- About Us
Chandran is the Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), an independent social venture think tank dedicated to advancing an understanding of the impacts of globalisation through thought leadership and positive action to effect change. He is also the Chairman of Avantage Ventures, an Asian based boutique investment advisory company in the field of high impact social investing which was established in 2008. Chandran was chairman of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in Asia Pacific until 2004, establishing the company as Asia’s leading environmental consultancy. For more than a decade Chandran has strongly advocated a more sustainable approach to development in Asia, advising governments and multi-national corporations to instill these principles into their policies and key decision making processes. In addition to his work with GIFT, Chandran continues to provide strategic management advice and coaching to business leaders. He is the author of Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet.
Chandran believes that "at a time when so much of what has been taken for granted about investment strategies and the world we live in is being de-constructed, Avantage Ventures provides a platform for smart investors to diversify and support social entrepreneurs who will create some of the most interesting and valuable businesses of the future."
Hideaki Takahashi has been teaching Business Design, Business Management and Global Leadership at Keio University Graduate School since 2006. Concurrently, he serves several boards as a non executive director including NEC Corporation and Fukuoka Financial Group, Inc. in Japan as well as a U.S. based privately held company. He also acts as an advisor to several Japanese companies. For the non-profit organizations, Takahashi serves in multiple capacities to the National Science Museum of Japan, the Nikkei Global Social Responsibility Project, the Value Creation Forum of the 21st Century and the CIO Network Japan. His current passion is centered on supporting and advising young people starting IT ventures and social businesses.
Up till 2005, Takahashi was the Deputy President and Representative Director of Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Xerox and Fuji Film with more than USD10 billion in revenue and 34,000 employees. He also served as the Chairman of Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratory. Prior to joining Fuji Xerox in 1999, Takahashi was a Senior Vice President of NCR Corporation charged with the Worldwide Field Operations. With more than 30 years of experience at Fuji Xerox, NCR and AT&T, including 15 years in the United States, Takahashi has held a wide range of management positions in Corporate Operations, Regional Sales and Services, Business Process Reengineering, Chief Information Officer, New Business Development, R&D and Manufacturing.
Takahashi is a graduate of Keio University in Japan and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He holds M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Keio and Computer Science from SUNY/AB. In 1990 he completed the Executive Program for Business Administration at Columbia University.
Louis Bowen is chairman and managing director of Asia Capital Management Limited. He has been in the private equity and venture capital business in Asia since 1981. Prior to that, he spent nine years with Citicorp in New York including four years responsible for their Corporate Finance activities in the Asia-Pacific region from 1977 to 1981.
In his 30 years of private equity and investment banking in Asia, Louis has been responsible for over 50 investments in a range of industries and countries. He has also advised a number of companies on cross-border corporate finance transactions. He currently serves on the boards of several companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
He was a co-founder of the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association and is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization. He is currently on the Board of Governors of the Wharton Alumni Association of Hong Kong and is on the Board of Advisors of the Arkansas World Trade Center. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and founded the Asia Center for Katrina Redevelopment. As an amateur mountaineer, he has climbed many of the world’s mountains, including the “Seven Summits.”
Louis received an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and has a BA in Economics from the University of Arkansas.
In his 29 years of global banking experience spanning the US, Saudi Arabia and Asia, Sim Lim has spent the bulk of his career in the Asia region.
Sim joined as DBS Singapore Country Head in 2010, he is currently the Singapore Country Head of DBS and the Chairman of DBS Vickers Securities Holdings Pte Ltd.
Prior to joining DBS, Sim was the President and CEO of Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc, a position he held from 2008 to 2009. During this time, Sim was also a board member of Citigroup Japan Holdings Corp. From April 2007 to June 2008, he was Citigroup Country Officer, Hong Kong and also Chairman of Citibank Hong Kong. During his tenure, he managed the Citigroup Hong Kong country franchise, including developing the strategy for Hong Kong’s markets and banking franchise, and providing support to the consumer and wealth management businesses. Between October 2003 and March 2007, Sim was regional head of emerging markets sales and trading for the Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore. During this period, he was also the non-executive Chairman of Citibank Berhad Malaysia.
Sim was a Japanese government Monbusho scholar and graduated from Yokohama National University in Japan in 1983.
Sim believes that "social enterprise investment is a new class of assets. The goal here is to help raise funds for projects that serves the under-served, the ability to give small projects an opportunity to get up and run. As we believe in the purpose of these projects, it must also be economically viable and self sustaining in its own right. We also aim to give our investors a fair return".
Sook-Yee Tai has extensive experience in family businesses, property development, governance, investments and accounting.
Sook-Yee is the head of group strategies and investments at IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group. A 4th generation family business owned by the Tsao Family, Sook Yee joined in 2007 and heads the Chairman’s Office and has overall responsible for strategies and investments. She is now part of a larger team working to transform the family business to an organization that will support the family’s vision of building a long term sustainable business.
Prior to joining IMC, she had more than ten years experience with another family business involved in property development, construction and building materials, in the area of governance and investments as the Country Director in Malaysia, for a global leader in heavy building materials supply.
Sook Yee is a qualified accountant and spent more than 8 years with a leading accounting firm in Malaysia and New York. She also spent a few years in an investment bank.
Yvonne Li is the founder and CEO of Avantage Ventures. She founded Avantage Ventures to bridge the information and funding gaps between social entrepreneurs and investors in Asia. She is a former Hong Kong finance executive who has worked in investment banking, hedge funds, and commercial banking. Her experience includes working at Lehman Brothers’ capital markets division in equity structured derivatives and Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation in commercial banking. She began her career as a macro-economic analyst and options trader at Asia Financial Asset Management.
Yvonne was a leading member of Lehman Brothers’ philanthropy committee, where she successfully engineered the re-development of a rural primary school in China. She has also managed and provided strategic consulting to a number of fundraising projects for China Literacy Foundation and Aids Concern. Yvonne holds a Masters in Finance from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Bachelors in Business & Marketing from Monash University, Melbourne.
She believes that "there are many models of social finance in the developed world that are relevant and can make a big impact in Asia".