Keynote: Maximising Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
Mr Nakul Gaur
Director, Customer Experience & User Growth, Unilever Singapore
Mr Nakul Gaur is an e-commerce leader, mentor, volunteer and advocate of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Unilever, one of the world's most successful, purpose-led organisations. Unilever was accredited with the Enabling Mark (Silver) in 2021 for being an inclusive employer.
With 14 years of experience across e-commerce, sales and digital analytics, Nakul has innate expertise in setting up new
ventures and scaling them to multi-million-dollar businesses in revenue.
He was diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition 10 years ago that impacted his ability to walk, but it has also transformed him into a more resolute and empathetic leader.
Nakul is deeply passionate about disability inclusion and works as an ambassador and strategy lead for many non-profit organisations worldwide – such as PurpleSpace and Business Disability Forum – supporting them in their efforts towards building more inclusive workplaces and communities.
Panel Discussion 1:
The Business Case for Disability-Inclusive Hiring
Ms Pratima Amonkar
Area Lead, Cloud and AI Business Strategy, Board Chair of Diversity & Inclusion, Microsoft Asia Pacific
As Microsoft's APAC Leader for Cloud
business growth strategy, Ms Pratima Amonkar spearheads the work Microsoft does to empower customers, partners, governments and citizens to digitally transform their businesses and lives. She focuses on supporting countries' sustainable economic growth through digital transformation.
Over the past 20 years, Pratima has held leadership
responsibilities at various technology companies. She has built and led teams that have delivered high-growth cloud revenues in emerging and developed global markets. She is an active technology mentor to promising APAC start-ups, social entrepreneurs and women founders.
As a core member of Microsoft’s Global Commercial Accessibility Council, she helps to influence how Microsoft products and tools are designed for everyone, including persons with disabilities. She established and leads the Microsoft APAC Enabler Program that seeks to improve employability for persons with disabilities. This programme has successfully run in Singapore for over three years in collaboration with SG Enable and Microsoft’s key commercial partners in the region.
Pratima is also a member of the Singapore Enabling Technology Advisory Group, as well as the Singapore Business Network on DisAbility. She regularly works with Microsoft’s customers and partners to help them establish accessible and inclusive practices.
Mr Andrew Buay
Vice President, Group Corporate Sustainability, Singtel and Optus Talent Coach; Co-Founder, Singapore Business Network on DisAbility
Mr Andrew Buay is the Vice President for the Singtel Group’s Corporate Sustainability, a Talent Coach to over 160 Optus talents and leaders, and a mentor to social impact start-up founders in the Group's regional social innovation programme ‘Future Makers’.
He is the co-chair of the Singapore Business Network on DisAbility, co-founded by Singtel with seven other corporates in July 2015 as a voluntary network to mobilise corporate engagement, knowledge-building, mentoring and internship for talents with disabilities and inclusive employment in Singapore. Prior to his current roles which he has held since 2013, Andrew led various other senior positions across the Singtel Group in Singapore, the Philippines, and Australia.
Andrew was a committee member for the Third Enabling Masterplan, and also served on the National Council of Social Service’s (NCSS) Social Service Sector Strategic Thrusts (4ST) (2017-2021) Strategic Review Panel and the 4ST (2022-2026) Steering Committee, as well as on the NCSS Volunteer Resource Committee.
Ms Gan Ai Im
Managing Director and Head of Group Wholesale and Global Markets Marketing; Lead for 'The Unlimited' initiative, UOB
Ms Gan Ai Im is the Managing Director and Head of Group Wholesale & Global Markets Marketing at UOB, leading a team that focuses on connecting companies wanting to do business with and within ASEAN.
She also leads ‘The Unlimited’ - an initiative enabled by UOB - to promote the hiring of persons who are differently-abled as a sustainable business solution. ‘The Unlimited’ was inspired by UOB’s success in hiring persons with autism and individuals who are deaf at UOB Scan Hub since 2013.
To generate the multiplier effect of companies encouraging other companies to hire inclusively, the primary marketing channel of ‘The Unlimited’ is through the Group Wholesale Banking clients of UOB in Singapore. These customer outreach sessions help clients understand how the public, private and people sectors work together under ‘The Unlimited’ to facilitate the hiring of persons who are differently-abled.
Ai Im also serves as Director in UOB Venture Management’s Asia Impact Investment Fund, which invests in companies that help to improve the livelihood and well-being of people living at the base of the pyramid in Southeast Asia and China. These investments span various sectors including education, healthcare, agriculture and financial inclusion.
