Roundtable 2011 Message from the Director

Roundtable 2011 Information
Message from the Director
Program Schedule
Summary of the Keynote Talks
Summary of the Sessions
Summary of the Speech by Jack Ma
Key Takeaways
Photo Gallery
The foundation of any successful event is the contribution of various parties. The HKUST Asian Entrepreneurship Roundtable 2011 is no exception. We would like to record a special note of thanks to our generous sponsors. Many thanks also go to our keynote speakers and panelists, who gave off their time to share their wisdom and experiences. Finally, we thank all the invited guests whose presence enabled the lively exchange of ideas at the various sessions.

This roundtable is the second of what we hope would be a biannual event that brings academics and practitioners together, to freely exchange views and ideas in the spirit of collaboration and to enhance our understanding of each other’s needs. The sessions and discussions were a blend of knowledge based on the rigors of academic research, and practical on-the-job experience gleaned from the corporate world.

The roundtable focused on four topics namely

1) Are Asian Entrepreneurs Really Different?
2) Financing Growth for Asian Entrepreneurs;
3) Intrapreneurship (Corporate Entrepreneurship) in Asia; and
4) Challenges of Globalizing Asian Entrepreneurial Businesses.

We learnt that cultural and social factors differentiated Asian and Western entrepreneurs. Asian entrepreneurship is shaped by the physical location and the opportunities tied to it, where future orientation rather than immediate goals are the focus. In Asia, there is often lack of official support for budding entrepreneurs, so compared to their Western counterparts, Asian entrepreneurs tend to be more self-sacrificial, giving up most of their waking hours to their businesses. This relentless schedule means that Asian family businesses struggle more with succession issues than those in the West. In terms of financing growth, a common difficulty for Asian businesses is the need to balance getting growth, getting finance and preserving control. Venture capitalism is not yet prominent in Asia, and there is a dearth of financing options. Hence, two alternative methods of gaining wealth tend to be marriage into wealth, and the formation of business groups, which is not ideal. Thankfully, promising changes are now taking place with the arrival of venture capitalists into Asia, and there is also the possibility of developing a local venture capital industry. Global growth is becoming possible for Asian entrepreneurial firms and intrapreneurship is becoming more significant. The ability to encourage creativity among employees has the potential to deliver scalable ideas that should propel Asian firms onto the global stage. The crowning difference between Asian and Western entrepreneurs is the importance of interpersonal relations. Entrepreneurs’ networks are broader and deeper in Asia. While more needs to be done to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Asia, the future is full of possibilities.

For those interested in learning more about the various discussions and conclusions, this booklet provides summaries of the discussions that took place at the roundtable. It encapsulates thoughts and insights that will be helpful to anyone seeking a deeper understanding about family business and entrepreneurship.

I hope you enjoy reading it. We welcome your feedback. Feel free to contact us at

Roger King, PhD

Adjunct Professor in Finance
Director of Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
More Details:

Explore the Uniqueness of Asian Enterpreneurs
A detailed summary report of the roundtable can be downloaded here.
Roger King Director
Roger King