Building 21st Century Companies in Asia

Connecting the Maritime Singapore ecosystem is one of the Singapore Maritime Foundation’s key purposes. The C-Suite Breakfast Series brings together maritime C-Suite leaders and fosters discussions around organisational strategies.

The inaugural session was held on 27 April 2022 together with knowledge partner McKinsey & Company and saw the attendance of over 80 maritime leaders. Speaker Ms Lin Diann-Yi, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, addressed the topic “Building 21st Century Companies in Asia”, drawing insights from research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute. 

Ms Lin Diann-Yi, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company

Rising global affluence and the increasing usage of technology offer organisations boundless opportunities. Yet, they simultaneously introduce layers of complexity and leaders have to thrive in these terrains by leveraging available resources.


Five Priorities for CEOs to focus on:

  1. Capitalise on the power of data and technology to win in the borderless economy
  2. Square sustainability and growth circle, lead the energy transition
  3. Create scale through organic growth, alliances and M&A
  4. Put speed and agility at the centre of organisation
  5. Live the purpose and communicate you are doing so
Capitalising on Technology

Asian companies account for a significant proportion of the world’s technological growth. Looking at the areas of global growth in technology company revenue, start-up funding and patent filings, Asian companies contribute 52%, 43% and 87% respectively to the numbers. From an investing standpoint, leaders need to examine what is driving the world’s growth and where funds should be channelled to obtain growth and differentiation. 

Leading the energy transition

On the environmental front, Asia is projected to undergo more severe impact as compared to the global average. Asians, as compared to their Western counterparts, reside in regions that are affected by climate change. This has an impact on labour productivity, especially for roles that are in outdoor industries.  Physical infrastructure, especially capital stock will be affected.


Consumers are increasingly eco-conscious; Asians are reported to be more concerned about sustainability and have adjusted their consumption patterns. What this means is that sustainability and organisational growth are increasingly interlinked. 

Scaling Up  

Instead of mergers and acquisitions(M&A), Asian corporations prefer to scale through building alliances and ecosystems. Across the board, there are a few collaboration models that Asians prefer namely coalition building, data sharing and pioneering super app platforms.


However, whether these methods will suffice remain an open question and Asian companies may need to increase their M&A activities. Programmatic M&A capabilities are increasingly essential as they have the potential to create synergies over time. 

Speed and agility at the centre of the organisation

Alongside M&A activities, organisations that make bold moves were able to stay at the top of the game. They include resource reallocation, capital expenditure, SG&A (selling, general and administrative) productivity improvement, labour productivity improvement and differentiation improvement. 

Live and communicate your purpose

Today, stakeholders are drawn towards purpose-driven organisations. In addition to delivering shareholder value, corporations strongly defined purposes such as sustainability and talent development goals place them in good stead for growth. Not only do they have to implement these goals, but they also must articulate it to their stakeholders through purpose-related corporate communications—an area that Asian companies lack.


In this technologically driven era, disruptions are taking place. Now, more so than ever, the priorities of CEOs have to evolve, and these five pointers are just the beginning. By continuously examining and redesigning their strategic approach, organisations will remain on the path of steady and continuous growth.  



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Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

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Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

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The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
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Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

Mr. Lars Kastrup


Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).

Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo


Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin


Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau


Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.