DAY 1 | Wednesday, 1 September, 2021

* The agenda is subject to change
*Times are in Singapore Time (SGT) 

  • 1:00 - 1:05  |  Conference Starts

    Eric Lu
    Senior Principal, Career Business, China, Mercer

    Tarana Doha
    Senior Associate, Dubai, Mercer

  • 1:05 - 1:15  |  Welcome Address

    Renée McGowan
    President - Asia, Middle East & Africa, Mercer

  • 1:15 - 1:45  |  Opening keynote  |  Future of work and talent management in the region amid COVID-19


    Anne Chiou
    Director, The Economist Corporate Network

    The global COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered how we work and how we think about work. This poses complex new challenges for HR professionals, whose roles have shifted during the pandemic and who are exploring its enduring implications. Issues of wellness and empathy have moved from the periphery to the core of HR conversations. Employee expectations around professional development offerings and flexibility continue to evolve. And digitalization, with its benefits and challenges, is here to stay. This session explores three themes in the changing landscape of talent management: wellness, professional development and digitalization.

  • 1:45 - 2:15  |  Plenary | Adapting to the new world of work


    Puneet Swani
    Senior Partner, Career Business Leader, AMEA, Mercer

    The world of work is changing at light speed. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that unexpected events can upend the world in an instant. During these ever-evolving times, successful organizations embrace transformation, explore new ways of working and reinvent the employee experience in a new and blended work environment.

    In this session, Puneet shares the new work deal organizations face today, highlights key insights from Mercer’s latest research and presents ideas for transforming how organizations reinvent the way they work and how their people experience work.

  • 2:15 - 2:55  |  Panel discussion | Adapting, reinventing and transforming for the future of work


    Ester Martinez
    CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters


    Katrina Symons
    Head of Human Resources, Future of Work APAC, Johnson & Johnson


    Mark Wilson
    EVP Human Resources, Jaguar Land Rover China


    Mayank Parekh
    CEO, Institute of Human Resource Professionals


    As we navigate a changing work landscape, we have an invaluable opportunity to reset what we do and how we do it. Maximizing productivity and flexibility in a blended work environment requires examining how work gets done. To create a sustainable employment strategy, we need to focus on creating a culture of learning, building talent programs that support skill transfer and work mobility, and staying true to creating unique employee experiences. This reset calls for collective intent and action among employers, enabled by technology, to make it a reality.


    Join this panel discussion to learn how organizations across the region are adopting nontraditional methods to accelerate their journeys toward the future of work, and discover how HR is leading the charge. 

  • 3:05 - 3:35  |  Plenary | Client case study: People success at Santen


    Manuel Kirchhoff
    Global head of People Success, Santen

    Hear from Santen on their journey toward achieving “people success,” and learn about some of their best practices in implementing the People Success Center of Expertise (COE), focused on targeted core HR practices that bring their people philosophy to life.

  • 3:35 - 4:10  |  Concurrent breakout sessions

    How to build a digital-ready workforce

    Digitalization is disrupting business models and entire industries as big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning gain mainstream traction. This unprecedented change is impacting organizations as they struggle to make the right talent management decisions to embrace this transformation. The digital era requires new abilities and a different style of leadership. Leaders and their teams must commit themselves to continuous evolution.

    Anirban Roy
    Chief Revenue Officer, Mercer | Mettl


    Rupali Gupta
    Talent Consulting Leader, ASEAN, Mercer


    Delivering business value through people analytics

    Despite growing attention to people analytics, so far, they have failed to provide useful insights for many companies. This is likely to occur when you start without identifying key issues and asking questions for your organization. This session briefly introduces key steps to make your people analytics relevant to business priorities.

    Junichi Akutsu
    People Analytics Team Lead, Career Business, Japan, Mercer

    Value Creation in M&A Transactions - Assessing leadership and culture for success

    Leadership and culture are two of the biggest derailers in realizing deal value in M&A deals.


    It is critical for buyers to conduct leadership and culture due diligence in a structured way.


    Buyers must develop plans to retain the right leaders and build a high−performance culture post-close.


    In this session, we present key results from our recent global M&A research, “Delivering the Deal: The Unrealized Potential of People in Deal Creation,” and our 2020 Asia Private Equity Survey. We will also include a practical case study on how to approach culture and leadership assessment in deals.

    Dhruv Mehra
    Partner, M&A Advisory Services Leader, AMEA, Mercer


    Edwin Seah
    Principal, M&A Business Transformation, Asia, Mercer

    Look beyond the obvious − Designing executive compensation for the future

    This session examines effective executive compensation practices for addressing the challenges many organizations face today using more traditional structures. We also explore what high-growth startup companies in Asia need to consider when setting up executive pay structures — particularly, the use of equity.

