By Commonwealth Chamber
CommonwealthyMay 29, 2023
Celebrating Commonwealth Women in Business feat. Pooja Lamba Monga and Zhaomian Zhao
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce invited two trailblazing women entrepreneurs and CEOs, Pooja Lamba Monga of the PLM Ecosystem and Zhaomian Zhao of Project Waitless on a special guest panel edition of the Commonwealth Chamber Webinar Series. During the webinar, Pooja explains how the PLM Ecosystem is all about the importance of the “collective conscience” in the workplace, using mindfulness programmes and empathetic leadership models in conjunction with technology and neuroscience research to nurture a healthy growth mindset to improve the overall wellbeing of an organisation and its people. As a change management consultant with 8 years of experience in the mindfulness space, Pooja has seen firsthand how effective and deeply impactful such behavioural therapy has, not only on a personal level for employees, but on an organisational level, improved work-life balance and professional performance. Considering the sector agnostic nature of PLM’s work, Pooja has helped numerous institutions, ranging from academia to consulting, develop and hone an evolutionary leadership mindset and has also helped them improve their ESG and sustainability practices using the cognitive training and workshops she arranges under PLM. Zhaomian Zhao explains how Project Waitless, an inventory automation solution for hospitality industry, provides real-time tracking and monitoring of inventory, which can help businesses save money and reduce waste. She highlighted the potential for the system to be used in other industries, such as retail and logistics, but also imparts insights on the challenges of designing a system that is user-friendly and accessible, particularly for engineers who may not be designers. For her and the team at Project Waitless, their goal is to help clients save time on redundant, tedious tasks, secure more bookings and optimise operations, so they can focus on creating genuine connections with key stakeholders, customers and critical business activities. She also gave fascinating insights on the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and how her initiative for creating Project Waitless came with her desire to bridge the “Octopus Test”, one of the primary critiques revolving around the limits of AI. Throughout the conversation, Pooja and Zhao answer various questions about their business models, target customers, and the impact of technology on society. They discuss the potential for mindfulness practices to be used in a variety of settings and the importance of design in technology. They also touch on the potential for technology to be used as a tool rather than a dominating force in our lives.
Commonwealth Youth Tackling Food Insecurity in Fiji ft the Hon. Rinesh Sharma
In this episode, we sit in conversation with the Hon. Rinesh Sharma, the second youngest Member of the Fijian Parliament and the Founder of Smart Farms Fiji, a hydroponic farming initiative geared towards producing fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables to tackle food security and malnutrition particularly for the youth of Fiji. During this conversation, we talk at length about Rinesh’s life experiences and hardships that not only moulded him into the resilient and resourceful young entrepreneur he is today, but also guided him onto the path of his political career. The episode is an homage to the beautiful nation that Fiji is and the amazingly talented people that make the island nation such a valuable and inspiring community of Commonwealth individuals who live their lives in tandem and in respect of the nature and environment that surrounds them.
Isle of Man: The Exemplary Jurisdiction for Asset Management
In this episode, beginning with a keynote address by the Treasury Minister of the Isle of Man, the Hon. Dr Alexander Allinson, the Commonwealth Chamber went live with a distinguished panel of the jurisdiction’s prominent and leading professionals, David Bushe Dip IoD, Chartered FCSI, Investment Director of FIM Capital Limited; Andy Morgan, CEO of the Affinity Group; Laurence Keenan of Laurence Keenan Advocates & Solicitors; Martin Hall of the Atla Group; and, Yash Naidoo International Business Development Manager at NED Bank.
Our notable speakers provide a compendium of information on the structure of the territory’s legal system, its financial services and the multifaceted process for relocation. They also discuss the factors and governance frameworks that have led to the success of the leading financial jurisdiction, as well as the many incentives that make the Isle of Man such a prime destination for relocation, particularly for internationally mobile families.
Africa Healthcare Network: Saving lives across Commonwealth Africa ft Nik Pereira-Kamath
In this episode, the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce and Nik discuss in detail the philosophy that made AHN become a reality and the business model that has helped it become the successful and swiftly expanding dialysis chain it is today. Nik reflects on the distinct advantage and ease of business Commonwealth nations provide due to the commonalities in culture, language and legal systems and shares how the Commonwealth nations of Africa and its people, despite having still a way to go in terms of effective policy framework building, have all the qualities and capabilities needed to become the economic powerhouses of the future.
