PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit opens its 2021 virtual edition with calls to harness the power of data to revolutionise the sector

Data-driven insights underpin timely conversations on proptech, green building, urban resilience, smart cities, and sustainability

  • Global speakers include senior representatives from the International Finance Corporation/World Bank Group, The Economist Corporate Intelligence Unit, Milken Institute, Bank of Singapore, and the Original Voice of Siri
  • Acclaimed Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom is named PropertyGuru’s Visionary of the Year
  • Singapore/Manila-based start-up uHoo wins the PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award for its ground-breaking smart indoor air monitoring solutions
  • PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2021: Virtual Edition closes on 8 January 2022 

BANGKOK, Thailand — 20 December 2021

PropertyGuru Group, Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company, has opened the virtual world doors of its thought leadership platform, PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit, on 8 December 2021. The event runs for one month, closing its doors on 8 January 2022.

Themed ‘Data Revolution,’ the virtual summit premiered on and features a live chat section, two exhibition halls, and 30 interactive booths. With introductions by Thai-Welsh television personality Kelly B. Jones, the event is supported by platinum sponsor Port City Colombo, and official innovation partner IHI.

Now on its seventh year, the annual summit is participated by decision-makers from around the Asia Pacific region and beyond, highlighting the property industry’s continuing focus on sustainability, green building and finance, clean tech, urban resilience, and smart cities, with data science and data-driven insights at the core.

Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of PropertyGuru Group, said: “We have the opportunity to transform our workflows from within, making sure that we’re using data-driven insights to make intelligent decisions: how we build and what we build; how we match demand and supply of real estate; and then how we manage property. Data-driven insights can underpin all parts of the real estate ecosystem,” Krishnan shares during his ‘GuruTalk’ presentation.

Meanwhile, the returning chairperson of the summit, Stephen Oehme, who is currently the Managing Director of Quantum Thailand Ltd and a former board member of Burj Khalifa Dubai, calls to harness the power of data science to realise our collective sustainability goals. “Sustainability is the lens to achieve the outcome we all desire and the legacy we want to leave. We need to be more progressive, and we need to achieve solid and lasting outcomes. Together, we can,” he appeals in his keynote.

This year’s PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit, or ARES, features an assemblage of more than 30 real estate and technology leaders, sustainability and climate heroes, start-up innovators and visionaries hailing from around the world. Fifty percent of the expert roster comprise women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, solidifying the event’s commitment to promote a diversity of voices and inclusivity in the real estate and tech sectors.

The ‘Visionary of the Year’ award is presented for the first time to a female recipient, Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO and Founder of Pourous City Network, and Chairwoman of the Climate Change Working Group, International Federation of Landscape Architects, World (IFLA World). With acclaimed projects such as the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park and Chao Phraya Sky Park, Kotchakorn is the third overall recipient of this honour, following last year’s winner Illac Diaz of the Liter of Light Foundation.

She said: “It’s very important that every female can have an opportunity to have a seat at the table and share their thoughts, their ideas, their creativity. There are not only two genders in the world right now; we have an even more diverse society, and I hope that all of our creativity can be combined to tackle the climate change problem.”

Covering a range of topics and related fields, PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2021 is thematically divided into segments covering the data landscape, accessible data, sustainable development, and data innovation:

Keynote speakers in the “Data Landscape” segment are The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network’s Director for South-East Asia, Dr. William Thomas; the International Keynote on ‘Becoming the voice of A.I.’ by the original voice of Siri, Susan Bennett; the Policy Keynote by former US ambassador to the Asian Development Bank and now Senior Asia Fellow of the Milken Institute, Curtis S. Chin, who joins a fireside chat about living in sustainable mega cities with PropertyGuru’s Director of Strategy, Mallika Gadepalli.

