Top 10 AI leaders in APAC

AI Magazine considers some of the leading figures within technology and AI industries based in the APAC region who lead digital transformation efforts

As it becomes increasingly important for businesses worldwide to invest in technology, those working at the forefront of AI development are ensuring that these systems operate both in transformative and responsible ways.

Larger technology companies are leading the charge for generative AI adoption in particular, in efforts to help their clients and customers to transform their businesses in an ever-increasing digital world. As part of this, it is the role of a leader in AI to be a figurehead for these rapid changes.

With this in mind, AI Magazine considers some of the most prevalent AI figures who are based in the APAC region.

10: Matthew Haigh, Head of AI and Machine Learning at Westpac New Zealand

Matthew Haigh works to leverage AI/ML to advance sustainability initiatives and combat financial crime.

As the Head of AI and Machine Learning (AI/ML) at Westpac New Zealand, Matthew Haigh leads the implementation of AI/ML technologies to enhance banking services and promote responsible practices for better digital transformation.

His skilled data team oversees strategy aligned with the client’s vision by identifying key opportunities across various functions. They collaborate with cross-functional teams to establish scalable infrastructure and model deployment processes for AI, whilst championing ethical AI practices in line with regulatory guidelines.

Haigh also works to leverage AI/ML to advance sustainability initiatives and combat financial crime.

9: Brian Ho, Head of Data Analytics and AI at UEM Edgenta Berhad

Brian Ho is an experienced data professional passionate about leveraging data, analytics and AI.

Having joined UEM Edgenta Berhad in 2022 as the Head of Data Analytics in Malaysia, Brian Ho is an experienced data professional passionate about leveraging data, analytics and AI to drive digital transformation within corporate businesses. 

By harnessing data, he strives to empower organisations to make informed decisions and unlock their true business potential. He is experienced in developing and implementing AI-powered solutions with cutting-edge technologies to help drive actionable insights and predictive models. In creating a data-driven culture in the workplace, he ultimately ensures that business decisions lead to growth.

8: Kate Carruthers, Chief Data & Insights Officer at UNSW

Also responsible for data strategy including AI/ML, Kate Carruthers works across UNSW to ensure that data management delivers business value.

Both Chief Data and Insights Officer and Head of Business Intelligence at The University of New South Wales, Australia, Kate Carruthers is responsible for institution-wide data and information strategy.

Also responsible for data strategy including AI/ML, she works across the institution to ensure that data management delivers business value. Her team oversees institutional planning and statutory reporting, business intelligence, analytics and data warehousing, as well as data and information governance.

Currently, Carruthers is working to establish the UNSW AI Institute designed to focus on the application of AI within businesses as well as finding greater opportunities for research.

7: Susan Gibson, Head of Data Analytics and AI at UTS

Susan Gibson is passionate about advocating for using AI in business strategy.

Susan Gibson of the University of Technology Sydney is a leader in the field of AI, having led many data analytics and digital strategies and programs of work. She is renowned for her ability to drive success and innovation, as well as being able to empower the university’s decision-making.

Gibson is passionate about advocating for using AI in business strategy, with her current role ensuring that she leads efforts to manage the ethical implementation of AI at the university. She focuses on AI fluency, governance and technical and organisational change capabilities.

6: Anirban Nandi, Vice President, AI Products & Business Analytics at Rakuten India

Anirban Nandi prides himself on always being eager to learn new technologies and tools.

Rakuten India is a development centre and key technology hub of Rakuten Group, Inc. With more than 15 years of experience in machine learning, data science, data engineering and business analytics, Anirban Nandi has built and managed high-performing teams that have delivered innovative solutions and AI products at scale for domains such as e-commerce, advertisement, retail and fashion.

Nandi prides himself on always being eager to learn new technologies and tools, in addition to collaborating with other experts and stakeholders in the AI community. He is also committed to a positive working culture for his team.

5: Jingren Zhou, Chief Technology Officer at Alibaba Cloud

Jingren Zhou manages several core technical divisions to drive company intelligent infrastructure and applications.

Specialising in cloud computing, database systems and machine learning, Jingren Zhou joined Alibaba Cloud in 2015 as VP and has served as CTO since 2022. He studied computer science in both China and the United States and completed his doctorate at Columbia University. 

Zhou manages several core technical divisions to drive company intelligent infrastructure and applications in e-commerce and cloud business, including leading the big data and AI computing divisions. Prior to joining Alibaba Cloud, he worked as a manager at Microsoft for 11 years 

4: Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta, Chief AI Officer at IBM Automation

Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta is responsible for IBM Automation's overall technical vision and AI strategy.

Based in India, Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta is the Chief AI Officer for IBM Automation. As part of her role, she is responsible for IBM Automation's overall technical vision and AI strategy with key stakeholders across the globe.

Having worked with IBM since 2004, she has also served as a strategist for IBM Research, working closely with IBM's Hybrid Cloud and AI business and global services businesses to take innovative solutions to clients across the globe.

Gargi Banerjee Dasgupta has also been recognised as one of IBM’s Distinguished Engineers in 2019, as well as one of Fortune India’s Top 50 Powerful Women in Business.

3: Mohit Kapoor, Group CTO at Mahindra Group

Mohit Kapoor currently leads digital transformation efforts at the Mahindra Group.

A business technology leader with more than 30 years of experience across industries, with the last 20 years focused on innovation, digital technology, process & product quality, company culture and customer experience, Mohit Kapoor currently leads digital transformation efforts at the Mahindra Group.

Kapoor is responsible for driving Mahindra Group’s ambitious technology transformation agenda and working closely with the company’s businesses to leverage new and emerging technologies to create new business models and transform customer experiences. He also chairs the AI and digital technology committee at FICCI.

2: Purshottam Purswani, CTO APAC at Atos

Purshottam Purswani works on digital technologies around IoT, cloud, machine learning, blockchain and AI.

Purshottam Purswani is Chief Technology Officer offering business platforms and solutions in APAC. A member of the Atos Scientific Community and an Atos Distinguished expert, he works on digital technologies around IoT, cloud, machine learning, blockchain and AI.

Having previously worked in a wide variety of roles including enterprise architecture, IT management and program management, Purswani is now responsible for Atos’ technology strategy and driving innovation for customers. He takes ownership of maintaining and building specialist digital capabilities for Atos’ APAC region, including strategy formulation and planning for customers.

1: Mei May Soo, Chief AI Officer at Dell Technologies

Mei Mei Soo’s work highlights how Dell Technologies continues to embed and deploy AI across businesses.

Based in Singapore, Mei May Soo has worked with Dell Technologies for more than four years and is very familiar with data and analytics. She currently leads the AI/ML initiative in Global Presales at Dell Technology, which involves working closely with customers to solve problems scientifically and objectively. 

Soo’s work highlights how Dell Technologies continues to embed and deploy AI across businesses. A recent example is where her team designed and built a Deep Learning model that recognises and identifies different types of corals as part of conservation efforts of the Great Barrier Reef. 


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