    Nishant Mahajan
    Rewards Business Leader, Singapore, Mercer

    Leading and coaching in a hybrid world/blended work reality

    The pandemic has changed the way we work and play and completely upended our personal and professional lives. As employees across the globe settle into the rhythms of working from home, we have a new, complex reality to grapple with — a blended or hybrid work environment that is clearly here to stay. Academic literature shows that employees who work from home need more guidance, consistent feedback and clear, output-oriented goals compared to those in the office. That means leaders who manage remote teams need to spend more time than ever in meetings and putting structures in place. 

    These uncertain and turbulent times require leaders that motivate and inspire. We need leaders that can find the right balance between providing flexibility, structure and direction — and strengthening the fading interpersonal connections employees crave. 

    How can managers reimagine leadership for blended teams and embrace a hybrid reality? What are the unique challenges of leading a virtual, remote or dispersed team? How can you set expectations, motivate teams and coach your people through these uncertain times? 

    Mercer’s Brian Sy will be in conversation with Ruchira Chaudhary — leading executive coach and author of Coaching the Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership — to discuss how leaders can continue to empower, elevate and enable in this new, changed reality.



    Ruchira Chaudhary
    Founder and Managing Director, TrueNorth Consulting


    Brian Sy
    Head of Total Rewards, Career Business, Hong Kong, Mercer

  • 4:20 - 4:50  |  Plenary l Client case study: Longevity: Innovation and opportunity


    Yvonne Sonsino
    Partner, Global Co-Leader, Transformation Services, Mercer

    Sophie Guerin
    Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, APAC, Johnson & Johnson


    Longer lives require more flexible and fluid careers for all generations. Almost two thirds of organizations surveyed in Mercer’s 2021 Global Talent Trends Study don’t have an active program to manage workers nearing retirement and only 28% form multigenerational teams to stimulate knowledge sharing and innovation. Progressive workforce strategies for experienced workers is needed to understand their unique motivations, flexible working needs and to ensure critical knowledge transfer. In this session, the speakers will discuss some thought provoking ideas on the concept of ageing, share practical considerations for HR to take as well as opportunities in this space.     

  • 4:50 - 5:20  |  Plenary | Client case study: Making "Happiness" come alive


    Somraj Roy
    CHRO, KEC International

    Dr. Anamika Bhargav Mehra
    Transformational Leader and Coach, RPG Group

    In this session, the speakers will share the journey of a four-decade-old Indian conglomerate that has evolved from gauging employee engagement to measuring and embedding happiness. As they take the audience through this journey, the speakers will cover the drivers behind the organization’s decision to focus on happiness. They will explore how the HR team crafted a tangible framework to support a happiness focus, the elements of their framework and why they chose them, and insights into how the organization plans to empower employees to own and enhance their happiness.

  • 5:20 - 5:30  |  Closing

    Eric Lu
    Senior Principal, Career Business, China, Mercer

    Tarana Doha
    Senior Associate, Dubai, Mercer

DAY 2 | Thursday, 2 September, 2021

* The agenda is subject to change
*Times are in Singapore Time (SGT) 

  • 1:00 - 1:10  |  Welcome and day 1 highlights

    Eric Lu
    Senior Principal, Career Business, China, Mercer

    Tarana Doha
    Senior Associate, Dubai, Mercer

  • 1:10 - 1:40  |  Plenary | 2021 Rewards Trends


    Godelieve van Dooren
    CEO Southeast Asia Growth Markets, Mercer

    The rewards experience is ready for reinvention. Only 55% of employees believe they are fairly compensated, and even fewer believe that performing well will result in better pay. Organizations are spending too much time on intensive merit processes and struggle to retain their key workforces. With the rise of the pandemic, we have seen tighter budgets amid heightened awareness of systemic pay inequities, location decisions and flexible work. In this presentation, we explore how skills, flexibility and sustainability can drive greater return on investment in rewards.

  • 1:40 - 2:10  |  Plenary | Humanizing transformation


    Ravin Jesuthasan
    Senior Partner, Global Leader Transformation Services, Mercer

    As the global economy turns the corner on the pandemic, organizations are looking for ways to capitalize on the lessons learned, while transforming to capture emerging opportunities. Transformation is increasingly about creating more human-centric organizations where skills are the currency of work, and talent is engaged on its own terms.

