Catching up with SEA CAPE friends and alumni

On this page we feature individuals or groups who have been involved in SEA CAPE activities.

Here they can share their experiences with our stakeholders and reflect on their learnings to show the resonating benefits of SEA CAPE's many programmes.

For your chance to feature in the SEA CAPE spotlight, apply here.

Nina Santos

Nina Santos

Student - Law, Politics & International Relations
Nina Santos
Nina Santos
Student - Law, Politics & International Relations
September 2019

Who are you and what do you do?

Mabuhay! I’m Nina Santos. I was born and raised in the bustling streets of Manila, the Philippines. I’m now based in Auckland where I balance my Law, Politics & International Relations degree with my work at the Ministry for the Environment. 

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?

I was lucky enough to join the Tertiary Market Immersion Programme to Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore in 2019. 

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 

Visiting the Facebook Asia-Pacific Headquarters in Singapore is an experience I’ll brag to my future kids about. It was amazing to be hosted by gracious kiwi employees who gave us a “crash course” on how the global giant operates. I use Facebook and Instagram everyday, so being in the epicentre of it was pretty cool. 

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?

The pearl of the orient, the Philippines of course! Top notch hospitality, best food in the world, lush beaches and buzzing cities  - what’s not to love? (If you haven’t been, book a flight and thank me later!) 

Antje Fiedler
Antje Fiedler
Senior Lecturer - Graduate School of Management, University of Auckland
October 2019

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Antje Fiedler, a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Management, University of Auckland. I teach on both the MBA and Masters program in the area of international business and strategy. I also have done extensive research on growth, innovation and internationalization of NZ SMEs, with a particular focus on emerging Asia. 

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?

I have been involved in the development and delivery of business workshops for the Market Readiness Programme (MRP). These workshops provide an opportunity for practitioners to deepen their understanding of doing business in Southeast Asian markets, and to share their own experience with peers. I am also an academic advisor of the Southeast Asia CAPE.

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 

This is difficult to pick because I have plenty of good memories. My favourite memories would be the many conversations with New Zealand exporters sharing their stories of doing business in Southeast Asia markets. I have learned many valuable, down-to earth practical lessons that really helped me to better understand this diverse and dynamic region.    

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?

Without a doubt Cambodia. Set in a lush rain forest, the temples of Angkor Wat are magical. The energy and light is difficult to describe, but gave me a real sense of adventure and peace at the same time. Also, Cambodians are very warm and friendly which made my trip to Cambodia unforgettable, and I would love to go back anytime. 

Senthil Danapalan
Senthil Danapalan
Head of the Corporate & Government Segment - Enterprise Business at Maxis
November 2019

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Senthil Danapalan and I’m Head of the Corporate & Government Segment - Enterprise Business at Maxis. I oversee the revenues/P&L in these two major business segments. Our activities span the connectivity and tech value stack, ranging from pure connectivity, fixed, cloud, and managed services to advanced smart solutions.

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?
I was selected as a SEA CAPE ASEAN@50 fellow in 2018.

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 
During the ASEAN@50 fellowship, I met students, business and government stakeholders across New Zealand. It was fascinating to hear their ambitions, and learn about what the future holds for ASEAN & NZ as they find ways to maximise synergies in their bilateral relationships. I specifically enjoyed engaging with students and I'm confident they will be a key catalyst to drive this.

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?
Malaysia (unbiased, of course!): the ultimate fusion of cultures. It offers so much in terms of food, nature, sightseeing, and shopping. 

Laurie Ingle

Laurie Ingle

Associate at L.E.K Consulting
Laurie Ingle
Laurie Ingle
Associate at L.E.K Consulting
December 2019

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Laurie Ingle a recent law and commerce grad from Victoria University of Wellington. I’m currently living in Sydney working as an Associate at L.E.K. Consulting.

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?
I participated in the Tertiary Market Immersion Programme (TMIP) in 2019 and have spent the year attending SEA CAPE alumni events.

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 
At the end of TMIP 2019, we presented our business pitches from the trip to a panel of judges in Singapore. It was a great capstone display of everything we’d learned over the trip and I loved seeing what everyone had come up with and how well we worked together as groups of newfound friends, given we’d only met a few weeks prior.

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?
I’m really interesting in how technology is changing the world, so it would have to be Singapore. It’s a global technology and start-up hub and that really excites me.

