This category recognizes the CEO who has developed a strategy to create a digitally transformed enterprise. This CEO’s vision follows an agenda aligned with the emerging digital economy, responding to new customer requirements, capabilities, critical infrastructure, and industry ecosystems. This CEO is an excellent storyteller, and he or she is successful in delivering this message to the rest of the organization. He or she continuously stresses the need for a digital enterprise as part of overall brand and strategy in response to the region’s fast-growing digital economy. His vision includes working with partners within the ecosystem to develop new products, services, and experiences, built by a digitally capable workforce in a data-driven organization. The winner of this category must be the CEO of the entire business/group and not just a division or department, or hold a Managing Director position for the entire Asia/Pacific or APEJ (Asia/Pacific excluding Japan) business.


  • Defines the organization’s value, role, and partners in the digital economy
  • Ensures critical infrastructure is in place to successfully deliver reliable digital services and experiences and create pervasive experiences
  • Focuses on creating empathy with customers at scale and engenders trust with customers, pivoting operations from throughput and efficiency to market-driven
  • Grows the enterprise into an intelligent organization by creating a dynamic work model to deliver innovative services and experiences at scale

To adapt to the evolving nature of the digital economy, this category is now known as CEO of the Year.

Want to read up on the other categories? Head over to our Awards Categories page.


CompanyIndorama Ventures Public Company Limited
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Aloke Lohia, IVL’s vice chairman and group CEO, spearheaded the exploration of Industry 4.0 capabilities and the push for IVL's realization of its intrinsic value through digital transformation (DX). He leveraged machine learning (ML) and mathematical optimization and identified more than 250 digital value creation opportunities across 12 sites. Given the unique challenges posed by 2020, Aloke Lohia guided IVL in becoming an agile, flexible, and customer-oriented organization by committing to develop its people, processes, and portfolio. He initiated the creation of the Indorama Management Council (IMC), which consists of IVL’s most senior and experienced executives, and the Indorama Business Council (IBC), in which the next generation of IVL leaders are provided with a platform to develop further a winning mindset and grow their capabilities. He believes that IVL is at its turning point in its organizational history and is well-positioned to navigate the challenging horizons ahead by introducing structural changes while amplifying successful initiatives. Because of IVL's digital investments, the company saves billions annually from cost reductions in key areas, such as finance, supply chain, marketing and sales, operations, and human resources (HR).
CompanyHai Lu Jya He
Hai Lu Jya He (HLJH) is a manufacturer and supplier of metalworking fluid (MWF). Headquartered in Taichung, the organization has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, specializing in MWFs, including synthetic, semi-synthetic, and emulsion cutting oil. As the company’s CEO, Will Tseng spearheaded the use of business intelligence to analyze customer purchasing needs. Moreover, he implemented digital tools by integrating customer relationship management (CRM) and social and website platforms to push order reminders automatically, enable customer inventory management, and mitigate stock issues. By connecting its CRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP), the real-time exchange of customer and internal information has enhanced customer trust and transparency. HLJH collects behavioral trends by looking at potential and existing customers and classifying them accordingly in databases. This segregation cultivates different types of customers and continuously improves intelligence. Through combining different products, technologies, markets, and resources, HLJH has innovated its business models and has integrated physical and virtual experiences.
Joshua Koh's vision for digital transformation (DX) was born out of his desire to revolutionize the traditional furniture industry, paving a new way for technology integration. As Commune's CEO, Koh was instrumental in creating a unique experience to engage consumers' senses. Under his leadership, Commune in Motion was developed, and it consists of two main parts: an enhanced cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system and an augmented reality (AR) app. The revamped CRM system accompanies customers in their entire shopping journey — from prepurchase to delivery. It utilizes both online and offline data gathered from consumers' browsing behavior and shopping at either Commune's website or retail store, which has sensors tracking customers' movements while shopping. Meanwhile, the AR app gives customers a preview of how Commune's pieces will look and feel in their homes. It captures real-time footage of the space through their phones before previewing the chosen product onto it, informing their purchase decisions without the hassle of long-distance commutes. Koh also realized the importance of strategic partnerships, collaborating with Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to conduct an extensive consumer study laying out the Consumer Behavior Technology Road Map, which eventually formed the basis of Commune's strategic DX approach.
CompanyUnion Bank of the Philippines
Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) embraces the future of banking and is committed to being the Philippines’ leading digital bank to best serve the growing needs of Filipinos everywhere. The bank has always been among the first to embrace technological innovations to empower its customers. UnionBank’s digital transformation (DX) strategy reinforced its commitment to deliver a superior customer experience (CX) and promote inclusive prosperity in the Philippines. Edwin R. Bautista is among the few leaders in the country bold enough to transform the organization immediately. When he started as UnionBank's CEO, he made a promise of leaving no one behind while delivering superior financial results evidenced by two years of record income. He has led the bank’s DX and brought its story and recognitions not only in the Philippines but also across Asia. Meanwhile, he is a strong advocate of the use of digital technologies in the country as a key to inclusive prosperity through supporting government initiatives and working with partner organizations. UnionBank’s transformation led by Mr. Bautista has permeated the organization because UnionBankers remain committed to the organization's purpose, predicated on the fact that the world will continue to evolve and transform to leave no one behind.
