Forbes names two Filipinas among Asia’s Power Businesswomen of 2020

Published September 15, 2020, 12:18 PM

by Noreen Jazul

Two Filipinas were named by Forbes magazine as among Asia’s Power Businesswomen of 2020. 

Forbes listed a total of 25 businesswomen who represent different industries like biotech, fintech, edtech and the more traditional sectors such as retail, logistics, and law. 

The Filipinas on the list are Olivia Limpe-Aw, Chairman and CEO of Destileria Limtuaco, and Filipino-Australian Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of online design platform Canva. 

Those who also made it to the list were Zhao Yan, chairman and general manager of China’s Bloomage BioTehcnology; Lili Kong, president of Singapore Management University, and Aya Komaki, President and CEO of Japan’s Sanrio Entertainment. 

“In a year defined by a global pandemic that has challenged almost every aspect of life, leadership is being constantly tested. 

The 25 business leaders on the 2020 Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list have risen to that challenge and are demonstrating their mettle in these difficult times,” Forbes said. 

In 2004, Limpe-Aw became the first woman to take over the helm of the county’s oldest distillery which was established in 1852. 

According to Forbes, Destileria Limtuaco, sells “more than 40 spirits, wines, and liqueurs, including tropicalfruit blends, and exports within Asia and to the United States.” 

When the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and liquors were banned, Forbes said Destileria Limtuaco “switched to making hand sanitizer and disinfectants.” 

Aside from being the Chairman and CEO of Destileria Limtuaco, Limpe-Aw is also the president and publisher of Foresight Book Publishing and Distributing Company. 

She also serves as the president of the Distilled Spirit Association of the Philippines. 

Limpe-Aw was also dubbed as the “Philippines’ Iron lady of Liquor” by Bloomberg. 

“If you’re a woman in a man’s world, you have to work harder,” Limpe-Aw told Bloomberg in a 2019 interview. 

Perkins, 33, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion and named by many publications as the youngest billionaire in Australia, led this year’s list. 

Perkins also appeared in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2016. 

Recently, Forbes reported that Canva doubled its valuation from $3.2 billion in October, 2019, to $6 billion in 2020 after the company raised $60 million in new funding from Blackbird and Sequoia China and other previous investors. 

“Canva started out as a free-touse website offering design tools enabling amateur designers to turn out professional-looking graphics, from party invites and posters to corporate brochures,” Forbes said. 

“It has since expanded to offer paid, premium packages for professionals and enterprises, helping it turn profitable in mid-2017 and putting it in competition with the likes of Adobe,” it added.

Currently, Forbes said Canva has more than 30 million monthly users in 190 countries.