Skip links

Forbes Unveils Ninth Edition of “30 Under 30 Asia” List

Forbes today announced the ninth edition of its “30 Under 30 Asia” list, featuring 300 young entrepreneurs, leaders, and trailblazers from across the Asia-Pacific region, all under the age of 30. These individuals are transforming industries and finding innovative ways to navigate new business realities in the region.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2024 includes notable listees across 10 categories: The Arts (Art & Style, Food & Drink); Entertainment & Sports; Finance & Venture Capital; Media, Marketing & Advertising; Retail & Ecommerce; Enterprise Technology; Industry, Manufacturing & Energy; Healthcare & Science; Social Impact; and Consumer Technology.

Among those featured on this year’s list is Dinara Punchihewa, a Sri Lankan-born actress and filmmaker.

“Dinara Punchihewa burst onto the competitive entertainment scene in 2018 by writing, acting, and directing her short film ‘Maala’, which was screened at international film festivals and caught the attention of Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage, who cast her in ‘Gaadi – Children of the Sun’ (2019). Since then, she has appeared in four other films. Punchihewa, a graduate of Queen Mary University of London, went on to found Punchi Actors, a nonprofit that introduces children from low-income families to theater and acting,” the Forbes article states.

After a decade together, the all-female, hijab-wearing Indonesian metal band Voice of Baceprot (VoB) released its first album, “Retas,” last year and then went independent, a bold move matching their reputation for challenging stereotypes in the Muslim-majority country.

Band members Firda Marsya Kurnia, 23, Widi Rahmawati, 22, and Euis Siti Aisyah, 23, are among the trailblazing artists and athletes on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia: Entertainment & Sports list. Introduced to metal in their early teens by a teacher, they have evolved from covering hits by Metallica for school events to creating their own music and touring internationally. In June, they will perform at Glastonbury, the first Indonesian musicians to do so in the festival’s 54-year history.

With lyrics addressing issues such as gender inequality and climate change, U.K.-based magazine Metal Hammer has called Voice of Baceprot “the metal band the world needs right now.” One of their singles, “God, Allow Me (Please) to Make Music,” has over 5 million views on YouTube. Despite modest backgrounds in rural West Java, they continue to set an example, particularly for young girls, despite facing threats and opposition.

Japan’s Atarashii Gakko! is another girl band defying stereotypes. Formed in 2015, the group has captivated audiences worldwide with their cheeky sailor costumes, sassy dances, and bold message of nonconformity. They joined the label 88rising, performed at international music festivals including Coachella in 2024, and appeared on U.S. shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! Their philosophy is to challenge norms set for Japanese youth and promote individuality and freedom.

In Bollywood, Dinara Punchihewa gained attention in 2018 with her short film “Maala,” screened at international film festivals and leading to her casting in “Gaadi – Children of the Sun” (2019). She has since appeared in four more films and founded Punchi Actors, a nonprofit introducing low-income children to theater and acting.

Other inspiring female athletes on this year’s Entertainment & Sports list are making milestones and earning international recognition.

Park Hye-jeong is elevating South Korea’s profile in women’s weightlifting. She won gold in the +87kg class at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent and the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Riyadh. Park is the first Korean to win gold in the heaviest women’s weight class at the Asian Games since Jang Mi-ran in 2010.

Yin Ruoning became the No. 1 player in women’s golf, the second Chinese player to achieve this after Feng Shanshan. Yin had three consecutive top-three finishes in LPGA events in the U.S., culminating in a third-place finish in Ohio. She also played for China at the 19th Asian Games, where the team won bronze.

Malaysian squash player Sivasangari Subramaniam, after a severe car accident in 2022, won two gold medals at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023 and the PSA GillenMarkets London Classic tournament in April 2024. Currently ranked No. 13 globally, she aims to compete in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.


Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.