IWD 2021 – #choosetochallenge interview with Cintia Tavella

In support of International Women’s Day, our outgoing INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore President, Cintia Tavella MBA’07D IDP-C’20Jun, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Expedia Partner Solutions, recorded her thoughts.

“As an INSEAD Alum, I choose to challenge,” Cintia said as she sat down with Li Lian Liew EMBA’13Dec, President of the INSEAD Alumni Club Women in Business, for a chat on her perspectives as a leader.

Li Lian: When you see this year’s IWD theme, what comes to mind? How does it make you think about gender diversity and inclusion matters?
Cintia: I think women can and should choose to challenge in all areas that matter to us – whether it is at work, for climate change, or more. I was a synchronised swimmer, and I believe that women can come together in that kind of synergistic teamwork to make a real difference in the world.

Li Lian: Can you give us some background on what experiences has created the Cintia of “now” who sees the world this way?
Cintia: I was born in Argentina to a modest family. Going to INSEAD changed my life. Despite my humble beginnings, winning access to a good education was key to what I have achieved.

Li Lian: Given the world that we are in right now, what would you choose to challenge and why would you choose it/them? How would you turn this into tangible changes?
Cintia: I would choose to challenge men and women (and myself) to make small incremental changes every day. Every little thing can add up to a great impact over time – we cannot aim to make huge leaps all the time, but we can influence the things around us.

Li Lian: Are there collaborators and/or resources that you foresee would help you achieve this/these change(s)? How could we make this happen?
Cintia: We are each other’s best resources. We also need to come together to challenge each other to be better. As long as men and women work together to keep challenging the status quo on the things that matter to us, we can come out better.

Li Lian: Cintia will be relocating to USA soon to take on more and bigger challenges – we wish her the very best! Stay safe


IWD 2021 – choose to challenge

International Women’s Day, IWD, (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, as the world and our alumni communities come out of 2020, which has been one of the most disruptive and challenging year in decades due to COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic certainly will have a lasting impact on us all.

We would like to encourage your participation on 2 initiatives that we are running to commemorate IWD this year:

  1. The first is a survey and knowledge sharing initiative on gender equity initiated by DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) team from INSEAD to build awareness and knowledge around this topic. The team has also created an insightful list of reading suggestions (see below) to accompany this effort. This initiative from the school would run for two weeks until 22 March.
  2. The second initiative is a global initiative from INSEAD Women in Business (WiB) Alumni Club that is now running globally. This initiative called Choose to Challenge is meant to raise awareness against biases and encourage a call to action from us all.

Reading Suggestions

Week 1

  • Day 1 – March 8

Disruption as a Force for Good? Gender Balance and COVID-19 | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | May 20, 2020

Key takeaway: The pandemic may disproportionately affect women around the world, but it need not imperil the hard-earned progress towards gender balance.

  • Day 2 – March 9

From Insight to Action. Gender Equality in the Wake of Covid-19 | UN Women 2020

This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls.

  • Day 3 – March 10

Making the “New Normal” Better for Women | Benjamin Kessler, INSEAD Knowledge Managing Editor | July 2, 2020

Key takeaway: How can individuals and organisations keep progressing towards gender balance, in this disrupted world?

  • Day 4 – March 11:

Women at the core of the fight against COVID-19 crisis | Policy brief: OECD 2020

  • Day 5 – March 12:

Foundations for Gender Balance Can Be Built at Home | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Gender Initiative | November 13, 2020

Key takeaway: If we want a robust economic recovery and a fairer world, we must stem the tide of women fleeing the Covid-19 workforce.

Week 2

  • Day 1 – March 15

Strategy and Leadership Lessons From the ‘Notorious RBG’ | Chengyi Lin, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Founder, Henderson Advising, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2021: Strategy & Leadership lessons from “The Notorious RBG”

  • Day 2 – March 16

The Powerful Leadership of African Women | Lucy Quist MBA ’05J, INSEAD Board Director | March 6, 2020: Six women leading the way and inspiring others to realise their potential

  • Day 3 – March 17

Challenging Assumptions About Flexible Work | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Felicia A. Henderson EMCCC ’17, Principal at Henderson Advising | February 24, 2020: How a female CEO built better work-life balance in the gruelling property industry.

