Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship
An ASEAN-focused Serial Entrepreneur, Mr. Stephen Lai is a former multinational executive who has spent over 30 years accumulating cross-cultural business experience and extensive global people networks while overseeing offices in Singapore (HQ), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Saigon and Mumbai, and pioneering large scale commodity and investment conferences in ten major cities across Asia. An EXCO member of the ASEAN Economic Club and Business Adviser to KSI. Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, Stephen is currently Chairman of Malaysia-China (Greater Bay Area) Science-Tech Innovation Alliance and Founder-President of Penang-Chengdu Friendship Association. During 2012-2014, he was tasked to promote internationalization of China enterprises under the Belt and Road Initiative when he was appointed Executive Adviser to the Director of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shenzhen Municipal Committee, who was concurrently President of China (Shenzhen) International Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Stephen served as Deputy Director on the China (Shenzhen) Financial Expo and Conference Planning Committee chaired by Shenzhen Mayor for 5 years. A business mentor and fund raising adviser to tech start-up CEO’s in Silicon Valley, Singapore and Penang, Stephen also actively consults with Chinese Enterprises in the areas of international business and partnership development in ASEAN countries. A former Adviser to BuonMaThuot Coffee Exchange Centre, Vietnam’s first commodity exchange, Stephen’s varied international career includes a stint as Chief Representative (ASEAN) for one of China’s largest fintech solution providers listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Regional Business Development roles with global financial information giant Reuters, Investment Technology Manager with Koeneman Capital Management – Asia’s first quant-based boutique investment firm founded by former Head of Equities at Government Investment Corporation (GIC) of Singapore- and Business Consultant to Singapore Government’s premier ICT R&D Centre, Kent Ridge Digital Lab (later renamed A*STAR). An Industrial Adviser and Adjunct Professor at DRB-HICOM University of Automotive. Malaysia, Stephen is an Industrial Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). He earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and double degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. A former ASEAN Scholar in Singapore, Penang-born Stephen is a Certified Career. Coach and enjoys training youths in the areas of Resilience and leadership. Development and Social Entrepreneurship. During 2018-2021, he served as Strategic Adviser to Penang State Minister for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development in his home state in Malaysia.