Advisors


We have assembled a diverse advisory team with expertise in robotics, design and manufacturing, as well as law, intellectual property and general business.


Chang Thai Nam
Vice President, Robotics and Motion Division, Singapore


Thai Nam was appointed Head of Robotics and Motion division for ABB in Singapore on January 1, 2017. This division covers ABB’s leading offering in industrial motors, drives and robotics businesses, succeeding the former Discrete Automation and Motion division, that was also led locally by Thai Nam since 2010.

After an education in mechanical engineering, Thai Nam started his career in ABB in 1992 as application engineer for the Process Industries business. Since then, he has taken on various engineering and management roles which have given him extensive and varied experience in leading teams while enabling business growth for the organization.

His management career started in the service business when he helmed the Country Service Organization in 2008. During and after, he has led several other local businesses covering a portfolio from low voltage products to robotics, as well as control technologies.

He is also currently an active member of the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Center (ARTC), the Food Innovation and Resource Center (FIRC) and supports the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) in its Industry Transformation Roadmap for precision engineering.

Thai Nam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore, and has completed executive management programs from Singapore Management University and INSEAD.

The Robotics and Motion division provides products, solutions and related services that increase industrial productivity and energy efficiency. Its motors, generators, drives and robotics provide power, motion and control for a wide range of automation applications. In Singapore, ABB has more than 50 years of history and its Robotics and Motion business has a pioneering and leading position in Singapore.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees www.abb.com


Chin Hooi Yen
Founder, Polaris Law Corporation


Chin Hooi Yen is the founder of Singapore law firm Polaris Law Corporation. With start-up experience of her own at Zuji, Asia Pacific’s first travel portal, Hooi Yen’s passion is to work closely with start-ups and investors, and guide them through legal and commercial challenges. In particular, her practice focuses on investments and shareholders’ agreements.

Hooi Yen was named a leading lawyer in several publications including the Asia Pacific Legal 500. She was a mentor with Law Canvas, a legal tech start-up. She has also mentored start-ups with Founders’ Institute and Tech for Good. She is also an active volunteer, having spent time on a number of worthy causes in Singapore and abroad, including 8 years mentoring participants in a training programme run by the United Nations Institute of Training and Research. In her spare time she runs, plays football and rides her bike.


Chao Tian Kong
Director, PBA


Tian Kong is a Director in charge of PBA Group’s manufacturing operations in China. He has a wealth of industrial engineering experience, and was formerly Operations Director at A*STAR/ARTC, where he was responsible for setting up the Research Centre under A*STAR – Advance Remanufacturing & Technology Centre. Prior roles include COO of CEH International, Group MD of CW Group, and Principal of ITE Ang Mo Kio.


Brian M. Go
President and CEO, Universal Robina Corporation Singapore


Brian is the President and CEO of the Malaysia and Singapore subsidiaries of Universal Robina Corporation (URC), a major branded consumer foods company in South East Asia, and one of the leading companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

URC has had a presence in Singapore since 1973. In 1982, the Malaysia business was incorporated with a factory in Pasir Gudang, Johor. Currently, the primary locally-manufactured products sold in Malaysia include chocolates under the Cloud 9 and Nips brands, and savory snacks under the Jack’n Jill brand. The company also sells biscuits, candies, and beverages manufactured by affiliates in Thailand and Vietnam. In Singapore, the main products are in the savory snacks and biscuits categories under the Jack’n Jill brand, coming from affiliates in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. Brian has led the Malaysia and Singapore business unit since the start of 2015.

Previously based Shanghai, Brian worked initially as Finance Director for the food and real estate operations of the family business in China. In late 2007, he assumed the General Manager role for the food business (URC China), while taking on the CFO role for the real estate business. Brian started his career in New York City with Booz Allen Hamilton, as a management consultant for the financial services sector. He returned to Manila in 1998, working first at Digitel/Sun Cellular, a telecom company, and subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings (the main shareholder of URC) with his last position being Managing Director of the datacom business.

Aside from his current operational role with the family business, Brian also serves as a director for the various affiliated real estate entities in China including Shanghai, Xiamen, Chengdu, and Chongqing. He is also a director for URC Snacks Foods (Malaysia), JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation, and a member of the Senior Advisory Board of Robinsons Bank.

Brian graduated from Harvard College in 1996. He completed the Executive MBA program at Kellogg-HKUST in Hong Kong in 2007, and passed the CFA Level III Exam in 2013.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys running, swimming, squash and reading, particularly non-fiction books. He is married to Jacqueline Chua, with whom he has two children, Gabriel, age 8 and Maya, age 6.


Grace Ho
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Strategy Leader, IBM ASEAN


Grace Ho is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Strategy Leader of IBM ASEAN, where she is responsible for Brand and Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Marketing of IBM’s portfolio of hardware, software and services, which includes routes to market such as digital, social and partners. In addition, as Strategy Leader, she has business transformation responsibilities to tighten the interlock between sales, marketing and product groups so as to derive synergies from integration, and achieve scale in execution at the country level.

Prior to IBM, Grace was Chief Commercial Officer of Singapore Post Limited (SingPost), responsible for the commercial strategy and execution of SingPost’s marketing, sales and commercial operations for Singapore and International business. She played a pivotal role in transforming the operations of the commercial team, particularly in the go-to-market of Postal and Logistics business in domestic and international markets. In addition, she was instrumental in strengthening SingPost’s brand strategy and thought leadership in digital and social channels.

