By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter
INSULAR LIFE Assurance Co. Ltd. (InLife) Executive Chairman Nina D. Aguas is the lone Filipino to make it to the Asia’s Power Businesswomen list of Forbes Magazine.
First released in 2012, the annual list aims to recognize 25 women “who are breaking down barriers and playing a significant role in shaping Asia’s business landscape.”
“By profiling these 25 outstanding women, Forbes Asia aims to highlight their achievement in the business world and present them as both powerful and empowering so that their success may inspire all our readers,” 2019 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list editor Rana Wehbe said in a statement.
Ms. Aguas assumed her post as executive chairman of Insular Life last year, prior to which she served as the firm’s chief executive officer. It was at this time that the company pursued a bancassurance partnership with UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. while encouraging financial literacy for women together with the World Bank, according to the company’s website.
The 109-year old company was also able to deliver its highest financial performance in 2016 under Ms. Aguas’ leadership. In 2018, premium income stood at P14 billion, 18% higher year-on-year.
“She also helped transform the company’s digital capabilities to provide better access to insurance and investment products,” Forbes said of the 66-year old executive.
Ms. Aguas previously held top management positions in Asia, Australia, and North America for international banks such as ANZ and Citigroup.
Among other entrepreneurs who made it to the list is Vietjet Aviation Founder and Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, who Forbes noted is the only woman in the traditionally male-dominated aviation business to establish her own major commercial airline.
Ms. Thao is considered Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire and Southeast Asia’s wealthiest self-made woman with a net worth of $2.5 billion.
The 35-year old co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of mobile app Grab Tan Hooi Ling was also included in the list. Ms. Tan’s role as COO is to grow the company’s market share in eight countries and 336 cities.
Job search site Wantedly’s founder and chief executive officer Akiko Naka was also recognized for having developed an “unorthodox way to match employees and job hunters.” The company is now valued at 29 billion yen, with a user base of about two million people.
The Coffee Academics Founder Jennifer Wai-Fun Liu was also included for the quick expansion of her specialty coffee chain in Asia. The company is present in four cities in Asia and will expand to three more, including Manila. It is set for further expansion in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.