Forbes announced its fourth annual “30 Under 30 Asia” list, featuring 300 young disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs across Asia, all under the age of 30, who are challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation.
Among them are three Filipino millennials: Kenn Costales, founder of Monolith Growth Consulting; Georgianna Carlos, founder of Fetch! Naturals; and Earl Forlales and Zahra Halabisaz Zanjani, co-founders of Cubo Modular.
“The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list this year highlights daring entrepreneurs who are building businesses mostly to solve problems in their industries. Forming 70 percent of the 2019 list, startup founders are using technologies like AI, Big Data and Blockchain to facilitate processes such as matching patients with potentially life-saving medical trials and providing enterprise solutions for SMEs who form the vast majority of businesses in the APAC region,” said Rana Wehbe, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Editor.
“It is also remarkable to see many of these change makers actively working towards sustainability – from supplying affordable green energy in rural areas to cooking and promoting sustainable ingredients and campaigning to reduce the use of plastic straws,” said Wehbe.
Among the awardees from the Philippines, 29-year-old Costales is the founder and chief executive of Monolith Growth Ventures, a performance marketing firm with offices in Singapore and Manila. Costales founded the company in 2016 after years of working for Procter & Gamble, and his firm has grown rapidly to 15 full-time staff.
They service leading global brands such as Fitness First, The Boston Consulting Group, Sonos and Klipsch.
Carlos, 28, is a co-founder and chief executive of Fetch! Naturals, a premium pet care brand that uses only natural ingredients such as neem or jicama for its products. As an animal lover, Carlos noted that her pets were increasingly having skin issues due to irritation caused by chemical-heavy products.
Since she established Fetch! Naturals in 2016, the brand has opened two retail locations in Manila and Los Angeles, and the products can be found in more than 30 locations across the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Forlales and Zanjani are the co-founders of Cubo, a company which designs and constructs bamboo houses in just four hours.
In 2018, the duo won prize money from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors for their designs. The founders hope the company can tackle the shortage of accommodation in the Philippines with low-cost bamboo housing units. The original design for the units was inspired by the bamboo huts that Forlales’ grandparents had built.
The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2019 includes 30 honorees in 10 categories. Among those featured on this year’s list are South Korean K-pop girl group BlackPink; popular Chinese actor Liu Haoran, 22; Eyewear designer Percy Lau, 30, from Hong Kong; Singaporean band The Sam Willows; Anurag Gupta and Sagar Yamalkar, 29 and 30, co-founders of India’s DailyNinja; and Agung Bezharie, Harya Putra and Sofian Hadiwijaya, 30, 25 and 30, co-founders of Indonesia’s Warung Pintar.
The 2019 list features a diverse set of Under 30 honorees, with 23 countries and territories represented across the Asia- Pacific region.
China has the highest number of honorees with 61 on this year’s list, followed closely by India with 59. Japan came in third with 30 honorees including 21-year-old tennis player Naomi Osaka, while South Korea took fourth place with 28, followed by Singapore with 23. Notably, it is also the first time that honorees from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Laos appeared on the list.
More than 2,000 submissions were received online and from in-house research by Forbes’ journalists from across the region, but only 300 made the final cut.
The criteria for honorees making the list include their demonstration of leadership, how they embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is synonymous with Forbes and their potential of success in their industry.
Other factors like innovation, disruption and size, and growth of their ventures in some categories played a role in making the final decision.
Honorees were vetted and selected by a panel of accomplished and acclaimed judges in each category.
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