CompanyIOI Corporation
Employing over 28,000 people in several countries, IOI Corporation is a key player in the global integrated and sustainable palm oil market. With Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor at the helm, IOI continues to adopt innovative technologies to enhance its plantation and resource-based manufacturing operations by partnering closely with all of its stakeholders. In this regard, IOI deployed the ONE IOI platform with the goal of optimizing asset utilization, improving response time between business units, and monitoring both its upstream and downstream business segments in an integrated manner. ONE IOI streamlines the group’s business processes and derives greater efficiencies in operating and monitoring the wide-ranging upstream, midstream, and downstream business segments. This holistic approach also strengthens its business fundamentals and IOI's ability to create long-term value based on its integrated palm oil business model. The aim of its digital transformation (DX) is to maximize overall operational efficiency by enhancing productivity, minimizing costs, and coping with the ever-changing market conditions. Going forward, the company is exploring ways to further automate and systematize time-consuming manual activities by enabling RPA. Through the leadership of Lee, IOI undertakes its business digitalization and transformation journey to become an intelligent enterprise. 
CompanyKB Securities
KB Securities, one of South Korea's largest investment banks, provides diversified and advanced financial investment services optimized for varied customer demands. As CEO, Jeong-rim Park focused on the organization's core values of customer centricity and innovation-driven services to build a KB Securities–driven ecosystem. To start, the bank has developed affiliated services with application programming interface (API)–based digital technology companies, as well as big technologies and financial technologies (fintechs) companies, leading to the launch of non–face-to-face robo-advisor (RA) services and asset management applications. This ecosystem is supported by a fast and agile organization thriving in a smart work environment with streamlined processes and improved digital capabilities throughout multiple lines of busines (LOBs). Digitalization is further promoted through launching an in-house artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot and a work automation system utilizing robotic process automation (RPA) to automate simple and repetitive tasks, saving as much as 141,000 man-hours. Park also pioneered using technologies to improve non–face-to-face account opening services using facial-recognition technology, such as non–face-to-face real-name verification using AI, and applied AI technologies, such as document reading (i.e., optical character recognition) and MRC (i.e., machine reading comprehension) for internal processes. By leveraging big data, KB Securities strengthened its platform competitiveness for customer management through using a robust wealth management model, portfolio and product recommendation engine, and personalized marketing and customer management programs, among others. Additionally, in redesigning the bank's business model to become a banking-as-a-service platform, Park has reinforced KB Securities' competitive position in today's digital economy.
CompanyBlue Bird Group
Established in 1972, the Blue Bird Group is the largest taxi operator in Indonesia. A pioneer in changing the taxi services industry in the country, the group continues to raise its comfort and safety standards as it aims to be a world-class digitally enhanced mobility company. Noni Sri Ayati Purnomo, president director and CEO, is at the helm of Blue Bird's three-pillar digital transformation (DX) journey focused on people and organization, IT fundamentals, and digital innovations. Through its adoption of digital technologies, the Blue Bird Group is committed to delivering customer-centric and value-driven innovations. With Blue Bird One, the group has created a 360-degree digital ecosystem under its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) framework. Blue Bird One shifts from product- to customer-centric offerings, delivering one integrated brand with multichannel access and digital engagement. The initiative is built around an intelligent, robust, and scalable cloud-based platform as an orchestrator of the company's central intelligent dispatching system, IoT devices in all fleets, mobile and web applications for customers, drivers, and staff, API partner integration, modern and centralized data warehouse, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and many more. Blue Bird One has led to the satisfactory journeys and experiences of customers, drivers, and staff, greatly impacting revenue generation and cost reduction as well as productivity and talent retention, demonstrating a holistic and pervasive impact on the organization.  
CompanyL&T Financial Services
L&T Financial Services is a leading nonbanking financial company (NBFC), transforming lives in rural India through its core focus on rural, housing, and wholesale loans. Serving 11 million customers to date, L&T Financial Services leads the industry with the fastest turnaround time for loan approvals by adopting analytics and cloud technology. Led by Dinanath Dubhashi, managing director and CEO, L&T Financial Services aims to reduce the loan process' complexities for customers through DX. Dubhashi believes that working capital is crucial to stimulate growth, leading to digitization's important role in providing fund access. By leveraging cloud and analytics, the company created an app to deliver an anytime, anywhere banking experience to its customers. Through this mobile app, loan officers can authenticate a borrower's identity through biometric-based verification and perform credit evaluation through credit scores and online assessments. The app utilizes more than 15 critical real-time data sources, including Aadhaar, India's biometric ID system. Credit assessment and sanction loans are run within seconds through an algorithm delivering real-time predictions continuously updated through extensive data collection. The app is also integrated with various payment gateways, allowing borrowers to pay their debts and ensuring seamless customer experience (CX).
