Leading Asia

An interview series with the region’s top business leaders

Asia is at a turning point. The region has made rapid strides in both economic progress and human development, but it also faces risks and challenges. Leaders in Asia have been learning to address big issues—from slow infrastructure development, the rise of a new, digital demographic and the threat of climate change—against a backdrop of a pandemic that left no aspect of business or society untouched in its wake. In this fast-moving, post-pandemic world, how do leaders in Asia clarify their priorities and move forward with purpose?

In our new video series, Leading Asia, we ask some of the most influential voices in the region how they are navigating this increasingly complex landscape. We hear from them on what it takes to redefine impact, unlock new streams of opportunity, and leverage talent and technology to unlock sustainable, inclusive growth in Asia today.

Hear directly from Asia’s business leaders


How to merge talent, skills, and purpose: A chat with the Group CEO of Singlife

– Pearlyn Phau, Group CEO of Singlife, reveals some of the ins and outs of merging an insurtech start-up and a legacy player.

Asia’s top CEOs embrace change with boldness and resilience

– Asia’s top business leaders are navigating today’s shocks with bold moves and a determination toward building sustainable... and inclusive growth.

Australian Banking Association’s CEO faces uncertainty head on

– Anna Bligh, who formerly served as premier of Queensland, is no stranger to crisis. She explains how tough times can be an opportunity... for positive change.

In the boardroom with Alison Watkins: CEOs, boards, and leading through crisis

– Alison Watkins, who is a board member of CSL, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and Wesfarmers, believes that there is growing alignment—and... a healthier balance—between CEOs and board members.

India as a pharma innovation hub: An interview with Dr. Reddy’s G. V. Prasad

– The cochairman and managing director of the pharma multinational believes India’s competence in new biology, clinical development,... and chemistry will increase its global competitiveness.

How leaders in Asia look to build next-generation economic champions

– To succeed in Asia, CEOs need to reshape their organizations and build new capabilities to differentiate and compete in a rapidly... changing world.

Sustainable, inclusive growth

Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Driving for resilience: An interview with the CEO of India’s Tata Motors

– Guenter Butschek, CEO of Tata Motors, shares his perspectives on the COVID-19-era challenges of leading a major global automotive... company based in India, and the opportunities just up the road.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

How an Australian resources company makes ESG a priority

– Karen Wood, chair of South32, talks about what makes the company’s purpose and strategy resilient in unpredictable times.

Purpose and impact


How Blackstone is helping to build India’s next generation of global companies

– Blackstone Private Equity’s head of Asia, Amit Dixit, reveals elements of its long-term success in India. Hint: it requires... the right mix of ownership, technology, and talent.

Lessons in leadership: Making government “a great place to work”

– David Thodey has led successful transformations across Australia’s public and private sectors. He recently sat down with... McKinsey to share his recipe for success.

A complete corporate makeover: Keppel’s plan for sustainable growth

– CEO Loh Chin Hua is on a mission to transform Keppel Corporation from a conglomerate structure to a future-ready organization... with strong purpose, relevance, and a goal of achieving sustainable growth.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Asia at the speed of light: An interview with the head of ReNew Power

– The energy transition will remake Asia, says Sumant Sinha, managing director of ReNew Power.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Speeding up to become even more consumer-obsessed: An interview with GSK’s Keith Choy

– The leader of GlaxoSmithKline’s Asia–Pacific Consumer Healthcare group describes how his organization is speeding... up to serve consumers, despite the heightened uncertainty of COVID-19.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Addressing society’s pain points: An interview with the CEO of Ayala Corporation

– Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala reflects on Asia’s imperative, and his own, to find inclusive and creative solutions to complex... and uncertain challenges.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

How the CEO of Samsung SDS sets a course for ‘humble and speedy’

– Won-Pyo Hong, CEO of Samsung’s information- and communications-technology arm, explains how a collaborative approach helps... his South Korea–based company drive digital transformations globally.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Rallying around purpose: An interview with the managing director and CEO of Insurance Australia Group

– Digital technologies are important, but “good, old-fashioned trust” is indispensable, says Peter Harmer.

Innovation and transformation


Life-centric banking with an analytics edge

– Bank Jago’s Peterjan van Nieuwenhuizen explains the value a life-centric banking approach has for AI banks.

Evolving institutional finance with AI

– Westpac Group’s chief technology officer, David Walker, discusses how to lead through change to transform a legacy institution... into a modern, full-service bank.

You can’t move too fast: A conversation with Andy Penn

– As CEO of Telstra, Andy Penn reinvented the company’s product offerings, digital capabilities, overall structure, and performance.... Here’s how he transformed the organization to meet the moment.

Making financial services available to the masses through AI

– WeBank CFO Arthur Wang discusses how the company balances innovation, technology, and compliance to move itself forward.

Why Infosys’s cofounder Nilekani is urging leaders to use tech for good

– The cofounder of the multinational IT company believes Indian start-ups will soon develop technologies to transform education,... healthcare, and other social challenges.

Inside Rishad Premji’s quest to create a high-performing culture at Wipro

– The executive chairman of global technology services company Wipro wants to promote cultural change at the 77-year-old organization... by institutionalizing five habits in the workplace.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Why a cut-and-paste approach to digital transformation won’t cut it: An interview with the founder of Biocon

– Asian companies can reap many benefits if they not only embrace but also truly understand digital innovation, says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

People and talent


Leading from the heart: How Freshworks’ CEO built a global tech unicorn

– Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of the India-born, US-headquartered software-as-a-service start-up believes that this is the decade... for India as a product nation.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Prioritize people in times of crisis: An interview with the CEO of BHP

– Mike Henry explains the importance of social value in decision making and why relationships lie at the heart of business resilience.