Go behind the scenes with Bloomberg TV’s Shery Ahn and The Asia Group’s Managing Partner Rexon Ryu in a series of revealing interviews with policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and artists exploring the most dynamic and consequential region in the world.
Shery Ahn is a New York-based anchor for Bloomberg’s market-open programs “Daybreak Asia” and “Daybreak Australia,” which air on Bloomberg Television from 6 to 9pm EST. Rexon Ryu is the Managing Partner of The Asia Group and is the Board Chair of The Asia Group Foundation. He leads the firm’s region-wide practice on defense and national security.
Shweta Rajpal Kohli of Sequoia India on Bridging Innovation and Regulation
Shweta Rajpal Kohli is Chief Public Policy Officer, Sequoia India and Southeast Asia. She advises the fund’s Indian and Southeast Asian portfolio companies on regulatory risks and engages policymakers on matters related to India’s startup ecosystem. Prior to joining Sequoia, Shweta was the head of public policy for India and South Asia at Uber, and then at Salesforce, following a two-decade career as a leading business journalist and TV news anchor. With 2021 projected to see a record of around USD 20 billion invested in Indian startups, Shweta and Rexon discussed the tremendous opportunities in India’s innovation ecosystem, including in the FinTech, EdTech, and enterprise tech sectors. They also weighed the regulatory challenges surrounding data localization and overseas listing for Indian startups, and Shweta offered advice for CEOs of multinational tech companies as they navigate India’s evolving policy environment.
How PichaEats Empowers Kuala Lumpur’s Refugee Community Through Food
PichaEats is a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based social enterprise in the food industry, focused on supporting the city’s large refugee community. PichaEats partners with refugee chefs to cook and package meals based on the chefs’ personal recipes, and sells and delivers those meals to individuals and catered events across the city. On this episode we spoke with Kim Lim, who alongside co-founders Suzanne Ling and Lee Swee Lin transformed PichaEats from a college service project into a self-sustaining business that has delivered more than 350,000 meals and partnered with 35 refugee chefs. Kim shared moving stories about the displaced individuals with whom PichaEats has partnered, and discussed PichaEats’ growth path and strategic vision, the challenges of running a social enterprise through COVID-19, and the status of refugees in Malaysia. She also shared some juicy details about the biryani, lamb-stuffed eggplant, and chicken mandi that have made PichaEats famous.
Anna Fifield on What Drives Kim Jong-un
Anna Fifield was Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post from 2018 to 2020, before which she covered the Korean Peninsula and Japan as the Post’s Tokyo bureau chief from 2014 to 2018. Anna is the author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un, and an authority on North Korean society and politics, having visited the country a dozen times to report on the Kim regime. She has also traveled across Asia to interview North Korean defectors, giving her rare insight into the lives of ordinary people in North Korea. Anna now lives in her home country of New Zealand, where she is the editor of the Dominion Post. Anna painted a rare portrait covering the totality of North Korean politics and society, including her analysis of Kim Jong-un’s leadership, North Korea’s nuclear program and the prospects for denuclearization, China’s relationship with the Kim regime, the state of human rights in North Korea and the lives of the North Korean people, and more.
Dr. Evan Medeiros on Biden’s China Strategy
Dr. Evan S. Medeiros is Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Senior Advisor at The Asia Group. Dr. Medeiros served on the National Security Council for six years under U.S. President Barack Obama, first as Director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, and then as President Obama’s top advisor for U.S. policy in Asia. Combining expertise as a scholar of Chinese politics with first-hand experience at the height of U.S. China policy, Evan reflected on several critical issues in U.S.-China relations: U.S. President Joe Biden’s China strategy, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s leadership and rising nationalism in China, balancing interdependence and escalating risks in the bilateral relationship, and the outlook for engagement between U.S. and Chinese leaders.
NBA Asia Chief Scott Levy on Sports Culture in Asia and the Outlook for the Tokyo Olympics
Scott Levy is Managing Director of NBA Asia, where he oversees development and expansion of the National Basketball Association’s strategic initiatives across the Indo-Pacific region – excluding China. With the Tokyo Olympics opening later this month, Scott spoke with Tea Leaves about sports and consumer culture in different Asian markets, the NBA’s response to COVID-19, and the outlook for the Tokyo Olympics. You can access a full video of the conversation at www.youtube.com/channel/UCwSvkY8tzvEq21kNOjYILXQ.
Journalist Natasha Khan on the Hong Kong Protests and the City’s Future
Natasha Khan is a Hong Kong-based reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she has covered major stories including Hong Kong’s popular protest movement, the emergence of COVID-19 and the city’s response, and major changes to Hong Kong’s political system. On this episode of Tea Leaves, Rexon and Shery spoke with Natasha about her experiences covering the protests, the economic, social, and political changes underway in the city, and how she continues to seek truth amid the crackdown on some media outlets in Hong Kong.
Timely and Insightful
Rexon Ryu and Shery Ahn in the context of their own culture and heartwarming stories weave a stellar analysis of current events in the Indo Pacific sector. The interview with Retired Admiral Harry Harris gives insights of behind the scene events and an analysis of the Quad with probing questions. Looking forward to more episodes and interviews.
I really enjoy the new hosts! They each bring a unique perspective to the issues.
I’ve been an admirer of Kurt Campbell since meeting him as a junior Foreign Service Officer in 1999 in Thailand. I hope some day to meet Ambassador Verma. Together they exemplify the best of American foreign policy thinkers — experienced, insightful, inquisitive and aspirationally objective, by which I mean that while they count among the Democratic Party cognoscenti, their approach almost always transcends partisan bias. Terrific. My thanks to them both, Greg D’Elia