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Speakers' Biographies (A-Z)

Bill Watson
Managing Director

Coats Phong Phu Co. Ltd. – Vietnam Cluster


Coats has a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, and is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer.  Headquartered in the UK, Coats employs 19,000 employees in over 60 countries across 6 continents around the world.  Bill is the Managing Director of Coats Group’s Vietnam Cluster, which includes manufacturing operations in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, and business operations in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and ANZ. 


Bill has a degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and first came to Asia with Milliken Chemical, div of Milliken & Co in 1994 to set up their specialty chemical business in Asia.  With extensive experience in manufacturing, commercial and general management, Bill has led multicultural, diverse teams for over 25 years in Asia, and has specific expertise in change management, culture building and leadership, teamwork, risk management and compliance.  In his current role at Coats he leads 3000 people and is responsible for the business which includes 5 manufacturing operations across South East Asia. 


Outside of work, Bill is a kid at heart and enjoys golf, playing games, hanging out with family and friends, and making people laugh.


Celeste Abarentos

Senior Customer Engagement Manager

DHL Asia Pacific Innovation Center


Celeste Abarentos is a Senior Customer Engagement Manager at DHL Asia Pacific Innovation Center showcasing the future of the logistics industry. Driving customer centric innovation, her focus is to lead customer innovation workshops, and innovation projects to bring in new ideas to life. With a passion for topics like digital transformation and sustainability, she is bringing thought leadership across the industry to innovate. Over the years, she has worked in multinational companies in various industries such as logistics, chemicals, finance and engineering.


Kathrin Brost

Vice President

Global Head of GoGreen Program & Customer Intelligence

DHL Global Forwarding


Kathrin Brost has been leading DHL Global Forwarding’s GoGreen department with its environmental protection program GoGreen since 2009.


In this role, she has developed and implemented the division’s GoGreen strategy, emission & efficiency reporting, carrier evaluation & awards as well as employee awareness & engagement activities. Her core competence is consulting customers how to improve the sustainability of their supply chains and leverage business benefits at the same time. Kathrin Brost has been instrumental in the development of several GoGreen customer offerings such as the Carbon Dashboard, Green Danmar and other transparency solutions.


Since 2012, Kathrin is also responsible for DHL Global Forwarding’s Customer Intelligence Program that aims to regularly measure customer satisfaction and identify improvement areas to drive customer loyalty.


In her previous role as project manager for DHL Consulting - the internal management consultancy of Deutsche Post DHL - Kathrin worked in international projects in the area of performance improvement, customer service, strategy and business development.


Kathrin holds a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Hanover (Germany) and a M.Sc. in Environmental Management Practice from Durham University (UK).


Kelvin Leung


DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific


Dr. Kelvin Leung is the Chief Executive Officer of DHL Global Forwarding in Asia Pacific, and is responsible for managing and directing the business’ activities across the region. He joined the company (previously known as Danzas AEI) in 2002, and had previously helmed various positions within the region. Prior to joining DHL Global Forwarding, Kelvin started his career with Cathay Pacific Airways in 1989. 


Kelvin holds a number of important positions in local and international organizations as well as the public and private sector, including: 


§Member of the Town Planning Appeal Board Panel (Appointed by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government)

§Advisory Board of Hong Kong Credit Insurance Corporation (Appointed by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government)

§Vice Chairman of GS1 Hong Kong

§Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

§Member of the Division Committee for the Logistics and Transportation of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers


Kelvin graduated from the University of Cambridge, Magdalene College, with a Masters in General Engineering Science. He received his doctorate in business administration at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His hobbies include philosophy, reading and sports.

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Mark Slade

Managing Director - Hong Kong & Macau, DHL Global Forwarding


Mark Slade is the Managing Director for DHL Global Forwarding Hong Kong and Macau, the freight and forwarding division of DHL, since 1 January 2017.
Prior to his appointment, Mark was the Managing Director of DHL Global Forwarding Japan, having assumed that role in April 2011. Mark joined DHL Global Forwarding (then known as Danzas AEI), in 2002 as Director, Airfreight at the Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore. 

Prior to joining DHL Global Forwarding, Mark held various sales and management positions, where he was based in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Singapore. He was the Chairman of the Logistics and Freight Committee, European Business Council in Japan from 2011 until 2015, and he has written frequently for the Nikkei, Japan's leading business daily.
A native of Canada, he has spent the last twenty years living in the Asia Pacific region, working in the logistics industry. Mark is a graduate of the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College, with a Bachelor of Arts (with distinction), joint specialist in history and political science, minor in economics.


Mary Oxley

Regional Sector Head, Consumer & Retail

DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific


Based out of Singapore, Mary leads DHL’s Consumer & Retail Sectors across Asia Pacific and brings over 18 years’ experience in business development, logistics & supply chain, strategy development, and sales management.

