Panel – Opportunities and challenges: Asia and Africa offer both
The glass is half-full — and getting fuller
The African continent is home to 17 countries that are among the fastest-growing economies in the world — and as for Asia, China is Africa’s biggest foreign investor.
In China, a middle class that did not exist a decade ago is now 1.5 times the size of that of the US. Steve Papermaster of Powershift Group notes that Starbucks calls China its second home — and this is a country that prides itself on drinking green tea. Economic reports predict everything from fast growth to medium growth, but China won’t be seeing anything akin to slow growth over the next decade. China is moving beyond the days of partnering with major players and is now developing world-class business leaders that are turning into powerhouse global brands. For example, Alibaba is an internet behemoth on the move — with more to come.
And business is booming in Asia beyond Mainland China: India’s new pro-business prime minister is committed to an “open for business” makeover, and the gambling industry in Macau is now seven times larger than that in Las Vegas.
Asia-Pacific Deputy Area Managing Partner
Patrick is the Area Deputy Managing Partner for EY in Asia-Pacific and works closely with the Area Managing Partner and the Asia-Pacific Operating Executive to drive execution of EY strategy and deliver exceptional client service to clients across the APAC area. He also represents Asia-Pacific on the EY Global Accounts Committee and the Global Markets & Investment Committee.
Patrick has more than 25 years of experience in the accounting profession and has served as a mergers and acquisitions and transactions partner in Australia, Asia, the US and the UK. He also served as the lead partner on many financial due diligence projects and IPOs. In Patrick’s previous leadership roles at EY, he was instrumental in driving integration of our account and sector focus across the Asia-Pacific area.
Patrick has a Bachelor of Economics degree and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He has also studied at the Harvard Business School and Kellogg Business School.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Computer Warehouse Group Plc
Austin is the founder and CEO of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), one of the fastest-growing information and communication technology (ICT) companies in Africa. He formed CWG as an umbrella organization to provide coordinating functions and shared services for its three divisions: CWL Systems, DCC Networks and ExpertEdge Software.
CWG was recently ranked among the top 50 technology companies in Africa. In 2012, Austin was named ICT Man of the Decade by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network, and CWG was named Conglomerate of the Year. In 2011, he was named the ICT Personality of the Year by Technology Africa and the Most Outstanding ICT Personality of the Decade in 2010 by ICT Watch Africa.
Austin’s ardent interest in inspiring young entrepreneurs has been globally recognized through his appointment as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Columbia Business School, where he facilitated the “Lean LaunchPad” course with serial entrepreneurs Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, co-authors of the globally acclaimed The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company.
Chairman & CEO
Entrepreneur Of The Year 1996 US
Steve is the Chairman and CEO of Powershift, a technology venture development group that focuses on nurturing and catalyzing early-phase companies, primarily by helping assemble the best combination of capital, talent and leadership.
Steve has over 25 years of experience as a career entrepreneur, public policy expert, global speaker and noted author. As a longtime entrepreneur, he has founded, grown and invested in innovative companies. He has served as an advisor to President George W. Bush and co-chaired the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and China policy. Steve is also a co-founder of JUCCCE (Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy/Environment), a highly acclaimed NGO based in Shanghai.
Steve is an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winner and has served as a national/regional judge and as a founding co-chairman and judge of World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monaco. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
Tan Sri A K Nathan
Group Managing Director
Eversendai Corporation Bhd
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Malaysia
Tan is the Group Managing Director for Eversendai Corporation, a leading integrated structural steel turnkey contractor with facilities in Malaysia, UAE and Qatar.
Through perseverance and discipline, Tan has tackled the intricacies of the construction business, bringing it to a higher level with his innovative construction methodologies. He brought Eversendai to where it is today – a company with over 10,000 staffers in 11 countries – by delivering projects on a timely basis with an emphasis on quality and safety. He takes pride in fulfilling his commitment to clients and employees and being able to provide a platform for people to grow and attain success in life.
Under his leadership, Eversendai has successfully completed the steelwork for some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Through his leadership and vision, he was recognized as the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 Malaysia Award winner.
First Vice President, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)
Former CEO, Access Bank Plc
Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Nigeria
Aigboje is the First Vice President of the Council of the NSE. He recently retired as the CEO of Access Bank Plc, which he helped transform from an obscure industry player to rank among Nigeria’s top five banks.
Aigboje’s contributions to African banking have been recognized locally and globally; he has received the prestigious African Banker of the Year Award and the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year West Africa Award. In 2012, he was vested with Nigeria’s Commander of the Order of the Niger national honor.
In addition to his current role, he is also a member of the National Economic Management Team and Chairman of Friends Africa, a partner organization of the Global Fund to fight HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.