  • 2:20 - 2:50  |  Plenary | Navigating a skills-based future


    Lewis Garrad
    Partner, Career Business Leader, Singapore, Mercer

    Kabir Nath
    Principal, Talent Solutions, Singapore, Mercer

    Today, we’re seeing a return to an emphasis on people’s skills as a key defining principle. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic showed just how much skill-based approaches can create agility at pace. Leading organizations are now using that experience to create resilient and more sustainable businesses. Those that can deliver skills at scale will outpace competitors and be in a better position to adapt their businesses and their people in periods of uncertainty. And with skill-based approaches improving workforce ROI by better matching skills to demand, it’s no surprise that this is on the C-suite agenda — helping them prepare for further volatility while being responsible employers for their people.

  • 2:50 - 3:10  |  Fireside chat - Well-being - Making a positive impact on the financial security of your employees


    Dimitris Efthyvoulou
    Principal, Singapore, Mercer

    Aki Ranin
    Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Bambu



    Individuals are increasingly left to their own devices to enhance their personal finances. At the same time, they face serious headwinds from living longer, lower support from family and social security systems with low adequacy. This leads to high levels of financial insecurity, high financial stress and low financial confidence. Recent technological innovations have been disrupting the way individuals can save and invest. Join the discussion as experts share the latest developments and the impact of COVID-19 on personal finances and the behavior of different groups. In this session, we also share ideas on how to help people enhance their financial security.

  • 3:10 - 3:30  |  Fireside chat - Well-being - Turning health risk into value - Supporting mental health


    Liana Attard
    Multinational Client Solutions Leader, AMEA, Mercer

    Samprita Majumder
    Consultant, Global Benefits (APJ), Dell Technologies

    As working adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work, workplace conditions contribute significantly to their mental health. The actions — or inactions — of organizations in shaping the working environment can profoundly impact employees’ mental well-being. The responsibility for creating a positive working environment supportive of employees’ broader emotional well-being lies with employers. To reduce stigma, boost workforce health and achieve measurable outcomes, we need to treat mental health like any other health aspect and create strategic, joined-up solutions that consider well-being in its entirety.

    In this session, we share results of healthy-minds assessment in the workplace, along with key trends, risks, employee needs, and practical, tangible actions employers are taking to address and support workplace mental health. Hear from Dell, one company taking a targeted, multifaceted approach to supporting employees across policies, practice and access-to-care models.

  • 3:30 - 4:00  |  Fireside chat - Employee benefits - Benefits beyond COVID-19


    Joan Collar
    Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits Asia-Pacific, Mercer Marsh Benefits

    Jeanne Ding
    Head of Global Benefits, Mapletree

    Hear from Jeanne Ding of Mapletree on how the company is exploring a more holistic view of benefits, beyond traditional benefits, now even more so, when the pandemic settles. Participants will walk away with the a wider view of the art of possible, how to engage employees and embark on a future forward thinking communications strategy and ensuring their benefits program is sustainable in the long run. 

  • 4:10 - 4:40  |  Plenary | The Importance of "physical" in the human and digital transformation of work

    Peter Andrew
    Executive Director, Workplace Strategy, Asia-Pacific, CBRE

    Workplaces have always reflected the way people work. Workplaces also shape culture and how we work and are a critical part of any organizational transformation. Workforces today have been unshackled from physical location and will vote with their feet — choosing where they work and who they want to work with.

    Real estate portfolios and office design must change to make the experience of the physical places of work as frictionless as working in the virtual domain. Every day, the office will compete with home (and places near home) as people decide “where do I want to work today?” The rules have changed; solutions must solve for “both … and.”

    As teams work across the physical and digital, we need to imagine and invent hybrid ways to collaborate and connect that are equitable and support high performance of individuals and teams. New protocols, skills and behaviors are required, and the physical offices we work in will need to change. These changes are deeply connected.

    Opportunities exist for organizations that are able to align their human resources, real estate and IT functions to work with leaders and mobilize around new models of work and what that means for physical workplaces.

  • 4:40 - 5:20  |  Panel discussion l Cultivating success from the inside out- How communication and HR form the bedrock of transformation

    Marla Arnall
    Senior Principal, Regional Consulting Leader,

    Arnab Roy
    Global Communications and Enablement Lead
    Standard Chartered

    Salehin Basir
    Chartered MCIPD  Human Capital Development (HCD) Manager
    Darussalam Assets (Brunei)

    Elvin Ong
    Global Internal Communication and Change Management Specialist


    The HR and Communications functions are increasingly working together to drive transformation agendas and win over employees, but there is more work to be done. On this panel, you’ll hear from HR and communications experts about what makes transformation initiatives succeed or fail and why the future of transformation depends on the successful partnership of these two functions.

  • 5:20 - 5:30  |  Short conclusion & conference close


    Eric Lu
    Senior Principal, Career Business, China, Mercer

    Tarana Doha
    Senior Associate, Dubia, Mercer

External Speakers






  • .

