Vero Announces Leadership Appointments, Promotions Across Southeast Asia

Vero Announces Leadership Appointments, Promotions Across Southeast Asia

Vero Southeast Asia

 

Vero today announced strategic leadership appointments and staff promotions that advance the firm’s communications consulting ambitions in Southeast Asia. 

Vero appointed Supreeyaporn Sihawong as Chief People Officer, Sasha Alwani as Chief Strategy Officer, Thanpitcha Suksawad as Chief Finance Officer, and Umaporn Whittaker-Thompson as Chief Commercial Officer to fortify the management team and complement the leadership of current Chief Executive Officer Brian Griffin and Chief Operating Officer Raphael Lachkar. 

Sihawong joined Vero in 2021, managing HR as the team in Thailand grew from 50 to more than 120 team members today. 

With over 13 years of communications consulting experience across Asia, Alwani has played a pivotal role in expanding Vero’s client portfolio and significantly enhancing the capabilities of the firm’s strategy team across the region. 

Suksawad, who joined Vero from a Big Four accounting firm, brings 10 years of finance experience to the business and supports Vero’s growth ambitions via M&A. 

Whittaker-Thompson, a 10-year Vero veteran who leads commercial, brand communications, and influencer marketing capabilities, will be instrumental in forging new top-tier partnerships between Vero and Southeast Asia’s leading content creators and business organizations. 

Two Vero team members will take on additional roles: Lin Kuek, who serves as Managing Director for Vero in Singapore, is taking the lead in the firm’s new Sustainability Communications Advisory, while Pham Hoai Anh is helping expand Vero’s Vietnam presence to Hanoi, where she will focus on enhancing brand partnerships. 

“Today, more than ever before, we have a clear view of what Vero can achieve in the industry as a consultancy, employer, and member of society. Supreeyaporn, Sasha, Thanpitcha, and Umaporn have each been critical in shaping this vision, and in their new roles they will help us execute it,” said Raphael Lachkar, Chief Operating Officer. 

“Reflecting on where we were, where we are, and where we’re going – the journey has been rapid, the growth has been substantial, and the vision we share is inspiring. I’m excited to take everything I’ve learned over the years to deliver both a creative and strategic lens in my new role for our clients, our leadership, and most importantly, our people, to implement our collective aspirations,” says Sasha Alwani, Chief Strategy Officer. 

“Aligning with Vero’s core values, we embark on this new chapter with a firm commitment to innovation and excellence in delivering communication solutions across the region. In my new role, I’m excited to harness my expertise and vision to pioneer solutions that empower our teams at Vero, enhance client experience, and forge impactful partnerships that will help elevate Southeast Asia’s influencer marketing landscape,” says Umaporn Whittaker-Thompson, Chief Commercial Officer. 

Here’s the complete list of promotions: 

Regional Promotions 

  • Sasha Alwani – Chief Strategy Officer 
  • Umaporn Whittaker-Thompson – Chief Commercial Officer 
  • Thanpitcha Suksawad – Chief Finance Officer 
  • Supreeyaporn Sihawong – Chief People Officer 
  • Lin Kuek – Head of Sustainability Communications 
  • Charmaine de Lazo – Head of Regional Content 
  • Peerapong Pongpakdee – Data Analytics Manager 

Local Promotions 

Indonesia 

  • Christien Margareth R.G.G. – Senior Communications Executive, Indonesia 
  • Claudia Pusung – KOLs and Influencer Relations Manager, Indonesia 
  • Hallira Husin Haddad – Account Manager, Indonesia 

Philippines 

  • Bernadette Torres – Senior Copywriter, Philippines 
  • Erica Siochi – IMC Senior Account Executive, Philippines 
  • Kim Lourdes Donato – IMC Account Executive, Philippines 
  • Rae Cay – IMC Senior Account Manager, Philippines 

Thailand 

  • Rachat Ploungphet – Senior KOLs and Influencer Manager, Thailand 
  • Patchama Himlap – KOLs and Influencer Manager, Thailand 
  • Weesuda Chaiprasertkun – Account Manager, Thailand 
  • Setthawut Chaiyarak – Senior KOLs and Influencer Specialist, Thailand 
  • Praifar Prankhun– Senior Account Executive, Thailand 
  • Noppaset Ponchan – Senior Account Executive, Thailand 
  • Praew Ruengsawan – Account Manager, Thailand 
  • Purich Kuvinichkul – Assistant Consultant for Vero Advocacy, Thailand 
  • Nitikarn Ladasathean – Media Relations Director, Thailand 

Vietnam 

  • Aiden Nguyen – Creative Lead for Design, Vietnam 
  • Ngo Hong Phuc – Senior VP for Strategy and Client Services, Vietnam 
  • Nguyen Hong Nhung – Creative Lead for Copy, Vietnam 
  • Nguyen Thi Trinh – VP for PR Consulting, Vietnam 
  • Pham Hoai Anh – Head of Client Solutions, Vietnam 

 


Healthy food choices in Southeast Asia

 

Southeast Asia and India’s highly diverse culinary landscapes have seen significant shifts over the past years. With emerging food trends and the rise of technologies that impact consumers’ journey from buying to dining, conversations about food have become a lot more complex than just what to eat for dinner. 

As a result, consumers in Southeast Asia have become more knowledgeable about healthier eating habits, which include actively seeking more nutritious, sustainable food options to improve their mental, physical, and psychological well-being.   

