Digital Winners: Meet the speakers and executives

Get the lowdown on the jury, panelists and speakers attending this year’s Digital Winners

Vegard Aas, Head of Innovation, Telenor Group

Vegard Aas is Head of Innovation at Telenor Group, and based in Singapore. He is responsible for identifying ideas and startups that have the potential to become new engaging digital services for 174 million customers across Telenor’s companies in Asia, the Nordics and CEE, through strengthening both intrapreneurship and collaboration with entrepreneurs. Prior to this role, he worked as Director Group Strategy, where he led the work on Digital Strategy, Financial Services for Telenor, and was responsible for Myanmar and Pakistan. He also worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group for 5 years, focusing on IT and telecom.

Speaker at Slush and Digital Winners, jury member at Digital Winners


Durdana Achakzai, Chief Digital Officer, Telenor Pakistan


Durdana joined Telenor after more than 14 years in global business and technology focused roles. Previously, Durdana was Global Head of Digital Portfolio and Programme Director for Retail Banking & Wealth Management at HSBC in London, where she focused on driving innovation and digital transformation. Earlier roles at the bank include Head of Global Business Management in Global Data Services and Director of Corporate Digital. Prior to HSBC, Durdana was serving as Chief Operating Officer at Barclays Investment Bank where she joined as Associate Director for their Corporate Banking portfolio in 2009 and worked extensively on their Strategy for Global Operations. Durdana holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where she was the first Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan.

Jury member at Digital Winners


Svein Henning Kirkeng, EVP and CMO, Telenor Group

Svein Henning Kirkeng is the Executive Vice President and CMO of Telenor Group, serving 174 million mobile customers across Asia, Central Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. He is tasked with leading the telco’s drive to develop new digital services, digitize its core business as well as ensuring the best customer experiences through data insights and cutting edge technology. In his keynote, Svein Henning will explain the value of Big Data and customer insights when developing digital services and how improved business intelligence can win customer loyalty and ultimately, spell the difference between success or failure.

Speaker at Slush and Digital Winners


Michael Lints, Partner, Golden Gate Ventures

Michael Lints is a partner at Golden Gate Ventures, where he focuses on fundraising, strategic partnership and mergers and acquisitions. He has more than 17 years of entrepreneurial and management experience. Before joining Golden Gate Ventures, Michael founded his own venture fund focused on Dutch SMEs. Michael has also worked as former vice chairman of the Economic Development Board of Rotterdam, and has owned his own IT business.

Michael studied Financial Analysis for Business Valuation, and Private Equity and Venture Capital at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michael is a regular speaker at global and regional tech conferences and hosts workshops for corporates and governments on venture capital and the South East Asian landscape.

Panelist at Digital Winners

Edmas Neo, Executive Director, Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Singapore

Edmas Neo is the Executive Director (ED) at Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE). He plays a key leadership role in leading ACE’s mission in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and to strengthen support in driving entrepreneurship initiatives in Singapore. Under his leadership, ACE has launched the ACE International Centre (ACEIC) to assist Singapore startups to scale overseas and to assist international startups expanding to Southeast Asia through Singapore. Additionally, he has structured ACE’s collaboration with KPMG to build a regional innovation hub in driving enterprise startups co-innovation. Prior to joining ACE, Edmas, was Regional Director, Partnership and Collaborative Innovation at Singapore Innovate, a prominent venture capital firm and startup ecosystem builder wholly owned by the Singapore Government.

As the founder of the Technopreneur Action Group (Singapore and Taiwan) Edmas designed and spearheaded the TAGPASS acceleration and corporate innovation programmes that saw the successful acceleration of over 70 startups and several key corporate innovation initiatives. Edmas has more than 18 years of experience in managing technology programmes, business process innovation consulting, change management and startup ecosystem development. He has established a vast network of key contacts across the region in both public and private sectors.

Speaker at Digital Winners


Sajid Rahman, CEO, Tonic, Telenor Health

Mr. Sajid Rahman is Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Health at Telenor Group. Telenor Health is a purpose driven company built to deliver quality, data-driven digital health care in emerging markets. Telenor Health is focusing on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and building a health ecosystem. It covers content, consultation, appointment, navigation and insurance, all delivered to customers via telecom network. Telenor Health launched its first operation in Bangladesh in 2016 and now has around 4 million members.

Sajid is considered a thought leader in cutting edge technological disruptions. He has a strong network in global technology, linking Silicon Valley with emerging markets. He writes on topics related to investments and global technology from ecommerce to financial services to health. He is a mentor at Endeavor Indonesia, a US-based organization accelerating the growth of mid-size companies to billion dollar operations. He brought in the first Silicon Valley based accelerator, Founder Institute, to Bangladesh and is a director of Founder Institute. He is an active angel investor and sits on the board of a number of fast-growing technology startups in Asia, US and Europe.

Speaker at Slush, Digital Winners; jury member at Digital Winners


Anvesh Ramineni, Director, NSI Ventures

Anvesh is Head of Investments Team and one of NSI Ventures’ founding team in 2014. He currently serves as Alternate Director on the Boards of Whispir and Zimplistic. Previously an investment banker at Citigroup Asia-Pacific, Anvesh has ten years of investment banking and strategic financial advisory experience. Anvesh has an MBA (Finance) from T.A. Pai Management Institute and a B.E. (Electronics and Communications Engineering) from Anna University.
Panelist at Digital Winners


Ian Sikora, Vice President, NSI Ventures

Ian Sikora was the Head of Product at HOOQ where he recruited, hired and led a 12-person engineering team and rebuilt the entire tech stack in a year. Before HOOQ, Ian was working for the startup Premise Data in San Francisco where he built the company’s marketing and sales pipeline from scratch. He also worked at Globe Telecom in the Philippines where he managed the global launch of Facebook’s 

Jury member at Digital Winners