Executive class: meet some up-and-coming Papua New Guinea professionals [part 1]


In this six-part series, we meet six Papua New Guineans under 40 who are powering ahead in their professions. Hear about their work and thoughts about leadership and success. First up is Kevin Alo, General Manager Group Strategic Marketing at retailer CPL Group.

Executive class Kevin Alo

CPL’s Kevin Alo. Credit: Godfreeman Kaptigau

What’s the most important quality of a leader?

Empathy is important. Good results will follow naturally for a leader who is receptive to his or her environment and understands the people within his or her team, as well as their culture.

What drives you in your career?

I do this because representation is so important. If I can do this, so can other young Papua New Guineans who aspire to make their mark in corporate and private sectors. All one needs is time, and the right circle of influence to help them along the way.

If you were hiring someone for a job today, what are the key qualities you would be looking for?

It’s candidates who have the right attitude. Many candidates have qualifications and work experience – but for me, it comes down to the right attitude, how you present yourself and most importantly how you can adapt to the work environment.

‘I am so proud of my parents, their hard work and putting us all through school and higher learning institutions.’

How have your parents influenced your work?

I grew up in the beautiful town of Madang in the early 90s and spent a good portion of my childhood running around the golf course at the country club, frolicking at Jais Aben, eating fried fish at Krangket, and jumping off the sea walls at Masin Gun beach.

I had the best childhood. I was also fortunate to have supportive parents who emphasised the importance of education early on in life. They also worked extremely hard to ensure that we were comfortable growing up.

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Both my parents were working-class Papua New Guineans: my dad was a police officer and my mum worked in a hotel. Looking back at how they raised us, it leaves me speechless and in awe as to how they managed to raise my siblings and I with their level of income. I am so proud of my parents, their hard work and putting us all through school and higher learning institutions. My parents had a lot of impact on my upbringing and imparted good values that I carry with me to this day.

Who has influenced your career most?

There are three people that have had a massive impact on me when I was starting my career: Kiwi opera singer turned CEO, Mr Jack Bourke, my former boss when working as a young lawyer, Ms Lata Milner, and my current CEO, Mr Navin Raju. Not only did these three talented and wonderful human beings teach me about important life skills, they also helped me navigate the crazy corporate world.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I was an international brand ambassador for Canada’s largest beer brand, Molson, in my 20s.

What are your top tips for success in business and life?

I’ve always remained true to myself. The best advice I can offer is to be yourself and continue to work on improving you.

This is an excerpt from the article ‘Executive class’, which first published in the October-December 2022 edition of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine. Read the emag here.


  1. Gerard Habitein says

    Amazing stuff, Kev. Keep up the great work!

  2. Ina Lesch says

    Kev, so happy to know you. A true person and real leader!!

  3. Moa Manega says

    Good on you, Kevin. Great interview.

  4. Megan Gangloff says

    Always proud of your achievements Kevy ❤️

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