Asia Berlin Forum e.V.



Clas Neumann
Senior Vice President, Head of Global SAP Labs Network
Clas Neumann is responsible for strategy and operations for the SAP Labs Network (SLN) – SAP’s global network of research and development centers. Under Neumann’s leadership the SLN has grown to 20 R&D centers located in 17 countries worldwide. The largest of those are in China, India, Germany and the USA. In his second role, as the head of SAP’s fast growth markets strategy, Clas orchestrates the strategic alignment and long-term investments in some emerging markets around the globe. He has more than two decades of experience in Asia-Pacific, with more than 15 years in India and China and was instrumental in SAP’s market entry into China. Clas has led the Global SAP Labs Network since 2009. Prior to this he was President of SAP Labs India and held additional responsibility as Senior Vice President, Breakthrough Innovation & Products with engineering teams around the globe. Clas serves as an SAP Representative of the Asia-Pacific Association of German Industries (APA), a board member of the East Asian Association (OAV) and as board member in various Chambers of Industry. He also holds the chair in the EUCC cyber security working group in China. He was named “IT Thought Leader of the Year” in China in 2014 for his achievements in the area of smart manufacturing and accompanied several German ministers and the President on trips to Africa, Latin America and Asia. He co-authored several books and article on innovation and business practices in emerging markets.
Vice Chairman:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Zaby
President of HWR Berlin (Berlin School of Economics and Law)
He received his doctorate with Prof. Dr. Dodo zu Knyphausen-Aufseß at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena in 1998 with summa cum laude. He then initially worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in Munich and Zurich. Subsequently, from 2000, he was CFO of a biopharmaceutical company with locations in Germany and the USA. There he was responsible for the finances and management of all commercial processes and carried out several venture capital rounds as well as company takeovers. He is also chairman of UAS7 (German Universities of Applied Sciences), an alliance of seven leading, research-oriented universities of applied sciences in Germany, and is the deputy chairman of the advisory board for development cooperation of the Berlin Senate. As a member of the International Strategic Advisory Board, he advises the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration at the Hong Kong Open University.
Dr. Nicole Renvert
Head, Government Relations, Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA
Nicole Renvert holds a doctorate in Political Science with a focus on transatlantic relations and works in government relations for the technology company Voith. She studied History, International Relations and Political Science at the University of Bonn, the Sorbonne in Paris and the Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.. She teaches at the Berlin University of Applied Science, is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington, D.C. and is a board member of the Forum Ebenhausen of the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP). Nicole Renvert has worked for the Research Institute of the Holocaust Museum, the World Bank, the OSCE, the Aspen Institute and the Foreign Office and has worked internationally for several corporate foundations.
Pei Albrecht
Head of Asia Affairs, ALBA Group plc & Co. KG
Pei Albrecht studied international economics and trade and innovative management in China and Germany. She worked in various industries, e.g. pharmaceutical industry, education, business development, as well as for an international machine tool manufacturer in the field of project development and intercultural management between Germany and China. In 2010 she started working in the recycling area at the ALBA Group, one of the leading recycling and environmental service providers as well as raw material suppliers worldwide. Today she heads the Asia Affairs department in the company.
Lydia Bierwirth
Head of Technology Communications at Siemens AG
Lydia Bierwirth is heading global Communications for Siemens Technology. She has been responsible as Business Partner Communications to Managing Board Member, Cedrik Neike, for the last four years. In her role, she has been managing cross-teams and projects with a strong focus on Berlin and Asia. Lydia held several positions in communications, transformation and strategy in Germany and abroad such as Head of Thought Leadership for Siemens Smart Infrastructure or Mobility Global Coordination & Communication Strategy closely linked to businesses and government affairs. She studied business administration and international marketing in Hanover, Germany, and Deventer, the Netherlands.
Prof. Dr. Gert Bruche
Founder/Partner at BGM Associates GmbH, Professor for International Management, HWR Berlin
Gert Bruche is Founding Partner of BGM Associates, a strategy and transaction advisory firm with an industry focus on healthcare and life sciences, located in Berlin with its Asia liaison office in Seoul. He served as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. In the university’s MBA and MA courses he teaches International and Strategic Management with a particular focus on Asia. After working as a Programme Officer for the United Nations Development Program in Turkey and as Head of a research group at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) he moved into the private sector. For a decade he worked in various positions for Schering AG, among others for many years as Managing Director for Schering AG’s China subsidiary in Hong Kong. His relationship with Asia is also reflected in various projects for companies and public agencies in Asia, in his work as Director of Executive Training Programmes at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and in extended guest professorships at Indian universities. Gert Bruche served as ABF’s Chairman of the Board from 2014 to 2018. He holds a Diplom-Ingenieur degree of Technische Universität Berlin and a Doctorate in Economics and Social Sciences of Freie Universität Berlin.
