Interbrand and Daily FT collaborate to promote kindness in leadership across Asia Pacific

Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Vicki Treadell

Dr. Swait Piramal

Rupen Desai

Jo Tyndall

  • 50 leaders to be recognised as fostering a new status quo grounded on kindness and respect, with nominations now open until 31 May 

Hugh Andrew
Anusha David

The inaugural Kindness & Leadership Asia Pacific 50 Leading Lights campaign has been launched with a view to challenge how the business world views success and to celebrate and encourage kindness in leadership in the region. 

Open to men and women of all ages, the initiative is launched by the Women of the Future Program and supported by headline sponsor Asia Square. 

It aims to shine a light on 50 individuals across Asia Pacific who are building a new status quo grounded on kindness and respect, and who are overturning leadership stereotypes. 

Country Partners Interbrand and the Daily FT will collaborate with Women of the Future in this laudable initiative.

Speaking on launching this initiative in Sri Lanka, Interbrand Partner for Sri Lanka and the Maldives and Chairman Headlines PR Anusha David, said: “This year for the first time, Sri Lanka too has the opportunity to nominate its leaders for this prestigious award. The timing could not be better as the world struggles for survival in the midst of a pandemic that is ravaging societies, economies and lifestyles. Therefore, kindness and empathy are crucial in order to take businesses forward. The business world is often portrayed as a highly competitive ecosystem in which you need to fight to get ahead. To a good extent, that’s very true. Entrepreneurs need thick skin, drive and intense focus to succeed. But it’s also important for entrepreneurs to remember the value of kindness. Businesses give you the chance to change the world and influence others. Kindness does the same thing, and with a single act you can influence countless others. Pairing kindness with your business can make for a powerful opportunity. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’” 

Women of the Future (WOF) Program Founder Pinky Lilani CBE DL said: “My vision is to inspire others and recast kindness not as a weakness in leadership, but as an essential strength that empowers positive change and drives sustained growth. In a year characterised by radical change, it is kind leadership that is taking centre stage. Leaders across the globe who have led with kindness and empathy have given us greater confidence and hope – we have been more open to their ideas and the difficult decisions they have faced.

“The impact of kindness in leadership extends beyond a company’s four walls and benefits the economy and society as a whole. By empowering others to succeed, and inspiring creativity and productivity, kind leaders have proven that you can transform organisations in a positive way through fostering true collaboration.”

Together with the Saïd Business School and the University of Oxford, The Kindness & Leadership Asia Pacific 50 Leading Lights campaign has explored the characteristics associated with kind leaders. Those who are deeply thoughtful of others and show humanity, generosity and compassion, and are dedicated to supporting the well-being of others and fostering a spirit of collaboration, are the specific traits that will be looked for within the nomination.

“People do not forget acts of kindness. If we can encourage more leaders at all levels to follow their example, we can help change the perceptions of ‘strong’ leadership. We want kindness to be seen as a strength in leadership, as a quality and a currency that empowers change,” she added.

Entrants will be reviewed by a distinguished panel comprising representatives from different industry sectors including:

Vicki Treadell - British High Commissioner to Australia (Judge Chairman)

Dr. Swait Piramal – Piramal Enterprises Vice Chairman

Hugh Andrew – Blackrock Real Assets Managing Director 

Jo Tyndall – New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore

Rupen Desai – Dole Packaged Foods Global Chief Marketing Officer 

The Asia Pacific 50 Leading Lights List will be announced on 7 October 2021.

Blackrock Real Assets Managing Director Hugh Andrew said: “Asia Square is privileged and honoured to support the Kindness & Leadership Asia Pacific 50 Leading Lights initiative. In today’s fragile political, business, and social climate, we are seeing a resurgence of debate over what constitutes effective leadership. Kindness is a vital attribute in this conversation. It builds trust, confidence and loyalty, and we need to change the dialogue that it is a ‘nice to have,’ and to showcase that it is an essential component of strong leadership.”

Nominations are now open at 

Criteria for the nominations:

The candidates can be male or female and there are no restrictions on age.

Candidates have to be working and based in the Asia Pacific region for at least two years.

We are looking for leaders in their fields – those in a position of leadership that can directly affect the culture of the company and industry within which they work.

Candidates must be nominated by another and cannot self-nominate.

Those nominating will need to write a citation about the candidate that clearly demonstrates their leadership impact through kindness.

We will also require two testimonials from people that have been impacted by the candidate.

Nominations close on 31 May 2021.