Professor SONJA PROKOPEC
Professor of Marketing, Associate Dean of Faculty, Former Chair Professor (LVMH Chair)
Prof. Sonja Prokopec is a Professor of Marketing and the Associate Dean of Faculty at ESSEC Business School APAC based in Singapore. Her research explores consumer judgment and decision-making. She is also interested in understanding the factors that affect brand perceptions of luxury brands. Prof. Prokopec's research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and International Journal of Research in Marketing among others, as well as a variety of media including the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, the Business of Fashion and Business Times Singapore.
She was the ESSEC LVMH Chair Professor of Luxury Brand Management for 12 years, from 2010 – 2022. She was named one of the Top 40 under 40 Business School Professors worldwide in 2015 (Poets&Quants ranking). Outside of teaching and research, she actively advises companies from the luxury and automotive industries, as well as start-ups regarding consumer behavior trends, consumer research and marketing, and brand management issues. She is also an advisory council member of Singapore Fashion Council and VOGUE Council.
PROFESSOR GAUTAM KIYAWAT
Professor Gautam Kiyawat has deep industry experience across Consumer, Media, and Advertising sectors. His area of focus is in helping businesses maximize returns on their marketing investments. Gautam leads digital transformation consulting sprints for teams who want to build digital capability, scale revenue, or drive effectiveness of their advertising spends. Over the course of his 25-year industry career prior to joining ESSEC, Gautam has worked in leadership roles at P&G, Disney|Star, Madison Media, Philips, and Singtel, along with digital start-up and consulting experience. He has lived and worked in Singapore, the US, and India.
Mr. François Saurel
Asia Pacific at Edrington
François Saurel is the Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Edrington, based in Singapore.
With over 20 years of proven experience in building aspirational global luxury consumer brands gained from his extensive career at Procter & Gamble and Coty’s luxury and prestige divisions in Europe and Asia, François joined Edrington in 2019 and is responsible for the business’ overall strategy, direction, and management within this region to continue building the world’s leading portfolio of exceptional super premium spirits.
He has a proven track record of general management roles and multi-functional expertise in the Asia Pacific region, having led business transformation with distributors, JV’s and distribution companies. François is a French national and was educated in Paris where he graduated from a world-class French business school, HEC Paris.
Mr. Randall Tan
Randall Tan is the Regional Brand Education Manager for The Macallan, Asia Pacific. In his current role, he oversees brand education for The Macallan across the region and leads the brand ambassador network through brand messaging and consumer engagement.
Apart from product launches, Randall occasionally hosts experiential whisky appreciation and tasting sessions as well as exclusive VIP dinner events.
His accreditations include the Diploma in Single Malt Whisky by the Edinburgh Whisky Academy, the Whisky Ambassador and WSET Level 2 in Spirits.
Prior to working at Edrington, Randall was a freelance artiste for over 20 years, juggling roles such as actor, host and emcee, and has appeared in Mediacorp Singapore and HBO Asia productions.