Singapore – Digital media platform in SEA, RICE Media, has announced two leadership promotions, which include Khai Asyraf, former client services director, being its new managing director, and Ilyas Sholihyn, former branded content strategist, being its new editor-in-chief.
In his new role, Asyraf will be bringing his creative production and business development expertise in his new role to spearhead new commercial partnerships, initiatives, and opportunities. Moreover, under Khai’s leadership, RICE Media will formally embark on an expansion plan across the region.
Asyraf said that through their product innovation and distinctive content, they offer digital marketing and media consultancy solutions for agencies and brands, and they will continue expanding their diverse range of clients—from travel and lifestyle brands to the banking, finance, and insurance industry.
“The disruption of the pandemic offers an unparalleled opportunity for transformation and reinvention. On this note, I will focus on expanding commercial opportunities in Southeast Asia, elevating our creators’ capabilities in the region,” he added.
Meanwhile, with a decade of experience in regional newsrooms and digital publications, Sholihyn will be driving the content direction in RICE Media and refining its impactful, quality storytelling across diverse topic verticals.
Sholihyn noted that since 2016, RICE Media has been a platform that challenges perspectives through unfiltered, unconventional journalism, and they’ve matured as a brand, building on that foundation with a sharper focus on delivering thoughtful content while still balancing their business objectives.
“In that spirit, we want to collaborate with brands and government agencies to help people understand culture better by providing searing clarity and nuance while going deeper into pertinent issues of the day to unearth something new—all through the power of creative non-fiction,” he said.
Under Asyraf and Sholihyn, RICE Media is also set to grow Storytellers, a mentorship programme that teams up with local companies and community organisations to nurture potential creative talents from all backgrounds. The publication will also be officially establishing a branded content studio to offer partnering brands its expertise in cultural storytelling and digital content.
RICE Media’s founder, Mark Tan, has initiated the changing of guards, as part of an internal company restructure to support the next step of the publication’s evolution. He said that the platform is embarking on a regional expansion that will see them bring its brand of irreverent, impact journalism to key markets in SEA, and this requires a strong, innovative management team that understands the region’s cultural nuances.
“Aside from their years of experience in the industry, Khai and Ilyas bring an in-depth understanding of local and regional audiences and a penchant for taking creative risks. Under their leadership, our audience and partners can expect greater diversity in our topic coverage, as well as more dynamic storytelling that pushes both creative and cultural boundaries,” added Tan.