POPS Advisory Council
Sahib Anandsongvit is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Seekster- Thailand’s Leading Cleaning & Repair Service platform for Properties. Seekster helps property owners buy services directly from qualified and reliable service providers. After graduating from Assumption University in Accounting and Finance Major, Sahib started his career as a Junior Auditor at Deloitte. He then joined his family in managing a boutique hotel business in Bangkok, which involved regularly finding skilled workers to repair rooms, clean facilities, or perform other services on short notice. This is what inspired Sahib's idea for Seekster. Unlike a traditional business in this space, which might hire a fleet of service providers and pay them an hourly rate, Seekster took a “platform” approach. Without hiring a single provider directly, Sahib built an online marketplace where micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)—like his own family—can find, hire, and rate the services of independent cleaners, plumbers, pest exterminators, and air conditioner technicians who sign up on the platform. Businesses on Seekster get fast and high-quality services, while individual providers get immediate access to a customer base and can parlay good ratings into much higher and more reliable incomes. Seekster providers earn more than triple the minimum daily wage of 310 Baht (about $9). He is on a mission to empower and digitize the service labor market.
Co-founder of People Centered Internet, Mei Lin Fung co-designed the first CRM system at Oracle. She also served as Socio Technical lead for the US Department of Defense’s initiative on the Future of Health. Mei Lin is a member of The Future of the Digital Economy and Society council of the World Economic Forum, and on the Steering Committee for Internet for All. Mei Lin is also Vice Chair of the Internet Inclusion IEEE sub-committee, one of 3 tracks under the IEEE Internet Initiative. Mei Lin is a pioneer in the shift from healthcare to health: an outcomes-driven professional with deep networks and broad experience in health at the policy through grass roots levels. Her goal is to set up “Trading Posts” on the Internet frontier where people from different networks can exchange experiences and knowledge and find friends and fellow travelers.
Htin Hlaing is Chief Technology Officer at Ascend Commerce, Ascend Corporation in Bangkok. Ascend provides scalable, cost-effective end-to-end eCommerce platforms and services that enhances delivery efficiency for both online and offline sales channels; ePayment and lending; eService providing comprehensive digital marketing solutions, world-class data centers, cloud services and venture capital. Htin describes Ascend as “Simply…a place where capabilities and opportunities meet to make a meaningful impact to our region and underserved populations.” Htin also serves on the Board of Directors and as a Mentor at Yangon-based Phandeeyar Acelerator, that provides training, mentoring, introductions to investors and free services that help tech startups succeed. Htin is an experienced technology leader with a demonstrated history of working in the big data analytics research and development. He is skilled in Scrum, Scalability, Enterprise Software, and Agile Methodologies. Htin is a strong engineering professional with a M.S. focused in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
John Karr is the Senior Director for Technology Programs at The Asia Foundation where he leads an Asia-wide effort to launch and grow projects designed to help people live smarter, safer, and more productive lives. His current focus is on the role of online platforms in international development; the future of work; and the potential impact of distributed systems and blockchain technologies in the Asia Pacific. In collaboration with private sector, government, and civil society stakeholders, John's work in the region includes programs and partnerships with APEC, ASEAN, the UN, and the World Bank, and numerous country-level projects in Asia. John has a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.
Dr. Suthikorn Kingkaew is Director of Thammasat Consulting Center (CONC) as well as Lecturer in International Business at Thammasat Business School. He has led various consulting, advisory and research projects on the development of the digital economy in Thailand for prominent local and international organizations such as Google, PayPal, US ASEAN Business Council (USABC), Asia Internet Coalition, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Commerce’s, Office of SME Promotion (OSMEP). He has worked closely with thousands of Thai small and medium sized enterprises to improve their digital capabilities. Further, he has extensive experience in policy research and policymaking, working as member of staff to the Deputy Interior Minister and Finance Minister. He is currently Director of Research at Future Innovative Thailand Institute (FIT), a policy think tank in Thailand.
