading Asian businesswomen of 2019 has a diverse of mix of qualifications. Source: Steve Jenning/AFP

There is no shortage of successful Asian women rising to the top echelons of the business world in 2019.

In Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list this year, 25 leading figures were listed – though there must have been many, many more – representing a diversity of roles, from entrepreneurs to high-level executives to heirs of family enterprises.

How many do you recognise and can you guess what their education background was?

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, President and CEO of VietJet Air. Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire has a reported net worth of US$2.5 billion.

Marwan Naamani/AFP Click to Flip
Nhac Nguyen
Thao holds two Bachelor of Science degrees - Labour Economic Management as well as Credit and Finance - from Plekhanov National Economic University. She also has a PhD in Economic Cybernetics from Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia.

Akiko Naka, founder and CEO of Japanese job search site, Wantedly, which has a market value of 29 billion yen (US$260 million).

Akiko Naka/Facebook Click to Flip
Akiko Naka/Facebook
Akiko graduated from Japan’s elite Kyoto University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Jenny Lee, managing partner at China-based GGV Capital. She manages a portfolio of 11 unicorns, with some valued as high as US$56 billion. She is known as one of the world's top venture capitalists.

Steve Jennings/AFP Click to Flip
Steve Jennings/AFP
Lee holds a Bachelor of Science and Master's in Engineering from Cornell University. In 2001, she graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Dian Siswarini is the President Director of XL Axiata, the first woman to run a big publicly listed Indonesian telecommunications company.

Bay Ismoyo/AFP Click to Flip
Dian graduated from the Bandung Institute of Technology, majoring in Telecommunications in 1991 and Harvard Advance Management Programme, Harvard Business School in 2013.

Kim Seul Ah, the founder and CEO of South Korean grocery delivery platform Market Kurly. According to Forbes, sales at Market Kurly has grown 50 times to 156 billion won (US$130 million) since its founding in 2015.

Tom Hill/AFP Click to Flip
Sophie Kim/LinkedIn
Kim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, US.

Jennifer Wai-Fun Liu is the founder of Hong Kong coffee chain The Coffee Academïcs, which has expanded to 20 outlets around Asia, with another 50 slated in and around Guangzhou, China in the next five years.

The Coffee Academics/Facebook Click to Flip
The Coffee Academics/Facebook
Liu studied architecture at Cornell University.

Kamonwan Wipulakorn heads One Origin, a subsidiary of Thai developer Origin Property. Between 2018 and 2022, One Origin plans to invest about US$650 million, mostly into hotels and serviced apartments.

Kamonwan Wipulakorn/LinkedIn Click to Flip
Kamonwan earned a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Affairs from Chulalongkorn University.

Upasana Taku is the woman that made financial inclusion for all Indians possible. She is the co-founder of MobiKwik, an Indian company which provides a mobile phone-based payment system and digital wallet.

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Upasana Taku/LinkedIn
Upasana holds Bachelor of Technology in Engineering from India's National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar and a Master of Science in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.


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