Vero teamed up with India-based agency ON PURPOSE to examine consumers in Southeast Asia and their growing appetites for healthier food. 

Consumers seek healthier food options

Asia-Pacific health and wellness food market is forecasted to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% by 2029, according to Data Bridge Market Research. This is boosted by the growing demand for healthy and nutrition-rich foods and the rise in the number of health-conscious consumers in the region. 

A survey conducted by Vero and Decision Lab found that 53% of those polled said they are eating more fruits and vegetables, with 43% eating more plant-based food. Among the 11 markets surveyed, the Philippines ranked highest (62%) in their openness to plant-based foods, showing Filipinos’ evolving focus on health and wellness

In India, the market size of the F&B industry is expected to reach $505.92 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 11.05%. According to research by Mintel, 74% of food and drink shoppers agree that a greater variety of healthy prepared food options should be made available. Additionally, 34% of Indian consumers indicated they are likelier to buy ready-to-eat meals labeled as low/reduced salt.  

Post-COVID, brands have increased their healthy food offerings by 40%, and online aggregators have seen a 3x rise in the number of orders for healthy food. Demands for keto food have increased by 23%, and plant-based and vegan food orders have risen by 83%. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai have emerged as the most health-conscious cities in India.  

On-demand food delivery services are on the rise

Food delivery services have been around for a while, but how consumers engage with them has changed rapidly over the past two years.  

COVID-19 changed everything when it comes to online delivery services. A survey conducted by Kantar and NielsenIQ in 2022 found that 77% of consumers regard food and grocery delivery as a way of life rather than as a necessity, as it was during the COVID-19 pandemic, or an indulgence, as it was before it. Consumers are shifting their food journey online, primarily using delivery apps as search engines, and 88% have discovered new food sellers through these apps — many of which are not restaurants but delivery-only outlets.  

Driven by factors such as increased digitalization, the rise of the gig economy, and changes to consumer and family lifestyles, 90% of consumers in Southeast Asia pre-purchased food vouchers and took note of peer reviews on online delivery platforms. Another 90% of consumers prefer brands with an integrated online-to-offline experience.  

The on-demand food delivery industry in India is estimated to be worth $22.5 billion by the end of 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 30%. The increased adoption of the internet and smartphones, the rise in working families, especially the growing participation of women in the workforce, and rapid lifestyle changes are driving the growth of on-demand food delivery platforms. However, the industry also faces challenges such as fake food shops on online platforms, ethical issues around gig economy workers, and their lack of benefits and personal expenses.    

Food bloggers are a driving force

Healthy food choices in Southeast Asia - role of influencers

For example, Erwan Heussaff (@erwan) is based in the Philippines and has over 2 million followers on Instagram. He has been cooking from the age of 8 and worked in multinational food corporations in Russia and the Philippines. His TikTok channel has recently been focusing on low-cost, healthy, and convenient options like this savory oats recipeHeussaff also experiments with other forms when it comes to food vlogs, tapping into ASMR trends like this pancake food ASMR, which received 240k views on TikTok.  

Feedy VN (@feedyvn) is a Vietnamese food vlogger with over 5 million subscribers on YouTube. They share recipe videos, cooking tutorials, food vlogs highlighting the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine, and unboxing and testing lifestyle products.  

In India, brands reach out to celebrity-status influencers to create creative campaigns that appeal to Gen Z and Millennials. For example, food delivery platform Zomato partnered with singer-producer Tesher to integrate the brand in a remix of the Canadian Indian rapper’s 2020 song ‘Jalebi Baby,’ which became a TikTok chartbuster. Remixed with American singer Jason Derulo, the July 2021 digital release of ‘Jalebi Baby’ coincided with Zomato’s blockbuster IPO.  

Value is defined by trust, quality, and taste

When we think about food and value, price is often the first thing to come to mind. But as Southeast Asian consumers become better informed on how to make healthier food choices, they’ve come to prioritize quality, safety, and taste.  

Consumers demand more transparency from brands about their products’ origins, labeling, nutritional value, and mental and long-term health benefits. For example, in India, we have started to see brands expanding their offering to include ingredients like essential minerals in glucose and electrolyte-based drinks, which help consumers to hydrate rapidly.  

Brand trust is crucial for consumers in Southeast Asia, with 84% wanting to trust the brand before making a purchase. As such, brands should be transparent regarding labeling and clearly outline how ingredients impact mental and physical health.  

Brand takeaways

To reach their target audience effectively, brands should establish a robust online presence, including social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Food influencers have also become strong trendsetters, using their online popularity to drive food trends and engage with audiences. Brands can leverage influencers’ authentic connection with the market by having them advocate for the products. A presence on e-commerce platforms and food delivery apps can also help brands reach a wider audience and convert sales.  

Brands can partner with other brands to reach new audiences, cross-promote products, and foster innovation. To engage with their audience, brands can create touchpoints, such as online contests or mini-games, food festivals, food sampling, and activations. Hosting workshops and building communities can also be effective ways for brands to establish themselves as thought leaders and build strong relationships with their audience.  

Overall, having a healthy lifestyle is a prominent trend across Southeast Asia as consumers become more conscious and seek out healthier food options. By understanding the unique insights and trends in each market, brands can create products and experiences that align with consumers’ values and drive growth in the healthy living sector.

 

To find out more about Southeast Asia’s changing views on food, health, and wellness, please get in touch with our team of experts.