May 17 2001 – Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the Board of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Honorary Chairman of Shantou University’s Board of Governors, today attended the University’s 5th Board of Governors conference. At the conference, Mr Li Hong Zhong, Vice Governor of The People’s Government of Guangdong Province, was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Mr Li was also invited to be the guest speaker at the Economic Forum organised by the University’s School of Business Studies, to share his business experience with the faculty and students.
Economic Forum Aims at Nurturing Business Talents
The Economic Forum was organised as a platform for reputable business leaders to share their valuable insights and views with Shantou University’s Business School faculty and students. The Forum will feature a host of distinguished speakers from the business sector; the first being Mr Li Ka-shing.
Today’s Forum was attended by over a hundred teachers and students. In addition, the school arranged a direct video link between the main conference centre and other colleges on the campus to enable more people to participate in the forum. Many interesting questions were raised at the forum.
The theme of the forum was “Corporate Strategy and Tactics”. Mr Li gave a fascinating talk on the subject, sharing with the audience his knowledge and experiences on a range of business-related subjects such as business tactics, matching the right people to the right jobs, making the most of business opportunities, and how to tackle business problems. He also answered questions from the audience. The following are some excerpts:
On Corporate Strategy
‘It is imperative to make the right decisions and to have sound financial management. It is also important to have the latest information at your finger tips and to have a sense of camaraderie and team spirit among employees’.
On Management Style
‘Make appropriate use of western management methods, and combine them with traditional Chinese approaches. Many foreign corporations have “quarter CEOs”; this would not be suitable for our Group’.
On The Worst Time Of Mr Li’s Business Career
‘When I first started my own business in 1950, I only had HK$50,000 in my bank account, so finance was a problem and times were hard. To tell you the truth, I do not think I have the makings of a successful businessman. I am not good at business entertainment or at flattering potential clients. If I make a promise I will honour it at all cost, but other people may not do the same for me. However, I am hard working and am always willing to break new ground and to try new things. That is why my company has continued to expand, even to this day’.
On Staff Management
‘I am very fortunate in that I have always enjoyed a very good relationship with my employees. As a result, the turnover rate among our senior executives in the past ten years has been less than 1%, the lowest amongst all the big corporations in Hong Kong. The secret of attracting and retaining quality staff is good remuneration and benefits, ample opportunities for career development, plus giving them a feeling that they are being valued. There must also be a sound system of checks and balances’.
Advice To Business Students
‘If you want to succeed in business, you must have a thirst for knowledge. Your English must be good so that you can grasp the most up-to-date information. You must also listen and learn from other people’s experienceK..I believe knowledge can change one’s fate’.
On How To Make Use of Business Opportunity
‘During the 1950’s when I was struggling to build up my business, I relied on hard work and a strong desire for knowledge to succeed, rather than on opportunities. Opportunities only came later when my business began to take off. Opportunities come when you do not expect them. So my advice is to work hard and acquire as much knowledge and experience as you can. When opportunity knocks, you will be ready for it’.
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