Mr Senthil Danapalan

Portrait of Senthil Danapalan


Senthil Danapalan is an experienced business executive with significant networks across Southeast Asia. His career experience includes leadership roles within industry verticals of technology, telecommunications and the airline industry, in roles responsible for both setting strategy and monetising markets in the Asia Pacific.

He is currently the Head of Business Development at Maxis Berhad—a leading telecommunications provider in Malaysia, and presently leading one of its new business models towards maximising opportunities in the digital revolution.

Prior to Maxis, Senthil was the Southeast Asia Director of Business Development for Uber between 2015 to 2017. He was responsible for supporting towards the growth of the overall business including leading its major partnerships, fundraising, government affairs

He also has expertise in market opportunities & monetising markets within South East Asia from his time in aviation specifically with AirAsia, where he was both Regional Director of Route Planning & Regulatory Affairs (managing route/hub expansion in both South East Asia and Asia Pacific) and Commercial Director (driving revenues across Asia Pacific).

In 2011, he worked together with New Zealand and AirAsia stakeholders to drive a launch of direct AirAsia X flights between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch, and prior to leaving AirAsia in 2015, he established the foundation for the launch of flights to Auckland.

Senthil has been recognised by his peers through industry awards, including ‘Best Global Network Performance’ award from World Routes, Top 5 ‘Best Investor Relations Company’ award from Finance Asia and in 2015 was honoured at the New Zealand-ASEAN 40th Anniversary Awards ceremony for bringing New Zealand and Malaysia closer.

During the ASEAN @ 50 Fellowship Programme, Senthil will focus on both the importance & benefits of New Zealand’s developing strong ties with the ASEAN region with reference to economic (including tourism, trade, education) & cultural prospects through insights on market access dynamics and engagement strategies. Senthil will provide insights on doing business with Southeast Asia to New Zealand’s SMEs, corporates, academia and government agencies.