Meet the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia class of 2024

Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurs, artists and changemakers on this year’s 30 Under 30 Asia list are leading the transformation of their industries and inspiring their generation.
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In an ever-changing world, Asia-Pacific’s young entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to navigate new business realities in the region and lead the transformation of various industries. Sustainable growth and imminent profitability are high on their agenda—especially with VC funding becoming hard to obtain worldwide. And as AI defines the next generation’s success, many founders are joining the race to develop and commercialize this cutting-edge technology. Applications are wide-ranging, for example, to help manufacturers identify production defects and inspect equipment, as well as assist financial services firms with market research.

Environmental considerations are also taking priority with many listers seizing opportunities in sectors with rapid uptake, like EVs and car-sharing. One example is 29-year-old Johnson Lim, who has built a profitable car-sharing business in just over two years, and is now looking to expand beyond Singapore.

Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora also saw an opportunity in the eco-friendly transport sector—with India’s EV market revving up at an annual 26% growth rate, according to Hyderabad-based Mordor Intelligence. Their company, Statiq, provides a nationwide network of charging stations for electric cars, buses, trucks and three-wheelers. Its charging stations, which users locate through Statiq’s app, can juice up an EV in as little as 15 minutes. Statiq has so far raised $27.5 million in funding from investors and according to the cofounders, it will post its first operating profit in the next financial year.

Going green

Meanwhile, other listers are making it easier for companies to go green by providing energy and waste management solutions.

In the Social Impact category, 29-year-old Bhagya Shree Bhansali Jain founded The Disposal Company (TDC) in 2020 to advise mostly fast-moving consumer goods companies on how to reduce their plastic footprint. TDC also brokers plastic credits, similar to carbon credits, for its customers. It takes a fee but uses the rest of the money to pay waste workers to collect plastic trash from landfills to be recycled, helping companies offset their plastics use.

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Bhagya Shree Jain, founder of The Disposal Company.

Karan Nevatia for Forbes Asia

Others are using technology to serve sustainability goals. China’s Zhu Yueyang launched Small Eel, an energy-management company that helps commercial property owners reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, in 2020. The platform’s smart sensors, today found in industrial parks, offices and malls in eight cities across China, monitor energy consumption to determine where cost-saving cuts can be made.

Inspiring others

In addition to startup founders, the list also highlights artists, athletes and up-and-coming stars who are breaking stereotypes and empowering their generation.

All-female, hijab-wearing Indonesian metal band Voice of Baceprot (VoB) made this year’s list in the Entertainment & Sports category. The band, which comprises of Firda Marsya Kurnia (vocals), Widi Rahmawati (bass) and Euis Siti Aisyah (drums), is challenging stereotypes in the Muslim-majority country.

“We want to keep setting an example, especially for the young girls, that we have a brighter future.”

Firda Marsya Kurina
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Voice of Baceprot: Euis Siti Aisyah, Firda Marsya Kurnia and Widi Rahmawati.

Muhammad Fadli for Forbes Asia

Despite experiencing threats in a country where it is unusual for women to perform metal, they don’t plan to stop. “We want to keep setting an example, especially for the young girls, that we have a brighter future,” says Kurnia.

With lyrics that address issues such as gender inequality and climate change, U.K.-based magazine Metal Hammer has called Voice of Baceprot “the metal band the world needs right now.” In June they will perform at Glastonbury, the first Indonesian musicians to perform at the U.K. festival in its 54-year history.

On the court, athletes are also shaking things up. Josh Cavallo was scouted at the age of 15, played on Australia’s under-20 national team in 2019 and then joined Adelaide United as a left back and central midfielder. He was given the team’s rising star award after his first season and saw his short-term contract extended. But his place in the history books was made when he came out as gay in 2021, a rare admission in his sport. This year, he proposed to his boyfriend on Adelaide’s home pitch.

Raising awareness

This year’s list also includes activists who are raising awareness and advocating for causes they are passionate about.

One of Chanel Contos‘ Instagram ‘stories’ — in which she asked how many of her peers experienced sexual assault while in school — inspired her to improve sex ed across Australia. Contos collected thousands of testimonials and called for consent education to be integrated into sex ed in Australia. Chanel started the NGO Teach Us Consent, lobbying for more comprehensive and earlier sex education in Australia and elsewhere.

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Chanel Contos, founder of Teach Us Consent.

Supplied photo/Corrie Bond

In India, Adrija Chakrabarti battled PTSD and depression while single-handedly raising a child and was inspired to start the Mental Health Movement (MHM) Chandigarh. After completing a master’s in psychology at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 2019, she started an Instagram campaign that became the MHM Clinic in 2020, offering therapy with an emphasis on trauma recovery.

Axana Soltan is a human rights attorney who has devoted her career to helping young people access education. Her family fled Afghanistan in 1999, and while studying at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), she assisted low-income children both in her local area and abroad. She later founded the Enhancing Children’s Lives Organization, an NGO based in the U.S., but helping young women in Afghanistan. Based on her own experiences of going to “secret schools” in Afghanistan, she developed a method to provide education to young Afghan women via solar-powered radios.

