What Being a Leader Means – Our AAPI Partners Share Their Stories

We’re celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by sharing the stories and achievements of our AAPI colleagues! So many people enrich and shape Simon-Kucher’s unique corporate culture: That’s why we want to shine a spotlight on some of our Partners who have an AAPI heritage.

One thing that makes Simon-Kucher so unique is a great team spirit. The prerequisite for this are Partners that foster it, encourage collaboration, and lead by example. For this year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we have asked a few of our AAPI Partners for their views and experiences. What does being a leader mean to them? What are their proudest achievements as a Partner?

Lisa Sun Headshot

“To me, a true leader recognizes and appreciates that everyone is different and brings something unique to the table, based on their own set of experiences, values, beliefs, and cultural background. Early in my career, I received a lot of mentorship, and now – being a leader – I want to support others and enable them to achieve their full potential as well. Over the last two years, things were challenging, but I am most proud of our team for supporting each other, for their immense growth, for what we have accomplished, and most importantly the strong bond we built while being physically apart.”

Madhavan Ramanujam

“A good leader creates a strategic vision, builds a team, earns their trust, and inspires them to create meaningful impact beyond business performance. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment every time my team enables our clients to bring an idea to life and turn it into a fully developed and tangible innovation. I am proudest of the innovations that have bettered everyday lives and made positive social change.”

Betty Pio

“The scale and scope of impact our team makes in the life sciences industry is really unbelievable. We work on the cutting edge of innovation and with medicines that save lives. I’m so proud to be the leader of such an amazing team. I grew up in a working-class family in a less privileged area. Back then it never occurred to me that I could have the kind of role I have now, because I rarely saw anyone who looked like me or came from a similar background. Representation matters – the kind you can and can’t see.”

David Chung

“Being a leader means to define a vision and then guide and coach their team to achieve it. It’s also about setting an example and being a role model for others to aspire to. As a Partner, I’ve been most proud of how we’ve continued to develop young inspiring leaders to join our ranks.”

Shikha Jain

“A leader is someone who others can trust and confide in. Trust can manifest in many different ways and is a two-way street. It is about honoring commitments, empowering others around me and championing their successes. My proudest achievements are channeling my professional energy into my passions. Specifically, contributing to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Simon-Kucher and driving thought leadership around the role of the consumer when it comes to sustainability.”

David Lee

“To me, being a leader means – on the one hand – fostering an environment where your team feels inspired to pursue a vision bigger than themselves. On the other hand, they should always feel supported enough to try, fail, and try again because we are pushing the boundaries of what has been done together. With that in mind, I’m so proud of the passion and drive of our team, who help our healthcare technology clients make an impact for patients everywhere. I’m also proud of our commitment to creating a diverse and equitable environment where every one of our team members can realize their full potential.”

Ellen Kan

“My aim as a Partner is to help others develop to their full potential and to give them space to shine. It is our task to amplify the individual strengths of our associates – to create an environment where all kinds of people can be successful. I’m proud of the effort put into encouraging a culture of feedback on project teams so that everyone receives coaching that is tailored and meaningful. We work with so many talented, smart individuals and it is amazing to see them thrive and grow confident in what they bring to the table. Ultimately this is what will fuel continued innovation and excellence.”

Thanks to all our Partners for sharing their stories!

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