23 from Singapore make it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list

The Sam Willows, made up of (from left) Benjamin Kheng, Sandra Riley Tang, Narelle Kheng and Jonathan Chua, are named in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. PHOTO: FORBES ASIA, ST FILE
igloohome’s chief operations officer Kenny Wang (above far right) makes this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. PHOTO: FORBES ASIA, ST FILE

When Mr Kenny Wang found himself locked out of a house and unable to tend to his grandfather who was lying unconscious inside, it inspired him to co-found smart lock company igloohome.

Started in 2016, igloohome now builds keyless solutions that allow users to manage their properties remotely. As the chief operations officer, Mr Wang, 29, expanded the business to 90 countries and partnered with Airbnb, Booking.com and Allianz.

He is one of 23 people from Singapore who are named in this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. The annual list features 300 disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs across Asia, under the age of 30, who are challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation.

There are 10 categories which include the Arts, Entertainment & Sports and Enterprise Technology.

Singapore has the fifth highest number of honourees with 23 on this year's list, after China (61), India (59), Japan (30) and South Korea (28).

In the Entertainment & Sports category, Singapore band The Sam Willows and local bowler Shayna Ng were named.

One of the most successful bands to come out of Singapore, The Sam Willows comprise siblings Benjamin Kheng, 28, and Narelle Kheng, 25, as well as their friends Jonathan Chua, 29, and Sandra Riley Tang, 28.

The group was formed in 2012 and released their first EP that year, followed by their first full-length album Take Heart in October 2015. They released their second studio album, I Know, But Where in July last year.

Ng, 29, captured Singapore's first gold medal at the World Bowling Women's Championships in 2015 and won her first Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) title at the PWBA Las Vegas Open last year.

Since 2011, she has held the world female record for the six-game series. For her sporting achievements, she has been twice named Singapore's Sportswoman of the Year and received the prestigious Singapore Youth Award in 2017.

Photographer Charmaine Poh made the list in the Arts category.

Poh, 28, uses narrative portraiture to advocate for marginalised communities in Asia.

Her work on social inequality has been featured at the M1 Fringe Festival and the International Centre of Photography. She also co-founded Clicking Together, a non-governmental organisation in India that brings together young people from different socioeconomic classes through photography projects.

Other people from Singapore who made the list include Ms Christel Quek, co-founder of BOLT, a mobile entertainment app focused on bringing creative content to emerging markets; Ms Germaine Tan, head of corporate development and innovation at Found8, the largest co-working community of entrepreneurs in Singapore; and Mr Alan Jiang and Mr Deb Gangopadhyay, co-founders of Beam Mobility Holdings.

Other big names that made the cut include Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, K-pop girl band Blackpink, South Korean actress Kim Tae-ri and Taiwanese musician and actress Ouyang Nana.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2019, with the headline 23 from Singapore make it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. Subscribe