The segment “Accessible Data” segment features the IFC Keynote by Ommid Saberi, Senior Industry Specialist, Green Buildings, International Finance Corporation/World Bank – Building Resilience; a presentation on ethical start-ups by radio personality Tina Ryan and Nick Myers, Founder and CEO of RedFox AI, who are joined by this year’s finalists of the Tech Innovation Award. These sessions are followed by IHI Asia Pacific’s associate director Masaya Fujisawa’s smart parking showcase; an expert talk by Presello Home Tour Videos on YouTube’s host Julia Richards; an expert talk about digitisation to boost project quality and reputation by Denis Branthonne, Founder and CEO of Novade; a talk show on “Grounding future real estate influencers” with Korean podcaster and TV/radio personality Sam Oh and Angelo Tan, Country Lead for the Philippines Climate Business, International Finance Corporation/World Bank Group; and a case study on a data-driven smart city by Kohei Kurihara, Co-Founder of Privacy by Design Lab in Japan.

The “Sustainable Development” segment follows with a Fireside Chat on “Women who lead and build” between Thailand’s Kotchakorn Voraakhom and the Philippines’ Jean Jacquelyn de Castro, CEO of ESCA Incorporated; and a “Smart City in Action” showcase by Yamuna Jayaratne of Port City Colombo; a case study on Kuala Lumpur’s latest financial district by Yasmin Rasyid, Sustainability Director of Lendlease; and ‘The Leaders Panel’ discussion with ARES chairperson Stephen Oehme; renowned architect, author and TV presenter Prof. Jason Pomeroy of Pomeroy Studio and Pomeroy Academy; Ken Ip, chair and founder of the Asia MarTech Society; Stuart Mendel, managing director and country head of Lendlease Malaysia; and Thailand’s Dr. Warodom Khamphanchai, CEO and Co-Founder of AltoTech.

The final “Data Innovation” segment opens with a radio talk show, ‘Right on the Money’ with Singapore’s Money FM 89.3’s Michelle Martin speaking with Rani Kaur, Managing Director and Head of Strategy and Business Management at Bank of Singapore; followed by the Design Keynote with Patrick Keane, founder of Enter Projects to talk about ‘The Age of 3D’; and the presentation of PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award and PropertyGuru Visionary of the Year 2021 winners, with messages from Jules Kay, the executive producer of the summit, and PropertyGuru Group’s Chief Technology Officer Manav Kamboj, who returns as the chairperson of the Tech Innovation Award, leading a nine-member panel of global experts judges.

PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award, a benchmark of excellence for start-up companies and SME’s with game-changing products and innovations in proptech, was granted to uHoo, which bested eight other outstanding start-ups in Asia Pacific. The Manila/Singapore-based company developed the uHoo Aura, a comprehensive air monitoring solution with a patented coronavirus index that received a certification by the Singapore Green Building Council in late 2021. Dustin Onghanseng, uHoo’s Co-Founder and CEO, said: “Winning the PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award further validates our solution and the impact it has locally and on the region in helping Southeast Asian companies become greener and more sustainable.”

Tickets for the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2021 are still available at All ARES speaker sessions are currently accessible as a Video on Demand (VOD) playlist until 8 January 2022.

The virtual ‘GuruSummit’ opened in early December as part of the exciting ‘PropertyGuru Week’, an annual celebration that includes the presentation of the Regional and Country Winners at the 16th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final, which premiered on 9 December and served as the culmination of the 2021 virtual gala series covering 14 key property markets across Asia Pacific. Earlier in the year, PropertyGuru also released its inaugural ARES Digital White Paper, Vol. 1, entitled “Proptech and the Responsible Innovator”, as a free download on the official ARES website, with a follow-up to be released in mid-2022.

The PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2021: Virtual Edition is supported by platinum sponsor Port City Colombo; official innovation partner IHI; official portal partner PropertyGuru; official cable TV partner History Channel; official magazine and podcast PropertyGuru Property Report; official PR partner Infinity Communications; media partners APAC CIO Outlook, Asia PropTech, Nikkei Asia, Oxford Business Group, and The Artificial Podcast by RedFox Ai; official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation; official charity partner Right To Play; and supporting associations Asia MarTech Society and Green Building Consulting & Engineering.

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