Wan-Ifra appoints new director for Asia

Media veteran - Lee Kah Whye will take charge of Asia

Lee Kah Whye, Wan-Ifra director for Asia. Photo Wan-Ifra

Wan-Ifra is pleased to announce the appointment of Kah Whye Lee as director, Asia. Lee, a Singaporean, was previously in-charge of the Asia-Pacific media business of Reuters where he spent almost 20 years of his career which spanned roles that included marketing, product, operations and sales.

He started his career working for the Times Publishing Group in the International Printing Division. Prior to joining Wan-Ifra he ran his own consulting and research firm which specializes in the media industry.

He holds an engineering degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and completed an advanced management programme at INSEAD. In addition to that, he has recently completed programmes at NUS in digital marketing, market research, data analytics and coding.

In his new role at Wan-Ifra, Lee will lead Wan-Ifra activities in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region including managing its membership programme, the Wan-Ifra APAC Committee, the World Editors’ Forum Asian Chapter as well as running its two flagship events – the Asian Media Leaders’ Summit and Digital Media Asia. He will also help develop a variety of new programs and strategies to help our members meet the needs of the fast-changing media industry.

“It is a real privilege to be working for Wan-Ifra and be given the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to an industry I’ve spent 30 years in,” said Whye about his appointment. “I’m truly humbled by the confidence and trust that Wan-Ifra’s management has placed in me in leading the APAC team and will do my best to repay that trust. I look forward to working with industry partners and members of Wan-Ifra to meet the challenges of our fast-evolving news industry and hope to in some small way contribute to its success.”

“I am delighted to have Whye join the team. His experience and knowledge of the news media industry will be a great asset as Wan-Ifra continues to enlarge our portfolio of products and services in Asia-Pacific,” said Thomas Jacob, chief operating officer. “Kah Whye’s leadership will provide further momentum to our efforts to support the industry in its transformation to sustainable businesses. “

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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