  • Day 4 – March 18

Promoting Gender Balance Wisely | Benjamin Kessler, Asia Editor and Digital Manager, Clarissa Cortland, INSEAD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour | March 8, 2018: Researchers are identifying powerful, yet sometimes nuanced interventions that can improve outcomes for women and the businesses and societies they serve.

  • Day 5 – March 19

Integrating Diversity Into Business Education | Zoe Kinias, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour; Modupe Akinola, Columbia Business School; Ashli Carter, NYU Stern; Michael Norton, Harvard Business School; and Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School | September 16, 2019: An example of women leading the integration of diversity conversation into business education in collaboration with men.

Meet our new team!

Thank you to the 155 members who voted electronically for our 2021 AGM. We had a strong voter turnout of 21%. An overwhelming majority reviewed the annual report and approved on these motions:

  1. 2020 AGM minutes
  2. 2020 Financial Reports
  3. Elect the following:

New Board Members at 2021 AGM:

  • President: Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Secretary: Bradley Fraser MAP’18 Apr
  • Board Member (Diversity and Inclusion): Boby Johnson EMBA’16Dec
  • Board Member (Lifelong Learning and Career Development): Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S
  • Board Member (Mentorship): Brenny Wang TIEMBA‘20Jan

Re-Election for a second term for:

  • Board Member (Marketing and Communications): Jean-Francois Legourd MBA’12D

Meet our new team


  • President: Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Treasurer: Amy Xu MBA’14
  • Secretary: Brad Fraser MAP’18Apr


  • Social Events & IAF: Virginia Brumby MBA’09J
  • Clubs & Groups: Julie He MBA’13D
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Boby Johnson EMBA’16Dec
  • Marketing & Communications + Career Development & Lifelong Learning: Jean-Francois Legourd MBA’12D
  • Career Development & Lifelong Learning: Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S
  • Professors & Companies Events: Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan
  • Mentorship Program: Brenny Wang TIEMBA’20Jan


  • Thomas Friis-Hansen MBA’99J
  • Gordon Anderson MBA’88D

Thank you to retiring Board Member President Cintia Tavella MBA’07D, IDP-C’20Jun, and Honorary Auditor Jisun Min MBA’11D for years of limitless contributions to the Association! Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours.

For more info, click here.

Announcing Winner of ‘Business as a Force for Good Award – 2021’

After several rounds of consideration, we are pleased to announce that we will confer the Business as a Force for Good Award Singapore – 2021 Edition to Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd. We were particularly impressed by the impact it made in helping rural communities improve healthcare and education conditions. We were also impressed with the business model which is built from the ground up with social impact in mind.

Christian Patouraux MBA’03D is the CEO of Kacific Broadband Satellites Group – a company he founded in 2013. Driven by the belief that “there is only one internet” – and that therefore access and quality level should be universal, Christian assembled a team of satellite and telecom industry veterans to build Kacific, a company that would design and launch an advanced telecommunications satellite and offer reliable satellite broadband to underserved parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific – at low cost, no matter where and to whom.

Christian Patouraux MBA'03D

Christian Patouraux MBA’03D, CEO Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd

In December 2019, Kacific launched Kacific1, its first “high-throughput” geostationary satellite which covers 25 countries in South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands with powerful spot beams, delivering reliable, high-speed internet service to communities that were previously out of reach of affordable or high-quality internet.

In the wake of COVID-19, Kacific increased its presence in schools, hospitals and remote communities. In Indonesia, the Philippines, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and many more countries, patients can now be treated at rural clinics instead of congested central hospitals, students can pursue further studies remotely from their villages, and communities have access to better resources on gender equality, and family planning. At the same time, provincial governments can stay in touch with state authorities regarding nationwide programs such as early warnings and disaster recovery, leading to better coordinated emergency response as in the case of COVID-19.

