WOU Student Honoured with Women’s Leadership Award

The WOU community welled up with pride when one of their own, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) student was recognised for her leadership in ‘entrepreneurship and business’ by the Women’s Institute of Management (WIM).

Entrepreneur Rina Neoh Siew Lian, 47, co-founder and managing partner of Ficus Venture Capital and Mercatus Capital, received WIM’s Tan Sri Dato’ Napsiah Omar (TSDNO) Women Leaders Award from Tuanku Zara Salim, the Raja Permaisuri of Perak, during a gala dinner held at a Kuala Lumpur hotel on 16 May 2022.

Award presented by the Royal Guest of Honour.

There were winners for each of the six award categories to recognise women’s leadership; the others being education, corporate management, social and community service, public service, and technology.

Neoh, with an MBA in International Business, has over 25 years experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial sector. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), and serves as coach and adviser to several business advisory boards, NGOs and educational institutions. 

She remarked “I was delighted, especially since the recognition was from a prestigious women’s organisation. I did not expect to be nominated, let alone to be presented with the award by a member of the Perak royalty.”

Neoh with her award at the event.

Neoh, unbeknownst to her, was nominated in the entrepreneurship and business category by a close friend of 34 years, Assoc Prof Dr Cheah Phaik Kin from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), when WIM held an open call for nominations in the media.

“There were about 20 candidates shortlisted for an interview with the judging panel, and I was one of them,” she shared. She received a call three days after the interview session, informing her that she had been selected for the award.

She expressed gratitude to the people in her life, particularly Dr Cheah for her unwavering support and friendship. “Actually, it was Dr Cheah who encouraged me to enrol in WOU’s DBA for the January 2021 intake, prompting me that it is never too late to learn.”

A group photo of the award winners on stage.

Neoh’s words of wisdom to the younger generation: “Strive to be a better version of you every day and refrain from comparing yourself to others. Devote your heart and soul to your goals and have a deep comprehension of the subject matter. Always stay grounded and make a name for yourself by doing something you are passionate about.”

The WIM Tan Sri Dato’ Napsiah Omar Women Leaders Award acknowledges women leaders in the various sectors, and is named after the late founder of WIM and former Cabinet Minister.

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