Prior to SingPost, she was Head of Marketing for SAP Asia Pacific and Japan, where she led the transformation of Marketing to become more aligned with SAP’s business outcomes and more digitally relevant to how customers want to buy.

Grace possess over 20 years of sales and marketing experience internationally and regionally in the IT industry. She held several senior-level sales and marketing positions at prestigious organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computers, Microsoft and Motorola Solutions. She was Country President and APAC Head of Sales at Motorola Solutions. In her 10 years at Microsoft, she also held several leadership roles, including Global Director of Product Management, Asia Pacific Marketing Director for Enterprise Solutions, and Enterprise Solutions Sales Director for Singapore.

Grace was appointed to the Board of Directors for NTUC Link in July 2016.

Grace holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales, Australia; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore.


Ong Yu-En
Norton Rose Fulbright


Yu-En Ong is a banking and finance lawyer based in Singapore. His practice includes all aspects of structured finance such as acquisition finance, asset finance, structured trade and commodities finance, telecoms finance and cross border real estate finance.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2012 ranks Yu-En as a leading lawyer in Banking & Finance and clients were “most impressed by his eye for commercial implications”, remarking that “he is good at highlighting all our options, and this is where you see the difference between good and bad lawyers, being able to tell us what we need to focus on, helping us with the deal instead of just giving legal advice.”

Yu-En has had experience dealing with Asian, European and Middle Eastern transactions and was the lead partner on various deals awarded Euromoney Deal of the Year 2010 and Deal of the Year 2008/2009 by Trade Finance Magazine, Global Trade Review and Trade & Forfaiting Review Magazine, culminating in our practice being awarded Best Trade Law Firm Asia 2009-2014 as voted by readers of Trade Finance Magazine.

Along with English law, Yu-En is qualified to practice Singapore law and Hong Kong law.


Mohan Rajesh Elara
Assistant Professor, SUTD


Dr. Mohan is currently an Assistant Professor with the Engineering Product Development Pillar at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He received his Ph.D and M.Sc degrees from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He obtained his B.E degree from the Bharathiar University, India.

Before joining SUTD, he was a Lecturer in the School of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic. His research interests are in robotics with emphasis on self-reconfigurable platforms as well as research problems related to robot ergonomics and autonomy. He has published more than 60 papers in leading journals, books, and conferences. He is the recipient of SG Mark Design Award in 2016 and 2017, ASEE Best of Design in Engineering Award in 2012, and Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award in 2010.

Dr. Mohan has served in various positions of organizing and technical committees of over twenty international competitions and conferences. He serves in the executive committee of American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME), Singapore and a visiting faculty member of Zhejiang University, China.)


Colin Seah
Founder, Ministry of Design


Architecturally trained in the US and licensed in Singapore, Colin Seah honed his sensibilities working for the likes of Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind. He also spent 4 years at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture researching design pedagogy and serving as design critic.

As MOD’s Founder and Director of Design, Colin has been named Designer of the Year by International Design Awards USA 2010, and is a two-time recipient of Singapore’s highest design accolade, the President’s Design Award. He is also a two-time Grand Prize Winner of the Gold Key Award, the highest international hospitality accolade, named Hong Kong Perspective’s ’40 under 40 architects’ and Marcus Corporation Foundation Prize 2007 ‘emerging architect with potential for greatness’. Recognized as ”Rising Star in Architecture” by Monocle, Colin Seah has been invited by the Singapore Tourism Board to redefine Singapore as a destination for 2020 and beyond.


Patrick Sim
CEO, Robust Tech House


Patrick is a co-founder and CEO of RobustTechHouse, an IT development company. He is invigorated each day interacting with the great team of developers at RobustTechHouse, with startup entrepreneurs pursuing new tech-driven business ideas and with established companies re-inventing themselves through technology. He enjoys learning about and experimenting with new technologies and building new business lines around these technologies.

Patrick was previously a Private Equity professional focussing on investments in South East Asia, as well as a trader in a global fund. He started his career as a Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholar and served in multiple roles in the Singapore Police Force as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance.

Patrick is an Electronics Engineer by training, with a Masters of Engineering from the University of Cambridge. He also obtained an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of the Pennsylvania in 2009.


Howard Yap
Principal, Pizzeys


Howard heads the Pizzeys Singapore team and handles its regional cases. Howard’s practice primarily involves the drafting and prosecution of patent applications, advice in relation to patent validity and enforcement, patent strategy, including global and regional filing strategies and prior art searches, predominately in the fields of mechanical and electronic devices, telecommunications, software patents and business methods.

Prior to joining the firm, Howard had substantial involvement in the field of patents in private practice. Howard has worked in the patent group of two leading Singapore law firms, and as a senior associate in the engineering and ICT team of a leading patents firm. Howard has also worked in a leading New Zealand patent attorney firm during a work attachment where he gained invaluable experience in patent drafting.

Howard graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2001 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) degree and a Bachelor of Computer Science. Howard has obtained the Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from the National University of Singapore.)

Howard qualified as a Singapore Patent Attorney in 2011. He is also an executive committee member of the Association of Singapore Patent Agents (ASPA) which keeps him at the forefront of the patent profession. Howard was also awarded the ASPA book prize for gaining the highest marks for paper C (Infringement and Validity of a Singapore patent) in the qualifying examinations held in 2010.