Meet the Malaysians on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2024 list

Movers and shakers


By Marissa Chin

IMAGES: @paprikapeprica / INSTAGRAM | @sivasangari_ / INSTAGRAM
Meet the Malaysians on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2024 list

Innovation and evolution have always been part of the human DNA. One of the ways to celebrate and spotlight such spirits of advancement is through the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, which aims to highlight “the entrepreneurs, artists and changemakers…leading the transformation of their industries and inspiring their generation.” 

The list is announced each year in three regions: North America, Europe and Asia. It features the finalised 300 mavericks that were shortlisted from thousands of nominations through a panel of judges. This year’s Asia-Pacific list raised $1 billion+, a slight decrease from last year’s $1.6 billion. Forbes does acknowledge that funding has become “hard to obtain worldwide” as various industries have rapidly shifting landscapes. 

K-pop girl group IVE and Thai actor and singer Bright Vachirawit are among the honourees of this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list

21 countries and territories are represented in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. India has topped the ranks once again with 86 entries, followed by China and Japan (32 each), Singapore (27), Australia (26) and Indonesia (18). As AI continues to “define the next generation’s success”, the list highlights key figures who have adopted this cutting-edge technology in sectors such as marketing, financial services, and manufacturing. 

Joining these trailblazing individuals are also athletes and burgeoning artists, including K-pop powerhouse IVE, Singapore’s Veronica Shanti Pereira who triumphed at the Asian Games and Thai superstar Bright Vachirawit—who has garnered nearly 20 million online followers as an actor, singer and recently made his Met Gala debut.

Meanwhile, Malaysia sees four talented individuals on the list—meet them below. 


Sivasangari Subramaniam 

Sivasangari Subramaniam, athlete

Sivasangari Subramaniam was the name on every Malaysian’s lips early this year. The squash athlete made history as the first Malaysian to win the GillenMarkets London Squash Classic tournament since Datuk Nicol David in 2015. She beat out three of the top five players in the world, claiming the win after an 81-minute final match. Previously, Subramaniam won two gold medals at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023. 

This marks the rising sports superstar’s remarkable recovery after she was in a car accident that left her with facial fractures and a C1 vertebrae injury in 2022. The Malaysian number one squash player (and currently No. 13 in the world) has set her sights on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.


Lee Zhe Xi 

Lee Zhe Xi, co-founder and co-chef of Eat and Cook and Bar.Kar KL

Malaysia’s culinary scene is seeing some exciting shifts; one such chef who has contributed to this is Lee Zhe Xi. Unemployed during the pandemic, the 26-year-old teamed up with a university schoolmate to open Eat and Cook in 2021. Serving modern Malaysian cuisine omakase-style, Eat and Cook quickly grew from a six-seater space in a mall to a 32-seater venue. It has also earned accolades such as #79 on the 2023 Asia’s 100 Best Restaurants list and won an American Express One To Watch Award. In 2023 and 2024, the restaurant was named a Michelin Recommended restaurant. Lee expands his culinary prowess as co-chef and owner of Bar.Kar KL


Erica Eng 

Erica Eng, comic artist

As Alexandar Graham Bell’s famous quote goes, “When one door closes another door opens.” While being rejected to study in America was undoubtedly painful, it led Eng to turn her disappointment into an award-winning webcomic and later graphic novel. In 2019, she launched Fried Rice, a tale that centres on a young artist called Min that draws upon Eng’s own experience of rejection. In 2020, it won an Eisner Award, the comic industry’s equivalent of an Oscar. 

Upon completing the webcomic, the 25-year-old earned her bachelor’s degree in animation and visual effects from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Her self-published book now sells in selected Malaysian bookstores and online. Currently, Eng is working on a new webcomic, Beloved, which explores the artist’s life “growing up in the Christian faith and what it means to hold onto that faith as I grow older.”


Angel Low 

Angel Low, Principal of The Hive Southeast Asia

With AI being the biggest buzzword across industries, Angel Low is ensuring that the next generation of students is prepared for the digital future. Low serves as a principal at The Hive Southeast Asia, a $50 million fund created by Tuas Capital Partners, Sunway Group and Palo Alto-based The Hive to invest in startups in Malaysia and the ASEAN region. Further, the 26-year-old entrepreneur is the general manager of AI Nusantara, one of The Hive Southeast Asia’s investments, which focuses on AI and machine learning education. Previously, she was an investment analyst at Malaysia Venture Capital Management and a project analyst at Huisheng Consulting Group.


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