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Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List: 300 Top Young Leaders, Inventors And Entrepreneurs


First the U.S., then Europe and now Asia – Forbes 30 Under 30 has truly gone global this year to 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 millennials who are disrupting and changing the faces of their industries.

To make it happen, Forbes assembled over a dozen reporters from China to Australia, India – and about as many countries in the region – to research and come up with thousands of nominations covering all industries. We then looked through and cut the list down to a few hundred names that were sent to our panel of 30 judges, who helped decide who made 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-changers who are contributing to their industries in a significant way. These include a mix of brilliant sports stars (Indian cricket Captain Virat Kohli, 27), leaders in technology (facial recognition developer Yin Qi, 27) and those who are doing great things to change the world around them (affordable housing architect Alok Shetty, 29).

With 10 categories in total, our inaugural 30 Under 30 Asia list highlights inspiring young leaders in various fields covering consumer technology, enterprise technology, the 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, China

Pursuing post-graduate studies at Harvard Medical School in 2013, he realized that being a doctor isn’t the only way to help patients. Given China’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. “There are two ways to solve the problem,” says Wang. “You can create more doctors or help the existing ones be more efficient. We aim to do the second through Medlinker.”

Enterprise Technology

Yin Qi, 28

Cofounder & CEO, MEGVII, China

Megvii develops facial recognition applications and other artificial intelligence technology—and China’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. “We are using this technology to solve very basic problems,” says Yin. Started in 2011, Megvii has already received $50 million in funding, valuing the company at $200 million.

Consumer Technology

Taichi Murakami, 29

President & founder, Livesense, Japan

While in high school, Murakami searched for part-time work but quickly realized there weren’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 & 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. “I think not getting much attention from the start actually helped me build a stronger career,” he says.



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); Rajat Ghosh, Virgile Bertrand, Charles Pertwee, Virgile Bertrand, Munshi Ahmed, Stefen Chow For Forbes, Stefen Chow and Peter Stember For Forbes.