Cybersecurity and Corporate Governance in the Commonwealth ft Founder of Praxonomy Jay Shaw
In this episode, Jay provides a detailed and eye-opening analysis of the major shifts in the landscape of cyber-risk management in the post-COVID era and outlines the intricate nature of cyberattacks and their common attack vectors including cyber espionage, hacktivism and state-sponsored cyberattacks. He explains how and why companies’ and individuals’ data is targeted and goes on to comprehensively describe the implications of such attacks and the extent of damage they can inflict on the businesses’ performance and reputation, notably also the penalties and court cases that such attacks can result in just through the click of one legitimate-looking (but definitely not) link in an innocuous-looking email.
Inspiring People and Business through the Power of Music feat. Simon Haw MBE
In this episode, we invited Simon Haw MBE, Composer in Residence of the Commonwealth Orchestras and Choirs, to share with us 11 inspirational and beautiful pieces he composed or arranged mainly for the Commonwealth musical organizations, excerpts of which were played during the online event. Reflecting on his notable masterpieces, we also discuss the power of music in uniting people from all pathways of life together to celebrate the beauty of the art. The event also included an interactive Q&A session with the audience that lead to some surprising discoveries, including a potential career for Simon in video game music composition!
Singapore Tech Startup Event
For this episode, we invited the CEO and COO of CraneHR, Sazzad Hossain and Nazmus Sakib Khan, respectively, to present their company’s innovative and fascinating business model as well as their blueprint for expanding their companies’ operations beyond Singapore and into other Commonwealth nations including Australia and New Zealand. Crane HR is a dual-sided marketplace platform that facilitates companies to hire more efficiently through their online work portfolios and on the other hand helps the workers bypass expensive and inefficient recruitment platform.
Singapore as a leading Commonwealth Crypto Finance Hub
In this episode, guest speaker Chris Holland, Co-Founder and Partner at the Singapore-based full-service compliance consultancy firm, Holland & Marie presents an informative overview of Singapore’s infrastructural and regulatory merits and enabling business ecosystem for game-changing innovations that make the jurisdiction so attractive for the incubation and gradual expansion of cryptocurrency amongst businesses and the general public. Based on this contextual understanding, he goes on to explain how the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) identified 4 key risks associated with the rise of cryptocurrency use within the nation, namely the loss of customer monies, money laundering and terror financing risks, fragmentation across payment solutions and technology risks. Based on these risks, Chris explains the rationale of the MAS behind Singapore’s Payment Services Act describing in detail the terms and conditions of the evolving legislation as well as what it means for all businesses and investors involved.
Bermuda as the Ideal Offshore Platform for International Business
In this episode, we are delighted to be joined by the Premier of Bermuda, Hon. E. David Burt, JP, MP, the CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), David Hart, and Corporate Partner at Conyers Dill and Pearman Hong Kong, Flora Wong, for an insightful and informative session on what success factors make Bermuda a model offshore platform for international business. Bermuda is known as the “world’s risk capital” owing to its innovative, entrepreneurial leadership and efficient matching system for risk-taking capital. Bermuda abides by the international standards for AML/ATF being amongst the top 6 anti-money laundering jurisdictions globally and is also one of the two leading jurisdictions for fiduciary and family office services aside from Switzerland.
Elevating Business Development with Low-Code
In this episode, we invited Nicholas Bowman, CEO of the low-code development platform, Riivo, to share with us and the audience a comprehensive conceptualisation of the uptrending usage of “Low-Code” development platforms. He shares his journey starting Riivo.io in 2017 and collaborating with Microsoft’s own low code initiative, the Microsoft Power Platform and delves into the specifics of Low-code and provides a helpful explanation of the differences between no-code, low-code and pro-code whilst highlighting the factors that make low-code advantageous for businesses looking for digital solutions to upscale their business in a cost-effective manner.
Expanding business and investment between Pakistan and Hong Kong
In this episode, we are joined by the General Consul of Pakistan in Hong Kong, Mr Bilal Ahmed Butt; Chairman of Keywin Trading Ltd., Mr Saeed Uddin SBS, BBS, MH; and In-House Counsel, South Asia Pakistan Terminals Limited, Ms Saira Soomro to discuss the longstanding historical relationship between Pakistan and Hong Kong, and how the current trade climate can be maximised for the expansion of business and mutual investment.
Commonwealth Chamber Tech Startup Panel Event Series: Bangladesh
In this episode, we are joined by three trend-setting Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and business executives of the startups ChalDal, Kotha and Durjoy DSS to present their unique and digitally innovative business models. During the discussion, we deep dive into the nuances of the Bangladeshi startup ecosystem and the need to disrupt traditional market models and supply chain configurations to expedite economic development in a sustainable and efficient manner.