Amanda Liddle
Amanda Liddle
ExportNZ Executive Officer, Hawke’s Bay

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Amanda Liddle, ExportNZ Executive Officer, Hawke’s Bay

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?
ExportNZ run market focused events around the country and connect businesses to the right people in the export ecosystem. We advocate for exporters at a national level and celebrate and inspire businesses through Export Awards, Go Global conference etc.
We partner with SEA CAPE to run Market Readiness Programme workshops on market entry, strategy and doing business in Southeast Asia. 

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 
We have been running the SEA CAPE Market Readiness Programme workshops for 18 months and every workshop has a different dynamic to it. I love to see fellow exporters interacting and sharing their experiences with one another. There is a camaraderie that evolves throughout the day when businesses realise they often have the same problems to solve.

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?
After having extensively backpacked my way around most of Southeast Asia in my twenties I feel qualified enough (yet I admit it’s hardly intrepid) to choose Singapore as my drop everything and go country. It has so much to explore in such a small place, the history, the people, the architecture… oh and I love the weather. As a tourist I feel I have unfinished business there!

Jess Reiher

Jess Reiher

Student - Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Management), Victoria University of Wellington.
Jess Reiher
Jess Reiher
Student - Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Management), Victoria University of Wellington.

Who are you and what do you do?
Kia ora! I'm Jess Reiher and I'm a first-year Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Management) student at Victoria University of Wellington.

What is your connection with SEA CAPE?
I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the SEA CAPE/Young Enterprise Business Challenge Programme and spent an incredible week in Singapore in January 2019 with nine other young Kiwi entrepreneurs.
I took away so much knowledge about business and entrepreneurship from the trip, and being exposed to the vivid social and cultural dimensions of Singapore was also really exciting. 

The skills and confidence that participating in the programme gave me have enabled me to push myself further and become involved in some awesome things from grant-making committees to consulting competitions, to being on the Youth Advisory Group for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Just last month I had to develop and pitch an initiative idea to MPP executives, and the skills I gained from being a part of the SEA CAPE Business Challenge were so valuable in doing this. 

Tell us about your favourite SEA CAPE memory? 
I don't think I could choose from the countless awesome cultural and business learning experiences from that week, from Haji Lane to the Art and Science Museum, to visiting the Facebook offices and hearing from and engaging with insightful business professionals. However, one of my favourite moments on the trip would actually have to be from our 30-hour business challenge. Despite the stress and time-pressure, churning out business plans, ideas and market entry strategies and just having an awesome time with friends I had only met a few days earlier is one of my favourite SEA CAPE memories!
I was so amazed by how quickly friendships, ideas and skills developed on the trip. 

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?
Singapore and it’s exciting business environment will always have a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to go back, but apart from Singapore, I’d love to visit Vietnam for the amazing landscapes, history, energy and food! 

Francesco Giovanni Lopez
Francesco Giovanni Lopez
Boulcott School, Age 10

What’s your name, how old are you, and where do you go to school?

My name is Francesco Giovanni Lopez. I am 10 years old and go to Boulcott School, New Zealand. 

How does it feel to have your work published in the special edition Toitoi?

I feel honored that my literary work has been selected and published into the Toi-Toi journal.This means a lot to me. Thank you! 

What’s your connection with Southeast Asia?

My roots originated from the Philippines, one of the Southeast Asian nations. Although I was born and still live in New Zealand, my family and I would often travel the Philippines and visit Avila, Guimaras where my lovely grandmother lives. 

Tell us about your favourite Southeast Asia memory.

My favourite Asia memory was when we went island hopping through various Guimaras islets, went snorkeling and visited a cave full of Bats. It was indescribably exciting! 

Quinn Matariki Ashby
Quinn Matariki Ashby
Homeschooled, Age 13

What’s your name, how old are you, and where do you go to school?

My name is Quinn Matariki Ashby and I'm 13 years old. I'm homeschooled and have been for the last four years.

How does it feel to have your work published in the special edition Toitoi?

Last year I wrote a piece that was published in the Special Edition Toitoi. It felt like taking the first step in my writing towards bigger things! I enjoyed learning about the process of submitting work and having a real editor check in with me. When I first saw my work in print it was a little bit overwhelming.

What’s your connection with Southeast Asia?

I spent the first part of my life  living in South East Asia and then when we moved to China my family took lots of our holidays around South East Asia. 

Tell us about your favourite Southeast Asia memory.

One of my favourite South East Asia memories are of shopping trips to the markets. It's amazing how far my pocket money used to go! I used to like watching the bargaining process between my dad and the stall holders - so many noises, colours and smells!

If you could drop everything and travel to any Southeast Asian country right now, which one would you choose, and why?

I'd always choose to return to Thailand because of the food, the weather, the beaches, the language and the people - it is after all the 'land of smiles'.

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