Stephen Lai


Malaysia-China Greater Bay Area Technology and Innovation Alliance

A serial entrepreneur and former multinational executive with strong cross-cultural management experience, Mr. Stephen Lai spent over 30 years accumulating hands-on business experience and extensive people networks while overseeing offices in Singapore (HQ), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Saigon and Mumbai and pioneering large scale commodity and investment conferences in ten major cities across Asia.

An Industrial Adviser and Adjunct Professor at DRB-HICOM University of Automotive Malaysia, Stephen is an Industrial Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). He has also been appointed a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cambodia University of Technology and Science in Phnom Penh. Stephen earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and double degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Currently a business mentor and fund raising adviser to tech start-up CEO’s in Silicon Valley, Singapore and Penang, Stephen also consults with Chinese enterprises in the areas of international business and partnership development especially in ASEAN countries.

A former Advisor to BuonMaThuot Coffee Exchange Centre, Vietnam’s first commodity exchange, Stephen’s varied international career includes a stint as Chief Representative (ASEAN) for one of China’s largest fintech solution providers listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Regional Business Development with global financial information giant Reuters, Investment Technology Manager with Koeneman Capital Management - Asia’s first quant-based boutique investment firm founded by former Head of Equities at Government Investment Corporation of Singapore - and Business Consultant to Singapore Government’s premier ICT R&D Centre, Kent Ridge Digital Lab (later renamed A*STAR).

Stephen is currently Chairman of Malaysia-China Guangdong-Hong Kong -Macao Greater Bay Area Technology and Innovation Alliance and Founder-President of Penang-Chengdu Friendship Association. During 2012-2014, he was tasked to promote internationalisation of China enterprises under the Belt and Road Initiative when he was appointed Executive Adviser to the President of China (Shenzhen) Chamber of International Commerce/Director of China (Shenzhen) Council for the Promotion of International Trade. In addition, Stephen served as Deputy Director on the China (Shenzhen) Financial Expo Planning Committee chaired by Shenzhen Mayor for 5 years.

A former ASEAN Scholar in Singapore, Penang-born Stephen is a Certified Career Coach and enjoys training youths in the areas of resilience, leadership development and social entrepreneurship. During 2018-2021, he served as Strategic Advisor to Penang State Minister for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneurial Development.