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Human rights lawyer Axana Soltan.

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Twenty one countries and territories are represented on this year’s 30 Under 30 Asia list. India had the most with 85 entries, followed by Japan (33), China (32), Singapore (27) and Australia (26).

To compile the ninth edition of this annual list, Forbes Asia’s reporters sifted through thousands of online nominations and recommendations, and convened the help of leaders in their fields to select the final 300.

Check out our full Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2024 list here.


Methodology and Judging Process

To source candidates for the list, Forbes Asia reporters and editors comb through thousands of online submissions, as well as tap industry sources and list alumni for recommendations. Candidates are evaluated by the Forbes Asia team and a panel of independent, expert judges on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) funding and/or revenue, social impact, scale, inventiveness and potential.

This year’s judges consist of accomplished and acclaimed investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders: Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCLTech and Trustee of Shiv Nadar Foundation; Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures; Kim Min-seok, Cofounder and CEO of Pinkfong; Fang Hongbo, Chairman and CEO of Midea Group; Kishin RK, Founder and CEO of RB Capital; Kuok Meng Ru, Founder and Group CEO of Caldecott Music Group; S.D. Shibulal, Cofounder of Infosys and Axilor Ventures; Allan Zeman, Founder and Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group; Nisa Leung, Managing Partner at Qiming Venture Partners; Tan Yinglan, Founding Managing Partner of Insignia Ventures Partners; Annabelle Long, Managing Partner, Bertelsmann Asia Investments; Hian Goh, Founding Partner, OpenSpace Ventures; Helen Wong, Managing Partner, AC Ventures; Laurence Lien, Founding CEO of Asia Philanthropy Circle; Arif Rachmat, Cofounder and Executive Chairman of TAP Group; Patrick Grove, Cofounder and Group CEO of Catcha Group; Oliver Rippel, Partner and Cofounder at Asia Partners; InKyung Lee, Partner at MBK Partners; David Gowdey, Managing Partner of Jungle Ventures; Annabelle Long, Managing Partner at Bertelsmann Asia Investment; Alice Chang, Founder and CEO of Perfect Corp; Paul Ronalds, Founder and CEO of Save the Children Global Ventures; Janice Lee, CEO of Viu; Hian Goh, Founding Partner of Openspace Ventures; Vinnie Lauria, Founding Partner of Golden Gate Ventures; Snehal Patel, Managing Director at Saena Partners; Meena Ganesh, Cofounder and Chairperson of Portea Medical; Ronald Akili, CEO of PTT Family; Akiko Naka, Founder and CEO of Wantedly; Hua Fung Teh, Cofounder and Group President of ONE; Rachel Lim, cofounder of Love, Bonito and Nicole Warne, Founder of Gary Pepper Girl.

*In the event where judges are investors in the nominees in their category, they have recused from judging the entry and only the remaining judges’ feedback was taken into consideration.

**The birthday cutoff to make the 2024 list was December 31, 1993. All ages displayed are calculated as of December 31, 2023.

***The editors reserve the right to amend any information or remove any listees in light of new information.


Credits

List Editor: Rana Wehbe Watson

Assistant Editors: Yue Wang and Ardian Wibisono

Additional Editing: John Kang

Research and Reporting: Karsha Green, John Kang, Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Yessar Rosendar, James Simms, Yue Wang, Ardian Wibisono with Phisanu Phromchanya, Anurandra Raghunathan and Jennifer Wells

Copy Editing: Amit Prakash, Anthony Spaeth, Mary Scott and Jennifer Wells

Design Direction – Asia: Mirna Aprilla, Mossy Chew, Hidayat

Post Production – Asia: Jay Sofyan

Under 30 Asia 2024 Photography: Munster Cheong (Johnson Lim), Muhammad Fadli (Firda Marsya Kurnia, Euis Siti Aisyah, Widi Rahmawati), Glenn Hunt (Cian Dawson), Jae-hyun Kim (Yoomee Hwang), Jeffry Lim (Erica Eng), MHM (Aleena Nadeem) and Karan Nevatia (Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora; Bhagyashree Jain)

Additional photos: Zhang Zhiqian (By Shengwen Bai), Zhu Yueyang (Supplied Photo)

Editorial Operations: Justin Conklin, Francesca Walton

Database Management: Dmitri Slavinsky, Ken Barney

Creative Director: Alicia Hallett-Chan

Director of Photography: Robyn Selman

Art Direction: Charles Brucaliere, Fernando Capeto

Design: Andres Jauregui, Alicia Knight, Philip Smith, Yunja Yuan, Cecilia Zhang

Photo Research: Mossy Chew

Technical Project Manager: Dania Darwish

Engineering: Diab Al-Saadi, Tay Buley


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