Top 10: Women in Manufacturing in APAC

Here are our Top 10 Women in Manufacturing from across APAC, who work in leading roles at Huawei, Nissan, VinFast, Suntory, GWM, Kinetic Green and more

Following International Women’s Day last week, here we celebrate Top 10 Women in Manufacturing from across APAC. 

10. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Executive Chairperson at Biocon Biologics

India

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Shaw was encouraged to study fermentation science by her father, who worked for United Breweries. She was the only female student in her malting and brewing course and graduated top of the class. In 1978, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw founded Biocon India, a manufacturer of industrial enzymes, in the garage of her rented house. Now, Biocon is a leader in the biotechnology industry. 

9. Heba Khamis

CEO at Contactile

Australia

Heba Khamis

Based in Sydney, Australia, Contactile manufactures world-leading tactile sensors used by robots, which enable smart dexterous robotic gripping. This technology was developed with funding from the Australian Research Council and US Office of Naval Research Global.

Khamis has done extensive research in robotics and tactile sensing technology. Prior to this role, she studied engineering and philosophy at The University of Sydney. 

“We've identified applications for this cutting edge technology in: agriculture (from farm to table), manufacturing, e-commerce fulfilment, health and space,” she says.

8. Sulajja Firodia Motwani

Founder and CEO at Kinetic Green

India

Sulajja Firodia Motwani

Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions Ltd is a part of the US$600m Firodia Group, which leads joint ventures across various leading manufacturing companies. Having earned her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, Motwani grew her experience in finance and marketing before founding Kinetic Green.

“I leverage my skills and knowledge toward our mission to empower people with advanced mobility solutions and contribute to a greener and healthier planet,” she said. “I am always looking for new opportunities and partnerships to expand our reach, impact and value proposition.”

7. Wang Laichun

CEO at Luxshare Precision Industry

China

7. Wang Laichun

Laichun has been the Chair of Luxshare Precision Industry for the past 20 years. She co-founded the Dongguan-based electronics manufacturer in 2004, alongside her brother. Luxshare Precision Industry manufactures cable assemblies and connectors for consumer electronics, having reached a US$32bn revenue. She holds an EMBA from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Recently, Luxshare has taken a 30% stake in Chery Group, with plans to manufacture EVs for other companies.

6. He Tingbo

Director, Chair of Huawei Scientist Committee, ITMT Director, President of HiSilicon

China

6. He Tingbo

Tingbo has two BAs, one in semiconductor physics and another in communications engineering. She also has an MA from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. She joined Huawei in 1996 and has held a range of positions across the chip business, such as in development, research, architecture and the supply chain. Tingbo currently serves as Chair of Huawei Scientist Committee, ITMT Director and President of HiSilicon.

“We have courage, wisdom and the tenacity to conquer and prevail in the end,” she said in a recent Huawei report.

5. Feng Ying Wang 

President at Xpeng​​​​​​​

China

Feng Ying Wang

Wang graduated from Tianjin University of Finance and Economics in 1999 with an MA in economics. She was Vice Chairman at Great Wall Motor Company Limited, China’s largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, with over 30 holding subsidiaries, over 60,000 employees and four vehicle manufacturing sites. Now, she is the President of Xpeng, an electric vehicle startup.

In 2019, she ranked in Forbes magazine’s ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ and in Fortune’s ‘China’s 25 Most Influential Business Women’.

4. Dr. Sarah Qureshi

CEO at Aero Engine Craft Private Limited.

Pakistan

Dr. Sarah Qureshi

Dr. Sarah Qureshi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Aero Engine Craft Private Limited, Pakistan‘s first commercial engine and aircraft Research & Development company. She manufactures environmentally safe contrail-free aircraft engines. 

Qureshi serves as a Visiting Academic at the School of Aerospace, Cranfield University, where she completed her MSc in Aerospace Dynamics. Qureshi learned acrobatic flying while studying there and holds a Private Pilot License. She also graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the College of EME, NUST Pakistan. Qureshi is an ambassador at the Solar Impulse Foundation, where she searches for sustainable solutions and volunteers to impart STEM lessons to children.

3.  Makiko Ono

CEO at Suntory Beverage and Food 

Japan

Makiko Ono

Suntory Beverage and Food CEO Makiko Ono is a business powerhouse. At 63, she is the first-ever woman to lead the company, becoming CEO in March 2023. 

Ono started her career in 1982 and has held a range of roles there. In 2013, she facilitated Suntory’s US$1.6bn purchase of British soft drink labels Ribena and Lucozade, followed by Orangina seven years later. As CEO for Suntory Beverage, Ono has stated that her goal is to pursue high-quality expansion as a genuinely international beverage business and make the company a high-revenue-generating establishment.

2. Asako Hoshino

Executive Vice President at Nissan

Japan

2. Asako Hoshino

While cars provide convenience and enjoyment to people’s lives, automakers face crucial issues like greenhouse gas emissions, traffic accidents and traffic congestion. At Nissan, Hoshino is leading the team.

“When I was in charge of the Japanese market for Nissan, my focus was on creating associations with the name. What are Nissan’s strengths and features that represent the corporate image? The answer is the wide range of technologies developed as an automaker. The mission of Nissan, whose corporate purpose is ‘driving innovation to enrich people’s lives’, is to contribute to the solving of society’s problems.”

1. Thuy Le

Chairman of the Board at VinFast

Vietnam

“Our mission is to make EVs accessible to everyone,” says Thuy Le, Chairman of the Board at VinFast.

VinFast, which is a member of Vingroup, is accelerating the global smart electric vehicle revolution and runs a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing site, in Hai Phong, Vietnam, with globally leading scalability that boasts up to 90% automation. 

VinFast also featured as one of our ‘Top 10 EV industry startups driving automotive innovation’. Read it here

Thuy Le

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