Some of the social impact projects involve connecting 118 clinics & 200 schools in remote and rural areas of Vanuatu, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education to connect over 7,000 users to high-speed internet which helps with efficient stock management, online consultations, remote education and emergency situations. Kacific also connected over 2,000 users including Timor-Leste’s central medical warehouse facility and 68 pharmacy and health clinics sites across Timor-Leste allowing medical professionals to access national patient databases, access logistics and distribution software for vital medicines and medical equipment and improved healthcare systems nationwide.

Kacific plans to augment its current services as well as extend its reach towards Central Asia as it plans the launch of Kacific2, a second geostationary satellite that would replicate, expand and enhance the model of Kacific1.

With the many lives changed through having access to high speed internet, we are proud to say business can indeed be a force for good.





Dean Ilian Mihov presents BAFG Award to Christian Patouraux MBA'03D

Dean Ilian Mihov and Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan present BAFG Award to Christian Patouraux MBA’03D at INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore’s Annual General Meeting on 26 February, 2021

We would like to thank all participating companies for their time and effort in building businesses which provide societal impact and enrich the world!

2021 judging panel: Amy Xu MBA’14J, Anne-Ev Juette-Enzmann MBA’01J, Brad Fraser MAP’18Apr, David Mair MBA’96J, and Tan Eng Hwa TIEMBA’16Jan

2021 AGM – electronic voting notice

Notice is hereby given that electronic voting will be conducted for 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 9 to 26 February 2021 – 9.00 am.


Please find the 2020 Annual Report inclusive of the proposed 2020 AGM minutes (pages 21-22) and Financial Reports (pages 18-20) relating to The INSEAD Club of Singapore (INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore).

Don’t hesitate to contact our President Cintia Tavella MBA’07D, IDP-C’20Jun, Secretary Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan, or Treasurer Amy Xu MBA’14J if you have questions by 25 February.


Members will receive an email from Brad Fraser [email protected] with the subject: INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore Annual General Meeting 2021 – Voting. Do check your SPAM folder if you have not received this email.

We require your participation to vote on 3 motions:

1. Vote on the proposed 2020 AGM minutes (pages 21-22) and

2. Vote on the 2020 Financial Reports (pages 18-20) of the 2020 Annual Report

3. Vote to elect the following:

  • New Board Members at 2021 AGM:
    • President: Jaz Athenia Chua TIEMBA’16Jan
    • Secretary: Bradley Fraser MAP’18Apr
    • Board Member (Diversity and Inclusion): Boby Johnson EMBA’16Dec
    • Board Member (Lifelong Learning and Career Development): Abdullah (Apo) Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S
    • Board Member (Mentorship): Brenny Wang TIEMBA’20Jan
  • Re-Election for a second term for:
    • Board Member (Marketing and Communications): Jean-Francois Legourd MBA’12D


We thank the following members for their contributions:

Retiring in 2021

  • Board Member for 8 years and President for 4 years Cintia Tavella MBA’07D, IDP-C’20Jun.
  • Honorary Auditor Jisun Min MBA’11D after volunteering for full 3 years term.

Joining in 2021

  • Honorary Auditor Thomas Friis-Hansen MBA’99J


Cintia’s second term finishes at our 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 26th Feb 2021. We thank her for her 8 years tenure dedicated to the Alumni Association of Singapore and her 4 years tenure as President. She has contributed significantly to the community in Singapore. Cintia has significantly grown engagement and membership within the INSEAD Alumni community. She has also expanded the team of volunteers and supported the launch of a number of clubs in Singapore, including the first club in the Alumni Community across the world for RLCG (Retail Luxury and Consumer Goods), OUTsead (LGBTQIA+). She is also responsible for publishing and launching ​“​The Corporate Governance Journey for Alumni Associations – Corporate Governance Handbook 2019”, and numerous other achievements.

The President selection process kicked off in Oct 2019. The Alumni Association Executive Committee unanimously voted for ​Jaz Chua (TIEMBA’16Jan​) to assume the role of the next president. Jaz served with the Women in Business club where she organized activities for International Women’s Day and Global INSEAD Day. Subsequently, she served as the Secretary of the ​Alumni Association of Singapore​ for over 4 years and Vice-President elect for the last 8 months. She has also successfully led our Career Development & Lifelong Learning initiatives for the past year.

