ST Asians of the Year: Citation for the award

In an Asia swept up in the cross currents of transformational technology and globalisation, many worries abound.

Will the region see a fresh wave of domination by global firms bringing their expertise and insight to tap into its vast markets?

Will jobs disappear as artificial intelligence, automation and digital advancements speed up the onshoring phenomenon, whereby Asia's biggest export markets can make their own goods at low cost at home?

These megatrends call for bold, innovative and path- breaking home-grown solutions that cut away from old moulds of doing business.

In Asia, the future lies in the hands of the men and women at the forefront of this nascent revolution - or, as we call them, The Disruptors.

Each of you, in your own way, has made the inevitable march of technology easier to understand and accept by millions of people concerned about their old ways of life yielding to an unfamiliar new one.

You have been early movers in localising global technologies and business models to improve the lives of Asians and create industry-leading companies.

The fate and fortunes of thousands of Asian families depend on your success.

While you are not the only Asian disruptors, you embody the courage, enterprise and innovation that will help Asia not only survive but thrive in a world where no region is spared the upheaval of digital disruption.

This award also comes with the hope that your work will not submerge or ignore the common good, that you will operate with concern for the environment and in a manner that will not impede fair competition, and that you will not strive for the trampling of traditional forms of business beyond the normal pressures of a competitive market.


The Asian of the Year award recognises a person, or people, who have contributed significantly either to their nations, or the wider Asian continent.

In naming you, The Disruptors, as our Asians of the Year, we signal our awareness that Asia's future lies with people such as you, with the ability and vision to guide the destiny of our nations in a time of rapid change.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2016, with the headline 'Citation for the award'. Print Edition | Subscribe