Cheah Kim Lean

Director, Activiste & Co-Founder, Acorn

Kim Lean is one of the two founding directors of the Acorn Group in Asia-Pacific. She has a Masters degree in Social Science. She started her career in marketing research in Malaysia, and then moved to Singapore to take up a senior position in an international market research company before starting Acorn in 1985.

Over the years Kim Lean has done work for major international and local banks such as Citibank N.A., Standard Chartered Bank, DBS Bank in the Asia Pacific region, Australia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The research approach is heuristic centering on brand assessment and reiteration to make client brands more relevant as markets evolve and consumer needs become more sophisticated. Aside from financial services, Kim Lean is also involved in extensive brand opportunities research for major lifestyle.

She helped consolidate the Acorn business in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea from 1995 when new chapters were started in North Asia to partner clients who wanted a research house they could trust.

As a Group Director she also oversees the development of the Acorn companies in the 9 countries where Acorn has offices. She is intimately involved in the internal training programs to ensure the young executives are culturally attuned to the company’s philosophy and technically competent in the science of Marketing Research.

Kim Lean is also involved in charities in China for the medical rehabilitation of physically challenged orphans to give them a chance for adoption.