As CEO of the APNIC Foundation (Hong Kong), Duncan leads efforts to support and advance professional development in the APNIC community, particularly among the network engineers who are building and running the Internet in the 56 economies of the Asia Pacific. In addition to training and education, the Foundation also supports technical assistance and community development activities. Priority topics for this work include: the security of Internet and DNS infrastructure; the promotion and deployment of IPv6; the development of Internet exchange points (IXPs) and related infrastructure; and the promotion of best operational practices for the Internet. Duncan also leads efforts to engage and collaborate with development agencies and those industries and companies who depend on the Internet to operate successfully.
Barbara Navarro joined Google 10 years ago as Head, South of Europe, on the Public Policy and Government Relations team. She moved to Hong Kong in November 2014 as Director of Public Policy Strategy & Operations, Asia-Pacific. Before joining Google, Ms. Navarro was Director of Regulatory affairs for Spain and Portugal at NBC Universal.  She has a law degree and an executive MBA from the IESE Business School.
Mari Pangestu is a former Minister of Trade and later served as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy in Indonesia. Before that time she was a leading staff member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta and active over a long period in various trade fora. She is regarded as one of the most well-known economic experts on trade issues in Indonesia. Mari has served as an instructor in the Faculty of Economics in the University of Indonesia. As a professional economist, she is widely published in the Indonesian and international media. She serves on the Board of External Editors of the Asian Journal of Business (University of Michigan) and Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (produced by the Indonesia Project at the Australian National University). Mari also served as co-coordinator of the Task Force on Poverty and Development for the United Nations Millennium Project. Mari Pangestu obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Australian National University, and her Doctorate in economics from the University of California at Davis, United States, in 1986.
Diastika Rahwidiati is Deputy Head of Office for Pulse Lab Jakarta, a data innovation lab under United Nations Global Pulse. She is passionate about civic innovation, and especially interested in the thinkers, doers and fixers that create positive change across Indonesia. In her role she connects ethnographers, policy makers, social activists and technologists to the Lab's big data research projects to contextualize and encourage the diffusion of the technologies they embody. With over 15 years' experience in international development assistance, she has delivered projects in education, policy-relevant research and civil society support.
Randeep Sudan is currently the Adviser on Digital Strategy and Government Analytics with the World Bank. He is the Bank’s lead specialist on Digital Economy and Digital Government issues and is responsible for helping World Bank teams and client governments globally, to design and implement digital strategies, and leverage analytics for better developmental outcomes. He was previously the Practice Manager for the ICT Sector, in the World Bank's Global Practice on Transport and ICT in Washington DC. In this capacity, he led a global team of ICT professionals supporting developing countries on policies and programs relating to broadband infrastructure, mobile networks, digital services, and ICT industry development. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a member of the Indian Administrative Service, and was part of the leadership team that helped the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, to make significant progress in digital government, and become an important international destination for IT-based services.
Dr. Ko-Yang Wang is an entrepreneur focusing on helping Taiwan to develop its 1st FinTech Ecosystem for inclusive financial services. He has extensive experience in IT consulting and strategic business management. Ko-Yang was an Executive Vice President and CTO at the Institute for Information Industry between 2011-2015. During his tenure, he led the Cloud System Software Research Institute and was responsible for the organization's strategy, R&D, industry partnership, and business development. He is influential in Taiwan’s FinTech transformation. Prior to 2011, Ko-Yang held various managerial roles at IBM, including Partner & Practice Leader for Business Performance Management (BPM) Practice in IBM Global Business Services, and Principal for Knowledge Management (KM) at IBM Consulting Group. He led over 20 corporate-wide strategy initiatives including Enterprise of the Future, Future Service Business and Service Oriented Technologies, etc. He was also responsible for developing BPM, SOA for Enterprise Applications (ERP, CRM, SCM, CRM, etc.), Enterprise Integration, Enterprise Architecture and Technology, Knowledge Management, Asset Reuse, Object Oriented, Text Mining, High Performance Computer, Programming Environments, etc. solutions. He was an IBM Distinguished Engineer and an IBM Academy of Technology Member. He has co-authored more than 10 patents and over 50 publications on Compilers, Distributed Computation, AI, Knowledge Management, BPM, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and FinTech. He mentored many professionals, and 13 of his mentees became IBM distinguished Engineers.