Having joined DHL in 2000, Mary spent 16 years working out of Sydney, Australia in a number of sales and trade lane management roles, before transitioning to SE Asia region, where she now oversees the management of the freight forwarding and logistics requirements for DHL’s major MNC retail and consumer clients across the Asia Pacific region.

Mary has a passion for fashion and retail, and is focussed on ensuring that DHL remains at the forefront of the logistics and supply chain market, in this fast changing landscape, being driven by digitalisation and ever-changing consumer demands.


Nikola Hagleitner

Global CEO Industrial Projects

EVP Marketing & Sales

DHL Global Forwarding


Since October 2013 Nikola Hagleitner has held the position of CEO DHL Industrial Projects, leading a team of 600 industry experts performing end-to-end project logistics for Oil & Gas, Mining, EPC, Renewables, Engineering & Manufacturing customers.


In May 2019 in addition to her CEO Industrial Projects role, Nikola has been appointed as Executive Vice President Marketing and Sales for DHL Global Forwarding, where she will be responsible for the global sales activity for the Forwarding business across 220 countries.

Nikola started her career at DPDHL Group in 2005 as Senior Consultant at DHL Consulting in the US. In September 2008 she assumed the role of Vice President Business Development and Programs for Express Americas before joining DHL Global Forwarding in 2011 as SVP Global Business Strategy in Bonn. Most recently before her current role she was EVP of Global Business Strategy for DHL Global Forwarding.


Nikola holds a law degree from the University of Innsbruck, Austria; as well as an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, the School of Global Management School in Phoenix, AZ, US.


Piak Hwee Tan

Senior Vice President and Head

Marketing & Sales

DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific and China

Piak is leading a Marketing and Sales team in China and Hong Kong which includes key account management, trade lane management, field sales management, business support, tender management and solutions design. In his role as SVP for Marketing and Sales of DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific, Piak heads the regional MNC, Trade Lane, Global Bidding and Sales Steering teams. Piak is responsible for driving profitable sales growth by working towards customers’ demands and developing individual customer solutions.


Piak joined Deutsche Post DHL Group in 1998 as a management trainee in Singapore. He has held various sales roles in key account management, field sales management and trade lanes in Singapore. He later moved to the Asia Pacific Regional Office to lead a team of regional key account managers for the Electronic Manufacturing Services sector. In 2005, he relocated to Beijing as the Regional Account Director for Nokia. In 2007, he was appointed Director of Commercial for DGF China North. During the integration between China North and Hong Kong, he was appointed the Vice President, Marketing & Sales for the newly formed one China team. To date, he has almost 20 years of experience in the forwarding industry.


Piak’s leadership helps DGF achieve consistent business growth and customer wins in China and Asia Pacific. In 2013, the China sales team was awarded the Global and Asia Pacific CEO award for Best Sales team.


Piak holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, Marketing and Logistics from National University of Singapore.


Robert Koepp


The Economist Corporate Network Hong Kong

Robert Koepp is Director of The Economist Corporate Network in Hong Kong. He has led research on the Network’s Asia Business Outlook Survey, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, China’s sports industry, and the digital transformation of Asian economies. Rob’s previous executive positions include serving as a Senior Vice President based in Beijing at ICR, a Wall Street investor relations firm, and as Managing Director at a Sino-foreign joint-venture of the CITIC Group. Earlier positions include roles as a Research Fellow at the Milken Institute and as a World Bank-sponsored advisor to China’s Ministry of Science and Technology on technology cluster development. An active television commentator and writer, Rob has authored the books Betting on China: Chinese Stocks, American Stock Markets, and the Wagers on a New Dynamic in Global Capitalism and Clusters of Creativity: Enduring Lessons on Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley and Europe’s Silicon Fen. Rob graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Asian Studies and earned an MBA from the University of Cambridge. He speaks, reads and writes fluent Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.


SH Tan

Director, Customer Solutions & Design

DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific

SH Tan currently heads the Customer Solutions team in DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific, Marketing and Sales department.

SH has been in the Freight forwarding industry for 17 years and is based in Shanghai, China. He is an advocate of the DGF China Fashion Center in driving the fashion & retail business development.

His team works closely with all business sectors with the goal to help our valued customers in making their Supply Chain more robust and cost effective through strategic supply chain engagement, consultative studies, customized solution design & new initiatives.

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Swati Wig

Vice President

DHL Consulting Asia Pacific

Swati Wig is a Partner at DHL Consulting where she heads the external supply chain consulting practice, and is also Global Lead for Consumer & Retail, Digitalization & eCommerce/Omnichannel. Her experience with DHL spans all the DHL businesses, multiple sectors and multiple markets including Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, India, South Korea, UK and Middle East. Prior to DHL Consulting, Swati was VP at HSBC with stints in Trade Finance, Corporate Banking, Risk Management and the CEO’s office. Swati also has experience in Marketing & Branding with Pepsico, IT Consulting with Accenture and market research at Frost & Sullivan.

Swati has an MBA from INSEAD and an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore.

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