Top business leaders open up about what drives their success

Managing Asia celebrates its 20th anniversary

Is Alibaba's Jack Ma buying AC Milan?
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Asia is one of the most challenging regions in the world to lead a company due to the diversity in business practices, corporate cultures and the availability of talent in local markets. But Asia also has tremendous potential.

Unlocking this potential requires a smart strategy, and more than a little determination.

In the past 20 years, CNBC's "Managing Asia" has spoken with some of the top business leaders in the world to drill down the recipe for success in the region. Here are some of the key ingredients.

Jack Ma

Jack Ma spoke to "Managing Asia" in 2006 about the importance of competition, before he became one of China's richest and a universally recognized businessman for building global Internet phenomenon Alibaba.

Narayana Murthy

India's legendary IT industrialist Narayana Murthy spoke to "Managing Asia" in 2011 about the key drivers behind one of the country's biggest wealth creation stories.

Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped many impoverished people in Bangladesh by providing them with small loans without collateral for income-generating activities, told "Managing Asia" the inspiration behind his accomplishments in 2012.

Liu Chuanzhi

The lifetime achievements of Liu Chuanzhi are the stuff of legends. The founder of Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, shared with "Managing Asia" in 2016 the leadership qualities that helped him champion China's rise as an economic powerhouse.

Tadashi Yanai

Japanese billionaire Tadashi Yanai told "Managing Asia" in 2015 how he grew the Uniqlo empire from one shop into a global giant.

Howard Schultz

Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz explained how he revived his coffee empire after the global financial crisis, in an interview in 2011.

Sir Ratan Tata

India's legendary tycoon Sir Ratan Tata told "Managing Asia" in an exclusive interview in 2013 how he relished taking on new challenges as he built Tata Sons into a corporate behemoth.

Hiroshi Mikitani

Billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, an icon of innovative entrepreneurship, spoke about the success formula behind Japan's biggest ecommerce retailer Rakuten in 2010.

Zhang Xin

From humble beginnings to one of China's richest people, self-made billionaire Zhang Xin told "Managing Asia" in 2012 why wealth was not her biggest motivator.

Kwek Leng Beng

Singapore property mogul Kwek Leng Beng told "Managing Asia's" Christine Tan, in a rare interview in 2012, how he built up the Hong Leong property and hotel empire that made him one of the wealthiest in the country.

Kazuo Inamori

Kazuo Inamori, one of Japan's most revered business leaders, shared in a rare interview in 2013 how he founded Kyocera and revived Japan Airlines with business philosophies that have won him fans across the globe.

Ramon Ang

Philippine tycoon Ramon Ang explained on "Managing Asia" in 2013 why he stayed out of the limelight despite having successfully transformed San Miguel into the largest conglomerate in the country.

Richard Taylor

Academy Awards winner Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, the visual effects wizard behind many Hollywood blockbusters like "The Lord Of The Rings," shared his magic formula on "Managing Asia" in 2007.

Chanda Kochhar

Power banker Chanda Kochhar spoke about the importance of keeping India's largest private bank on a disciplined expansion path in a 2014 interview.

Bill Heinecke

From dealing with political instability to the 2004 tsunami, Thailand's well-known entrepreneur Bill Heinecke revealed his recipe for tackling adversity in an interview on "Managing Asia" in 2012.

Lim Kok Thay

Malaysian gambling king Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay explained to Christine Tan in 2016 why he did not believe in luck when running his fast-growing gaming and leisure empire.

Cher Wang

Taiwanese visionary Cher Wang spoke about her definitive leadership and what it takes to stay at the forefront of mobile innovation on "Managing Asia" in 2013.

Azim Premji

Azim Premji, who chairs Indian technology behemoth Wipro, spoke about embracing change on "Managing Asia" in 2010.

Sir David Tang

Sir David Tang, the famous and elusive founder of Shanghai Tang, China Club and China Tang, laid bare the secret behind his success in a rare interview with Christine Tan in 2014.

Moshe Safdie

Celebrated architect Moshe Safdie spoke about the inspiration behind his famous works, including Habitat 67 and Marina Bay Sands, and the infinite possibilities ahead for Asian cities in a candid interview with Christine Tan on stage in 2014.