Laila Cheng

Practice: Industrial, Energy & Mobility


Surviving a terrorist attack in Nepal, my nicknames “Anego” and “LanLan,” or how to sneak across the Vietnam-Cambodia border without a visa.


Laila was born with “freedom” flashing in neon from her heart. This self-confessed Daddy’s girl actually grew up a tomboy who refused to wear skirts, fishing and exploring caves with her brother in and around her hometown harbor on Taiwan’s northern coast. When her father moved the family to Panama, young Laila dove headfirst into the deep end of Latin America’s cultural melting pot, its kaleidoscope of rhythms and flavors. And just like that she was hooked on newness and the joy of making connections with other people. On travel. From India’s clamorous streets to the idyllic mountains of Laos and far beyond, she has explored forty countries to date, always taking time to interface deeply with the locals. She could have gone native almost anywhere, so how lucky are we that, while here studying to become an ikebana expert eight years ago, she settled on Japan as her base. But it feels like destiny. Because long before knowing our philosophy, Laila was manifesting it: not work-life balance, but integration; not mercenary me-first, but giving back. Indeed, becoming Zensho Agency’s IT expert was an organic fit for one so committed to liberation and kindness, who measures success not in yen but by how much she improves other people’s lives. Laila’s greatest pleasures include Japanese literature, temples, shrines, onsen, practicing yoga, and adding to her rice wine and shochu wisdom at kikizake events. Ours include Laila.

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