Ram Dharmaraj, BBM is Chairman, Advisory Board at Quest Institute and is a highly effective business strategist. Besides being a member of various executive boards, he has held top management positions at several companies in the FMCG industry, with responsibilities covering the Asia Pacific and Middle East region. Ram has garnered more than 30 years of powerful corporate experience through his appointments as CEO Asia Pacific, Yardley of London Ltd and as a finance professional at Jardine Matheson Group. As CEO Yardley of London, he assumed full operational responsibility for 11 countries in the Asia Pacific. That included the management of 5 manufacturing plants, management of all licensees and master distributors, creation & new product developments, mass media marketing and execution of the group’s financial strategy.
Ram has also led a prominent and illustrious career as an educator and coach. He has lectured on Cybernetics Principals and International & Strategic Marketing for the University of Bradford, the University of South Australia and the City University of Oklahoma. He was awarded the Singapore Government’s Ministry of Education Silver Medal (1996) and Gold Medal (2007) for service to education. In 2017, Ram was conferred the highly prestigious Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (BBM) Public Service Star by the President of Singapore for his outstanding contributions in education. As a personal and professional coach, he has successfully guided mid-career PMETs (Professional, Managers, Executives and Technicians) and even fresh graduates who are embarking on their careers. Ram holds a Masters of Business Administration degree and has a degree in Accountancy.
Since 1998, Ram has been deeply involved in pursuing startup enterprises both as strategic advisor and investor. He has personally funded and taken executive roles in a wide array of current global startup companies across varied industries:
- Co-founder/Executive Director for a Digital Intelligence Research entity focussing in artificial intelligence based cyber security systems and solutions.
- Investor/CFO, Hydrostar R&D Group of companies in the USA, Singapore, China and Hong Kong. Hydrostar focusses in product development using non-fossil fuel to produce green hydrogen energy to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
- Investor and non-executive board member, UBU Holdings Inc, an OTC secondary listed entity in USA. Their primary business is in Hollywood film and TV animation production, wines & spirits targeted at Afro African consumers and trading enterprise representing international personal care brands.
- Founder and investor, Three Beauties group of companies, with specific focus in cosmetics, skincare, nail polish, collagen & other toiletry products.
- Investor/Advisor, Innovis Marketing Pte Ltd, a manufacturing and distribution services company for branded fast-moving-consumer-goods.
Other start-ups Ram had previously ventured include:
- e-Exchange.com, a B2B IT trading platform Silicon Valley start-up which raised US$36m in venture funds from Bear Sterns and other European Equity Partners.
- Dotsteps International, a California based internet portal providing e-commerce applications & building B2C mini platforms for small start-ups to raise crowd funding.
- Entreprenology Asia, an e-learning, business management and consultancy services company.
- Innovative Business Solutions, a database marketing & CRM company, building B2C platforms for international consumer trade.
André Cheong is Chief Executive at Quest Institute. He started his career in 1992 with Asia Pacific Management Centre (now known as Kaplan Institute of Higher Learning) which provides undergraduate (Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor) and postgraduate (Master, Doctoral) degree programs for senior management and mid-career professionals in affiliation with world class universities in Australia, Ireland, UK and USA.
Six years later, André joined PSD Group as Regional Director (Asia). PSD Group was a UK-listed recruitment services organization headquartered in London with an annual turnover of GBP150M and more than 900 staff worldwide. Under his leadership, PSD Group’s business units in Singapore, Hongkong and Shanghai were consistently the most profitable worldwide. Some of his international awards include Manager of the Year (2000 & 2005) and Outstanding Contribution (2006).
In 2008, André founded Global Search Partners (GSP). Over the next 10 years, he successfully established GSP as a leading brand name in the recruitment industry with 30 employees in Singapore and Hong Kong. GSP continues to be a leading recruitment firm in the region. For more than 20 years, André has successfully launched the careers of numerous recruiters. Personally, he has recruited top level positions across Asia including Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Finance Directors, General Managers, Project Directors and Chief Technology Officers.
With more than 26 years of consulting experience, André has gained valuable hiring & business insights from hundreds of private & public sector employers worldwide and has interviewed thousands of candidates in Singapore and regionally. He holds an MBA from the University of Leicester and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Western Australia under the prestigious Colombo Plan Scholarship. André also earned a Professional Diploma in Training & Development (Gold Medal) from the Singapore Training & Development Association (STADA) and is ACTA-qualified as an Adult Educator under Skillsfuture Singapore. He is also a certified administrator of the Extended DISC® psychometric programme.
Uniquely trained not only as a Project Management Professional but also as a Masteries Coach, André is a regular public speaker and conducts regular career workshops for both private and public sector agencies such as SPH (STJobs), Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), a leading national organisation offering hiring, training and productivity solutions to individuals and companies seeking employability skills and solutions for growth.
Harold Tan is currently Director & Principal Trainer at VestAsia Group where he is also a mentor to young executives in the Group. He is a much sought-after corporate trainer, seminar speaker and business consultant with more than 35 years of corporate experience.
Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Harold was formerly a professor in real estate at the National University of Singapore where he was conferred the prestigious NUS Teaching Excellence Award. He has also conducted training programs for the Asian Institute of Management, Dubai Real Estate Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Capitaland Institute of Management and Business (CLIMB), Temasek Wealth Management Institute, Ascendas, SAP, Essilor, Clariden Global, Jones Lang LaSalle, Colliers International, DTZ, CBRE, Singapore Estate Agents Association and Real Center Network. In his role as the Program Director of Real Centre Academy (Asia), Harold worked with industry leaders to curate high level executive programs such as Design Thinking and Corporate Real Estate for senior executives in real estate and fund management. He is credited for implementing creative marketing methods to elevate the Singapore Science Park into becoming a highly-sought after science and business park in the region.
Harold has extensive experience in real estate development, consulting, marketing and executive coaching. As a real estate advisor, his projects included BPO Prime (Penang’s first Grade A office development located at the hi-tech zone of Bayan Baru). In Singapore, he was key consultant for the revamp of the retail podium of International Plaza. Harold was also consultant to GIC, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS-Warburg, Hong Kong Land, ING-Real Estate, CapitaLand, PSA, JTC, Lendlease, Virgin Group, Exxon- Mobil, Body Shop, Metro Ltd, Marina Centre Holding and EDIS (Economic Development Innovations Services).
Prior to joining NUS, Harold was General Manager, Keppel Land International, responsible for large scale integrated township developments in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East. During this tenure, he also trained overseas management staff for their Management Development Program. Prior to Keppel Land, Harold had held appointments at Jones Lang LaSalle, Frasers Centrepoint, WBL Corporation, Guthrie Properties, Ascendas and JTC Corporation.
Harold obtained his Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree (Estate Management) from the National University of Singapore as a PSD Local Merit Scholar. He also graduated with a Master of Arts (Business Administration) from the University of Georgia (USA) under the JTC Overseas Merit Scholarship. He is a faculty member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (New York) and with the Asian Institute of Management (Executive Programs).