CompanyOpenRice Limited
CountryHong Kong
OpenRice is the most popular and award-winning dining guide in Hong Kong, providing comprehensive dining information, value-added services, user-written restaurant reviews, and ratings in one place, enabling food lovers to find the right dining experience. Shifting from a dining guide to a foodtech ecosystem in the beginning of 2017, OpenRice began by redeveloping its table booking system into a native app and website, connecting consumers, restaurants, and partners in the food and beverage (F&B) and non-F&B sectors. Led by CEO Joe Yau, this new initiative includes transformation of a table booking system into a one-stop merchant platform called OpenRice Biz to support restaurants’ dining business journey and the availability of market insights solutions for merchants, as well as agile and digital business operations. Enabling technologies, particularly big data and analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), are adopted to empower the initiative. The OpenRice foodtech ecosystem strives to redefine users’ total dining experience and service merchants in marketing and sales, data analytics, as well as business operations, and solutions, bringing both tangible and intangible benefits to stakeholders in the ecosystem. A 24 x 7 online table booking is one of the most used services on OpenRice Biz. As of February 2020, over 1.8 million unique users have booked through OpenRice, with more than an average of 7,000 daily bookings.
CompanySichuan Languang Development
Sichuan Languang Development (BRC) is a subsidiary of the Languang Investment Holding Group, a leader in China's real estate industry. With its brand ethos of "knowing life better, knowing you better," the group has taken on digitalization as its new engine to develop the future enterprise. Feng Chi, CEO of BRC, leads the advancement of digital transformation (DX) within the group by innovating and iterating products and services in residential real estate development and other modern services offerings. With this agenda, reducing costs, enhancing efficiencies, and improving service quality and customer satisfaction were achieved. Beyond his role as CEO, he has organized and participated in the formulation and application of national and industry standards, furthering the advancement of the real estate industry. Additionally, he is a leader in building an industrial technology center to deepen cooperation and sharing within the market and proposing industrywide solutions to build smarter enterprises, settlements, and cities. By spearheading initiatives, such as mobile offices, digital operations, and intelligent products and services, operational and management efficiency in BRC has improved. With more DX projects lined up for BRC under the guidance of Chi, the company is expected to reap huge rewards in the digital economy.
CompanyAmway China
Amway China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amway, the world's largest direct selling company. At present, Amway China has more than 4,000 employees in 31 provinces and more than 130,000 active Amway Business Owners (ABOs), providing flexible career opportunities for individuals interested in starting their own businesses. Through the implementation of digital strategies focused on enhancing the customer experience of a younger demographic, Amway China has been able to connect with its customers and create new platforms to transform the traditional direct selling business model. Led by Frances Yu, president, Amway China started its digital transformation (DX) in 2014, gradually integrating online and offline channels and creating a new Amway China driven by digital and social commerce to disrupt the industry. For customers and ABOs, Amway China provides a personalized social shopping experience and an efficient business platform by creating a multitouch, digital, and intelligent interactive experience. Internally, Amway China has built its data-driven business management capabilities and a flexible and collaborative working model to achieve accurate decision making and efficient management. As a leading direct selling company with a history of 60 years, Amway China's DX shows its commitment to continuously innovate the direct selling business model.
CompanyNingbo Gongniu Electric Appliance
Founded in 1995, Ningbo Gongniu Electric Appliance (Gongniu) (also known as the Bull Group) provides consumers with all-around power connection solutions through innovative technology, intelligent products, and high-quality services. With its advanced R&D system and hardware resources, it has led the industry by continuously improving the electricity experience of users. To support its ongoing development and expansion aligned with the company's overall digital transformation (DX), CEO Zhou Zhenghua has focused on the digital construction of the enterprise, committed to establishing Gongniu as the digital benchmark in the electronics industry through its mastery of the characteristics of a digital economy and integration into core business operations and corporate culture. He is spearheading transformation through enterprise digitization, rapid expansion of business and innovation, and data mining to increase workshop efficiency, saving the group an initial CNY1.5 million in labor costs and a projected CNY6 million after the whole plant is upgraded. Moreover, he set up a digital office that integrated important links, such as supply chain and marketing. By imbibing a customer-first culture and continuously investing in Gongniu's employees, Zhenghua has sufficiently equipped the company to face the challenges brought by the digital era.
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