40 under 40
WE PRESENT THIS YEAR’S LIST OF MOVERS AND SHAKERS WHO ARE CHARTING THEIR OWN DESTINIES AND BRINGING FORTH WINDS OF CHANGE WITH A UNITED GOAL TO CREATE A POSITIVE IMPACT
The image of the striding man, synonymous with Johnnie Walker’s philosophy of progress, is the impetus for the Keep Walking award. Recognising individuals who have the courage of conviction to forge their own path in the world, this award is aimed at entrepreneurs who have persevered in pursuing their passion. In this regard, Benjamin Yong triumphs. When he was awarded the Men of the Year in 2011, Benjamin had sold his stake in Delicious but it was obvious that he had his sights set on The ‘chief eating officer’ at The BIG Group. Driven by his love for food and how it can bring people together, Benjamin has transformed the local F&B industry, spearheading the idea of dining as a lifestyle. The interesting thing about Benjamin is his ability to constantly evolve his business making him an apt recipient for the Keep Walking award.
The Rare Craft award celebrates one who is the master of his craft. Inspired by John
Walker, a grocer who began by experimenting with different malts together, eventually creating what has since become a global brand. When we first featured Quek Shio Chuan in 2012, he was shooting television ads but had just won the BMW Shorties. In advertising, his list of clients includes several heavyweight in the country including Nissan, Samsung and Petronas. His talents however aren’t confined to just advertising. He has also emerged as a formidable force in the film industry. The film Guang, which was first produced in 2011 as a shortie, has created quite a stir on the international film circuit, receiving nominations at the Shanghai International Film Festival as well as Fukuoka International Film Festival. The film which depicts the plight of an autistic individual is reflective of Quek’s philosophy of a filmmaker, which is to share authentic Malaysian stories.
When we first featured Lex Low, he said his goal was to change the world, “one haircut at a time,” while creating a community of barbers. Apart from running his business Othrs, which is fast expanding, Lex has also focused on adding value to his skills by using it to impact upon society. He spends his weekends cutting hair for the homeless while also teaching the underprivileged how to cut hair and in doing so, giving the opportunity to learn a skill. Lex also initiated the opening of Cut x Dignity, a salon managed by members of Dignity for Children Foundation who were trained by him. The Rare Legacy award aims to acknowledge one who is making an impact on society.
This award pays tribute to John Walker who has legacy spans two centuries.
The Johnnie Walker
Blue Label is acknowledged for being an unrivalled masterpiece, given its rare character, a quality that is determined due to the fact that only one in 10,000 casks make the cut. This award is dedicated to someone who is guided by the highest ethics and values. For this, John-Son Oei is a fitting choice, Just out of university Oei embarked on a social enterprise that aimed to improve the lives of the disenfranchised. The founder and CEO of EPIC, an acronym for Extraordinary People Impacting Community, aims to solve the housing issue for the Orang Asli while also helping develop safe and sustainable homes. EPIC now has 5,000 volunteers who intend to effect change.