Dr. Caroline King
Global Head, Business Development, Government Affairs, SAP SE
Caroline King joined SAP in Executive Communications in 1999. She initiated and developed the global Public Affairs program, which later became Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility. Today Caroline is Global Head, Business Development, Government Affairs, in Berlin. From 2005-2007 Caroline was on leave from SAP and established and managed the German office of the World Childhood Foundation founded by Queen Silvia of Sweden. Caroline holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. She did her undergraduate and first graduate degrees at McGill and McMaster Universities in Canada. Caroline has an extensive international network of influencers in politics, public affairs, CSR and social development. She sits on the Boards of several organizations in Berlin and the US, has taught seminars on foreign policy and on CSR, and runs her own communications consultancy in Berlin.
Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood
CEO, Bridge to Pakistan (B2P) GmbH
Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood is a founding member of the Asia Berlin Forum e.V. and has been organizing the "Pakistan Business Day" in Berlin since 1997 with high-ranking delegations from business and politics. Over the past two decades, Dr. Dr. Mahmood has established a high-profile network of German and Pakistani business and politics representatives and has organized conferences with German think tanks and meetings between high-ranking representatives from both countries. Dr. Dr. Talat Mahmood worked as a Senior Fellow at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), the largest European think tank in this field. He received his first doctorate in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, and another one in Industrial Economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin. As an industrial economist, he has already taught at various universities and published several articles in international journals. He is currently the CEO of B2P GmbH with a focus on providing intelligent products and technology solutions, renewable energy and energy technologies, information and communication technologies (ICT) and clean technologies (waste and water treatment) for German and European companies - and the general public and business world in Pakistan.
Miguel Encarnacion
Head Financing and Investments Team, Novel Capital
Miguel is a Venture Capitalist who spent his early career leading corporate and investment banking deals for HSBC and ANZ. After his banking stints, he co-founded a game design studio, which quickly led him down the path of venture capital and angel investments. In 2013, he joined Novel Capital, a multi-family office with headquarters in Manila, Philippines, leading the foray into private equity, venture capital, and advisory while growing the portfolio from 10 to 60 companies. Since 2017, he has been based in Germany to invest in and advise European technology startups looking to internationalize and scale in Southeast Asia. He is a mentor for the Berlin Founders Fund and an ambassador for both the AsiaBerlin network and the German Accelerator program.
Angela De Giacomo
Investment Manager, Bissell Family Office
Angela is the Head of an Indian Family Office. For the last seven years, she has spent half the year in India and the remaining time in Germany. The family she works for is the Bissell Family, the promoter family of Fabindia i.e., one of India’s most ethical retail chains. Before joining the Indian Family Office in 2013 and serving as Board Member of several start-ups in Singapore and India, Angela spent seven years working with KPMG as a certified German tax advisor (Steuerberater, M&A Tax). Today, Angela is also on the Board of a German company: Christoph Kroschke GmbH. In 2017 she moved to Berlin and initiated the German Indian Startup Exchange Program (GINSEP) as well as the WunderNova Frauen Sommer- and Thinkfest in May 2019. In November 2019 Angela was selected as one of Germany’s TOP 40 under 40 by CAPITAL.
Tina Nayak
Co-Founder, Useristics
Tina is an international growth, product marketing, and brand expert for tech startups. She has 14 years of experience scaling businesses and teams based on proven marketing and execution frameworks in India, EU and USA. Some of the startups she has worked with are Babbel and Preply in EU and Twitter and Rentomojo in India. She has a strong focus on building data-driven marketing and growth teams. Currently, Tina is founding her second startup called Useristics. Their mission is to enable startup founders and their teams to ‘power-up their user understanding', by providing advanced knowledge and insights to scale across markets with confidence. Prior to this, apart from having founded and sold her own startup, she has worked with ambitious startup founders to bring together a strategic approach to solving different growth problems across a variety of business models such as Ed-tech marketplace, subscription/sharing economy, e-commerce, and mobile-first markets like India. She is a startup person at heart and enjoys mentoring on at Techstars and Berlin Founders Fund in Berlin.


Swantje Gies
Managing Director
Before joining the Asia Berlin Forum e.V., Swantje was active in development cooperation for many years. She worked at a large international operating organisation in the Asia & Pacific department and was mainly responsible for projects with partners in India and Nepal. Her focus is on a range of issues from human rights, health, gender equality to climate change. Swantje has a background in international economics; she studied in Göttingen, Istanbul and Shanghai.
Produziert vom Webdesigner Berlin aus Schöneberg.