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Leadership bar none

Business acumen and a grassroots focus make these unique individuals at the helm among the best in Asia

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AXA Philippines' president and executive MD, Rahul Hora: Inclusive leadership style and out-of-the-office interactions with staff that has resulted in more empowered employees.

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MD and CEO of Samitivej and Bangkok Nursing Home, Dr Chairat Panthuraamphorn: Working towards a new corporate culture called the "Agile Organisation of Value" where employees are always a step ahead of any potential change.

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CEO, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Berhad, Merrill Christopher Pereyra: Implemented a strategy that focused on People, Place, Product, Promotion and Profit, helping pull the company out of a four-year decline.

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Country head of PT Syngenta Indonesia, Parveen Kathuria: Believes leadership is about having a clear vision; articulating it well and leading from the front.

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Thailand-based Siam Piwat Group CEO Chadatip Chutrakul: Considers being understanding and empathetic, trustworthy, visionary, committed to excellence, and being courageous to be the strongest traits of leadership.

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24/7 Customer Philippines, Inc president and country manager Rienzi Ramirez: His biggest leadership difference is probably his willingness to disrupt and challenge conventional thinking.

AN OUTSTANDING Leader in Asia as set out by the criteria of the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards (ACES) is an executive who has demonstrated sound leadership and has successfully applied it to spearhead growth and prominence for his or her respective companies.

These individuals exhibit the ideal blend of business acumen, professionalism, entrepreneurial calibre and astuteness. Among this year's Outstanding Leaders in Asia are six such individuals.

When promoted to the higher echelons of the industrial ladder, most employees would gradually become detached from their company's lower tiers and their former work relations.

Inclusive style

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AXA Philippines' president and executive managing director, Rahul Hora, however, has become known for his uncompensated, out-of-the-office interactions with staff members, and his inclusive, successful leadership style which in turn has trickled down into the DNA of the company, resulting in more empowered employees, who are happier with their jobs, and thus, more attentive and helpful to customers.

'Man of Value'

Dr Chairat Panthuraamphorn, the managing director and chief executive officer of the Samitivej and Bangkok Nursing Home (BNH) Group of Hospitals strives to be a "Man of Value" rather than a man of success. He believes true leadership lies in the mastery of current tools and methods, combined with the desire to always contribute value to whatever is entrusted to him.

Not satisfied with maintaining the status quo, he is working towards a new corporate culture called the "Agile Organisation of Value" where employees are always a step ahead of any potential change, and help create value for customers by helping them prevent illness through early detection, disease screening and preventive medicine.

Winning strategy

Merrill Christopher Pereyra was so good as chief operating officer of QSR Brands (M) Holdings Berhad, that he was made chief executive officer within six months. He brought to the CEO's office a strategy that focused on People, Place, Product, Promotion and Profit, helping pull the company out of a four-year decline in terms of performance. Believing that great leadership starts and ends with the trust of his people, Mr Pereyra leads by example and places great importance on his own integrity. A strong believer in the continuous learning process, he credits his success to his hunger to keep learning and improving himself.

Having a clear vision

Parveen Kathuria, country head of PT Syngenta Indonesia says leadership is about having a clear vision; articulating it well, and leading from the front. As an agricultural graduate from Haryana Agricultural University, and a holder of an MBA from Mahatma Gandhi University, India, Mr Kathuria feels that life is really about learning - every day. Not surprisingly, he believes he has learnt more while on the job and working on different assignments than he has from his formal education.

'Dare to succeed'

Thailand-based Siam Piwat Group is led by chief executive officer Chadatip Chutrakul. A graduate from Chulalongkorn University with a degree in banking and finance, Chadatip Chutrakul began her career at Siam Piwat after spending four years as an oil and gas specialist in the insurance industry. She considers being understanding and empathetic, trustworthy, visionary, committed to excellence, and being courageous to be the strongest traits of leadership. She also believes that leaders must "dare to succeed" and that today's leaders should encourage innovative thinking and continuous learning from one another.

Big investments in time

Boasting a headcount of over 4,000 employees across five sites in Manila and Cebu, 24/7 Customer Philippines, Inc, headed by president and country manager Rienzi Ramirez, is in the business of connections. Formally trained with a BSc in Industrial Economics, Ramirez also possesses two post-graduate degrees - a master's in Industrial Economics and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines. He believes a big part of leadership is making big investments in time and resources when it comes to staff development. "My biggest leadership difference is probably my willingness to disrupt and challenge conventional thinking," Mr Ramirez says.