Trinity Alumnus to Launch ASEAN newspaper

Rohan Ramakrishnan (TCFS 2005), has announced the official launch of The ASEAN Post (TAP) for the third quarter of 2017, a digital newspaper devoted to covering news from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

Rohan, originally from Malaysia, studied in the Young Leaders Program (YLP) before joining the Foundation Studies program in 2005. Rohan says, ‘when I finished the YLP summer school, I pretty much knew that I wanted to go back to Trinity.’

After completing Foundation Studies, Rohan moved to the United Kingdom (UK) to pursue undergraduate and later postgraduate study. This experience Rohan says was a ‘unique’ educational experience as he was able to receive ‘the best of both worlds in Australia and the UK.’

After completing a Master of Science at the University of Hertfordshire majoring in Finance and Investment Management, Rohan worked with Ernst and Young. A typical day in the Corporate Restructuring Unit involved working with different types of companies, across a variety of industries to turnaround their businesses or helping banking institutions restructure their debts from non-performing loans.

‘It could be as wide as a plantation company to a frozen food packaging company to a bio-tech company or energy company,’ says Rohan.

After a stint at Ernst and Young, Rohan returned back to the UK to complete an executive programme in Corporate Finance and Strategy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. On his return, he took up a role at a leading ASEAN Investment Bank CIMB, working on a variety of local and international projects real estate and infrastructure projects.

After leaving CIMB, Rohan joined his family office where he currently works as Managing Director in one of its subsidiaries KONPRO Renewables. The family office, established in the 1970s, has interests in engineering consultancy and project management, plantations, real estate, industrials and renewable energy. More recently, Rohan completed the Management Acceleration Programme (a programme for emerging leaders) at the one of the world's leading business schools, INSEAD in France. On his return with some inspiration, he proceeded to set up The ASEAN Post.

The Founder and Chief Executive of TAP, Rohan is excited to be at the forefront of what he describes as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

‘You had your first, second and third Industrial Revolutions, the last Industrial Revolution was the tech boom of the 2000s basically the digital revolution. Now you are looking at the benefits of the advancement of technologies from that era resulting in the financial technology, digital media and the renewable energy boom.’

ASEAN is known to be a fast growing economic community and the launch of TAP coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, yet there is still much that goes unreported to international audiences about the ASEAN region.

‘The news we will be providing will be on geo-politics in ASEAN, financial technology, environment, climate change and renewable energy. Coupled with the other typical vertical of news, capital markets, food, travel and fashion, there will also be a focus on what makes each ASEAN nation unique from an economic standpoint with an aim of promoting unity and cultural understanding.’

Although Rohan expects TAP to grow and evolve as it establishes itself in the international market, he refuses to compromise on the newspaper’s integrity. Decent, respected journalism will be the mantra for TAP.

‘The approach we have taken is to ensure we have a very ethical approach in what we do and our news is very transparent. It gives the readers the opportunity to think for themselves not for us to push content; much like a propaganda machine.’

TAP will start as a digital newspaper and will initially operate out of a head office in Malaysia, however Rohan would like to eventually have bureau offices in each capital city of the ten ASEAN nations.

Rohan has remained close with his friends from Trinity and recently caught up with a group of FS alumni at a wedding in Bangkok for the wedding of Nachapol Triwongwaranat (TCFS 2005), one of Rohan’s first acquaintances at Trinity’s much eventful induction week.

‘It was pretty amazing, it’s more than a decade, 12 years in fact. We had classmates from the Middle East, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok itself who all caught up.

It comes down to that bond you have being at Trinity, throughout the whole orientation process to get to know each other, the actual activities and going into class and actually living together and surviving for one year or a semester.’

His advice to current Trinity students and graduates is to try study and understand what he describes as the ‘three most important topic areas’ changing the world today; fintech or financial technology, digital media and renewables.

‘Study the tech space and analyse what are the day to day developments in the area around the world. Seize and grab the opportunity you see at first sight. Speed is the key in this generation.’

The Young Leaders Program, offered at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, provides students aged between 14 and 17 the opportunity to broaden their outlook on learning and study, to be inspired, to increase their confidence, to practice leadership skills and to consider their future directions.

21 Apr 2017
Category: Foundation Studies