Kelvin Chan Tak On, founder of Korean Corner, an importer and distributor which focuses on high quality Korean items in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and United States, has been awarded the Study UK Alumni Awards 2016 Entrepreneurial award organised by British Council. Here he shares with prospective students his experience during his UK education and gives advice on the correlations between studying a business degree and starting his own business.
Kelvin was an ordinary student in his secondary school and explored going overseas for his tertiary education, including the UK. He was given the choice of several countries and he chose the United Kingdom because of the stable quality and flexibility that UK universities offer. He went to the University of Greenwich for his BBA then to Manchester Business School, University of Manchester for his MBA. Kelvin found his education in the UK highly relevant to his business. He was given the knowledge of many business concepts and tools and highlights the keyword from one of his courses – “Glocalisation”. ‘I found this concept of “thinking & planning globally; working and adapting to the markets locally” unique and special, and always have this concept in mind when planning for my business expansion overseas.’, says Kelvin. The knowledge has allowed him to know how to make his business more localised to the market even though it is an international business.
Other than knowledge learned from textbooks, Kelvin found his tertiary education in the UK very valuable in changing his mind-set. He explained that his course has allowed him to “think out-of-the-box”, and originally, which are critical to his business, adding that studying overseas allowed him to have a bigger picture when he is managing his business. Kelvin also found his classmates of his UK study experience as his favourite memory - ‘they helped me develop connections from different working backgrounds, like The Charles K. Kao Foundation in which Korean Corner had a joint charity event titled “Care about Alzheimer’s Disease, Start From Us”, he says.
As the founder of a rapidly expanding business, Kelvin encouraged students to think about the full picture – and globally. ‘Students should stay original and have creative thinking. An overseas education can allow students to achieve these easier’, he comments. As an employer, Kelvin looks for candidates’ mind-sets and mentality when it comes to hiring. He would love to see young graduates grasp the full picture – to keep the global market in mind, and to think big.