First the U.S., then Europe and now Asia â€“ Forbes 30 Under 30Â has truly gone global this year toÂ highlight the young talents emerging all around the world. For months on end our correspondents from around the region have been looking for the 300 best and brightest millennialsÂ who are disrupting and changing the faces of their industries.
To make it happen,Â ForbesÂ assembledÂ over a dozen reporters from China to Australia, India â€“ and about as many countries in the region â€“ to research and come up with thousands of nominations covering all industries. We then looked through and cut the list down toÂ a few hundred names thatÂ were sentÂ toÂ our panel of 30 judges, who helped decide who madeÂ the final cut. Those included household names like designer Kenzo Takada and Malaysian Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh, as well as highly respected experts in their fields like Kaifu Lee,Solina Chau, Allan Zeman and many more.
The outcome was a group of 300 young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changersÂ who are contributing to their industries in a significant way. These include a mix of brilliant sportsÂ stars (Indian cricket Captain Virat Kohli, 27),Â leadersÂ inÂ technologyÂ (facial recognitionÂ developerÂ Yin Qi, 27) and thoseÂ who are doing great things to change the world around them (affordable housing architectÂ Alok Shetty, 29).
With 10 categories in total, ourÂ inaugural 30 Under 30 Asia listÂ highlights inspiring young leaders in variousÂ fields coveringÂ consumer technology, enterprise technology, theÂ arts, health care & science, media, social entrepreneurship, finance, industry and retail.
Here are just a few of the stars who made it to our list this year.
Health Care & Science
Cofounder & CEO, Medlinker,Â China
Pursuing post-graduate studies at Harvard Medical School in 2013, he realized that being a doctor isnâ€™t the only way to help patients. Given Chinaâ€™s shortage of doctors and its piecemeal medical system, the young doctor thought he had a better idea for improving health care. So he headed home. â€œThere are two ways to solve the problem,â€ says Wang. â€œYou can create more doctors or help the existing ones be more efficient. We aim to do the second through Medlinker.â€
Yin Qi, 28
Cofounder & CEO, MEGVII, China
Megvii develops facial recognition applications and other artificial intelligence technologyâ€”and Chinaâ€™s rapidly growing security and Internet-finance sectors are taking notice. The Beijing-based company counts Citic Group and China Merchants Bank as key customers. Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba, allows customers to log into their accounts via facial-recognition instead of a password. â€œWe are using this technology to solve very basic problems,â€ says Yin. Started in 2011, Megvii has already received $50 million in funding, valuing the company at $200 million.
Taichi Murakami, 29
President & founder, Livesense, Japan
While in high school, Murakami searched for part-time work but quickly realized there werenâ€™t many listings online due to high costs. As a freshman at Waseda University he launched Livesense. It operates help-wanted websites for part-time and temporary jobs, and a site for customers to share reviews about employers. The $95 million-valued company also dabbles in real estate. Murakami is the youngest entrepreneur to list on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (in 2012) and its startup section, Mothers (in 2011).
Manufacturing &Â Energy
Leandro Leviste, 22
Founder, Solar Philippines, The Philippines
Electricity rates in the Philippines are among the highest in Asia, and Leviste is convinced that solar power can bring them down. He started Solar Philippines in 2013. The following year, the Bank of the Philippine Islands gave the company its first $1 million loan to install a 700-kilowatt solar rooftop power plant. Today Solar Philippines has received $100 million in backing from local banks, and in January completed building the largest solar farm in Luzon, a $150-million, 63-megawatt project.
Entertainment & Sports
Kwon Ji-yong (G-Dragon), 27
K-pop/Hip Hop idol, South Korea
In an industry full of lookalike boy bands, singer/rapper G-Dragon (yong is dragon in Korean) stands out. The K-pop star already been on two solo world tours, thanks to a loyal international following. And a cutting-edge style has made him a front-row fixture at Chanel shows. Though in the business since age 5, G-Dragon rose to fame as part of the group Bigbang. â€œI think not getting much attention from the start actually helped me build a stronger career,â€ he says.
FORBES 30 under 30 ASIA â€“ SEE THE FULL LIST
Architect: Alan Griffin
Editor: Rana Wehbe
Reporters: Kuang Da Alex, Shu-ching Jean Chen , Susan Cunningham, Rebecca Fannin, Arvada Haradiran, Caroline Howard, Peg Yoc Hui, Ralph Jennings, John Kang, Amanda Lee, Jason Lim, Gregore Pio Lopez, Saritha Rai, James Simms, Jessica Tan, Yue Wang, Xiao Yi and David Yin.
Copy Editors and fact checking:Vera Chan, Grace Chung, Jane Ho, Yuelun Sun.
Product: Ariana Santana
Design: Kai Hecker
Development: Tom Conroy, Johnny McCampbell
Data Management: Dmitri Slavinsky, Kyle Rogers, Louie Torres
Quality Assurance: Francesca Diaz, Bebin George
Photography: Merrilee Barton, Kai Hecker (research);Â Rajat Ghosh,Â Virgile Bertrand,Â Charles Pertwee,Â Virgile Bertrand,Â Munshi Ahmed,Â Stefen Chow For Forbes,Â Stefen Chow andÂ Peter Stember For Forbes.