Malaysian entrepreneurs listed under Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2019

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By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid

Several Malaysians managed to get listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia this year.

According to Forbes, those on the list were chosen for challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation.

“The criteria for honourees making the list include their demonstration of leadership, how they embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is synonymous with Forbes, and their potential for success in their industry.

“Other factors like innovation, disruption and size and growth of their ventures in some categories play a role in making the final decision,” added the business magazine.

1. Aaron Patel

Aaron Patel, 27, is a CEO for iHandal Energy, an engineering and contracting firm specialising in improving the thermal energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings.

Patel started the company in 2009 during his final year of secondary school. 

In the Malaysian hospitality market, iHandal has more than 60% market share, and services manufacturers from Australia, Germany, Denmark, Austria and United States.

2. Bobby Ong and TM Lee

Back in 2014, Bobby Ong and TM Lee cofounded CoinGecko, which is a cryptocurrency data aggregator that tracks price, volume, social and developer stats.

The company has collaborated with Western University in Canada and Humboldt University in Berlin in producing cryptocurrency research.

CoinGecko claims it has $3 million in annual revenue and tracks over 3,587 tokens from over 259 exchanges.

3. Chris Khristie and Michelle Tan

Chris Khristie and Michelle Tan are the co-founders of digital media group INFLUASIA, which caters to the English, Malay and Mandarin-speaking communities of Malaysia via their portals World of Buzz, Lobak Merah and NOODOU.

The company's three platforms have achieved an average of 14 million page views per month and 1.5 million social media followers.

4. Jin Xi Cheong

Jin Xi Cheong started Poladrone in 2016 with the aim of expanding the use of drone technology in commercial industries.

His startup uses drones to boost efficiency on Malaysian palm oil plantations and crop farms.

Poladrone now services Malaysia's leading palm oil companies and won the Judges' Choice Award at Echelon Asia Top 100 Pitch in 2017.

5. Kendrick Wong

Kendrick Wong, 27, previously built and sold two companies.

In 2014, he started a third one, Omnilytics, together with Nikolai Prettner.

It is a fashion analytics platform that offers real-time market intelligence data across 75,000 brands.

Omnilytics' big data services are used by retailers worldwide, as well as by financial market clients as part of their due diligence.

The company counts entrepreneurs, SMEs, and global companies such as Adidas and Ferragamo as its customers.

6. Melvin Poh

Melvin Poh, 27, is the co-founder of The Asian Entrepreneur, an international publisher and media platform with an active readership in 13 countries. 

The founding ethos is to foster education by crowd sourcing digital content from entrepreneurs and professionals from all over the world.

The Asian Entrepreneur recently partnered with the governments of Malaysia, Macau and South Korea to initiate several startup communities and events.

7. Sarah Chen

Sarah Chen, 29, is an investor and co-founder of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, which ultimately aims to mobilize $1 billion dollars in funding into companies founded by women entrepreneurs.

Its primary goal is to tackle the gender funding gap female founders face. By 2020, it hopes to have invested $1 billion in startups driven by women.

So far, it has secured pledges of over $750 million from global investors including Gobi Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, Rethink Impact, Springboard Growth Capital, Backstage Capital and Different Funds.

8. Wen Shin Chia

Wen Shin Chia, 27, is the founder of Green Yards, an eco-products company that makes soaps and candles from recycled cooking oil.

The company, which sources the oil from Malaysia's restaurants and households, sells the products online and in gift shops in the country.

Chia initially started Green Yards as a university project; she received the Queen's Young Leaders award in 2018 for her efforts to protect the environment.

*All information were gathered from Forbes.