Statement: ASEAN Sikh Economic & Entrepreneurship Summit 2017

| Statement | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 30 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |

The ASEAN Sikh Economic & Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 (ASEES 2017), is a flagship initiative by a group of young Sikh professionals that envisions to bring together visionaries, thought leaders, business and industry leaders, government leaders, policymakers, academicians and corporate heads. It cohesively drives a singular agenda for enabling economic upliftment and integration for ASEAN Sikhs while unifying and empowering the Sikh business community of the region.

This two-day marquee event will witness an envious collection of the most influential regional Sikh leaders, CEOs, business leaders as keynote speakers and panelists, who are integral to the success of the conference. Among the keynote speakers we have Manpreet Singh, the Finance Minister of Punjab and a leader in economic and social reforms in the region. Also attending will be Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a key figure in economic reform in India. Other notable speakers include Sunita Kaur Gill, Regional Head of Spotify and Surendar Singh Khandari, a prominent entrepreneur in UAE. This summit will also see tangible outcomes produced by bringing together government representatives, business and industry leaders, professionals and thought leaders, which will translate to viable solutions to uplift the economic standing of ASEAN Sikhs.

SEE ALSO: Indian economist Montek, UAE billionaire Kandhari to attend Sikh summit in Kuala Lumpur

A total of 450 participants comprising of SME business owners, investors, C-level executives of MNCs and start-up companies are expected to attend this summit. As part of efforts to ensure a successful event with tangible and meaningful outcomes, the summit will include a wide range of workshops, panels, pitch competitions and networking sessions aimed at providing participants tailored opportunities to enhance their knowledge, insights and relationships that will help their ventures and professions grow. Within the summit, there will also be experiential learning exhibitions and opportunities to connect with industry experts.

This inaugural summit will also hold the ASEES Startup Competition, where ideas and visions for the future will stand a chance to receive attractive prizes. Further, investors have committed up to RM 100,000 grant for any idea they may choose to fund.

Tickets are priced at RM300 and more information about the event can be found through the Facebook at



Manpreet Singh Badal

Manpreet Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, India  

“There is a strong need to for us to pool intellectual resources to fight the real enemies of Punjab – corruption, poverty, lack of access to education. I want to bring Punjab back to its glory years!”

Leading economic and social reforms in Punjab. His mandate includes:

  • Breaking the backbone of the Drug, sand and transport menace
  • Spearheading industrial development by creating urban corridors and expanding infrastructure
  • Loan waivers and increased compensation to farmers
  • Insuring 33% reservation of women in government jobs

He will be in KL for our summit, wanting increase trade and bring Malaysian investors and businessmen like yourself to Punjab. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet him and be part of Punjab’s future economic growth

Short Profile: After completing a law degree at the University of London, he was elected to the Punjabi Legislative Assembly as a young age, winning his constituency in 1997, 2002 and 2007. Often described as the politician who wears his heart on his sleeve, Mr Manpreet relished his role and performed it with a sense of dignity and grace not found in many.  Since coming into the position of Finance Minister in March 2017, he shoulders a tall order to lead economic reforms in Punjab. Particularly to waive farmer debts, eradicate VIP culture, suppress transport mafias, propel women education and battle the deadly drug menace.


Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, International Economic Advisor  

“One of the most intelligent individuals on this planet, simply the brainchild behind countless economic reforms” – CNN Correspondents

Impact Points

  • Iconic speaker and World Economic Forums, representing India and the World’s developing nations
  • Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and President of the most prestigious, Oxford Union
  • At 28, he was the youngest Division Chief in the World Bank
  • First Director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the International monetary fund (IMF)
  • Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, India.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Dr Montek. He will be at our summit discussing regional opportunities and the future economic outlook for us

Short Profile: A Rhodes scholar to Oxford University where he later earned his Masters of Arts in Philosophy Politics and Economy, which are amongst the long list of achievements for Dr Montek. At the age of 28, he became the youngest Division Chief in the World Bank’s bureaucracy, in charge of the Income Distribution Division in the World Bank’s Development Research Centre.

He returned to India in 1979 to take up the role of Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and continued to serve several positions in the Indian Government including the Special Secretary to Prime Minister. Mr Ahluwalia went on to champion several reforms from 1991 to 1996.

