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DEI in a Tech World

Navigating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): TNB Aura's Journey Towards Inclusive Business Practices in Southeast Asia





The term ‘DEI’ is not just a buzzword but a strategic imperative that goes hand-in-hand with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. As businesses navigate the complexities of a dynamic and diverse world, fostering a workplace culture that values diversity is a moral obligation and a key driver of innovation, resilience, and long-term creativity.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have increasingly been recognised as pillars for organisational success and sustainability, especially in Southeast Asia (SEA). The cruciality of DEI in organisations in SEA has been highlighted repeatedly across various cases, which is a particularly critical topic to be addressed in a highly diverse region of 680 million people - comprising over 1,500 ethnic groups, subcultures and 1,000 languages and dialects.

As of 2023, data states that Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector has grown rapidly, with a projected $175 billion GMV by 2028. In a digital-led consumer world, this helps facilitate better tailoring to the diverse communities and positioning their corporate social responsibility to resonate with these consumers.

TNBA Views on DEI

What are some of TNB Aura’s internal policies, you may ask?

Diversity is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do - for an organisation to continuously grow and innovate. Based on the belief that diversity drives innovation and creativity, TNB Aura is dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace for everyone. This is evident and implemented from the outset, starting with our recruitment strategies and employee engagement activities in the company and extending to our value-added activities with our portfolio companies.

We promote and continuously strive towards these two main goals:

• All groups, including underrepresented groups (people of colour, women, LGBTQ+, etc.) should have equal opportunities

• No discrimination or bias towards any groups of people

Internally, we have established practices such as a stringent grievance feedback procedure, regular in-person feedback sessions directly with the Managing Partners, and a clear whistle-blower policy to support our employees in addressing discrimination and bias in the office. Additionally, we actively promote a transparent workplace environment and office culture to affirm integrity and equality across the team further. TNB Aura is committed to social responsibility and recognises that a diverse and inclusive workforce is fundamental to sustained success in an ever-evolving global landscape.

Our Internal Practices

TNB Aura showcases diversity in all of its internal practices. A few examples include

• A balanced female and male (50/50) split across our organisation.

• Inclusive, unbiased, and non-discriminatory policies and practices - Grievance forms, flexible work arrangements, fair recruitment and hiring practices, family-friendly policies, and many more.

• Embracing individuals from diverse backgrounds and races, including employees that are Singaporean Indian (20%), Singaporean Chinese (20%), Mainland Chinese (5%), Malaysian Chinese (10%), Indonesia (10%), Philippines (20%), Vietnam (10%), Myanmar (5%).

Moving forward, TNB Aura strives to promote innovation, collaboration, and collective success by fostering an environment that celebrates diversity, not just another box to check.

Our Portfolios - Impact

TNB Aura remains dedicated to improving internal practices and enhancing our portfolio companies' impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We understand the influence of our investments and are focused on collecting and analysing data on key metrics such as gender and youth representation to emphasise the importance of diverse and inclusive cultures across our portfolio companies. Our regional sector-agnostic portfolio provides two examples of how TNB Aura supports diversity, equity, and inclusion below under our core and scout initiatives.

Techcoop (our scout initiative) is one of the fastest-growing agri-tech companies in the region, utilising a farmer-centric model to support small-holder-farmers input, output and financing needs. It is a pioneering company led by a dynamic female entrepreneur - Hao Diep. The company is transforming agriculture by offering comprehensive farming solutions, providing an end-to-end solution for all farming needs, and promoting gender diversity in the sector. The woman-led leadership showcases the power of female entrepreneurship and fosters inclusivity in a farming industry that is traditionally male-dominated.

Similarly, Vuihoc - one of Vietnam’s largest Edtech players, aims to bring educational access and equity to every student in Vietnam through affordable educational material and online lessons with experienced teachers. With their large online class and highly value-based pricing strategies, they can attract and retain top-tier teachers to the platform and provide quality after-school education to many more students than via traditional offline means, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Compared to other players in the region, they have a commendable balance of female (53%) and male (47%) team members in their organisation and are led by a female co-founder.

These portfolio companies collectively illustrate our commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive business environment beyond gender to embrace different aspects of identity and opportunity.


Our proactive steps, like gender equality, anti-discrimination policies, and representation of different races, demonstrate our commitment to creating a workplace where every voice is respected.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will remain a key focus in the evolving business environment. Organisations must leverage the talents of all individuals, including women, various races, diverse backgrounds, and people with unique skills, to succeed in the long run.

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” – Jane Goodall

With that in mind, we urge other companies to participate in this transformative process, working together to advance society. Let us together promote diversity and pave the way for a future where equality and inclusion are essential parts of every workplace.

Contributed by: Amanda Nway Htwe

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