Mr Tonny Loh
Partner, Heidrick & Struggles
Mr Tonny Loh is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles Singapore. He is also a member of Heidrick Consulting where he focuses on helping CEOs transform their organisations through strategic leadership development, culture, and organisational design solutions. Tonny has more than 20 years of experience in strategy and organisation consulting across the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on the government, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and industrial sectors.
He is passionate about unleashing the potential of organisations through a combination of strategic capabilities, leadership development, organisation structure, and culture-shaping interventions. Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Tonny was the founding president of KF Academy, which launched the national-level Human Capital Development programme aimed at developing the future HR leaders of Singapore. Prior to that, Tonny was in the public sector and the SOE practice lead for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Southeast Asia.
Tonny started his career with the Singapore government where his experiences ranged from manpower policy and planning to foreign affairs – which took him to London where he sought to attract global talent to work in Singapore – and subsequently to New York where he worked with Singapore’s permanent representative to the United Nations on ESG and sustainability topics.
Panel Discussion 2:
Unlocking the Value that Persons with Disabilities Can Bring to the Workplace
Dr Dawn-joy Leong
Researcher in Autism in Neurodiversity, Multi-Art Practitioner
Dr Dawn-joy Leong is a researcher, multidisciplinary artist, lecturer and TEDx speaker. She is a board member of the Disabled People’s Association, Singapore’s only disabled-led advocacy organisation, and co-founder and former director of K9 Assistance (Ltd), Singapore’s first and currently only charity organisation promoting the benefits of assistance dogs for the disabled. Dawn-joy is Autistic with multiple medical disabilities and her lived experience of disability has profoundly augmented and enriched her work, which has been published, performed and exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Dr Leong holds an MPhil in music composition and a PhD in Autism, Neurodiversity and Multi-Art Praxis. She has won multiple international awards for her research, artistic practice and her work in the Arts and Disability in Singapore, the most recent of which was the Goh Chok Tong Enable Award (UBS Achievement) in 2021.
Mr Ong Hua Han
Assistant Vice President, Corporate Banking, Relationship and Transaction Management, Deutsche Bank
Mr Ong Hua Han is a corporate relationship manager with Deutsche Bank, covering MNCs in the Asia Pacific region.
As an active member of dbEnable, he leads the annual work placement programme in Singapore that serves to create an inclusive platform for hiring undergraduate students with disabilities. dbEnable is a volunteer employee group within Deutsche Bank, that has a goal to create an environment that increases the presence, participation and contribution of persons with disabilities in the workplace.A business graduate from the National University of Singapore who majored in Finance and Marketing, Hua Han believes that persons with disabilities have plenty to contribute, as long as they are provided with equitable access to opportunities.
Mr Josh Tseng
Director of Digital Accessibility Services (Training, Consulting, Advocating), Etch Empathy
Mr Josh Tseng is a digital accessibility specialist, keynote speaker and disability advocate. He currently works as the Director of Digital Accessibility Services at Etch Empathy, a non-profit organisation dedicated to driving equality for persons with disabilities in Singapore and beyond.
Josh works closely with the Tech Able team at SG Enable as partners to bridge the gap in software e-accessibility standards within the banking, healthcare, and transport sectors. He is also an avid speaker on issues relating to the disability community, and gave a TEDx talk in May 2022 on “How We Can Stop Failing People with Disabilities”.
An ardent communicator on social media, Josh has been invited by the likes of Microsoft to share his lived experiences as a person with a vision impairment. For his advocacy work, Josh was a recipient of the Goh Chok Tong Enable Award (UBS Promise) in 2020 and the NatSteel-SPD Youth Aspiration Award in 2018.
Mr Winston Wong
Special Education Needs Officer, Temasek Polytechnic
Mr Winston Wong is a special education needs officer at Temasek Polytechnic. He has bilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Despite being bullied and teased by his peers for his large and conspicuous hearing aids when he was in primary and secondary school, Winston handled their teasing with a maturity beyond his age and did not let his disability affect his performance in school.
After graduating from the National University of Singapore with an honours degree in biomedical engineering in 2014, Winston was offered the opportunity to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy but opted to join the civil service instead. He is passionate about helping students with special education needs and frequently volunteers his time to deliver disability awareness training and talks to the community.
For his tenacity and perseverance, Winston was awarded both the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities and the Outstanding Deaf Student (Tertiary) Award in 2013. In 2021, he received the Goh Chok Tong Enable Award (UBS Promise) in recognition of his inspiring and outstanding work on disability advocacy efforts.