Bharat is a Unilever Veteran who has crisscrossed 67 countries. He comes with 25 years of experience in Brand Management, Consumer Insights, Media Strategy, Brand Activation, Market Development and Integrated Brand Communications. He was the Regional Integrated Brand Communications and Market Development Director for Unilever’s Homecare category across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey. He is the CEO of Connecting the Dots Consultancy and the Global Partner of Anecdote International, recognized as a world’s leader in the use of storytelling in business. He is an expert in designing and delivering brand experiences — and in what better way than to use stories. He conducts Storytelling for Leaders workshop where he helps Leaders find their stories and teaches them how to tell it.
His friends call him a memory collector and a story teller. He seeks experiences and every journey is a story for him. Like many others he also takes selfies..but his selfies are different, because each picture tells a story that is deeply etched in Bharat’s memory. Each picture is an emotional experience for him.
Amidst all, Bharat has served as President of the International Advertising Association (IAA) Malaysian Chapter, was VP of the Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA), and was Board Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) Malaysia. Bharat is currently on the Executive committee of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) & IAA Malaysia. He has also shared his pointed views and experience at key industry events.
Bharat who has a post-graduate qualification in Marketing, was also bestowed the Achievers & Leaders Award for Brand Leadership at the IALA Conference in Singapore and the Brand Leadership Award at the World Marketing Summit . He is also a NLP trainer certified by the American Board of NLP.
The Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) at the 30th AdAsia Congress in Bali gave him a Special Award for teaching and spreading the good influence of advertising and marketing across the region.
Andrew is the founder of Australia’s leading Place Visioning TM and branding agency, Hoyne. He has been working in and around the property sector for the last 27 years, helping major Australian and international developers and councils create recognisable landmarks. This, coupled with Andrew’s travels around the world, mean he has seen how a smart strategy well executed can completely transform communities. Andrew is passionate in his belief that we can do more to create places with substantially increased purpose. This led him to publish The Place Economy – a significant resource book that looks at best-practice placemaking around the globe and its social and economic impacts. The Place Economy – Volume 2, will be published in 2018.
Marcus Osborne is a branding expert with more than 20 years of branding experience in South East Asia. Based in Kuala Lumpur, he provides destination brand consulting services for federal and state governments and agencies, tourism ministries, Investment promotion agencies and related stakeholders and constituents.
He co-founded FusionBrand in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. FusionBrand is dedicated to building Asian brands able to compete in a dynamic business environment where consumers not companies define branding success.
Marcus is the author of Stop Advertising, Start Branding, published by Matador in the UK in 2016.
Testimonials include “One of Asia’s leading brand thinkers, provides vivid and compelling insights into brands and their relationships with customers” Dr Keith Dinnie, author of Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practices.
“Marcus Osborne’s long awaited book redefines branding in Asia” Professor Amran Hamzah, Centre for Innovative Planning & Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
“An experienced understanding of what works and what doesn’t.” Bobby McGill, Editor in Chief, Branding in Asia.
Marcus is British and has lived in Malaysia since 1994. Before that he lived in Bahrain, Oman, France and the UK.
Gadis Ranty is a second secretary and assigned to serve Indonesian consulate general in Cape Town, South Africa starting from early 2018. Passionate in political-economic development in cosmopolitan society, moving to Cape Town is an avenue to upscale her diplomatic qualifications. She is currently working at the Office of Senior Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and dealing with several strategic issues, among others are, public and economic diplomacy, particularly on diaspora engagement programs and Indonesian commodity branding, respectively. She holds Master of Public Diplomacy from Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism class of 2016, the University of Southern California with interests in nation/place branding and social marketing/non-profit advocacy. Gadis earned a bachelor degree in communication science from the University of Indonesia in 2008. Previously, she wrote articles for USC public diplomacy blog, Place Brand Observer and The Jakarta Post about Indonesian coffee branding and also taught Quantitative Research Method for Communication Science for the bachelor degree in Faculty of Social and Political Science, the University of Indonesia.
Shanmuga Retnam has had an illustrious career in both the public and private sectors spanning over two decades. A Singaporean residing in Vietnam, he recently served under the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office as Project Director in the Centre of Governance and Leadership. Instrumental in forging numerous Singapore-led joint ventures across Asia, his track record includes joint ventures within the fulfilment and logistics industry in Philippines, Thailand and India among others. In 2008, Retnam received the Minister`s award for launching the inaugural World Cities Summit, which he co-chaired a whole of government committee.
Shanmuga Retnam resides in Hanoi focused on thedevelopment of provinces and businesses in Vietnam and Myanmar through a social enterprise which he founded in 2011. To support the development of the East West Economic Corridor, Retnam is leading the development of a consortium spanning Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to support the ASEAN Single Window by creating the reigon`s most efficient overland supply chain, across four countries between the Andaman and South China Seas; It will be the only land route crossing mainland Southeast Asia which involves harmonizing multiple processes.