Dr Montek was elected the Deputy Chairman for the Planning Commission of India in 2004, the Chairman being Dr Manmohan Singh himself. His work and dedication has earned him the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour for public service. Aside from his services to India, he also served on the Board of International Monetary Fund to be the first director of the newly created Independent Evaluation Office, in which capacity he supervised several studies critical of various aspects of the functioning of the IMF.

Dr Montek is a prominent speaker at the World Economic Forum and various international conferences. He has also written on various aspects of India’s economic reforms and on the inclusiveness of India’s growth process, including contributions to the Oxford University Press.

Surender Singh Khandari from Dubai

Surender Singh Kandhari, Owner and Chairperson Al-Dobowi Group 

Impact Points

  • Owner of Al Dobowi Group, one of the largest tyre distribution companies in the world
  • Orchestrated the development of the 1stGurdwara in the middle East, Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai
  • Founding member of the World Trade Centre Club, on the board of the governors of the Indian Sports Club and the vice-president of the Auto Parts Merchants Group.
  • Attended the G20 Interfaith Summit held in the Gold Coast Australia in 2014 and in Malaysia in 2015 as a delegate of the UAE government.
  • Won an award under the category of ‘Sikhs in Seva’, which was held in London on October 21, 2012
  • In 2014, the British Sikh Association honoured Kandhari with the prestigious ‘Sikh Jewel Award.

Short Profile: Surender Singh Kandhari met and fell in love with Dubai in 1975. Describing it as the closest thing to home, this gentleman went on to begin his dynasty. Four decades later, he is the owner and chairperson of the world famous Al-Dobowi group.  The Al Dobowi Group was formed in 1976 to address the needs of a growing tyre management and service industry in the Middle East. Today the group provides services related with the motion of cars, including batteries for motive power, lubircants and conveyor belt systems. This jolly faced billionaire is known for many things, his sense of humour, his approachability but possibly his most notable achievement is his philanthropy. He contributed $20 million USD to build dubais first “legal” gurduwara. In 2012, he won an award under the category of ‘Sikhs in Seva’, which was held in London and in 2014, the British Sikh Association honouredKandhari with the prestigious ‘Sikh Jewel Award.

Sunita Kaur, Managing Director for Asia, Spotify

Be open to change and to learning new things. I have learnt much from the various teams I have worked with. Regardless of their position in the company, they all have ideas and experiences that will help us innovate and grow.”

Impact points

  • Spearheading Spotify’s expansion across Asia securing key partnerships and developing infrastructure
  • Listed in The Next Web’s Top 100 Women in Tech
  • Former Asia Pacific Advertising Director, Facebook instrumental in expanding Facebook’s footprint in the region
  • Board member of Talent Trust, uniting NGOs with Senior Business leaders providing them with governance, innovation and exposure

Short Profile:Being a woman in technology is an incredible feat and being a minority woman in technology more so.

Sunita Kaur, over her 20 years of experience, has shown what it means to be a strong, determined and intelligent woman in technology. This wonder woman’s print stints at Time Warner and Singapore Press holding prepared her to enter the world of digital media as associate director and international accounts at Microsoft Advertising. She later went on to work as the Facebook Director for Asia where she help set up Facebook and grow its presence across Asia.

She joined Spotify in 2013 and since then has led the services expansion across Asia as well as managing the regions revenue division.

Apart from helming Spotify launches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sunita has overseen the growth of crucial business units in the region, including partnerships, product programming, payments and conversion.

An acclaimed speaker at key business conferences across Asia, Sunita was recently named in The Next Web’s Top 100 Women in Tech



Online Ticket: RM349 for Standard Ticket(including all admin charges by our ticketing partner at AirAsia Red Tix). Visit and click on ‘buy tickets’.

Offline tickets: We have made available offline physical tickets, priced at RM300(Standard) as it does not include the online admin charges. We can arrange to deliver to you directly!

Money transfer for offline tickets:

1. Make payment to ASEES EVENTS-CIMB- 8602847077

  1. Email the transaction slip/proof of payment to

3. Provide us with your delivery address.


ASEES 2017 | Veneu: Securities Commission Malaysia headquarters in Kuala Lumpur | Dates: 8-9 July

It is the maiden summit for the the newly formed Asean Sikh Chamber of Commerce. Asia Samachar is a media partner of the two-day event.



[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website:]


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