Business as a Force for Good Award – 2021

Submit a nomination

In the years following World War II, Georges Doriot came up with the idea that the world needed a new kind of educational institution—one that united people, embraced diversity, and leveraged business to rebuild nations and promote peace. He envisioned an institution that could make a meaningful contribution to society.

That institution, of course, was INSEAD. In the decades since its founding in 1957, our school has never wavered from that vision. Our belief in using business as a force for good has come to define who we are, what we stand for and how we conduct ourselves in the world.

The INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore is proud to announce that this year’s “Business as a Force for Good” Award is open for nominations.

What is the Award about?

The award will recognize INSEAD alumni with businesses in Singapore who have demonstrated thought-leadership with respect to “Business as a Force for Good”, have a vision, mission statement and strategy clearly demonstrating their commitment, have developed corporate social responsibility best practices and have achieved remarkable economical results and meaningful societal impact.

The award will be presented during the Association’s Annual General Meeting 2021, which will be hosted on 26 February 2021 in Singapore.

Top nominees and the award winner will gain visibility through various PR activities and social media articles sharing details about the award and their company’s accomplishments.

What is the selection criteria?

A jury made of alumni leaders from various industries will identify the award winner. Selections will be based on the positive impact the organization has had on society through its corporate social responsibility program or its core business activities.

How can you participate?

Please simply complete this link with the name of either your company or a company that you know well, deserving to be nominated. We will need the name of a representative (yourself or another contact person who is an INSEAD alum) whom the selection committee will contact for further details. Nominations must be received no later than 5 January 2021. 

The “Business as a Force for Good” Award is a wonderful opportunity to recognize best practices, to give visibility to deserving companies and to promote INSEAD’s mission. We are very much looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to us.

Business as a Force for Good, Singapore Edition – Past Winners

The company aims to fight climate change in Singapore and Indonesia. RPRE helps businesses operating in remote off-grid areas switch from fossil fuel energy sources to clean renewable energy, primarily solar and batteries. In addition, they have an inclusive hiring policy such as working with the UNHCR to hire Afghanistan refugees in Indonesia and hiring people from disadvantaged backgrounds (such as persons with disabilities) in Singapore.

  • 2019: ECOSOFFT, Marcus Lim TIEMBA’13 and Stanley Samuel TIEMBA’13

This social enterprise aims to address the global challenge of water shortage, scarcity and quality. ECOSOFTT has delivered more than 50 projects, providing safe drinking water to thousands of people; reduced fresh water intake by almost five-million litres per day, and reclaimed millions of litres of dirty water for re-use.

Message on behalf of the MBA students – support with projects

INSEAD students launched a Business Projects Platform in April to connect alumni with current students to work on short-term projects. It has had big success with over 300 projects received and close to 600 student applications in two months. Project topics range from AI to fashion, size from one-founder startups to companies with billions in revenue – all types of projects are welcome.

If you have a project you would like to engage INSEADers for, please fill out this survey and the opportunity will be posted within a couple of days for students to apply for. It is a great way to stay connected with INSEAD and to get some help with your projects & ventures.

Update on Access to INSEAD’s Campuses

INSEAD has started to reopen its global campuses, including the Asia-campus, for in-person programmes, however due to the ongoing pandemic and social-distancing measures the school is not able to welcome alumni and visitors on campus for the time being. The school thanks the alumni for their understanding as we work together to keep our campuses safe for our in-person programme participants. Click here for more details on our re-opening.

Hot Jobs – help source roles for alumni

In the next few months, the INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore will be uploading high paying jobs (≥ S$200K) for alumni in Singapore to INSEAD’s CareerGlobe portal.

To help alumni weather these challenging times, we regularly curate high paying jobs for alumni and post them on INSEAD’s CareerGlobe portal.

Do help the community by sourcing roles from your company’s internal job portal. Please share them with Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S who is taking care of the curation and publication.

CareerGlobe is also accessible via your MyINSEAD profile: go to ‘My Resources’, ‘Career Development for Working Professionals’ and click on ‘CareerGlobe’.