Shanmuga Retnam currently serves as Special Advisor(Asia) to Fundacion Metropoli (Madrid), foremost urban think tank in Madrid and Organising Committee for Vietnam City Branding Summit. AiCM announced that world`s leading branding guru ; Dr Paul Temporal of Oxford University and Shanmuga Retnam will co-author Economic City Branding to redefine the engines of economic growth of emerging provinces and towns in Asia. To add on to Paul`s previous best sellers – Branding in Asia, Public Sector Branding and Romancing Your Customer.
Rebecca is a business veteran with over 20 years experience in marketing across diverse sectors such as Diary, Banking, Telecomms, IT, Manufacturing and Tourism.
Rebecca has led business growth, competitive repositioning, brand development and was a pioneer in digital and direct marketing in New Zealand. Having worked across sales, marketing, operations and manufacturing she brings a wealth of knowledge, real-life experiences and a practical perspective to her leadership of New Zealand's country reputation programme, the New Zealand Story.
The New Zealand Story was established in 2013 to expand the reputation of New Zealand beyond natural beauty. Rebecca's team enable the success of businesses by providing them with the skills, tools and knowledge to each share a compelling story that sets them apart on the world stage. In addition, Rebecca works with Govt. agencies to craft and harmonise messages about New Zealand through diplomatic, trade, and public channels.
Rebecca is passionate about enabling a sustainable and prosperous future for New Zealand and the world.
Nancy Snow (Ph.D., International Relations) is a scholar, writer, professor and speaker on all things global persuasion and public diplomacy. She is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. Since 2016 Snow has served as Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, the first and only public diplomacy professor in Japan. Dr. Snow advises La Ditta Limited and Langley Esquire in public and media affairs. Snow is Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Contemporary Asia Studies at Temple University Japan. She is a two-time Fulbright scholar (Germany, Japan), and a former Abe Fellow and Visiting Research Professor at Keio University. Snow’s Abe fellowship research led to the publication of Japan’s Information War in 2016, a book about the government of Japan’s efforts to expand its global outreach in a competitive nation branding region like Northeast Asia.
Snow is the author and editor of 11 books, including the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy(2009). Snow will publish a second edition of the Handbook with leading public diplomacy scholar Nicholas J. Cull, Director of the Master’s in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. Snow has given nearly 500 media interviews on branding-related policies, including post-9/11 USA and post-3/11 Japan. Snow’s visiting professorships in public diplomacy include Tsinghua University in China, Sophia University in Japan, UiTM in Malaysia, and IDC-Herzliya in Israel, as well as the University of Southern California and Syracuse University. Since 2013, Snow has contributed articles on nation brand Japan to The Japan Times.
Snow’s government service was as a Presidential Management Fellow at the United States Information Agency and Department of State in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for overseeing cultural and academic exchanges like the Fulbright Program. She has most recently lectured on nation branding at the American Chamber of Commerce Japan, Seoul National University, Ewha Womans University, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Okinawa.
Bloom Consulting CEO
Since 2003 Mr. Torres has been advising Countries in the field of Nation Branding and City Branding, working directly with heads of state, directors of National Tourism Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies.
His clients include Countries, Regions and Cities such as Australia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jamaica, Poland, Sweden, Stockholm and many others spread across all five continents.
Mr. Torres collaborates directly with the World Economic Forum in the matters of Nation Branding and is a guest speaker in some of the most prestigious universities in USA and Europe, such as HARVARD, the London Business School, Stockholm School of Economics and many others, being interviewed by The Economist, BBC, Guardian and CNN.
Since 2011 his company performs a global research project called the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking and most recently the Digital Country Index and the Digital City Index
Anupam Yog is a global strategist and entrepreneur with experience in competitive positioning of countries, cities, destinations and places. Passionate about urban innovation, Anupam is involved with a portfolio of businesses and community initiatives that are at the forefront of design-led, technology-enabled placemaking.
In a career spanning nearly two decades, Anupam has held leadership roles in high growth environments across the public, private & social sectors. He has crafted and implemented global campaigns for Brand India, most notably at the World Economic Forum in Davos, successfully positioning India as the “fastest growing free market democracy”; for Brand London in Beijing, Mumbai and Delhi; and led economic diplomacy & investment marketing initiatives in the UK, EU, USA, Japan, Brazil, China and ASEAN. He has also successfully helped launch Virtuous Retail, an institutional shopping centre developer that owns and operates a portfolio of ~ 6 million square feet of branded, community focused, new age shopping centres in major Indian cities.
Anupam was recognized as one of India’s leading urban innovators by Metropolis, World Association of Major Metropolises in “Indian Cities: Managing Urban Growth”. He has been invited to share his vision of alternative urban futures at SAIS – The Johns Hopkins University and the World Bank in Washington DC. He has co-developed and teaches, as guest faculty, an executive education course on inclusive citymaking at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. He is an also active member of the Urban Land Institute and Future Agenda, the world's largest open foresight initiative.