Commonwealth Offshore Funding Vehicles-Pitfalls and Advantages
In this episode, we invite Partner at Loeb Smith and A-lister on the Asia Business Law Journal’s Top 50 Offshore Lawyers in 2022, Peter Vas, to talk about what exactly makes Commonwealth offshore jurisdictions, like the BVI and Cayman Islands, so popular and trusted. The fireside chat was a candid and unfiltered deep dive into the negative coverage of these offshore vehicles in the media as well, including scandals like the Pandora Papers. Listen to this intriguing discussion to get an expert overview of everything you need to know about offshore funding vehicles and a critical analysis of whether they will remain relevant in the future.
The Future of Malaysia’s Smart Manufacturing and Tech Startup Ecosystem
In this episode, we are joined by Kathirgugan Kathirasen, the Founder-Employee of Chowbotics and co-creator of Sally, the award-winning salad-making robot, to have a candid conversation on his experience in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem and the trials and tribulations that must be expected by all entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business. The latter half of the conversation centred around the need for Malaysia to utilise the massive potential for economic development that the adoption of smart manufacturing could bring to the nation. As we barrel forward towards a future of near-complete digitalisation, such technological assimilations may very well become a necessity to remain at the fore of the region’s trade arena.
The Global NFT Space with Malaysian Virtual Artist Visithra Manikam
In this episode, we invite the brilliantly talented Malaysian NFT artist, Visithra Manikam, to discuss the vibrant global NFT community and what it means to be an integral part of this new frontier. In this event, we discuss everything and anything related to NFTs as well as Visithra’s own exciting endeavours in the virtual space.
Spreading roots in Malaysia and beyond: Future Farms with Co-Founder Shawn Ng
In this episode we invite the Co-Founder of Future Farms, Shawn Ng, to sit in conversation with us and talk about the company’s business model, growth prospects and unique challenges that they face in their pursuit for complete food security in Malaysia.
Commonwealth Chamber Tech Startup Panel Event Series: India
In this episode, we invite two enterprising Indian tech startup leaders; co-founder of LivWell Asia, Vikas Dhar, and founder of AJIS Solutions, Arindam Das Sarkar, to present their business models and use of advanced technology to provide health and security services for the well-being of users in ways never seen or heard of before.
International Women’s Day Fireside Chat with Jersey Finance’s Dr Rufaro
In this special International Women’s Day episode, we invite Jersey Finance’s Business Development Consultant and Africa specialist, Dr Rufaro Mucheka, to have a candid conversation with us to share her life experience on navigating gender related issues during her professional journey in Southern Africa, as well as to impart invaluable advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Conversation with James Fok and Hannamiina Tanninen on his new book “Financial Cold War: A view of Sino-US relations from the Financial Markets
In this episode, James Fok presents his new book, “Financial Cold War” and answers questions pertaining to its themes on the current Sino-US conflict, the flaws of the global financial system and the underlying interconnection between financial markets and geopolitics. The episode includes an interview between James Fok and foreign correspondent, Ms Hannamiina Tanninen.
Fireside Chat with Jersey Finance’s Faizal Bhana on Global Attitudes to Islamic Wealth Management
In this episode, we are joined by Jersey Finance’s Director of Middle East, Africa & India, Faizal Bhana, in conversation about the growing but still unrealised potential of Islamic wealth management in the global financial ecosystem
Business and investment between Pakistan and Hong Kong
In this episode, we are joined by the General Consul of Pakistan in Hong Kong, Mr Bilal Ahmed Butt; Chairman of Keywin Trading Ltd., Mr Saeed Uddin SBS, BBS, MH; and In-House Counsel, South Asia Pakistan Terminals Limited, Ms Saira Soomro to discuss the longstanding historical relationship between Pakistan and Hong Kong, and how the current trade climate can be maximized for the expansion of business and mutual investment.
Amongst the Top Pakistani Tech Startups: Apricart and Taazah Tech
In this episode we are joined by two dynamic Pakistani tech startup co-founders: Abrar Bajwa from Tazah Tech and Khalid Memon from ApriCart, to discuss and learn about their innovative ideas that have materialized into spectacular business models for better agri-tech B2B services and e-commerce optimization, respectively.
Commonwealth Social Enterprises in Hong Kong
In this episode, we invite Mrs Geetanjali Dhar, Chairman of the Women Entrepreneurs Network; Mr Manoj Dhar, CEO of Integrated Brilliant Education Ltd (IBEL); Mr Innocent Mutanga, CEO & Co-founder of Hong Kong African Centre; and, Mr Neville Shroff, President, Zoroastrian Parsee Association of Hong Kong all of whom are leading figures in the social enterprise scene in Hong Kong. We discuss the crucial role of social enterprises in tackling wealth disparity issues to increase the well-being of Hong Kong society.