Staff Reporters
Oct 6, 2023

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Venus Teoh, Sabeco

Not afraid to make bold moves, Teoh is breathing new life into one of Vietnam’s oldest brewing companies, helping local communities along the way.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Venus Teoh, Sabeco
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Venus Teoh 

Deputy general director, marketing
New member

If there’s anyone who should be able to sell a cold brew, it’s Venus Teoh. After all, she’s been a key player in Asia’s beer marketing industry for the past 20 years, largely at Heineken and its affiliated Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) brands after beginning her career at Sara Lee and Philips.

But in 2021, Teoh made the leap to join one of Vietnam’s oldest and most prominent brewing companies, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), makers of market share-leading Saigon Beer (Bia Saigon) and 333 lager. It was a bold move. As deputy general director in charge of marketing, Teoh joined the board of the 148-year-old company amid persistent rumours that majority owner ThaiBev was intending to sell off its stake since the company still had not yet realised its purchase value. 

Yet fast-forward to today and Teoh’s move appears prescient. Sabeco recently announced a record profit for the 2022 financial year as its market share grew alongside accelerated sales and marketing drives, spurring a planned expansion of marketing activities for 2023. During the past year, Teoh has been active not only in brand advertising but through conscious efforts to bring the brand closer to Vietnamese communities by supporting young Vietnamese athletes and helping to bring creative indigenous startups in rural Vietnam into the mainstream economy. 

What is not so mainstream, however, are Teoh’s marketing innovations. Last November, her marketing team staged a fashion event at Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, partnering with designer Vo Cong Khanh to create for the first time a bespoke ‘Chill’ clothing collection for Saigon Chill beer. The activation is fitting for someone whom The Marketing Society singled out for boldness, having once dared to ‘Paint the unpaintable city,’ a campaign for Desperados beer that saw graffiti-style artwork sprayed across the walls of Singapore’s National Gallery. 

It’s boldness like this that saw Teoh continually rise the ranks at APB after joining in 2003 as a regional channel development manager to eventually fill the shoes left by Mie-Leng Wong (now a global CMO at Mondelez) as global brand director for Tiger Beer in 2018.

But do not think that Teoh, who remains active in industry networks like the MMA, is only concerned with climbing the ladder. Between jobs at Tiger and Sabeco, she took a year off for a personal pit stop, working as a farming apprentice. 

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


Campaign Asia

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