Keynote Speaker

  • Anne Chiou

    Anne Chiou

    The Economist Corporate Network


    Anne Chiou is the Director of The Economist Corporate Network in Hong Kong. She engages top executives throughout Asia in providing key insights and industry knowledge on strategic issues central to business developments in the region.  Prior to joining the Economist Group, she was Head of Programs for Business and Policy at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. She also worked extensively with senior banking executives as a regulator at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the Global Financial Crisis, supervising large international banks.


    Ms. Chiou also worked in banking policy at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as well as supervising financial market activity under the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Ms. Chiou also formerly worked with multiple fintech start-ups, advising them of regulatory trends in Asia.


    Ms. Chiou has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Pomona College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.


Guest Speakers

  • Peter Andrew

    Peter Andrew

    Executive Director, Workplace Strategy, Asia-Pacific


    Peter has a personal ambition to transform work and workplace in Asia. To help create beautiful and functional buildings that attract talent, drive business performance, and enhance the experience of the everyday worker.


    Peter leads the CBRE Workplace Strategy Centre of Excellence function in APAC supporting a team of 120 workplace specialists in twelve countries.  Peter is an expert in this field, with more than 25 years’ experience (1 year in Asia).


    Peter works at c-suite level with corporations to understand their businesses and develop and implement strategies that improve business performance. His passion and expertise lie with understanding the relationships between culture, behaviour, technology, organisational processes and the creation and use of physical environments – in particular places for work, innovation and learning.

  • Salehin Basir

    Salehin Basir

    Chartered MCIPD, Human Capital Development (HCD) Manager
    Darussalam Assets (Brunei)

    Salehin currently heads the Human Capital Development department at Darussalam Assets encompassing a wide spectrum of HR functions, including HR Systems & Policies, Performance Management System, Talent & Development, Organizational Design and Remuneration & Benefits. Furthermore, he was the Business Process Lead for DA’s Human Resource Management System (HRMS) implementation as well as the Governance Lead for the implementation of DArjah Learning Management System (LMS) for DA and its portfolio companies.


    At Darussalam Assets, Salehin has spearheaded Group Wide HR activities in relation to joint venture and corporation’s projects, setting up new companies and ad-hoc HR matters in DA portfolio companies across various industries including telecommunications, airline, oil & gas, maritime, asset & property management, food & beverage, leisure & tourism, logistics and power. 


    Salehin currently serves as Chairman of Kristal Media Sdn Bhd and Member on the Boards of several Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) including Nex.Us Sdn Bhd, Brunei International Gateway (BIG) Sdn Bhd, Integrated Communications (Incomm) Sdn Bhd and DST International Sdn Bhd.


    Prior to joining Darussalam Assets in 2013, Salehin started his career with Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) as an HR Officer, and later joined the Brunei Administrative Service in the Government as an Administrative Officer. Salehin has an MSc Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Birmingham and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD).

  • Dr. Anammika Bharggava Mehra

    Dr. Anammika Bharggava Mehra

    Transformational Leader and Coach
    RPG Group


    Dr. Anammika Bharggava Mehra, is a Transformational Leader and Coach who helps organizations drive business results through their critical people systems. Her 26 years of experience encompasses the broad spectrum of Executive Coaching, Leadership and Talent development, Organizational Change, Performance Management, Culture Building, Employee Engagement and Learning & Development.


    She is an MD (AM) Doctor in Medicine (Alternative Medicines) with specialization in Human Behavioral sciences and has a great insight of the human behavior. She is an empathetic leader who is passionate about contributing to the quality of peoples life and believes that each and every person deserves to reach the zenith of their true potential.


    She is an ICF Certified Coach, Certified by Thomas International for DISC profiling, Licensed ‘Heal Your Life’ Workshop Leader based on Louise Hay’s Philosophy, Reiki Grand Master, NLP practitioner, An Art of Living Happiness course teacher, Wellness therapist and can induce Positivity, Motivation, Attitudinal shift through different modalities.


    Her current engagement with RPG Enterprise as Group Learning and Organization Head acknowledged her achievements with the most prestigious Top Gear Performance Award 2021 for her contribution to Happiness Index Project. She led the historic OD initiative at RPG, right from creating the Happiness framework, designing a reliable and validated Happiness Survey Questionnaire, Measuring Happiness Quotient of the organisation and successful roll out of the Happiness Survey, Analysis and Action Planning workshops.


    She has held critical positions in the corporate world (Modi Xerox, FCS Software Solutions , M-Power HR Solutions and Tech Mahindra Limited and Raychem RPG and RPG Group ) and is able to make her work very relatable and authentic. Her Corporate experience and inclination to spiritual science has created a beautiful amalgamation of Vedic education in Management version